How to Stop Leak on Tire Rim Seal

by Sarah Shelton

When a tire is leaking, spotting the origin can be difficult. If you determine that the tire is undamaged but air is still escaping, there is probably a leak between the tire and the rim. This can occur when water seeps into the wheel and rests where the tire meets the rim, called the bead seal area. The metal rim becomes corroded and an air leak is created. This occurs most often with aluminum or alloy rims.

Take the wheel off of the vehicle. If there is any air left in the tire, remove it by pressing down on the valve stem. The bead seal area should now be exposed on both the tire and the rim. It is not necessary to remove the tire from the rim.

Remove the corroded areas on the rim. Run a buffing wheel made for removing corrosion along the bead seal, polishing the rim back to a smooth surface.

Wipe the area of the tire that touches the rim with a solvent appropriate for rubber, to clean dirt off the tire. This helps create a better seal when the tire is inflated.

Apply a layer of tire glue to the rim's bead seal with the tip of your finger or a cotton swab. Though this is not required, it can inhibit further corrosion, by preventing moisture from settling in the rim again.

Inflate the tire and remount on the vehicle.

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About the Author

Getting hands dirty is just part of the fun for Sarah Shelton, who draws on personal experience to write home and garden, automotive and travel articles. Her pieces have appeared on ConsumerSearch.com, USA TODAY, Dremel.com and other websites. Shelton received a bachelor's degree from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado and currently lives in southern Oregon.

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