On Wed, 12 Mar 2014 09:46:27 -0400, Stormin Mormon
When I graduated from a "government high school" in 1969 I knew
enough about auto repair to be able to skip the first third of the
apprenticeship schooling and was able to more than earn my keep as an
apprentice.. Minimum 2 hours a day for 2 years in auto class (double
major). after 1 year of regular "rotating" shop classes starting in
10th grade. (took academics 'till grade 9 -music, french etc)
I've never used any of the products in a can, but it's my understanding
that it costs more to repair a flat if you use that stuff. Don't they have
to scrap it out of the tire before plugging/patching it?
I heard it can totally screw up the balance of the tire.
If Wikipedia is right, then there are other issue, including explosions, to
be concerned about.
Stolen without permission from
The biggest complaint by tire professionals regarding tire inflators is
around removing the sealant from inside the tire. They believe that it is a
difficult, time-involved process that may damage the tire. Some brands like
Fix-A-Flat offer a water-soluble formulation that allows the product to be
removed quickly and easily with a towel and water.
The gas used in some inflators contains butane which is flammable and which
may explode if exposed to high temperatures (either when in the can or in a
re-inflated tire). Other inflators use a non-flammable formulation
Also for safety reasons, the US National Highway Traffic and Safety
Administration has mandated that all 2008 vehicles sold in the US and
manufactured on or after September 1, 2007 must be equipped with tire
pressure monitoring systems. Because many of these sensors are inside the
tire, there was a concern about whether or not canned tire inflators and
sealants would affect the sensors’ ability to correctly operate.
Manufacturers have been working on finding solutions to this new
If a canned tire inflator is used on a tire mounted on a wheel with chrome
plating, then it is very important to thoroughly clean the entire wheel and
the inside of the tire in order to prevent Chrome Peel.
I've been told by a local auto shop manager that they won't work on
tires that have had that stuff used on them. Safety hazard for the
techs, and fixing a flat isn't profitable enough to make the aggro and
However, a growing number of new car models don't come with even a
donut spare; instead, they come with only a can of fix-a-flat. Dunno
what that means in terms of tire service/sales.
Some of the tire plugging kits, like Walmart
carries, the inserts are kind of like pine
tree branch, but black tar. Doesn't look
like something I'd invite to dinner, but they
do seem to plug tread holes.
Other plugging kits use round rubber, which
needs the (separate) tube of rubber cement.
Any tire shop should be able to easily find such a leak. All they have to
do is inflate the tire to the maximum pressure as given on the sidewall and
immerse it in the tank. Even a tiny leak is detectable in this way.
I disagree. I think there is a good chance a tire shop WILL find the leak. Or
you could try to locate it yourself using soapy water. Be sure to check the
valve itself and where the bead meets the rim too. If you have something
that holds water that you can place the tire in, even a leak as slow as
you describe can often be found. Depending on your driving habits and
the amount of tread left, you may want to try plugging it yourself too.
There is always an easy solution to every human problem -- neat,
plausible, and wrong." (H L Mencken)
As other's have mentioned, take the wheel off and cover the tire/wheel with
soapy water. Even a slow leak will cause the soap to bubble up.
If you have a container big enough to hold the entire wheel, fill it with
water and dunk the wheel. You should see the air bubbles easily enough.
Don't rule out the wheel itself. I had a set of alloy wheels years ago with
one rim leaked through the metal. I kept looking for leaks in the tires,
without any success. Then I put soapy water on the inside back of the rim
and it bubbled up right through the metal. Cheap wheels. I just kept
inflating the tires regularly until I could afford new wheels.
On Wed, 12 Mar 2014 04:40:38 +0000 (UTC), HerHusband
It doesn't have to hold the hole wheel. Just a portion, up to the rim
(and a little higher I see from ;your next paragraph. ) Then rotate
the tire so eventually all of it is under water.
Wow. that's amazing. First time I've heard of that. Thanks.
OTOH, really cheap wheels, that is standard steel wheels, no special
alloy, used on trucks and plenty of cars, can be dented at the rim when
hitting a chuckhole or maybe a curb, making the rim not round but
indented there, and they can be straightened with hammer. When it's
leaking like that, you can usually put on goggles and hit the dent from
behind, which is usually from the side, and knock the wheel back to
round, or very close to it. You can use a carpenter's hammer or just
about any heavy hammer. You have to really whack it sometimes. It's
good practice learning how much effort it takes to bend steel.
You probably don't have to take the tire off.
I don't think anything in the rim or tire is hard enough to make the
hammer head shatter, but I'd wear goggles anyhow. or at least safety
glasses. Maybe you'll miss and hit something underneath the wheel.
On a trip from Livingstone Zambia up to the Northern Province during
the 1973/74 rainy season with the '67 Peugeot 204 we bent the rims in
potholes to the point I stopped and hammered them straight at east
half a dozen times during the trip. We had half a ton and 4 adults in
the car - and Michelin Airstop tubes in the tires to keep the air in.
That was always on my list of things to try, but I never got around to it.
I don't have the tools to remove and reseat a tire myself. It was my daily
driver so I never found the time to take the wheel off and take it to a
shop to remove the tire so I could work on it.
It was easier to gripe about it and keep adding air every week. :)
I did try deflating the tire and patching it from the outside, but that
wasn't successful. There was an area a little bit bigger than a quarter
where you could see air bubbles bleeding through the metal (when soapy
water was applied).
Eventually, I found a nicer set of wheels so it wasn't an issue anymore.
My locally owned, been-around-forever tire shop does a good job. $12
last time (first for this car) to clean the rim. All done. I tried to
pay more but they wouldn't take more :o) Wouldn't even take a donation
to the coffee fund! Dang. They don't advertise, don't need to, which
proves my theory that word-of-mouth is the best advertising. OTOH, when
my daughter bought tires from Walcrooks, she bought a huge headache. I
tried to bring her up right, but she HAD to shop at the Wal.
Spit test the valve.
If no joy there have a tire shop break them down, clean and seal the
I've had to do that 3-4 times, with both aluminum and steel rims.
One time it took the shop twice to get it right.
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