you need to seal a tire bead, you don’t have to rely on a mechanic. Our guide will save you a trip to the repair shop by offering step-by-step instructions.
Read on to learn how to make this fix all by yourself. (Spoiler: It’s not as hard as it sounds!)
Can You Seal a Tire Bead at Home?
Tire beads don’t always break at convenient times. You might experience the problem on a holiday or another time when getting to an auto shop is difficult.
Thus, it can be reassuring to know that you can fix it at home. You won’t have to rely on anyone else to keep your tires in good shape. Plus, going the DIY route can save you some money.
Consider checking: How To Seal A Tire On A Rim
What Do You Need to Seal a Tire Bead?
Before you start this project, you’ll want to make sure you have a few basic tools. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Dish soap
- Spray bottle
- 2×4 board
- Clean rags
- Bead sealer (optional)
Now that you have all the supplies, it’s time to learn how to seal a tire bead. Follow the simple step-by-step directions below:
1. Remove the Tire
To start, you’ll need to remove the tire. Take it from the car and lay it on a hard, flat surface. The side with the valve stem should face up.
2. Check for Leaks
Next, you must check for leaks. Start by adding air to ensure the leaks are noticeable enough.
Then, mix water and dish soap in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture around the bead (the area where the tire meets the outer edge of the rim.)
Let the mixture sit for a few seconds. Once it settles, you may notice it start to bubble in certain areas. The bubbles indicate spots where there is an air leak. Wherever you see bubbles, mark the spot with chalk to refer back to later.
3. Check the Other Side
If no bubbles appear on the first side, repeat Step 2 on the other side. For the rest of the process, keep the side with the leaks face up.
4. Loosen the Rim
Start by releasing a little air from the tires. Then, take your 2×4 board and place it right at the rim’s edge. Hold the board in place and hit it with a hammer. Enough force will cause the seal to break, which frees the rim from the tire.
5. Clean the Inside of the Rim
Pull the rim up slightly to get access to the inside. Using a clean rag and soapy water, you can wipe away any debris that ruined the original seal.
6. Add Bead Sealer
At this point, you’ll want to add bead sealer (if you choose to do so). You can either buy the solution from your local hardware store or make a DIY mixture. Apply it in liberal amounts around the bead.
7. Refill the Tire
Finally, you’ll want to refill the tire. As you’re refilling, you can pull up on the sides of the rubber to help it make contact with the rim.
In most cases, however, the air will naturally force the rubber to touch the rim. This contact allows the bead seal to reform.
Feel free to check out: How Much Sealant Per Tire
Should I Use a Bead Sealer?
Bead sealer is not necessary for this DIY project.
However, you might find it useful if the bead is super dirty or has a hard time forming a seal. The solution is cheap at your local hardware store. If you prefer, you can check out online guides on how to make it yourself.
How Does Tire Bead Damage Occur
As you’re working on this project, you might be wondering how the damage occurred in the first place.
Bead damage can stem from many causes. For instance, it can happen when you or a mechanic carelessly mounts your tire. It can also occur if the rim gets dirty, there’s too much or too little air in the tire, etc.
Recommended reading: How Do You Plug A Tire
Signs That You Need to Seal a Tire Bead
If you’re reading this guide, you probably have an inkling that you need to seal a tire bead. Here are some signs that indicate you’re dealing with this issue:
- You have to add air frequently
- You feel the steering wheel vibrating or shaking
- You notice visible damage to your wheel
Sometimes, wheel damage isn’t obvious at first glance. If you have large plastic or metal hubcaps, remove them to get a closer look.
The Bottom Line
With the help of this guide, you should now know how to seal a tire bead. It’s a relatively simple process that will prevent you from having to rely on an auto shop. Use your newfound knowledge to be your own mechanic!
If you find this guide helpful, fee free to have a look at others:
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How To Fix A Tire Rim Leak
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How Much Is It To Repair A Tire
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