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Old 04-29-2009, 09:33 AM   #1
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Slow Tire Leak - fix suggestions?

I filled up my tires today and noticed that one of them was almost 10PSI lower then all the rest. I'm guessing it must have some kind of slow leak to it but I haven't had a chance to look and find it. It is definitely not a big leak and I could not find any visible damage or anything stuck in the tire.

What is the best way to fix this? Should I get it plugged, or buy some sealant stuff to put in the tire? Any suggestions?


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Old 04-29-2009, 10:23 AM   #2
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First thing to check is the tire tread. Remove the wheel and look for any embedded nails, glass etc. Naturally if something is found you need to take it to a shop for repair. Next check the stem and valve. Mix up a soap solution (dish soap and water in equal parts), you will not need a lot. Remove the valve cover cap. Put some soap solution in the valve and look for bubbles. If it does bubble the valve needs to be loosened (but not removed) and re-tightened. You need a special tool to do this which you can get at most any bike store. If that checks out put some solution at the bottom/base of the stem. Move the stem back and forth somewhat gently. If you see bubbles you'll have to have the stem replaced. Finally, and if not is revealed by the previous tests, remove tire and wheel and lay it on the ground. Increase air pressure to about 50 to 60 PSI, spread some of the soap solution around the bead of the tire, once again looking for bubbles. If there are the tire needs to be reseated or checked for a damaged bead at the tire shop.
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Old 05-05-2009, 08:22 AM   #3
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Hey Geezer,

Thanks a bunch for the tips, I really appreciate it. I filled it up again this weekend and am waiting a few days before I test it to see if it is indeed leaking or not, then I'll try some of the suggestions that you mentioned.
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Old 05-05-2009, 08:41 AM   #4
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That soap solution usually works.....but with a really slow leak, that soap solution may not do it. You'll constantly be seeing small bubbles from many places as the soap dries.

The way that almost always works.....a big tub of water, big enough to submerge the tire at least past the rim. If you don't have a tub big enough to submerge the whole tire, you'll have to keep turning it. Raise the pressure to 60lbs or so.....watch for bubbles. You'll find the slow leak for sure.
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Old 05-05-2009, 10:03 AM   #5
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Well my biggest problem is I don't have a way to get the tire off to do that. Living in an apartment building, my options are a bit limited. Plus I'm not overly that car savvy. In terms of soaking it though, it might fit in my bathtub haha.

I'll definitely be checking the soap solution though. I'm not even sure if I even have a leak or if it was just a fluke that the one tire was so low. More investigation is needed.

In terms of fixing it, I guess it really matters where the leak is coming from so we will have to see. Anyways, thanks for the advice guys, really appreciate it.
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