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Tire rotation of just 2 tires?


I have a 2002 Hyundai Elantra GT. I’ve noticed that two of my tires lose air frequently in the winter but just one at a time each winter. My tire guy said the wheels are rusty so they’ve lost some of their seal. They seem to lose air only when they’re on the front axle. I’d like to put the two that lose air on the back axle so the good wheels are on the front. Currently, one bad wheel is on the front drivers side and the other is on the back passenger side. Can I rotate my front driver side wheel with my rear driver side wheel and leave the other side alone? I have good tread left on all 4, the tires have about 20,000 miles on them and they were supposed to last 60,000 miles I believe when I bought them 2-3 yrs ago. I plan to stop rotating them at this point so that I can avoid putting extra air in one of them every winter. I looked into replacing my wheels but it would be too costly. Thanks

Losing air just in the front? Sorry, that makes no sense. Get the leaking tires/wheels checked by a competent tire place and fix those problems.

Can I rotate my front driver side wheel with my rear driver side wheel and leave the other side alone?

Yes. This will not cause any problems.

I am with Bill, a good tire shop should be able to clean and seal your wheels.

It does make sense to loose air in the front. I have one tire that does this when I rotate it to the front. It’s because the weight of the engine vs no weight in the rear of the car.

Thanks for the comments. I did have the tire shop attempt to clean and seal the wheels a couple years ago which helped somewhat but the problem remained. They said they worked at it for a long time to remove as much rust as possible and did the best they could. I rotated the two tires on the drivers side yesterday and so far so good.

Replacement wheels are not expensive, I would rather buy new wheels than have to add air every week.

There is a sealant that can be used on the inside of the rims, but I cannot remember the name of the product. Because of the age of the wheels I’d presume that they are rusted or corroded on the inside.

If I had this problem and the tire shops fix did not work…this is what I would do.

Have the tire removed from the rim and take it to a place that does sand blasting. I would have them sandblast the inside of the rim to clean off any rust or corrosion. Then I would treat the rim with a sealant, let it dry for a 48 hours and have the tire remounted.
Then I would do the same with the other leaker.

I doubt that the sandblasting would cost more than $25 for the two wheels and then the cost of the sealer and a mounting fee.

I presume you have TPM (tire pressure monitors) inside the tires. I would also have them remove these when they remove the tire and reseal & re-install it when the remount the tire back on the rim. That may add to your total cost, but not much.

I would be willing to spend $100 to end the weekly low tire routine.


I did a short search and for about 400 dollars you can replace the wheels and if using a credit card it can be paid for at 35 to 40 dollars a month for 12 months. Some wheel and tire shops have 6 months same as cash. That seems to be a better choice than having to worry about air loss that could become worse at the worst possible time. I also think constant air loss and inflating might not be good for the tires.