mystery flat tire -- can't find puncture hole

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Old 17 Jan 2009, 06:58 pm   #1 (permalink)
stephenjacob@gmail.com
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Default mystery flat tire -- can't find puncture hole

I went to the movies the other night in my 1993 Camry. Driving to the
theatre, there were no problems. When I returned to the car, less than
3 hours after I left it, the right passenger tire was completely flat.
I just took it to the local tire shop, and they could not find
anything wrong with it, after 2 to 3 guys kept busy spraying soapy
water on it for 20 minutes, at different tire presssures. I inherited
this car from my parents, and my Dad just told me the exact same thing
happened to him.

Any thoughts on how this is possible?
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Old 17 Jan 2009, 06:59 pm   #2 (permalink)
Sharx35
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Default Re: mystery flat tire -- can't find puncture hole



<stephenjacob@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:2dafd0de-b833-444e-b8c5-161ce8ef19a7@b38g2000prf.googlegroups.com...
> I went to the movies the other night in my 1993 Camry. Driving to the
> theatre, there were no problems. When I returned to the car, less than
> 3 hours after I left it, the right passenger tire was completely flat.
> I just took it to the local tire shop, and they could not find
> anything wrong with it, after 2 to 3 guys kept busy spraying soapy
> water on it for 20 minutes, at different tire presssures. I inherited
> this car from my parents, and my Dad just told me the exact same thing
> happened to him.
>
> Any thoughts on how this is possible?


Rusty rim. Leaky tire valve.

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Old 17 Jan 2009, 09:42 pm   #3 (permalink)
spsffan
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Default Re: mystery flat tire -- can't find puncture hole

Sharx35 wrote:
>
>
> <stephenjacob@gmail.com> wrote in message
> news:2dafd0de-b833-444e-b8c5-161ce8ef19a7@b38g2000prf.googlegroups.com...
>> I went to the movies the other night in my 1993 Camry. Driving to the
>> theatre, there were no problems. When I returned to the car, less than
>> 3 hours after I left it, the right passenger tire was completely flat.
>> I just took it to the local tire shop, and they could not find
>> anything wrong with it, after 2 to 3 guys kept busy spraying soapy
>> water on it for 20 minutes, at different tire presssures. I inherited
>> this car from my parents, and my Dad just told me the exact same thing
>> happened to him.
>>
>> Any thoughts on how this is possible?

>
> Rusty rim. Leaky tire valve.


Some kids let the air out. It happened to me a while back.

Dave
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Old 17 Jan 2009, 11:03 pm   #4 (permalink)
johngdole@hotmail.com
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Default Re: mystery flat tire -- can't find puncture hole

They shouldn't be using soapy water. They need to pressurize the tire
and submerge it. Go to a real tire shop.

On Jan 17, 4:58*pm, stephenja...@gmail.com wrote:
> I went to the movies the other night in my 1993 Camry. Driving to the
> theatre, there were no problems. When I returned to the car, less than
> 3 hours after I left it, the right passenger tire was completely flat.
> I just took it to the local tire shop, and they could not find
> anything wrong with it, after 2 to 3 guys kept busy spraying soapy
> water on it for 20 minutes, at different tire presssures. I inherited
> this car from my parents, and my Dad just told me the exact same thing
> happened to him.
>
> Any thoughts on how this is possible?


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Old 18 Jan 2009, 04:23 am   #5 (permalink)
Fat Moe
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Default Re: mystery flat tire -- can't find puncture hole

spsffan wrote:
> Sharx35 wrote:
>>
>>
>> <stephenjacob@gmail.com> wrote in message
>> news:2dafd0de-b833-444e-b8c5-161ce8ef19a7@b38g2000prf.googlegroups.com...
>>> I went to the movies the other night in my 1993 Camry. Driving to the
>>> theatre, there were no problems. When I returned to the car, less than
>>> 3 hours after I left it, the right passenger tire was completely flat.
>>> I just took it to the local tire shop, and they could not find
>>> anything wrong with it, after 2 to 3 guys kept busy spraying soapy
>>> water on it for 20 minutes, at different tire presssures. I inherited
>>> this car from my parents, and my Dad just told me the exact same thing
>>> happened to him.
>>>
>>> Any thoughts on how this is possible?

>>
>> Rusty rim. Leaky tire valve.

