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Tire Problem or Tire Shop Problem

ok so I have a 07 Toyota Camry Hybrid w 42k miles and it needed a new set of tires so after a lot of research I chose Dunlop Signature and went to a chain tire store for a full set.

They put all four on but one kept losing air pressure causing the tire light to come on. They said they would fix it…back in July and at least 7 trips ago. It is January and I still have the same problem. This is the first set of replacement tires and the tires that came w the car never set off the tire pressure light.

Below are the steps the tire company said they did but it did not fix the problem and one tire still keeps loosing pressure:

  • replaced the tire sensor w a rebuilt sensor
  • replaced the tire sensor w a new after market sensor
  • replaced the tire sensor w a new regular sensor
  • tire chain took it to the local Toyota dealer service dept and they couldn’t find anything
  • replaced the tire

Any ideas???

Just remounting another tire and/ or factory sensor from another one of the other rims seems an obvious first step to discount the tire and sensor from that wheel. That seems a no brainer first step. Did they do that, or just jump into replacing things ? I say that to eliminate one of the combination of rim, tire and sensor on the wheel that has the problem from the beginning. An other trip to the dealer and a consultation with a factory rep is next…at their expense and with you present would be the next step IMO. What they said they did should be backed up by invoices and dealer records,; I would check that too.

I’m confused. If the tire was indeed losing air, why was the sensor replaced repeatedly? It was clearly working exactly as it should.

Has anyone sprayed soapy water on the tire to find out where the leak is coming from?

sounds like the shop replaced everything but the wheel. therefore i might guess that you need a new wheel. it could have a crack, that should be easy to find by dunking the tire and wheel assembly in a tub of water. harder to find, the wheel may have corrosion or some imperfection in the bead area or the valve stem sealing area. i’m not sure, but some of these hybrids have wheels made of magnesium to save weight. corrosion could be a major issue if you drive in a “salt” state, in any case.

they said that the sensor can sometimes cause the tire air pressure to drop.
they said that they checked both tires 2x each.

Dagosa, they tried rotating the tires but one was always loosing air. they have already taken it to the Toyota dealer for consult and I called after that to confirm the results…they found nothing wrong w the tire. thanks

DanielLee, there wasn’t a problem w the wheel prior to introducing the new tires. could there have been a problem when they put them on? I am in CA and only have 42k miles so can eliminate corrosion.

I’m an amateur tire person, change tires, balance wheels, change valve stems, repair leaks and punctures. I can always find a leak by immersing a tire in still water. Sometimes a leak is very slow; does not make a stream of bubbles but instead needs several seconds to form a bubble that sticks to the tire for a while before it escapes and another starts to form. I find these with close observation using a strong light.

Your tire people may be in too much of a hurry; are not taking the time needed to find the leak. Typical sources of leaks are the valve stem, the bead, a puncturing object or a porous aluminum rim. Tire valves must have a cap because the check valve can leak. Flex the tire valve outward toward the tire tread to make sure that it does not leak in that situation. A leak elsewhere and not specified here is also possible. I dimly recall a rim leak that did not happen unless the tire was parked with the leaky rim point at the bottom. Tire companies put a white label on the bead that does not look good to have there. I remove the white label with some difficulty before mounting the tire on the rim.

The tire is in fact losing air. Then there has to be a source of that leak and there should be a way to detect it.

Is the sensor built into the valve stem? If not, has the valve stem been replaced yet, or at least the valve core.

Reading a bit into this:

I suspect the tire shop found the leak - and it was between the tire and the wheel at the rim flange. This is usually caused by corrosion.

The problem is that this may mean the wheel needs to be replaced. It is pretty common for tire shops to try to avoid confrontations with customers - so the shop attempted to get the Toyota dealer to replace the wheel under warranty - and the Toyota dealer would have none of that.

My suggestion is to find a different tire guy who is willing to do a bit of extra work and actually find the leak. You may need to pay this guy for his time - and be sure you are upfront with him that you expect to do that.

I had another thought: I’ll bet the tire shop found the leak around the valve hole - and that’s why they replaced the TPMS - twice - and the attempt on the warranty on the wheel. They probably don’t knopw what to do at this point, but are afraid to lay this in front of our OP because he (or she) may have made it quite clear: “There was no problem before, so I don’t expect to pay to fix it.” It’s an impass.

CapriRacer, the tire shop says they CAN’T find the leak one either tire #1 or # 2 after taking it off a couple of times to find one.
they then said the dealer could not find a leak either on tire 1 so that is why they replaced it w tire 2. tire 2 now has the same problem.
I agree that they don’t know what to do at this point, and neither do I. UGH! the tire needs air every few days.

Sounds like time to stop depending on this tire shop. It should be very low cost to have another independent shop check this.

Like Whawho and Capri, you need to find out exactly where the air is coming out. Sometimes you need to help yourself so get a water tank or use the bath tub and put the tire in it until you find a little bubble coming out. Once you identify if its the valve, valve core, tire seal around the rim or other, you can pursue the fix. I had a slow leak on one tire and finally pumped it up some, put it in the tank and waited. About every minute there was a little bubble coming out from the around the valve seal. A new valve fixed it but I had to find it myself.

thanks jdmere and Bing. Will be moving on to the next shop/step.