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Tire losing air

One of the wheels on my 2002 Grand Cherokee has a very slow leak. This leak has persisted through numerous tire mountings, valve and tire replacements, and two US Presidents. I am convinced the problem lies somewhere with the wheel itself. The leak is very small- it takes a couple weeks to even go down 2 or 3 PSI. It is just a big enough problem to be seriously annoying.

I can come up with 3 repair options.

  1. Buy a new wheel, throw away the old one, and be good to go. This is a few hundred bucks.

  2. Buy a cheapo wheel and use it for the spare (which has the same wheel as the other 4). Mount the current spare on the vehicle. This probably costs less than $100.

  3. Use the leaky wheel as a spare, and keep a couple cans of fix-a-flat in the vehicle. If I ever get a flat, and don’t just end up calling AAA, I can just fill the thing up and change it.

The Jeep never leaves the road, and with 160K miles on it, doesn’t really ever get all that far from home. I don’t remember the last time I was more than a 20 miles from a reasonable sized metro area, complete with AAA tow trucks.

What do folks think? I am tempted to go with option 3, just want to make sure I am not being stupid.

Chrysler wheels are notorious for leaking air thru the wheel castings. The fix is to remove the tire from the wheel, then apply a thin coat of silicone sealant to the inside surface of the wheel. Let the sealant cure for a couple of hours then mount the tire and balance the tire/wheel.


If you choose number 3, carry a small 12-volt inflator in the car instead of the Fix-a-Flat.

As posted above, this is probably air leaking through the metal part of the wheel itself. The inside of the wheel (not the tire) needs to be air-sealed. There may be products just for this purpose at an auto parts store. Buying a new wheel that didn’t leak would work too.

@mrandy I agree with the other guys. Next time you have the leaky rim off of the truck, wash it very well and look at for any small cracks. This sometimes happens after going over too many potholes.

I don’t care for option #3. When you need a spare it really helps it isn’t flat too. A can of “fix a flat” doesn’t add much to my comfort level.

There is a good possibility the wheel itself has a leak, bad weld possibly. If you can find a salvage yard wheel of the same size and style that might work. There are some places that repair and test wheels before reselling them. They can be found on the web with a google search. You could buy a “refurbished” matching wheel, and sent your wheel back to the seller for repair and resale to someone else.

Rust in the bead area of a wheel can cause leaks. I’d guess with what you’ve been through to date you’ve had someone clean and resurface the bead area of the leaking wheel. If no, that is worth a shot.

If the wheel has a small crack, Fix-A-Flat might fill it. Try a can on your leaky wheel and see if it helps. I’ve heard that some tire shops don’t like working on tires with Fix-A-Flat in them, but my shop never complained about a tired I used it on.