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How to seal a tubeless tyre that is leaking at the rim

Updated February 21, 2017

Tubeless tyres create a seal using internal air pressure forcing the sidewall of the tyre against the lip of the rim. The seal becomes weakened through impact with road hazards or age. The air pressure inside of the tyre generally forces the bead, a ring of metal cord submerged in the lip of the tyre used to maintain uniform pressure on the rim, to reseal. However, leaks can still occur. Repairing a bead leak requires first removing the tyre from the vehicle and then applying bead sealant. The process takes about 30 minutes to complete properly.

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  1. Raise the wheel with a jack placed beneath the axle. Remove the lug nuts with a wheel brace and set to the side. Remove the tyre and place it on a flat surface. Remove the valve core using a valve core removal tool to deflate the tyre.

  2. Place a pry bar between the rim and the tyre's bead once you have deflated the tyre. Push the pry bar downward with ample pressure until the bead is pushed back from the rim in the location where the leak was identified.

  3. Apply a liberal amount of bead seal to the impacted bead.

  4. Put air into the tyre up to factory specifications using an air pump. Replace the valve core with the removal tool. Spray the entire bead with window cleaner while the tyre is lying flat and look for air bubbles as a sign of a leak. Replace the tyre if the bead continues to leak as that is a sign of a damaged bead.

  5. Replace the tyre onto the vehicle and attach the lug nuts. Lower the vehicle to the ground and tighten the lug nuts to factory recommended torque.

  6. Warning

    A damaged bead can result in an explosive blowout. A simple bead leak is not indicative of a damaged bead but if bead seal cannot repair the leak, you should replace the tyre immediately to avoid damaging your vehicle.

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Things You'll Need

  • Jack
  • Wheel brace
  • Valve core removal tool
  • Pry bar
  • Bead seal
  • Air pump
  • Spray bottle with window cleaner

About the Author

John Walker
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