flat tire

thecakerator

Active Member
Jul 3, 2008
242
MI
So the other day we met up with my brother who was taking out his camper from storage inside my grandmas garage. His camper was blocking our camper and once it was out we realized our camper has a flat tire .. we JUST bought those tires brand new last year and it was only out on the road twice .. we weren't ready to take out our camper just yet, but in the meantime its nagging away at me that it has a flat tire ... I'm hoping we didn't run over anything last year and didn't notice it .. our other tire is not flat and they were both sitting on the same cement all winter .. any ideas?? I'd hate to have to buy a new tire, AGAIN!
 

Flyfisherman

Super Active Member
Mar 4, 2003
3,682
Shallotte, North Carolina
Yeah ... I'll second the valve stem & re-inflating the tire!

You don't say what size the tires are - in the case of my Starcraft it has the 12" LRC tires that require 80 psi and I've had a tire dealer (who should have known better) install just the regular valve stems when I bought new tires from him. With that amount of psi it requires a high pressure valve stem, otherwise the regular ones are very subject to slow leaking. In my case, when I pointed out his error, he re-installed the H/P valve stems. The H/P stems use to be real easy to spot as they were brass. The regular ones are rubber and easy to bend. The present H/P ones look like the regular but they have a steel shank inside and you cannot bend them. You might want to check that out.

Also, I've had some slow leakers from debris I've picked up somewhere along the way ... a couple of nails, a screw ... and one time I came upon an accident scene where all the glass and such had not been swept off the highway yet and I picked something up from that incident ... a piece of plastic from maybe a light lens. Lucky for me I had to stop just a short distance down the highway for gas and the tire had gone down half way and was that tire ever hot! Changed out that tire for the spare and then found a tire shop who was able to patch the tire from the inside, which then went into being a "spare".
 

thecakerator

Active Member
Jul 3, 2008
242
MI
we will try to inflate before we buy new again .. we just didn't have anything on us to inflate the tire at the time ... I'm not 100% sure what size our tires are, but I do know the rims are 12". I don't think we have the h/p valves on our tires. I believe they are just the black bendable ones .. maybe that is something we will check out .. hopefully it just needs air and will be fine again ...
 

jim1999

Super Active Member
Jul 8, 2008
1,645
East Central Illinois
What ever you do, do not use fix a flat. A tire repair shop may be able to fix the tire depending on where the leak is but if you use fix a flat forget it. A patch will never stick and a plug won't seal air tight.

There are so many causes to a tire going flat. Bad valve stems, wrong valve stems, road damage (ran over a nail or something) bead damaged when tire was mounted, rust or dirt on the rim, bad rim.

As mentioned your best bet is to air up the tire to the proper PSI and if possible submerge it and look for bubbles. If you can not submerge it that take a spray bottle with a dish soap water mix (or use the soap kids play with to make bubbles which is often even better for this) and spray the tire, bead area, and valve stem and look for bubbles.
 

thecakerator

Active Member
Jul 3, 2008
242
MI
thanks you guys .. we are hoping it will hold air long enough to get it home so we can do a better investigation of our problem .. maybe in the next week or so it will come out of storage ..
 

tsc

Super Active Member
Aug 20, 2008
813
SW Ontario, Canada
Before you dunk your tire into a bathtub. Take a spray bottle filled with water and some dish soap. If there is a leak, that is where it will bubble.

I'll also have to disagree with jim1999. I've had many tires patched without problems. Mind you, it was the newer style patches, where it is patched from the inside. I'm not sure if the old style, with the contact cement and patching material is still legal.
 

xxxapache

Super Active Member
Jul 30, 2008
4,558
I also have to disagree on not plugging. I have plugged many tires and worn them out without ever having a problem with the plug.
 

kmh1596

Wilbraham, MA
Aug 20, 2007
5,362
Western MA
If I read it correctly, Jim1999 meant that the patch or plug wouldn't work if/when fix-a-flat had been used? I agree on NOT using fix-a-flat, it's just a temporary fix, and a real tire shop can fix the issue a lot easier if you have NOT used it.

As for your issue, I agree it may not have seated on the rim correctly, or a bad valve stem. for what its worth, a lot of places that do trailer tires don't do the new stems as they would with new car tire mounting.. Good Luck, let us know what you find!
 

Big_kid

Virginia Beach, VA
Jan 13, 2008
2,210
Fix a flat actually softens the rubber on the inside of the tire, sealing the hole/object with the goo it creates. I guarantee you will *&^! off your tire tech if you have that stuff in there and don't mention it to him/her when you bring it in for repair.

As for repairing a puncture, a patch-plug from inside is the way to go. Plugging alone from the outside can break more of the reinforcing cords than the original injury did. Dismounting the tire and feeding the plug portion back through the original hole is how we used to do it at Tire America. When I worked at a gas station we would only patch, never a plug.
 

dcj070454

Active Member
May 14, 2009
446
Canton, Ohio
For darn sure stay away from fix a flat, if you have to in an emergency be damn sure you tell the tire repair person you used it, as it is very flamable.
 




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