Tire keeps going flat

Ran over a nail over 3 weeks ago(9-4-07) pulled it out since it was attached to a small piece of wood and noticed a small hiss of air, drove a few miles up the road to get a can of fix-a-flat hoping my tire wouldn’t go flat on the trip to the store. Filled the tire up and drove home(drove from Delaware to Marion Ohio, the reason I didn’t want to put the donut on). Went to the tire store and told them what happened. They cleaned the tire out, put it in water and couldn’t detect no leak.

This past sunday I go out to my car to head into town and that same tire was flat and was starting to come off the rim(drove maybe 20 feet with it flat before I pulled off to change it). I take it into Sears because they were the only place open on sunday. They fix it, and the guy at the counter said it went flat because my wheel was out of balance, but they couldn’t find any leak in the tire. Monday morning I go out and check, and my tire is flat AGAIN. So, I go pick up my Chevelle from my grandparents house(moved it out there so they could host a yard sale a couple weekends) and drive into work. Come home, swap out tires again(I know it’s probably a bad idea to use the donut on the front, but with the cranking handjack supplied by honda, I don’t think I could have switched front to back very easily) Sears fixes it again(no charge). I put about 5~6 more PSI in all my tires when I got home. Drove the Chevelle into work Tuesday just incase, come home and it’s fine.

Drove the civic and it had been fine until I went out to eat after work today(friday). It was fine until I get in it to go home, and it was flat a THIRD time. Take it back to Sears and they can’t find anything wrong with the tire. They replaced the valve stem and bead 3 times already, dunked it under water and could not find anything wrong.

Could the guy be right this time in saying Fix-a-Flat can actually harm tires, making them go bad, and that I should take it back where I bought them from in hopes I can get some kinda warranty out of it? The only problem is, I bought them at the Honda dealership, and they don’t open till Monday, and then I gotta set up an appointment to get my car in.

I’ve also been considering upgrading my rims/tires as well, since it’s getting harder and harder to find 14" tires, but 16" is the largest I’d go.

Fix-a-flat can ruin a rim if left in for a long time, its basically white water based paint. The moisture could rot the rubber too I suppose but most of the damage I’ve seen it cause is to the rims.

I don’t think you are going to find the leak by dunking. The best way is to fill spray bottle or used water bottle with water and a couple of drops of dishwashing detergent and drench the tire. Wait for awhile and you should be able to find a pile of very fine bubbles, thats the leak. Mark it with chalk, white out paint or take a digital picture of it and the wheel/tire to find it when you get it to the shop for repair. If you have the valve stem either at the top or bottom, you can use it as a reference to remember the position of the leak, i.e. 4:30 with the stem at 12:00 o clock.

It was left in for maybe 30~40 miles at the most(45 minutes to an hour). Delaware to Green Camp to Marion, where it was cleaned out by the first tire shop(Family Tire Center). The guy at sears today said he could smell the stuff had been in there, but it wasn’t now. So, if it really is the rim thats bad, I’m due to change rims since I already have 2 bent (steel)rims(3 of a kind beats a pair :stuck_out_tongue: ).
I think, if it goes flat again by monday, I’m just gonna order me some new rims/tires. I found a set of 15" painted rims that look nice, without the ricey look of most rims available for Civics.
Also, would it be worth it to get the road hazard fee that tirerack.com has for it’s tires? In this case it would be a total of $73.20 for all 5 tires(5 rims and 5 tires so I won’t hafta deal with the donut anymore).

Well, I ordered my new rims and tires from tirerack. They had a rim that was only 10.2 pounds, but I can’t really justify spending $349 for 1 rim(especially since I bought 5 rims/tires). I know going from 14" to 15" won’t affect handling too much, but combined with a V rated tire(current ones are S rated IIRC) I should get a little bit of an upgrade in response.
Rim: http://www.tirerack.com/wheels/wheelDisplay.jsp?title=Kosei+RT+Sport+Light+Grey+Painted&image=/images/wheels/kosei/swap/kosei_rt_sport_ltgy_ci3_l.jpg
tire: http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Michelin&tireModel=Pilot+Exalto+A%2FS&partnum=955VR5EXAS&vehicleSearch=false&fromCompare1=yes&place=3

You didn’t mention in your earlier posts that the rims were bent. Once any rim gets damaged, they are prime suspects in bad handling and hard-to-detect leaks. Replacing them would have been my first suggestion had I known they were bent.

BTW, I thought you didn’t want the ricer look.

Now that you have given more complete information it is pretty definite that your bent rim was the cause of the problem. But, I want to point out something else for your own safety, in case a situation like this occurs again in the future.

Apparently, the tire in question went flat several times, and apparently you drove on the semi-flat tire on at least one occasion (you did mention that it was coming off the rim), and perhaps you drove on it more than once. You should be aware that this scenario damaged the cords in the tire sidewall, thus drastically weakening the tire and making it very prone to blow-out if it had been successfully repaired.

Once you have driven on a semi-flat tire (and especially if it is beginning to come off of the rim), it is ready for the scrap heap–if you value your life and the lives of your passengers. I try to be thrifty, but this is not something where it pays to try to save money.

The bent rims(yes there are 2 of them, but I don’t know the extent they are damaged) are on the back. The tire that keeps going flat is the front passenger side, the one I put Fix-a-Flat in. Right now the tire is still looks inflated, but I’m not gonna chance it until the new rims/tires get here. As far as the ricer look, you’d rather I went with the bright orange rims? :stuck_out_tongue: I’m not really a fan of the 5 spoke designs, and the multi-spoke(6+) rims look even uglier to me.
1999 honda civic EX coupe, go look up the rims they list on tirerack.com

Apparently, the tire in question went flat several times, and apparently you drove on the semi-flat tire on at least one occasion (you did mention that it was coming off the rim), and perhaps you drove on it more than once.

It went flat, didn’t notice it, drove about 20 feet and seen that it appeared to be coming off the rim. Took it and got it fixed, went home(sunday), next morning(monday) it was flat again(I actually checked this time before I drove around on it, let it sit there all day since I didn’t have time to change it out that morning), took it back and they fixed it again. It went flat friday afternoon after being alright for almost 4 days straight, drove on it maybe 20 again getting it moved out of the way so I could park it and change the tire out.

I’m sorry that I wasn’t very clear, the fix-a-flat damages the rim when left in for years, not minutes. I am not opposed to using the stuff, it can be a real lifesaver, but it should be removed at the earliest opportunity. Looks like you’ve found an acceptable solution to your problem. Do consider this though, however you got bent rims on steel wheels, this will not likely bend the alloys, it will crack them instead.