the phantom tyre leak is driving me crazy.

Messages
1,565
Location
palm beach
my right rear tyre leaks about 6psi a day. i was unable to find the leak even after squirting the entire tyre/wheel assembly down with soapy water and looking for bubbles. i checked the entire tyre and wheel, along with the vale stem. in disgust i took the tyre down to the local shop and had them examine it. they broke the tyre and wheel down to look and they could not find any leaks or holes. as a precaustion i used this time to install a new valve stem. i took the tyre homeand checked it. after a few days it was down 12psi. out of sheer anger i jumped in my jacuzzi with the mounted tyre and wheel and sat very still holding it underwater looking for air bubbles to surface. after 10 mins i saw none. i am very ****** off at this point and not sure what to do. i am using the fullsize spare tyre and wheel as of now untill i can fix this problem. anyone have suggestions? i am ready to go crazy.
 
Messages
7,430
Location
beaver land EH?
If you are using mag/Alu rims, it's known to experience small air leaks due to bead sealing properties (mating surface irregularities inclusive.) Your best bet is to get a small can of tire puncture seal and just get a small portion into your tire. Make sure that you bleed off those inflating gas used in these fix-a-flat for most of them are flammable and refill with ordinary air. Drive it and the problem goes away.
 
Messages
1,979
Location
Houston
have the tire remounted. same tire, same wheel. often the bead seal breaks and a very slow leak will occur at bumps and other times, but won't show when bubbled. worked for me. [ February 18, 2005, 04:58 PM: Message edited by: kenw ]
 
Messages
716
Location
San Gabriel Valley
I also had one of those pita mystery leaks in the old beater 190E...6 psi gone daily but no punctures and no bubbles to find. I did the Fix A Flat treatment to the tire. So I deflated the tire down to nil(just like what the FAF should be used for)and also to let the tire beads distend and re-seat itself against the rim lip. Followed the directions/discharge the whole can and reinflated the tire with additional air to the normal psi using my trusty air pump. Thereafter I immediately drove the car to let the sealant spread inside the tire(as in the last FAF step). Since then, no more leaks... [Smile]
 
Messages
716
Location
San Gabriel Valley
quote:
Originally posted by vwoom: I also had one of those pita mystery leaks in the old beater 190E...6 psi gone daily but no punctures and no bubbles to find. I did the Fix A Flat treatment to the tire. So I deflated the tire down to nil(just like what the FAF should be used for)and also to let the tire beads distend and re-seat itself against the rim lip. Followed the directions/discharge the whole can and reinflated the tire with additional air to the normal psi using my trusty air pump. Thereafter I immediately drove the car to let the sealant spread inside the tire(as in the last FAF step). Since then, no more leaks... [Smile]
Oh, I forgot to mention this mystery leak only happened on a 3mo old "new" tire(from set of new 4s)...no prior leaks on this alum wheel.
 
Messages
3,931
Location
Somewhere in the US
For those who have tried the immersion test and come up without bubbles - Remember, you are looking for seepage over a large area - not a stream of bubbles. What I've done is to immerse the tire and wheel with the flat of the rim up. (in my case that was the outside, but for many FWD's, that will be the inside) I needed a couple of bricks to hold it under the water and it took a few minutes for the bubbles to appear on the surface of the rim. They would cling to the rim and when they got large enough would come off. The key to this is that we are talking about small individual bubbles around a large diameter 15 to 18 inches - very difficult to detect if you are looking for bubbles on the water's surface. I saw them when I looked at the rim surface. Hope this helps.
 

Kestas

Staff member
Messages
13,942
Location
The Motor City
I agree with Capriracer. A leak of 6 psi per day should present itself underwater. I've had leaks of less than 1 psi per day present themselves. The air can't mysteriously hide underwater when it escapes. You'll have to modify your leak detection methods. Check with the wheel completely submersed, wheel vertical and horizontal. You'll eventually find the leak.
 
Messages
1,979
Location
Houston
but in the time it takes to find it, you can easily have it remounted. Discount tire did mine in about 5 minutes. It's too simple not to try!
 

cryptokid

Thread starter
Messages
1,565
Location
palm beach
its already been remounted, twice. both times the entire tyre and wheel were inspected inside and out for any signs of damage. the wheel is steel and not cracked or bent. although we inspected it none the less. holding the wheel underwater for 10 minutes yeailds NO bubbles on the waters surface or on the tyre/wheel assembly. i tried flipping it underwater and viewing the backside, and watching the tread and generally mucking up my jacuzzi. i given up on it and am biding on a new wheel on ebay, and going to buy a new set of tyres.
 
Messages
709
Location
CT
I'm guessing it is the valve stem since I had this same problem twice. Pump up the tire to the max on the stamp. Spray the stem down with soap water. Then wiggle it slightly in different directions.
 
Messages
4,844
Location
Saskatchewan
Try taking it up to about 50 psi when checking. Are you using dish soap? I've never had a leak (even much, much slower ones) that didn't show up with dish-soapy water. I've found a few slow leaks right beside the balancing weight.
 
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