How to fix tire leaking around bead

Tire Leaking Air Around Rim (What To Do, Can You Fix It + More)

As a car owner, you need properly working tires for a seamless driving experience; however, your tires could still develop problems despite the introduction of the more advanced tubeless tires.

Tire leakage is one of the most common issues for most drivers because it happens unexpectedly. If your tire has a leak around the rim, how do you fix it? Here’s all you need to know!

Tires leak air around the rim because of punctures, tire bead damage, ripped tires, rim problems, or deteriorating valve systems. To fix the leak, drivers have to remove the tire to reseat the bead and reseal, which can be done at home if you have the appropriate equipment or with the help of a mechanic if the inner-tube tires need fixing.

For more information about what causes the tire to leak around the rim, how to fix and prevent it, and how much it will cost to repair your tires, read on!

Why Is My Tire Leaking Around The Rim?

Identifying a rim tire leak can be difficult to notice at first if your car has a slow leak; however, if your vehicle has a built-in tire-pressure monitor system or TPMS, you’ll get a low-pressure notification because the leak causes the PSI )pounds per square inch) to decrease.
If your tire is leaking, here are the reasons why this could be happening.

Tire Puncture

Once you run over a sharp object, you could puncture your tire. While most drivers assume that the puncture will cause the tire to go flat immediately, this is not usually the case, and the hole might cause a slow two-to-three PSI leak per week.

In some cases, the sharp object like a nail can remain lodged in the tire, which prevents the air from leaking out quickly.

Whether it’s a minor damage or not, you shouldn’t ignore the leak as this may lead to extensive tears and tire damage.

According to The Inflator, approximately seven tire punctures occur every second in the U.S. alone; therefore, this is the first thing you should check for when there’s a leak.

Valve Stem Damage

Valve stems are critical parts of the tire system, and they come in different forms and sizes depending on the tire.

These stems are the tiny protrusions on your tire that you unscrew during inflation; therefore, they need to be in good shape, without any damages or dirt-clogged.

Additionally, when valve stems get exposed to elements over time, they become worn out or corroded, which can cause the air to leak around the rim.

Bead Leak

Tire leaks can also result from bead damage, where the tire seals itself to the rim.

To know whether the bead is the problem, you’ll need to determine how old the tire is because if your tire has dry rot or is older, it may no longer seal properly and have reduced elasticity.

Additionally, beads also get damaged because of a corroded rim or when the tire is mounted or removed using a tire lube.

Your entire wheel gets this type of damage if you regularly hit potholes or bumps at high speed, deforming the wheel’s metal surface, which may cause the tire to pull away.

Keep in mind that if the bead is damaged and you can’t seal the tire to the rim, you have to replace the tire.

Rim Issues

If you are using aluminum or magnesium alloy wheels, your wheels are more susceptible to corrosion, which affects the part where the rim meets the tire bead.

Rim damage can be caused by several causes, especially if you are constantly driving on bad roads with many potholes.

Before installing new tires, ensure your technician checks the bead seal and wheel correctly to confirm that the rims are not corroded.

Furthermore, check for wheel porosity that causes air to leak from the rim due to corrosion, incorrect wheel weights, or poor casting. To fix the leaking issue, avoid injecting a tire sealant and fix the rim first.

How To Fix A Tire Leaking Around The Rim?

Once you discover that your tire is leaking air around the rim, what next? Here are some steps to guide you.

1. Remove The Tire

To identify the cause of the leak, you’ll need to remove the tire and place it on a flat surface with the valve stems facing up.

2. Fill The Tire And Rim With Soapy Water

Add soapy water to your tire; around the outer edge of the rim, the area of the leak will be identifiable through bubbles from the leaking air. Mark the area and move to the next step.

3. Release Air From The Valve Stem

After you’ve marked the area, empty the air from your tire by pressing inward on the valve system using the valve removing kit in your car or unscrewing it from the stem.

4. Separate The Tire and Rim

Since the tire and the rim are attached with a seal, you’ll need something heavy like a wood board to separate them.

Use a hammer to hit the wooden plank until the tire’s bead breaks free from the rim.

