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Old 02-08-2015, 08:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Slow air leak around chrome wheel

I've been slowly fixing all the minor issues on my parent's 1998 Toyota Camry over the past year and am down to just a small air leak on a wheel.

The original owners apparently lived in SoCal, and for some reason everyone down there has to replace their perfectly good wheels for cheap (or expensive) crap. These wheels are chrome plated steel, and the chrome is beginning to rot off. There is a small air leak around the bead that causes the tire to go too low in about a month.

I'm trying to spend as little as possible on this car with 250,000 miles. As much as I loath the stuff, does goo effectively seal leaks around the bead of the tire? It seems the goo would coat the tread portion only, and not find its way to the rim. Are there any other tricks to stop the leak without de-mounting the tire using normal shop tools?

Too bad I don't live near SoCal, or I could probably find someone anxious to trade their new OEM wheels with the chrome junkers I've got. Maybe I'll check the junk yards tomorrow... the tires do need replacing.

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Old 02-08-2015, 09:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I wouldn't do anything less than break the beads, clean 'em with scotch pads or what have you, hit the tire's beads with the pad too (with soapy water) and depending on the condition of the rim beads simply re-seat or if "iffy" there is bead goop tire shops use.
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Old 02-08-2015, 09:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I would take it to a local tire shop and have them break the bead loose where its leaking, not dismount it and bead seal it then re-inflate. The green goo stuff is annoying/ pisses off tire techs like no other (I speak from experience). Bead sealing doesn't require dismounting the tire completely only the bead that is leaking.
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Old 02-09-2015, 12:29 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I'd dismount and clean the chrome off the bead anywhere it's lifting at all. Buicks in the early 2000s had issues with this, but on aluminum wheels, I'd take up to 2-3 times as long to put on a set of tires with bad chrome peeling because of the bead cleaning / loose chrome tearing off. aside from a bent wheel, I think 99% of bead leaks could have been prevented by the tech doing a better job cleaning the bead when the tires were originally installed
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Old 02-09-2015, 04:04 AM   #5 (permalink)
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My recomendation:

Get the tire off the rim.

Get out the wire brush and really scrape it get all the rubber from the bead off, and anything that is flaking must come off. Don't be afraid to paint the bead area after you have sanded it, just use good primer and paint, or I think you will have the same problem again.

If the wheel rim is seriously corroded or rusted, use a file.

Be sure to coat the bead with the paste intended for seating tires. Soap isn't good, and some tire mounters don't even coat anything...but this is Eastern Europe.

Have you tire remounted and balanced.

I've fixed this problem many times--and this method always worked. I never did have to use the file though I faced some really pitted rims.

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