>
> Some kids let the air out. It happened to me a while back.
>
> Dave

My thoughts also. You can buy a little air compressor for around 10
bucks that runs off the cigarette lighter socket. A very handy thing to
keep in the trunk.
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Old 18 Jan 2009, 06:20 am   #6 (permalink)
Sharx35
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Default Re: mystery flat tire -- can't find puncture hole



"Fat Moe" <FatMoe@BubbleWorld.Com> wrote in message
news:49730306$0$5454$bbae4d71@news.suddenlink.net. ..
> spsffan wrote:
>> Sharx35 wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>> <stephenjacob@gmail.com> wrote in message
>>> news:2dafd0de-b833-444e-b8c5-161ce8ef19a7@b38g2000prf.googlegroups.com...
>>>> I went to the movies the other night in my 1993 Camry. Driving to the
>>>> theatre, there were no problems. When I returned to the car, less than
>>>> 3 hours after I left it, the right passenger tire was completely flat.
>>>> I just took it to the local tire shop, and they could not find
>>>> anything wrong with it, after 2 to 3 guys kept busy spraying soapy
>>>> water on it for 20 minutes, at different tire presssures. I inherited
>>>> this car from my parents, and my Dad just told me the exact same thing
>>>> happened to him.
>>>>
>>>> Any thoughts on how this is possible?
>>>
>>> Rusty rim. Leaky tire valve.

>>
>> Some kids let the air out. It happened to me a while back.
>>
>> Dave

> My thoughts also. You can buy a little air compressor for around 10
> bucks that runs off the cigarette lighter socket. A very handy thing to
> keep in the trunk.


I've tried 2 of those cheap compressors over the years and neither of them
was able to put much air (1 lb in about 10 minutes)
into the tires. They worked great on bike tires, though.



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Old 18 Jan 2009, 08:42 am   #7 (permalink)
Winston
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Default Re: mystery flat tire -- can't find puncture hole

Fat Moe wrote:
> spsffan wrote:

(...)
>> Some kids let the air out. It happened to me a while back.
>>
>> Dave

> My thoughts also. You can buy a little air compressor for around 10
> bucks that runs off the cigarette lighter socket. A very handy thing to
> keep in the trunk.


I second the notion of submerging the entire tire and wheel to look
for a slow leak. You now have a use for one of those vinyl 'kiddie pools'.
If you don't see any bubbles, replace the valve core just as preventive
maintenance.

Also, rotate the right passenger wheel to another position (driver's
side front for example) and see if the symptom follows the wheel or stays
on the right rear.

--Winston
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Old 18 Jan 2009, 02:50 pm   #8 (permalink)
Pszemol
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Default Re: mystery flat tire -- can't find puncture hole

"Winston" <Winston@bigbrother.net> wrote in message
news:gkvf5e02dud@news2.newsguy.com...
> Also, rotate the right passenger wheel to another position (driver's
> side front for example) and see if the symptom follows the wheel
> or stays on the right rear.


What a strange advice!

What do you suspect could be responsible
for air leaking other than the wheel itself?

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Old 18 Jan 2009, 03:33 pm   #9 (permalink)
Winston
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Default Re: mystery flat tire -- can't find puncture hole

Pszemol wrote:
> "Winston" <Winston@bigbrother.net> wrote in message
> news:gkvf5e02dud@news2.newsguy.com...
>> Also, rotate the right passenger wheel to another position (driver's
>> side front for example) and see if the symptom follows the wheel
>> or stays on the right rear.

>
> What a strange advice!
>
> What do you suspect could be responsible
> for air leaking other than the wheel itself?


Earlier in the thread, we saw that the OPs father had
experienced the same symptom.

> I inherited this car from my parents, and my Dad just told me the
> exact same thing happened to him.


spsffan mentioned that it could be a prank by some neighborhood
kids.

We need to determine if it's more likely a prank or more
likely a 'porous wheel' or 'loose valve stem' kind of issue.

Divide by two and conquer!

--Winston

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Old 18 Jan 2009, 07:42 pm   #10 (permalink)
stephenjacob@gmail.com
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Default Re: mystery flat tire -- can't find puncture hole

The odds that this is a prank are essentially zero, since my parents
live hundreds of miles from me so it's not like it's the same 13 year-
olds down the block pulling the same stunt. Also, the pranksters would
have had to sabotage my tire in a secure underground parkade with a
lot of people passing through, not to mention a visible security booth
some 50 feet away. Finally, the valve was not loose in the stem, which
means the pranksters would have been remarkably conscientious in
taking the time to re-screw the valve into the stem after letting the
air out. Any one of those factors is possible, but stacked up together
approaches a number close to zero.

There must be an explanation for this, along the lines that the tire
needs to be sitting a certain way, with just the right amount of
pressure on the right spot to make this happen. The most curious part
is how fast it happened -- all of the air was gone in the less than 3
hours, so this is not a slow leak that occurred over days or weeks.

I'm stumped!
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