Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
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Valves go bad over time. The seals inside the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) stems can deteriorate, or if you have the non-TPMS rubber stems, they can develop cracks and leaks from the rubber aging. When tires are replaced, the TPMS valves should be checked and rebuilt if necessary; if the stems are rubber, they should be replaced yearly (especially if you live in an area with winter salt use, that's normal procedure at good tire shops). Cheap insurance against leaks.
And far more likely a source of a leak or two, rather than your beads.
But many shops are not honest, or have poorly-trained staff. Finding anyone to admit to causing a problem would be rare. It sounds suspicious that they claim they had to to work on your beads - they may have caused the problems in the first place, and have wanted to avoid buying you $1000 worth of alloy wheels to make up for their incompetence. Maybe they didn't lube the beads before installing the tires, or did something else wrong.
And those tires in your size are listed by Cooper's site as 95V, not 91.
Given the consequences of tire failure, it's best to go to a good shop. Go to the Tire Rack website for their authorized installers in your area. Or see who uses the expensive quality mounting and balancing systems (Hunter Road Force Balancer) - the Hunter website will tell you who is near you. The Tire Rack installers have that system.
While you're at it, get a quality tire gauge, and don't trust ANY inflater's gauge at the gas station. One night, inflate the tires about 5 psi higher than normal, right before you get home. Then measure the pressure in the morning, before you pull the car out of the garage, and bleed off enough pressure to get to the recommended 32 psi. It'll get higher as you drive and the tires warm up. Check the pressure the same time every other day, in the AM, and see if there are changes.
2008 Mazda6 5-door i-Touring (Volcanic Red)
Last edited by JML; 12-27-2010 at 03:23 PM.