5. Clean The Tire and Repair

Once the two parts separate, you can stop the leak around the rim by cleaning the tire’s edges with a cloth to remove loose debris and dirt.

After the cleaning is done, you can add some repairing solution to the leakage and start filling the air.

Once you fill the tire with the desired air pressure, you can check again for any leakages using the same process with soapy water.

How Much Does It Cost To Fix A Tire Rim Leak?

Fixing a tire rim leak can be expensive or affordable, depending on the leak’s cause and where you get the service done.

According to customer reviews, if you get the leak repaired at the shop you bought the tire from, you are more likely to get this service for free, but if you go to a different dealer, expect to pay $10-$20.

However, if the leak is because of a damaged rim, you’ll incur more costs which vary greatly depending on the brand.

If you check popular online sites, rims’ prices range from under $25 to $200; therefore, it will cost you more to repair the leakage if you have to replace the rim or entire tire.

How Do I Prevent My Tires From Leaking Around The Rim?

To avoid this tire leak, there are some preventive measures that you can take.

Regular Maintenance

As mentioned above, tire leakage can result from valve stems or rims that are dirt clogged; therefore, you need to check your tires regularly.

With more accidents connected to tire blowouts and issues, it’s safer to have your tires checked for any potential problems to prevent leaking around the rim.

Drive Carefully

We have already established that punctures are the number one cause of tire leakage; therefore, if you can, it’s best to avoid situations that could cause punctures.

To achieve this, you should drive more carefully and at recommended speeds, especially on roads with potholes or speed bumps.

Avoid Overinflating Tires

Overinflating tires doesn’t solve a tire leakage problem. Once you identify that air is leaking around the rim, follow the above steps I shared to fix the issue.

However, if you choose to overinflate, the tires will become unstable, rigid, and lose traction when you are driving.

Use A Professional Mechanic

According to the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association, drivers should supplement their monthly inspections with regular professional tire care.

The check should include wheel balancing, alignment, and tire inspection to protect your tires from leaking air.

To find out more, you can also read our posts on how common are flat tires, underinflated tires, and how long will tires last with bad alignment.


Tires leak air around the rim for several reasons, but luckily this problem can be fixed and prevented.

While it’s possible to fix a leak at home using the kit from your car, you can also enlist the services of a professional mechanic if you spot extensive damage.

I have shared some simple steps that you can take to fix the leak, especially if you are doing it at home.

To avoid these tire problems, regularly check your tires for air pressure and damages at least once a month, consult professional mechanics, and drive carefully to avoid incurring extra repair costs.

Common Causes for Slow Tire Leaks & How To Fix Them

A slow tire leak is more than just a nuisance. A leak can lead to low tire pressure. Not to mention, prolonged running on an underinflated tire can lead to more extensive tire damage or even cause a dangerous blowout.

If you’re experiencing a slow leak, here are some things to look for:

A tire puncture: It is a common misconception that a puncture will cause the tire to immediately go flat. However, in many cases the object that caused the puncture remains lodged in the tire and prevents the air from leaking out quickly. As with all tire leaks, it is important not to ignore a puncture. Eventually the object will either wear down and/or work its way out of the tire. For more on this read our article How to Repair a Tire with a Safe, Permanent Fix.

Wheel damage: Another common cause for slow tire leaks is damage to the area where the tire bead meets the rim. This type of damage is typically cause by the driver hitting the curb, taking a speed bump at high speeds OR those dreaded potholes! The impact deforms the wheel’s metal surface which may cause the tire to pull away from the mounting surface of the wheel.

Valve stem damage: The third most common cause for slow tire leaks is worn out or damaged valve stems. Time, use and exposure to elements can cause your valve stems to wear out and cause leaks.

Diagnosing your tire leak:

If your vehicle is equipped with TPMS, you will know right away if you have a leak. If the sensor light on your dashboard goes off, you inflate all the tires back to proper pressure and the light goes back on a few days later – you likely have a leak. If your vehicle does not have TPMS, its important to check your tire pressure regularly.

Once you’ve identified that you have a leak, use TECH Chek to locate the source of your leak. Simply spray the product all around the tire. Where the surface of the tire begins to bubble is likely the source of your leak.

