How to Seal a Tire on a Rim

Written by k.k. lowell
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Not only is a slow leak in a tire annoying, it can also be dangerous. A tire that is too low can roll under on a corner, seriously affecting the ability of the tire to grip the road. Low tires also wear out quickly and reduce gas mileage. If you can take the tire off the rim, there's no reason to put up with a slow leak caused by a poor seal between the tire and the rim.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Spray bottle of soapy water solution
  • Bead seal compound
  • Wire brush

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  1. 1

    Verify the leak is a poor rim seal. Do this with a soapy water solution sprayed liberally on the area between the rim and tire. Placing the tire flat on the floor works best since it sometimes takes a few minutes for bubbles to form.

  2. 2

    Remove the tire from the wheel.

  3. 3

    Wire brush away any rust and dirt where the tire contacts the rim. Straighten any bent areas of the rim if the wheel is steel. Check for cracks in alloy wheels. Replace any cracked wheel!

  4. 4

    Clean the tire bead to ensure there's no rust and dirt build-up on this area.

  5. 5

    Using the brush in the cap of the bead sealer compound, paint a thin coat of sealer on the contact area of the rim.

  6. 6

    Paint a thin coat of bead sealer on the tire bead area.

  7. 7

    Remount the tire on the rim.

  8. 8

    Inflate the tire and check for leaks with the soapy water.

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