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Old 03-19-2008, 04:18 PM   #1
ternst
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Default "Slime" or other ways to reduce tire leaks?

I've had my second set of Forteras on my '07 Outloook now for 10,000 miles and they are beginning to develop slow leaks. I live on a long gravel road (18 mile round trip into my wilderness cabin) and little bits of gravel get into the tread and work their way into the tire and spring slow leaks over time. The tire pressure warning system on the Outlook is great as I can watch the pressure go down. Often that pressure will only go down into the 20's and then level off; topping off the tire will last a day or two before it drops again. After I live with this for a week or two I will get the leak patched (four-hour round trip into town), but once it starts to happen to a tire, I can be sure another rock will cause another slow leak in another week or two or three. After a tire gets five or six of these I will put on a new set.

So what about using "Slime" or some other preventative - have any of you used this successfully, or can anyone tell me horror stories about it not working and messing my tires up? I would really like to find something to keep these little nagging leaks away. There is only one choice of tires (mine are the 18" wheels). Any thoughts would be most appreciated.

Tim Ernst in Arkansas

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Old 03-20-2008, 03:57 AM   #2
TSC1969
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Default Re: "Slime" or other ways to reduce tire leaks?

Tim,
I would be concerned with using "slime" because of the tire pressure monitors. I would be afraid that it could damage them.
Tim C.

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Old 03-20-2008, 07:51 AM   #3
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Default Re: "Slime" or other ways to reduce tire leaks?

as said you cant use slime because of tpms. id find out whats wrong. i had a tire that did that forever. i had it off the car i never could find anything. finally i had my tire guy look at it. he took the tire off of the rim and there was a nail in it. some nails can be really hard to see. maybe, just an idea, you hit a bunch of nails and somewhere they are in the tires. there is alot of tread on outlook tires so they may be hard to see.

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Old 03-23-2008, 03:17 PM   #4
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Default Re: "Slime" or other ways to reduce tire leaks?

Oh yes, I forgot about the tire pressure monitors inside the tire - does anyone know for sure if slime or the cans of tire "fixer" will affect these? I would think the liquid would stick to the inside of the tire and not to the monitors - but I would hate to ruin four of them at once!

The problem I have with the leaking tires is not an issue with a single tire - it comes from rocks working their way into the tread and eventually poking a small hole in the tire. I've had 100 or more of these in the past ten years with dozens of different tires on cars of several makes. The worst part is that it normally always happens right after the grade the road, something we scream for them to do since the road gets so rough! Then when our wish comes true the flats start to happen! (grading a gravel road tends to bring the sharper stones to the surface)

Oh well, if anyone knows about this from personal experience I love to hear your thoughts. Thanks!

Tim Ernst in Arkansas

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Old 03-23-2008, 03:46 PM   #5
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Default Re: "Slime" or other ways to reduce tire leaks?

I've had very limited success with Slime so far; one was a DIY repair for rim leaks on an older wagon that I was told occurs from aluminum rims eventualy corroding and the corrosion working its way under the bead seal while a recent two hole repair to a brand new set of Michelins seems to be working with very close monitoring involved. The wagon's rim leak needed several attempts physically breaking the bead seal and pouring the Slime into the bead area for a good seal. Probably should have left this to a good tire repair shop but it worked.

The recent repair to two holes in one tire were the result of one nail hole (in the tread) being successfully plugged with a plug repair kit but the other hole was a small nail in the sidewall near the tread, a difficult repair. Its been several weeks and leaks occurred against the warning that Slime is not for sidewall leaks/damage and that a patch is the only way, if not then a throwaway tire. I tried the Slime and had to bounce the tire/Slime to the sidewall until a seal occurred, more than once. Its been about a week or so without a leak and I think the 'stuff' has worked its way into the small nail hole to seal. Not a testimony for or against Slime as I chose to do it this way.

The drawback to all this is that Slime remains as a liquid and settles in one spot overnight to create an imbalance while driving until its spread to re-balance the tire again. I suppose it will eventually dry to the consistency of sludge. As to its effect on the TPMS units I would go the the online Slime site and ask questions there and also the manufacturer of the TPMS so you can compare opinions for this product. Its best to have the experts in each area of their specialty give you their professional opinions.

In my humble opinion this may work for you because I see it as a (more or less) liquid repair kit that will continually seal a new hole as it appears. An ideal use for Sime as long as the TPMS isn't affected.

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Old 03-23-2008, 05:43 PM   #6
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Default Re: "Slime" or other ways to reduce tire leaks?

Can anyone tell me exactly how these sensors monitor tire pressure? Are they wired? In the valve?

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Old 03-23-2008, 06:20 PM   #7
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Default Re: "Slime" or other ways to reduce tire leaks?

From Tire Rack's site;

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tirete....jsp?techid=44

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tirete...hid=44#sensors

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Old 03-24-2008, 07:46 AM   #8
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Default Re: "Slime" or other ways to reduce tire leaks?

Thanks for the info. I did not realize that the slime remained in liquid form - I figured once it spun around and coated everything that it would harden up to some degree and stay put, but that does make sense that while sitting it might tend to run down to the bottom of the tire. I'll do some digging on their sites.