So, what do you do now?

It’s important to have your tire diagnosed by a professionally trained tire shop or mobile tire repair service as soon as possible. In the case of a puncture, you may want to use a tire repair kit to keep your tire properly inflated until you can have it serviced. The leak should then be permanently fixed using a proper tire repair consisting of a cured rubber stem and repair unit.

If the leak is caused by a damaged valve, a trained tire technician can typically replace the valve at a minimal cost. In some cases, however, the tire may need replaced.

If the leak is caused by a damaged wheel, a tire technician may be able to reseat and seal the tire using a bead sealer. However, if the damage to the wheel is significant, unfortunately that means you may need to replace the wheel itself.

To read more about the types of damage that can and cannot be repaired, click here!

that's what you can (and can't) fix yourself - magazine Behind the wheel

Most often, we ourselves are to blame for the fact that the tires become unusable. But this can be avoided.

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In the process of using the tires, various damages can occur, most of which are the fault of the driver. As a result, rubber is wasted, and since the law prohibits the use of different tire models on the same axle, you have to spend money on replacing the second tire.

The most common damage is puncture . This is the most harmless type of damage, but only if you notice it in time and repair it right away. It is absolutely impossible to drive on a flat tire, even a couple of meters! The damage caused by running on a flat tire or low pressure is catastrophic. This causes the sidewalls to deform more than they should, which is why the tire overheats, delaminates, and the carcass becomes unusable due to broken cords. As a result, the tire will have to be thrown out. In addition, the edge of the rim can also be damaged.

There are two types of punctures: with and without cord damage. To determine this, it is necessary to remove what pierced it. If the edges of the puncture tightly converge, then the cord is not damaged and it will be possible to repair the tire without removing it from the disk. Otherwise, if the edges do not converge, you will have to disassemble the wheel and make repairs to strengthen the frame from the inside. Alternatively, in the field and in the absence of a spare wheel, such a puncture can be repaired without removing the tire from the disk, after which you can carefully drive to a tire fitting or garage and make a full repair.

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When repairing, the puncture site must be cleaned and marked. Further, it all depends on what kind of repair kit you have - as a rule, instructions are attached to them. There are sealants that are poured into the tire through the nipple, after which the wheel turns with the puncture down and the substance seals the hole. Repair with a tourniquet or insert is somewhat more complicated, but also more durable: the edges of the hole are polished with a special tool, after which the tourniquet treated with a special compound must be inserted into the tire through a puncture with a special awl, pulled out (not completely) out and cut flush with the surface.

In case of cord damage due to a puncture, the tire must be removed from the rim in order to install a reinforced patch with additional cord on its inner surface. One of the sides of such patches has an adhesive layer that promotes cold vulcanization. After such a repair, wheel balancing will be required. To seal punctures from the inside, patches in the form of a mushroom are also used, with a leg that goes into the puncture. Such patches are also covered with a special adhesive composition for cold vulcanization.

Cuts or holes , unlike punctures, are not repairable, as they violate the integrity of the frame, which can no longer be strengthened. In addition, breakdowns are always sudden and occur on the go: the tire abruptly loses pressure and before the car comes to a complete stop it has time to make several turns "on the rims", which breaks the cord and destroys the layers. It is not recommended to use such a weakened tire, even if it was possible to repair and strengthen the rupture or cut, in the future.

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Incorrect storage of tires can cause cracks . The danger of such damage is that moisture enters the cord through cracks, which renders the frame unusable. In addition, air can escape through cracks. Unfortunately, cracks are not repairable, and tires with them will not last long: sooner or later they will deform, become covered with swellings due to rusted and torn cord or because of driving with pressure below the recommended one.

Blisters or bulges can appear on a tire for a variety of reasons - it always happens due to a broken cord or delamination in the carcass. In the first case, an obstacle was hit and the impact broke the cord or the cord was cut through with a sharp object. In the second case, there is no damage on or near the hernia, which means that it appeared either due to a factory defect, or due to frequent driving with pressure below the recommended one. The danger of hernias is that they can explode at any time and provoke a skid, which will lead to an accident. If there is nothing to replace a tire with a hernia, then it is better to rearrange it to the rear axle and drive very carefully. Like fissures, a hernia cannot be repaired. Sometimes small blisters resulting from impacts or cuts are reinforced with reinforced patches, but there is no guarantee that the tire will not explode. Therefore, tires with hernias are recommended to be replaced immediately.

