4

We just had all 4 tires replaced, a week after we got a flat tire. In the past several years not a single flat tire.

The cost of each tire was $55 (with labor I paid $409). The car is a Honda Civic 2007 Hybrid. The tire model says LEAO / LION SPORT GP.

The Mechanics said he put air and he does not find any leaks, he did put the tire in water and no bubbles came out. We have been driving the car for a few days now, and so far there is no sign of any leaks.

I should also mention that I heard some noises right after replacing the tires, and I checked and did not see any issue with them, and only after a week, suddenly a flat tire.

I'm not an expert about cars but my logic mind assumes that the tire was not fully or correctly assembled when replacing the tires. Could that be the cause?

UPDATE - 8 MONTHS LATER

Tires still have no issues. This means it has to be incorrect first assembly, which was fixed on the second assembly.

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    What caused the flat? Was there a puncture, or is it leaking where it seals with the rim? – raydowe Mar 5 '17 at 6:48
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    The quality you mention is probably proportional to the price you paid, as above puncture or leak and then is the question about the state of the rims - have they been damaged by hitting the kerb? or are they rusty / corroded. – Solar Mike Mar 5 '17 at 7:08
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    I concur, the reason of the flat is very important for the correct answer of your question! – Evren Yurtesen Mar 5 '17 at 13:35
  • Describe "weird noises"? How long time passed from change to flat? Tire can not be assembled wrong. You just push it into the rim. You still did not tell exactly where were you and what you did prior to noticing the flat. I don't understand what relevance does it have if you park your car in garage or not. For example, if you parked on a street at any point and when you came back the tire was flat. I clearly asked the events before the flat...Is it a secret? :) – Evren Yurtesen Mar 10 '17 at 3:27
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    Tires can certainly be "assembled wrong" and damage can occur during installation. The document you linked to has an entire section on this, titled "Fitting Damage". It contains information such as, "Tyres can also be damaged even when not in use, for example due to incorrect mounting on the rim. The bead might be damaged while the tyre is being fitted or removed using a tyre fitting machine. Undetected fitting damage can result in the tyre failure at a later date." - bushtyres.co.uk/library/pdf/conti-tyre-damage-guide.pdf – raydowe Mar 10 '17 at 8:10
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It's unlikely to be the tyres themselves at fault - if it's not down to external causes (e.g. a nail), it's more likely to be either damage to the wheel rim stopping the tyre from sealing properly, or a dodgy valve letting the air out.

Either way, after just a week you ought to be able to take it back to the dealer who fitted the tyres and they ought to sort it for you...

  • I will go back to the mechanic, and will report back what he find. – david72 Mar 5 '17 at 17:43
  • I don't want to waste more time on this, this is my favorable answer, maybe I just need to let go, and assume the mechanic did assemble the tire correctly the second time. If any issues arise with this tire, I will update the question. Thank you everyone for your insights. – david72 Mar 10 '17 at 17:37
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+25

I know the mechanic filling the tire back up said he didn't find any leaks, but the air had to go somewhere. Assuming that the tire was correctly inflated when they were installed, the real question is where did the air leak from? The three likely possibilities are:

1) The valve stem

It's possible whoever changed the tires didn't use new valve stems and/or valves. They're located in the rim of the wheel, so it's entirely possible that they were overlooked. They can become brittle and crack with age, just like tires, and should be replaced at every tire change. The valve could also be leaking, especially if it doesn't have a protective cap and has been exposed to the elements.

2) The seal between the tire and the rim

This is an especially high possibility if you have steel rims and/or corrosion. The corrosion will create an uneven surface that will continue to deteriorate, allowing air to escape where the surfaces meet. In either case, a lubricant such as soapy water should be used liberally when mounting the tire. This will ensure the tire slides into place smoothly without damaging the inner lip of the tire, creating a good seal.

3) There is leak somewhere in the tire

Maybe it's a manufacturer defect (unlikely), or maybe you were just really unlucky and got a puncture. Punctures are less likely with the thick tread of a new tire, but they're still a possibility.

Going forward you need to keep an eye on the tire and see if it's losing pressure, and at what speed. You can try spraying the tire with soapy water. Any air escaping will create bubbles and be easier to pinpoint. If the leak is slow enough that it's taking a day or two to go flat, this might not work. In that case, I'd be leaning toward the seal at the rim. If the valve stems haven't been changed, consider having them changed.

  • If there were any kind of defects, craks leading to leaks, the mechanic could find it. Unless your answer is based on the assumption that the mechanic made a mistake and couldn't find the leak? – Evren Yurtesen Mar 9 '17 at 13:12
  • If the tire went flat, and there aren't any leaks, where did the air go? – raydowe Mar 9 '17 at 14:13
  • We don't know exactly how this flat occured or even what he means by flat. Did you consider maybe, he parked somewhere and comes back to find tire empty because somebody simply made a prank? Did you consider if tire was not inflated properly and with hard breaking/acceleration it slipped and lost air pressure even further? I bet there are a bunch of ways that tire can go empty that I can't imagine of. But then, the only way that you are right is if his mechanic made some mistake. Because otherwise the result from the leak check of his mechanic already makes all your suggestions implausable. – Evren Yurtesen Mar 9 '17 at 16:09
  • No, I didn't consider that. While it's certainly not outside the realm of possibilities, it's outside the scope of this site. People here should be expecting technical advice. "Maybe someone is playing a prank" could apply to just about every question on this site. Regarding tires spinning on rims - do you have any sources? I've never heard of a car losing tyre pressure for this reason, certainly not a car with this modest amount of power. – raydowe Mar 9 '17 at 19:49
  • Prank may be outside the scope but OP may have assumed cause was tire damage. I have marks on my tires next to valves. Once I realized one had a nail and it had 1.2 bar left (the car manual says normal is 1.9) and the mark was moved only on that tire almost 180degrees. The pressure in the tire also tightens the seal to rim. An empty tire may not even make full contact with rim until inflated. If your tire is underinflated, it may even get out of rim at a tight corner or cause sudden air pressure loss. See: bushtyres.co.uk/library/pdf/conti-tyre-damage-guide.pdf Page 11 – Evren Yurtesen Mar 9 '17 at 21:25
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If there are no leaks, and if you were not driving the car when the tire went flat. The first thing comes to mind is a prank. Somebody emptied your tire! You should fill it up and keep an eye on it and see if it goes empty again.