Just FYI, here are some tire pressure numbers from a trip last week from Arkansas to Colorado and back. When I started out the temp was about 65 degrees and all tires were at 34. By the time I reached Tulsa the temp had gone up a little bit and the tires were all 39-40. As I drove up into Kansas the temp dropped into the 30s, and the tire psi dropped as well down to about 34. At that time the dash warning came on and one of my tires had dropped to 28. I filled it back up to match the others at 34. Within minutes of getting back on the road that low tire had gone up to 37, the others up to 36. As we hit the Colorado line it started to rain and all the tires dropped back down to about 34 (same outside temp, just a wet road), and the low tire down to 33, then 32. A blizzard stopped me for a few hours, and when I fired the rig back up again the low tire had gone down to 27 and the other tires to 30. I filled the low tire back up to 32 and soon all tires were up to about 34 for the rest of my trip into the mountains. I got the hole fixed at that point. The outside temp ranged from 1 to 30 during the week and the tires would always start out about 30psi, then build up a little bit as I drove. While on my trip back to Arkansas they went back up to 34 and then I quit watching. So the tire pressure ranged from 30 - 40 psi on the good tires depending on the outside temp and road condition - a wet road produced lower tire pressures with the outside air temp being equal.

My wife's car just has the low tire warning in the dash and I REALLY enjoy the system in the Outlook - gives me something to watch while driving late at night...

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Old 03-26-2008, 12:43 PM   #9
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Default Re: "Slime" or other ways to reduce tire leaks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nivlem7 View Post
Can anyone tell me exactly how these sensors monitor tire pressure? Are they wired? In the valve?
They're located at the valve. Don't know how they work or the effects to the unit with the use of slime or other repair products.

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Old 03-27-2008, 12:29 PM   #10
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Default Re: "Slime" or other ways to reduce tire leaks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ternst View Post
little bits of gravel get into the tread and work their way into the tire and spring slow leaks over time
I highly doubt it. I've been working on tires since the late '80s, and unless you drive over spikes, gravel just does not work its way through the tire. The rocks might get stuck between the tread, but they don't puncture.

Do you have aluminum wheels? I bet you have a bead leak or some other issue.

-Bob C.

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Old 04-01-2008, 06:35 AM   #11
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Default Re: "Slime" or other ways to reduce tire leaks?

Hey Bob, thanks for your note but you are wrong on this one - I pull little bits of gravel out of the tread quite often and find a hole on the other side. Guess we have different gravel in Arkansas than in your area! It happens most of the time right after they grade the road, when the sharper bits of gravel are churned up and brought to the surface. There is no question it is the gravel that is causing the leaks, and those holes where the gravel has worked its way through is where they put the patch at the tire store - really, no question about it, the sharp bits of gravel work their way into the tread and create the hole - no leaking rims here, just holes in the tread where the gravel punched through...

tim ernst in Arkansas

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Old 04-07-2008, 11:53 AM   #12
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Default Re: "Slime" or other ways to reduce tire leaks?

Part of the problem is having just regular "air" in the tires. The molecular structure of the air we breath is capable of leeching through the tires on a vehicle, because of the molecular structure of the tires. Air molecules are "smaller" than rubber molecules.
This is why even sitting in a climate controlled garage a vehicle will have a slow loss of air pressure over time. This also contributes to the "dust brake" haze that you see on tires.
One of the best solutions is to find a dealer or tire shop in your area that puts nitrogen in tires. Not only will you see quite a bit less drop in pressure, but as the tires heat up they will maintain a more consistent pressure instead of it rising as the tires heat rises.
Another benefit of nitrogen you will see is longer tread life. This is due in part to having a more consistent pressure wihch keeps the tire from expanding and contracting as much.
Just my $0.12. As soon as I get home from iraq I am doing this to my wifes Outlook.

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Old 04-09-2008, 04:49 AM   #13
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Default Re: "Slime" or other ways to reduce tire leaks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpiersd View Post
One of the best solutions is to find a dealer or tire shop in your area that puts nitrogen in tires.
Nitrogen in automobile tires is a total scam. They're a way for a dealer to make money, just like so many of the other "add-ons".

- air is already mostly nitrogen

- most tire leakage is not through the tire itself, but through leaks between the tire and rim; around the valve stem gasket; and through the valve itself.

search the 'net, read up on how much it costs your dealer to fill your tires, and why it is used elsewhere; decide for yourself.

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Old 04-13-2008, 07:43 AM   #14
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Default Re: "Slime" or other ways to reduce tire leaks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harald View Post
Nitrogen in automobile tires is a total scam. They're a way for a dealer to make money, just like so many of the other "add-ons".

- air is already mostly nitrogen

- most tire leakage is not through the tire itself, but through leaks between the tire and rim; around the valve stem gasket; and through the valve itself.

search the 'net, read up on how much it costs your dealer to fill your tires, and why it is used elsewhere; decide for yourself.

Nitrogen in tires is not a scam. Yes I know that plain air is already approx. 70% nitrogen. The oxygen content in air is part of what does the environmental damage to tires.
Look at the major auto racing venues and you will find that they use Nitrogen in their tires. I myself used nitrogen in the tires of my race cars and currently in the aircraft that I work on.
Nitrogen is a better alternative to plain air.

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Old 04-13-2008, 09:10 AM   #15
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Default Re: "Slime" or other ways to reduce tire leaks?

I agree with other posters that you may have nails in the tire that you don't know about or can't see. I had a slow leak in my passenger side rear tire recently. I gently felt around the tire with my fingers and discovered very thin industrial staple that was sticking out of the tire. I pulled it out and the slow leak continued. I recently had it patched and now all is well. So I would have the tires checked for leaks. You may have to buy truck tires or snow tires because of the road conditions that you are encountering.

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Old 04-14-2008, 07:40 AM   #16
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Default Re: "Slime" or other ways to reduce tire leaks?

The rock problem in Arkansas is a real problem, for some reason the fractured stone is much sharper in the belt area of that state and the surrounding area. I have also experienced more flats and slow leaks from smaller stones wedged in tires. The only cure was to go to a much more aggressive tread that did not hold the stone as well. I gave up the quiet of a all weather tire and went to a "truck tire pattern". Goodyear GSA I think was the tire and it held up much better. Don't use slime for sure and as for the nitrgen, it works better but won't cure your problem.
Bill Clinton

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