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Tire sidewalls can be damaged by rubbing against curbstones or the asphalt edge when driving over the side of the road. If you are prone to such a driving style, then it is recommended to inspect the inner and outer sidewalls from time to time and, if abrasion is found, swap the wheels in order to prevent the cord from being exposed - the rubber thickness on the sidewalls is small (1. 5-3 mm), and it can be rubbed to the frame very quickly.

Often the cause of tire damage can be poor-quality tire fitting , during which the bead ring was damaged. In this case, the tire loses its geometry and “sits” crookedly on the disk - it writes “eights” during rotation, and lateral vibration appears during the ride. It is impossible to repair such a tire - you need to replace it with a serviceable one as soon as possible, until it damages the suspension: traction, hubs and bearings.

You can find out whether you use tires correctly and what invisible damage they have received by the characteristic wear of the tread, the varieties of which are collected for convenience in the table:

Shoulder wear on both sides

Driving with less than recommended tire pressure.

Inflate the tires to the pressure recommended by the automaker (a plate with recommendations is attached in the driver's door opening) and find the cause of the fall: puncture, cracks, hernia, nipple, rust on the rim of the disc in the place where the tire fits, etc.

Center wear

Tire pressure too high.

Reduce the pressure to the recommended (indicated on the tablet in the doorway of the driver)

Distance in the form of rings and furrows

can be found on trailers or rear wheels of pickups and vans due to vibrations and vibrations and vibrations and vibrations and vibrations due bouncing at high speeds.

Changing wheels on a loaded axle to equalize wear, driving with a heavier load.

Chipped wear with cuts

Frequent wheel spin on rocky surfaces.

Move the wheels to a non-driving axle, use the gas pedal more carefully when starting to move.

  • A tire may be unusable for a number of other reasons, which can be found here.

Photo: Petr Urbanek / Unsplash

Typical arrangement of tires (tires) of wheels of a passenger car

D - outer diameter of the tire, H - height of the tire profile, B - width of the tire profile, d - fit diameter of the wheel rim

In order to effectively eliminate possible damage to the tires (tires) of the wheels car or quickly, by eye, independently assess their condition and the possibility of continuing their further operation, you need to know how they are arranged.

Just using the example of wheels of the 14th diameter with Michelin tires of the Renault Logan car of the first generation, we will understand their device.

Basic elements of a tire (tire) of a passenger car wheel

1. Tire carcass.

The carcass, that is, the tire itself, consists of several layers of rubberized cord (steel, fabric or fabric-steel). The cord threads stretch from one side of the tire to the other, along the radius (hence the type of tire - radial). parallel to each other.

2. Tire tread.

Tire tread is a thick strip of wear resistant rubber fitted over the tyre. The inner part of this strip is solid, and the outer part has a certain relief - the tread pattern. According to the type of tread pattern, tires are divided into summer, winter, all-season, sports and racing, off-road, designed for the installation of anti-skid studs.

The Michelin tire of our Renault Logan is pure summer. It has a certain marking that says about it.

3. Breaker.

The breaker is a padding cushion layer (belt made of rubber fabric or metal cord) located between the tire carcass and its tread.

4. Tire sidewall.

The thin layer of rubber on the sides of a tire is called the sidewall. Its thickness is 1.5 - 3 mm. The sidewall performs a bearing function (together with the frame), and also serves to protect the frame from mechanical damage, penetration of dirt, dust and moisture.

5. Tire beads.

This is the part of the tire that secures it to the wheel rim. The bead consists of a layer of cord wrapped around a wire bead ring and a rubber filler cord.

The beads of the tire prevent stretching and provide rigidity.

Here are basically all the elements of the tire (tire) of the wheel of a car.

Notes and additions

- A tube can be inserted into the inside of the tire, which, at a certain air pressure inside it, creates the necessary rigidity and elasticity of the tire.

Learn more