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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-12-2010, 04:27 PM Thread Starter
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Multiple tires losing pressure fast

I have been dealing with problems with my tires losing pressure very fast for a long time (years). I'll fill them up to 32 PSI as directed, but within sometimes as short as a few days to a couple weeks, the drivers front will be down to 18-22 PSI, and the passenger front will be down to 22-25 PSI. The rear tires drain more slowly...maybe down to 27 PSI or so. The pattern stays constant even after tire rotations -- a tire that was holding to a 3-5 loss on the back will jump to the 10-14 PSI loss when it's rotated to the front drivers side, for example, and a tire that was draining fast on the front will start draining slower on the back.

The tires are Cooper CS4, 215/50R17, 91V rating. The local tire chain I've been using suggested them for my car years ago. I did notice just now when researching that the specs in the manual are for a 93V rating. Not sure if that makes a difference. I'm about 200lbs, and I carry passengers fairly rarely - maybe 1 or 2 people on the weekends, or occasionally 1-3 at lunch. I do load a guitar amp rig of 90 lbs into the trunk weekly.

The tire shop has tested the tires and says it's normal for alloy wheels to lose pressure like this. I just don't believe that. Yes, it does happen particularly fast (often 1-2 days) when the temperature is colder. And yes, it does go from an attached garage out to the cold weather every day, so there is a bit of a temp shock. But even during the summer, it will drop down much faster than I expect. I don't think losing 40% of your tire pressure in less than a month is ever normal, is it?

What should I do? It's driving me nuts. Taking it to another shop is certainly an option, but this type of issue is supposed to be covered by the warranty from the shop that sold me the tires, and I'm suspicious they're telling me it's normal just to get out of doing work.

Last edited by bkrodgers; 12-12-2010 at 04:31 PM.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-12-2010, 04:49 PM
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It sounds like you have an older car, aluminum wheels corrode, (steel too)especially if used in salt conditions up north. I suspect the beads are corroded and causes a small leak depending on how bad the corrosion is. The fronts probably lose more because they are stressed during turns. The rears just follow.
First air the tires up to spec, get a spray bottle like Windex come's in, put a little dish soap in (something you know will foam) with some warm water (should foam better) and spray the beads, valve stems and tread area in case you ran over very small nails.
One more deal, with tire pressure monitor sensors in wheel-it costs about $200.00 to get a damaged one replaced. Make darn sure the tire guy knows what he is doing when you get new tires or one repaired and talk about liability if he damages one.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-12-2010, 07:46 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks -- I do have an older car (2003 6s), and it is in St. Louis, with a couple trips to Chicago each year. As far as I know, the 2003 doesn't have anything to worry about with tire pressure monitor sensors.

They claim they put the tires in the tank when I had them rotated a couple weeks ago and didn't see a leak. They also claim to have done some bead work on at least two of the tires about a year ago. What seems odd though is that I get my tires rotated (it's free at the place I bought the tires), and the problems don't appear to follow the tires to the new positions -- the severity stays constant in a given position regardless of what tire is there. (Unless they're lying and not really rotating them...I don't think they're that dishonest!!) Now I suppose it is possible that all 4 tires have corrosion and the drain is just faster or slower based on the stress of the position. But it seems unlikely that all 4 tires would have nails. And they claim they've checked for that.

My first question is can I walk in and confidently say that they're full of it, and there's nothing normal about losing as much as 15 PSI within a week or less? Are they going to try to tell me I need new wheels? (Do I?) Or new tires? There's enough tread left. Are 91V tires OK for this car, or did they sell me something that was wrong?
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-12-2010, 08:17 PM
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Is there any sign of corrosion on your wheels? Like I said, check them your self, tough if you don't have a garage and have to work in the cold. But that is the only way you will know fore sure. With the air you are talking about the air bubbles should show pretty easy. Don't forget the valve stems, they should be replaced when new tires installed. If the bead area of the wheel is bad than that is where the bubbles will show. The nails comment was just thrown in as a possible cause. My neighbor has an 05 Mercury Montego, it had a cracked wheel and lost air. When they dumped your tires in the tank they were probably in a hurry, who knows. The last leak I found for a neighbor took a few circles of the tire before I spotted the small leak. Be patient, keep spraying lots of soapy water while you look. Best is to take wheel off, makes it much easier to check front and back and area where wheel forms front and back in case the wheel is cracked. Bet you find the leaks. One last comment, if they damaged the bead of the tire installing it, that could be the problem but hard to believe they could damage all four. Good luck.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-27-2010, 09:51 AM
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Have you ever replaced the valve stems?

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-27-2010, 10:20 AM
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i was thinking valve stems also. I also remember when i was a trouble maker in my early years, i would slightly loosen the shrader valve on other peoples cars so they would have a slow air leak, i know, i was a pos in my teen years, but maybe the shader valve is a little loose. just screw em in a little, righty tighty. maybe the pressure will hold longer.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-27-2010, 10:21 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JML View Post
Have you ever replaced the valve stems?
I'm not 100% sure. I don't think they've done that on any of the times I've brought it in for them to try to fix. They may have put new ones in when I replaced the tires, but that's been several years now. I asked the store that's been giving me the runaround to check them when I had it in a month or so ago, but who knows what they did. Is that a likely source of the problem?

I haven't had time to check for leaks myself because of the holidays and work, but I think I may try taking it to another location of this chain I bought it from (since it's supposed to be covered by their warranty) and see what they can do. I suspect that it's either a valve or bead problem, but I'm not sure why the store I've been taking it to can't seem to find and fix it. Laziness or incompetence are strong candidates...

Thanks to both you and Speed for your suggestions! More then anything though, I was looking for validation that they're full of crap when they tell me it's normal, and it sounds like that's fair to say. Anything else I should be armed with when I go in to argue my case with the crew at the new location?
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-27-2010, 01:14 PM
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Have you had the same tires on for years??

It sounds like you might have some of those chinese valve stems people were having problems with back in the day(year ago maybe?). Father-in-law had them on his drag car and it would loose pressure on his skinnies after only a few days.....

was a real pain in the arse.


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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-27-2010, 01:21 PM
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replace your valve stems.


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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-27-2010, 02:20 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flipper66 View Post
Have you had the same tires on for years??

It sounds like you might have some of those chinese valve stems people were having problems with back in the day(year ago maybe?). Father-in-law had them on his drag car and it would loose pressure on his skinnies after only a few days.....

was a real pain in the arse.
Yeah, 3-4 years, I think. I'm a low milage driver. I'll have them replaced. That involves removing the tire, right? Which would mean the bead could be inspected and cleaned/repaired at the same time as well?
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