Flat tire mystery? - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 14 Old 08-12-2007, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
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Flat tire mystery?

So yeaaa, I'm going to a tire shop tomorrow to have them try to solve the mystery, but figure to pass some time before I'm off to work I'll let you guys try to be the Sherlock Holmes' in this case.

So, Friday night I drove maybe 15 miles to then 15 miles from a movie theatre (The Simpsons Movie) and the TJ was great. Didn't notice any problems with steering, it was nromal as usual. Saturday around noon-ish I'm going to pick up my friend to go frolfing... I come up to a stop light, and a pick-up is on my right hand side waiting to turn left onto the street I was coming from... He turns then slows down right by me (top is off) I turn down my radio and he says "Your front passenger tire is flat!!!) I said really, he said yea, I said thanks...

Then I un-belted and checked the tire, and it's flat... luckily just past the stop light is a gas station, so I pull right next to the air machine and check it out...

The tire's not completely flat, but damn near it... right away I scavenge for $0.75 to get the air machine going and air up to about 30psi...only had time to do both front tires to 30, back tires looked just as good.

So throughout the day it looked like it's been holding the air fine, and I've driven maybe 30 more miles in the day, but just this morning I check it, and it's lower than last night...

There's no hissing, it's definately a slow leak... but like I said, it just started out of nowhere, I don't remember any pot holes or hitting anything major in the last couple of days...

Anybody have any ideas on what to check/what to look for? I've looked all around the tread and can't find anything punctured in the rubber, nor any signs of cracks... I just don't know.

But like I said, tire shop tomorrow, just wanted to see if any of ya'll have had a similar situation.

Edit: Lift/tire/wheel forum is too slow, I actually would like some responses.

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post #2 of 14 Old 08-12-2007, 01:34 PM
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check the valve stem area. it might have caught a nick right behind the cap or something.
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post #3 of 14 Old 08-12-2007, 01:41 PM
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With the tire full of air use soapy water applied with a paint brush. You will get bubbles forming where the leak is.

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post #4 of 14 Old 08-12-2007, 01:41 PM
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Spray or douse the tire with a mild soapy water solution which may show the presence of bubbles streaming from the leak. :

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post #5 of 14 Old 08-12-2007, 01:42 PM
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The stem itself could be leaking, They get crud in them sometimes when you air down, and it causes a slow leak. Do you have caps on the valve stems?

How long have you had the tires, the bead might not have sealed when they put them on if it got some stuff in there.

Edit: Try with the soapy water.

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post #6 of 14 Old 08-12-2007, 02:48 PM
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Could simply be a bad bead. I've had that happen.

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post #7 of 14 Old 08-12-2007, 06:53 PM
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a nail maybe? a small cut? valve? some of the things i had to fix today at work

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post #8 of 14 Old 08-12-2007, 08:01 PM
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Check carefully around the base of the valve stem with the soapy water idea.. I see that alot.
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post #9 of 14 Old 08-12-2007, 09:13 PM
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If you have an aluminum rim, it could be the valve. They suck up more crap than any others. The Bead of the rim may be slightly oxidized and a crack opened up in the bead.

If its a steel rim, the bead could be rusted and need to be ground down.

It could be a nail as well, get it plugged and be on your way! No need for a patch unless its bigger or on the upper half of the sidewall.

The core could be bad as well and thats a very easy fix.

At work we use Seek-a-Leak and it works magic! As the others said, the soapy water will do the same trick.

good Luck!


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post #10 of 14 Old 08-12-2007, 09:32 PM
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There's no mystery, you have a leak. Find it, fix it.
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post #11 of 14 Old 08-12-2007, 11:10 PM
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I had that happen and I figured that is was leaking arond the bead. Had a bunch of crap in there. Had it taken off and cleaned and put back on......been great ever since.

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post #12 of 14 Old 08-12-2007, 11:16 PM Thread Starter
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Cool... I'll do the soapy water technique later tomorrow/today to find the leak.. if I don't get anything that way, I'll still take it to the shop incase the tire needs to come off and have the bead cleaned.. If that's the case, I wanted my white letters in anyways..
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post #13 of 14 Old 08-13-2007, 12:07 AM
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My mystery tire flattening was caused by a loose valve stem, the deal inside that on some applications remove to install slime or the like. I simply grabbed some needle nose pliers and tightened it up.

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post #14 of 14 Old 08-13-2007, 06:49 AM
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My friend who owns a shop had a slowly deflating tire. It turned out that the aluminum wheel had a tiny hole, most likely a "cold shut" in the casting process, that made its way through about 2.5" of metal. You couldn't see it but it was bubbling the soapy water.
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