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If one of the tires in your vehicle is losing pressure because of a bead leak, your first thought would be to take it to the tire shop for the issue to be sorted. However, you may sometimes find yourself in a situation where it’s impossible to take the vehicle to the tire shop. Also, the issue may keep recurring. And in such a case, the tire shop can’t seem to fix the problem, meaning you will continue losing your money.
Fortunately, there’s a solution to these issues. And that’s by sealing the tire bead at home. And, anyone can do it. You don’t need to be a tire professional or even have expensive tools to seal a bead leak. You can easily do it at home, using locally available products and tools.
How to Seal a Tire Bead at Home
As noted above, sealing a tire bead at home is not a complicated process. Regardless of whether you are a tire expert or not or your level of experience in cars, anyone can do it. In this section, we will walk you through how to seal your tire beads at home easily, using readily available products and tools.
Inspect the Leak
Before anything else, you will first need to inspect the entire bead area for the leak. The inspection will help you to determine the exact area of the bead where there’s a leak. To do this, you will first need to remove the wheel from the vehicle, so that you can be able to access the beads on both sides. For this step, you will need to jack up your car and then remove the wheel by unscrewing the lug nuts using a torque wrench or lug wrench.
Once you’ve removed the wheel from the vehicle, you will then need to spray some soapy water around the bead. You will do this on both sides of the tire. After spraying the tire with soapy water, some air bubbles will pool around the area of the bead that’s leaking. The leak may be a small area or the entire bead. So, ensure you inspect the bead thoroughly.
It will also be a good idea to inspect the tire for other elements like nails or sharp objects, which may also be contributing to the problem. If there are no such elements, you can now proceed to the next step.
Deflate the Tire
Once you’ve verified the source of the leak, you should then deflate the tire. To do so, you will need to remove the cap from the valve stem by simply rotating it following an anticlockwise direction.
After you’ve removed the cap, you will notice a metal-like pin inside the valve stem. You will then need to use a flat-headed screwdriver or any other firm tool that can fit inside the valve stem and press the pin. You will continue pressing the pin until you’ve completely deflated the tire. Once the tire is fully deflated, you should then unscrew the valve core, so that you don’t end up losing it in the process.
Apply the Tire Bead Sealant
After fully deflating the tire and removing the valve core, it’s now time to seal the bead leak. And, you have different options to explore. First, you have the option of using a commercial bead leak sealant. These commercial sealants are readily available in almost all hardware stores.
But, in case you don’t live close to a hardware store, you can simply prepare your own bead sealant at home, using readily available materials. There are different recipes that you can explore, depending on what you have in your home.
First, you can mix one part tubeless slime, two parts windshield washer, two parts water, two to four parts latex and some silicone. You will then mix until you obtain the right consistency. The mix may appear somehow watery. But, it will get the job done. It’s color will be greenish-brown or thereof.
Second, you can mix eight parts liquid latex and four parts windshield washer. Third, you can try five parts water, five parts liquid latex and four parts tubeless slime. And fourth, you can mix eight parts water, one part of tubeless slime and three parts liquid latex.
Also, there’s a slightly different one, which entails mixing one part non-tubeless slime, one part liquid latex and three parts windshield washer. This option is for those who would prefer using non-tubeless slime.
Before you begin mixing these substances, make sure you have a set of gloves on your hands. They will help to protect your hands against these chemicals. Also, it will be advisable to mix the chemicals outside or in a room that has adequate ventilation.
Whether you decide to use a commercial bead sealant or a homemade one, you will need to apply it thoroughly to the inner part of the rim. Also, you will apply the sealant to the inner part of the tire, where it sits on the rim. Make sure you dry both the tire and the wheel before you apply the sealant.
Inflate the Tire
After you’ve finished applying the sealant on the leaking area, it’s now time to inflate the tire. First, you will need to screw back the valve core into the valve stem. You will do this in a clockwise direction. From there, you should then re-inflate the tire up to the recommended pressure. You can find the recommended PSI branded on the sidewall. It’s usually to the left of the tire’s DOT identification number. So, you shouldn’t have any problems locating it.
Inspect the Tire
After you’ve finished re-inflating the tire, you will then need to install the wheel back on the vehicle. And, you should be good to go. You can inspect tire pressure later in the day or the following day. But, as long as you followed the steps we’ve outlined here to the letter, the leak should have stopped.
Wrapping It Up
As you can see, you don’t always have to take your vehicle to the tire shop if the beads are leaking. You can fix the issue by yourself at home using readily available tools and materials. You simply need to follow the steps we’ve shared in this article.
About The Author
I've spent many years selling cars, working with auto detailers, mechanics, dealership service teams, quoting and researching car insurance, modding my own cars, and much more.Read More About Charles Redding