1. live4theking

    live4theking Old Man with a Hat

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    So my DD has aluminum wheels that are close to 15 years old. All of the tires seem to lose pressure, but one of them tires has a habitual slow leak to it. I'm putting air in it almost every week. I'm pretty certain that I've had it dismounted, cleaned and remounted.

    Does anyone have any little secrets to get aluminum wheels to not leak air?
     
  2. Newport 66

    Newport 66 Senior Member FCBO Gold Member

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    Make sure the rim bead is cleaned well. Then apply a bead of rim sealer ( it is a specific product) or black silicone sealer around the rim, check the tire bead itself for damage. Also check the valve stem seat area.
    I had an aluminum rim that leaked through the rim and tried that "slime" sealer, but it didn't work. Good luck!
     
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  3. Pete Kaczmarski

    Pete Kaczmarski Senior Member

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    Determine for sure the condition on the bead and/or valve stem. Purchase or re-use a squirt bottle, put in a small squirt of dish soap and fill it up. spray the bead and valve stem after fully inflating the tire. Watch for the bubbles that may form. Also how long does it take to lose how much air. That is relevant that is may take up to 30 min or so for the bubbles to appear. It works better if the tire is off and laying flat on the ground because the soapy water will collect and not run off of a tire mounted on a car.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2020
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  4. live4theking

    live4theking Old Man with a Hat

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    Thanks, I was considering slime just last night.
     
  5. shooter65

    shooter65 Senior Member FCBO Gold Member

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    I had the same issue with all four wheels of my wife's DD winter vehicle. 2010 Dodge Avenger R/T. Skander Tire in Evans City fixed me up. Evans City PA Tires & Tire Services Shop | Skander Tire The best and least expensive in the business in our area IMO. They broke all four down, cleaned up the rim bead and remounted. That was last fall and I haven't had an issue since.
     
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  6. Newport 66

    Newport 66 Senior Member FCBO Gold Member

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    Just a side note, cold weather at times effects the ability for aluminum rims to seal. We occasionally had a rim that would lose air pressure and could not get it to seal no matter what we did. Then it would warm up and the issue would go away.....
     
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  7. shooter65

    shooter65 Senior Member FCBO Gold Member

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    Good Point but as @live4theking and I both live in the land of road salt.

    ie.
    Resources used last winter:
    • Over 922,000 tons of salt (2018-19)
    • Over 602,000 tons of anti-skid material (2018-19)
    And this is only PennDot, not the county, local, and private organizations, usually our issues are related to Alloy corrosion.

    I have the same issue getting my wheels off every couple of years. I have to use my Dremell to grind the corrosion off the hub area of my wheels and then grease them up so I can get them on and off without a bottle jack.
     
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  8. Newport 66

    Newport 66 Senior Member FCBO Gold Member

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    I can certainly relate, as I reside in the Badger state of Wisconsin. The last couple of years, in addition to traditional road salt, the state, county and local road crews have discovered the wonderful mix of sodium chloride and water called brine. This stuff is liberally over applied like a hookers makeup!!!! They pretreat the roads at every threat of frost or snow. You can almost hear the vehicles rust.....
     
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  9. rkrochen

    rkrochen Well-Known Member

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    We have had all the same issues up here. Cleaning the rim bead up and sealing with a good quality sealer usually works quite well.
    As for stuck rims we would back off the lugs a couple of turns and do a figure eight in the parking lot. That would pop the rim loose on the axle.
     
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  10. Ripinator

    Ripinator Senior Member

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    Puleeze. . , Don't use that stuff. It just makes a big mess you hafta deal with later.
     
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  11. mr. fix it

    mr. fix it Old Man with a Hat

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    I just had my rims resealed after a single year of use.
    The tire installers failed to use the black rim sealer on all 4 rims.
    I thought that I had scored a nice set of aluminum factory aluminum rims and went as far as cleaning the rims and painted inside and out.

    regardless of how much the sealer is applied they will leak again
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2020
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  12. mrfury68

    mrfury68 Well-Known Member

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    Stay away from the slime. The only real cure is to have them dismounted, rims and tire bead thoroughly cleaned and bead sealer applied. If your valves are old have them replaced as well and the valve hole cleaned. Here in the Peoples Republic of Bethel Park they still use calcium chloride when it gets below 30 degrees. I swear you can hear cars rusting away. Shops around here do plenty of brake, fuel and transmission line replacement. Lets not even get into rusted out rocker panels.
     
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  13. Fury440

    Fury440 At my age everything's a good idea FCBO Gold Member

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    My experience with aluminum rims was a nice set I picked up at a swap meet. I installed them on all four wheels of my '78 IHC Scout figuring to be the best dressed 4x4 in the bush. They all leaked air, but after a real good cleaning and liberal use of rim seal all was good. However my wife backed the truck down the lane way one cold morning, was -35C, and when she turned onto the street all four tires slid off the rims.

    Unloaded those rims and haven't used aluminum since.
     
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  14. rags

    rags Well-Known Member

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    can't stress that enough. and a little bead of rtv on the stem.
     
  15. 78Brougham

    78Brougham Deplorable FCBO Gold Member

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    Also, what tires are you using.. Cooper had some issues that they never disclosed to the public about rim sealing problems...

    One of my tire shop customers told me about it after I complained about my tires losing air.
     
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  16. 1970cat

    1970cat Senior Member FCBO Gold Member

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    it helps to use stick on wheel weights instead of clip on.
     
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  17. live4theking

    live4theking Old Man with a Hat

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    They are Coopers, but probably the last ones. I had made that decision prior to that tidbit of information.
     
  18. 78Brougham

    78Brougham Deplorable FCBO Gold Member

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    I asked him about any type of recall he said none that he's heard of. Good honest guy, does ask my tires. Cooper screwed up but not much you can do about it.....
    Needless to say they're off my tire list!
     
  19. 65sporty

    65sporty Old Man with a Hat

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    I see bead leaks all the time. We don't do tires, but I have a place that does them for me. He breaks them down, cleans the bead with a coarse wire wheel and uses a black sealer.
     
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  20. Jim Kolenovsky

    Jim Kolenovsky New Member

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    When I worked at a gas station back in 1974 learning to be a mechanic (grease monkey is as far as I got), the five things that usually caused leaks were: 1) improper seal around the rim (either side). 2) debris around the rim. 3) Tire rim goofed up(chunks out tire rim. 4) Valve stem core not screwed in tight or valve stem leaking. Finally which didn't happen too often , the wheel itself was either cracked or had a pin hole leak.
     
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