But if it happened when you were driving, it may happen with very hard braking or acceleration if the tire pressure was too low to begin with. Many times shops put a little mark next to the valve stem to see if the tire was moving on the rim (if it moves it means it did not have a tight enough seal with rim). Tyre damage: Causes and avoidance See page 11:

Low tyre pressures can reduce the safety when 
negotiating corners. The tyre bead may be 
torn away from the rim and slip from the rim 
flange down into the well base. The result is a 
sudden loss of air pressure in the tyre. 

You did not tell how your mechanic checked the tire for leaks. Is your mechanic 100% sure? or could he/she be mistaken?

Because you did not tell the exact circumstances which lead to the flat. It may be impossible to answer your question. What were you doing exactly when the flat occured? ( I will update my answer if you update your question :) )

1

Throwing this out there as a possibility: There is something jammed in your tire, but unless the tire is under load the foreign object is doing a good enough job plugging the hole. Its stabbed in someplace hard to see, or deep enough that it isn't even visible anymore.

On the day it went flat, it happened that the tire was loaded in such a way that the hole was flexed and the foreign object was no longer a good seal. When they place this tire in a water tank, there is no load and the nail/drill bit/whatever is holding it shut.

-1

OK. I am a very detail oriented person when it comes to describing unusual occurrences. I have a 2013 Ford Fiesta. I have about 87,930 miles, I had absolutely 0 problems with my tires. I mostly go to Discount Tire but I did NOT have 2 to 3 hours to waste, I am on call and did NOT want to chance it. I went across the street to Firestone they took less than 2 hours and I was leaving. A few months later I noticed ONE of my tires was low. No big deal, I have a compressor. This continued to happen..., I will FF here. If I recall the F Passenger side tire was first, then the R Driver side. I'm all WTF?! This is where it starts to get odd. When it began(I do NOT recall the amount of time EXACTLY) maybe once every ten days I had to put air in the tire(s). Over the duration of time it got to the point where I had to put air in every morning before leaving to work. Finally one day when putting the cap back on, I hear that tssss of escaping air. I move the valve around and I can hear the air. Again WTF?! I'm scratching my head, yeah, where the VALVE is seated on the rim air is escaping. So I stop by Firestone and they tell me they will take a look at it. I mention that the R Drivers side tire has a problem also. The guy tells me "We'll check all of them". I guess he meant visually inspect as I drove away. I am going to give you the whole Twilight Zone view of this. Over time the same thing happens to all the tires at different intervals. YES, I am scratching my head over it also, AND yeah, if I HAD NOT EXPERIENCED IT PERSONALLY, I would say it is a bunch of BS also. AND this is NOT the end of it. Believe me I would have come to the EXACT SAME ASSUMPTION AS YOU. So I make another trip back to the same Firestone that I bought the tires from, the DO NOT have a rubber valve stem that will fit, so ONE GOOD THING, I got a metal valve stem at NO COST. Everything is good for about a month, yeah, you guessed it, the same thing starts happening to ONE of the other two tires. AYFKM. WTF?! So I contact the Firestone I purchased the tires at and they tell me they are booked for a couple of weeks.... I stopped by the Firestone close to my house, they can get me in the next afternoon. OK. Well just how Firestone was across the street from Discount, Discount was across the street from Firestone. I forgot to mention that I was driving on the spare so the ONLY THING that needed to be done, was.... maybe a 10 minute job. 5 if your fast. Discount still had a ridiculous wait, but they got it done that day AND did NOT CHARGE ME. Eventually and unfotunately this story repeats itself, kinda sort of, for ALL of the tires EXCEPT the tire with the metal stem and the other tire. I used some velcro, the kind that they use to bundle cables and wires for computers. I am the kind of person that HATES being at the mercy of others. So I found that if you position the stem a certain way, it will keep the air from leaking. It starts to happen again, but now I am JUST ABOUT READY for new tires again. There is even more to this, SERIOUSLY, but this is where it ends except for a couple of points I would like to clear up. The reason the LAST TIRE did NOT need to be fixed is because I learned my lesson from the other 3 and continuously checked it. YES, it did start to leaking air when I moved it(definitely one of the directions the stem would leak was AWAY FROM THE VEHICLE. I just walked out to my vehicle to look at what I did to resolve that problem. I used some 1/2" black reinforced hose (like radiator hose)to apply pressure in the opposite direction and it prevents the air from leaking.

  • At the start of my answer, I was NOT clear with the fact that the ORIGINAL TIRES were worn and I needed to buy NEW tires. – user35626 Feb 17 '18 at 8:42
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    Welcome to the site and thanks for your contribution. Consider revising your post for better improved clarity though. See Are posts expected to be formal? – Zaid Feb 17 '18 at 9:03
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    please trim this down to the part where you answer the question (presumably there is an answer in there somewhere) – agentp Feb 17 '18 at 14:22

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