A flat tire?


#1

I have a 2006 Ford Explorer xlt. I had new tires placed on my SUV by Sears in Nov 2010. Since the replacement of the tires, I keep get the flat tire indicator light coming on. So of course I always check and sure enough the same tire loses 5psi every time (about every 10 day after I refill to proper inflation). I have returned my SUV to Sears checked and remounted the tire with new value stems twice. They can not find any leaks or defect with the tire or the mounting of the tire. I want to rip the flat tire indicator light out of my dashboard and the indicators off my tire, but I don’t because the system works. None of my other tire have this problem. I did think rim but sears said they were fine, and I tend to believe them because they would have tried to sale me 4 new rims. HELP!


#2

Sears is not the only place that sells tires. The air is leaking out somewhere. I worked at Sears for awhile and got an employee discount. I bought one new tire there as a replacement and never again. They flat out didn’t know the the bleep they were doing. After many return trips, replaced tires, rebalancing, I took the tire to another shop. Presto no more problems. Just go somewhere else, dealing with Sears is frustrating. Don’t take your frustration out on the dashboard.


#3

5 PSI in ten days will be very hard to find…Sometimes a kids play-pool can be used to submerge the tire completely in clean water, the tire inflated to 50 psi, and a sharp eye can find the leak. If no leak can be found, I would request a new replacement tire under warranty…


#4

Is there another Sears store nearby that you can try? If not, another tire shop can probably find the leak for a reasonable cost (for which I doubt Sears would reimburse you).

If you take the wheel off and spray everything with soapy water (especially the valve stem area and the bead area), there’s a good chance you’ll see bubbles where the leak is.

I don’t understand why you want to rip out the light. It caught this problem for you. Since you’re driving a car that rolls over when the tires are underinflated, I’d think you’d be grateful for it.


#5

@Lion9car you are right about dash board. @Uncle Turbo I will take it somewhere else. I was hoping for Sears to honor my road hazard warranty that I payed extra for.


#6

The road hazard warranty that you paid extra for provides coverage against punctures. If there is no puncture, then that warranty is not something that you can rely on in this particular situation.

However, the tires do have the “regular” manufacturer’s warranty, covering you against defects in materials and workmanship, and if you purchased new valves for the tires, Sears does have to give you a warranty–at least for a limited period of time-- on those valves. If the tire is consistently losing air at a slow rate, there is a defect in either the tire, or the valve, or the wheel, and the road hazard warranty is not a factor in these situations.

Now, the trick will be to have a competent tire person find the source of the air leak. As you have found, the guys at Sears tend to be…not the best…so you should probably spend a few bucks to have the tire technicians at an independent tire dealer find the source of the problem.


#7

It’s Saturday morning . . . go out and look for a yard sale and buy a kiddie pool or kiddie-sand play thingy. Give them a buck for it, they sell for $10 new at Wal-Mart. Take it to your backyard and fill it with water and then remove the tire from your Canyonero and submerge the tire in the pool. Watch carefully for air bubbles, it may take some time. There’s your leak! There are a number of ways to fix a leak depending on where it is. Post back with the info on where the leak is and we can tell you how to fix it. If it’s on the rim, you can sand the rim smooth. If it’s in the treads you can patch it. Post back. Or you could simply take the vehicle to a tire garage, Rocketman


#8

Yep, sometimes you just have to help yourself. Get the tire off, pump it up more, and either submerse it in water, or start soaking it with a solution of dish washing soap and water. It may take a few minutes for the bubble to start forming for a slow leak, but will eventually form. Check around the rims especially and the valve. Also check the wheel itself that may have gotten porous. Once you see the leak, mark it with chalk and take it to the tire shop for remounting with sealer, new valve stem, etc. I had the same issue and finally found a very slow leak around the valve stem but took 15-20 minutes for the bubbles to form. Once found, the repair is obvious.


#9

I’ve always very easily found even small leaks by just spraying any kind of suds-making detergent on a tire. The bubbly spots become really obvious. You often don’t even have to pull the wheel.


#10

You gotta go to a tire store that fixes a lot of flats. Tell them right off you have a “problem child” flat. Ask them if they have some tricks up their sleeve that Sears doesn’t. Like putting detergent in the dunk tank to lower the surface tension of the water so that bubbles from the leak will more readily come up. Sears may not know or care about these things; they just go so far & then say, well, we can’t find the leak.

They’re probably not paying close attention to the wheel, as opposed to the tire. You can have pinhole leaks where the disc is welded to the rim (steel wheel) or you could have just plain pinholes in an aluminum wheel.

They can use a die grinder with a scrubby pad (abrasive disc) to clean the bead seat (part of the wheel that the tire bead seals against). Even if it’s an aluminum wheel there are abrasive discs made that won’t tear up the aluminum. Then they can put a bead sealing compound like “Rimcoat” on the bead seat.

I know what you’re thinking at this point, why do I have to pay a tire store to resolve an issue that’s Sears responsibility? Good question. Maybe you can run some of these tricks past a sympathetic Sears manager.

If you can drop the tire off for a day & risk driving on the spare, that would help. If the customer’s in the waiting room & the technician doesn’t find the leak in a half hour, that’s when they’ll throw their hands up. If they have it all day–different story.

Good luck & please post back.


#11

The trick is to find a shop that cares. I have had tires that we spent an hour on to find a leak. Sometimes even changing the air pressure during testing is necessary. It can be difficult but it can be found. It needs to go into a tank and check both sides and the tread area very well. Good luck


#12

If you have alloy rims then this is a common problem. If this is the first set of replacement tires on a set of alloy rims then this is even more common. Alloy rims corrode but the factory tires are sealed tight at the bead. When the first set of tires is busted off of the rim the new tire has a tough time sealing against the rim because of the corrosion. The easy way to make sure the new tires do not leak is to wire brush the bead seats on the rim and use some bead sealant when mounting the new tire. I make sure my dealer does this with each set of new tires and I never have problems with slow leaks.