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Unread 08-15-2009, 09:42 AM   #1
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Default Driving with a leaking tyre

I've got a new car recently that was parked in one place for about a month. The two rear tyres had gone flat so I pumped them with a foot pump to check them. Unfortunately they both leak and they go back flat in about 3-4 days.

On one weel the leak is quite visible between the tyre and the rim. I drove a car for a while and this wheel also makes some strange repeating noise. Is it safe to drive the car like that to the garage ~1 mile or is there a risk of blowout or something?

Thanks in advance.
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Unread 08-15-2009, 10:05 AM   #2
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Driving any distance with a low tire risks damaging the tire's construction. A short distance at high speed or a long distance at low speed, flexes the tire's sidewall more than intended. It can weaken the sidewall and compromise the tires life. It's possible, if bad enough that it could blow out when hot, like at high speed.

Now if you drove a short distance, and the tire was not rolling on the sidewalls, and you felt the sidewall at the end of the trip and it wasn't very warm, the tire may be OK.

If the tire was dismounted and you checked inside and found debris, it's shot! Even if you didn't find debris it's possible that the cords in the sidewalls are damaged.

It all depends on how far & how fast.
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Unread 08-15-2009, 10:41 AM   #3
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If you have your own shop or even a trough or a bathtub (if whoever the woman of the house is allows it haha) you can find leaks in tires.

I would start though by getting the wheel off, and pouring water on the treads and slowly spinning the tire looking for air bubbles. If that doesn't work, dip the tire into a bathtub and slowly turn it till you find a leak.

There is always a leak somewhere if it is going flat, it is just a matter of finding it.

I've had three flats on my rear tire on my road bicycle in the last 2 weeks, today I'm going to get kevlar belted bicycle tires lol

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Unread 08-15-2009, 10:48 AM   #4
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^Agreed, i usually just use one of those big storage tubs, but put some soap in the water so it's more obvious. It'll bubble.
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Unread 08-15-2009, 11:05 AM   #5
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^Yes, do what they said if possible. However, you said you can tell that it's leaking between the tire and the rim - if the sidewall is leaking the tire is shot anyway.

To answer your question, if you really want to take it to the shop you'd probably be fine driving the one mile (slowly) as long as you're prepared to replace the tires if you damage them. Definitely pump it up first, though, and if you feel it go flat, or mostly flat, stop and pump it up again, to prevent rim damage.

It would make the most sense, imo, to just take both rear wheels off and bring them to a shop - they should be able to diagnose the problem and either patch the tires or sell you new ones. I always take mine to Big-O tires - technically it costs $10 but they've never charged me since my dad and I have always bought our tires there. I've heard that the Walmart tire center will diagnose and patch tires too, though I'm not sure I'd trust their work quality.
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Unread 08-15-2009, 12:46 PM   #6
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well, the sidewall isn't always shot, it could just be the bead isn't sealed due to debris, bad tire shops don't do a good job cleaning things up.

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Unread 08-15-2009, 02:17 PM   #7
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If you can visibly see the sidewall has an issue...the tire is most likely garbage.

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Unread 08-16-2009, 08:56 AM   #8
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I got into another car accident, this one a tad bit more serious (fell asleep behind the wheel), and wound up swerving 3 lanes to the left (through incoming.. lack of traffic), hit a traffic sign, then sideswiped some trees, then swerved 4 lanes (I was awake and panicking) (another lucky moment with no traffic)... I screwed up the valve stem so it couldn't keep air.. drove a mile, filled it up to 50 psi (F250 truck). got... 8 or 9 miles, almost flat again, filled it up, got another 8 or 9 miles, filled it up... until I got to advanced and got the tire changed (truck had no jack)
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