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Eco-Cruze Tire Leak Path Found

3208 Views 7 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Corvt863
Here is something that I just found on my Eco-Cruze with polished rims. I suddenly was seeing slow leaks on two of my tires after adding air. I pulled one tire off to see if I picked up a nail, and saw nothing. I then sprayed soap around the bead and around the valve stem to the rim. I found that on both of the tires I was leaking around the valve stem. I'm not sure if this will work in the long term or for everyone, but I sprayed WD-40 around the valve stem and wiggled the stem back and forth and twisted it as much as I could without damaging anything. I reapplied the soap, no leak. It looks like there is micro-corrosion around the stem that is opening up a small leak path between it and the wheel. The WD-40 crept back in there and seems to have healed it for now. I'll update if the leak opens back up.
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Moved to it's own thread. It's possible this may help someone else so I wanted to give it more visibility. Thanks for the information and welcome to Cruzetalk.
Yes welcome to CruzeTalk and great tip. I am sure lots would have taken it somewhere to find the leak, but that is a great DIY!!!
Sorry'll be back.

Valve stem bore and rim corrosion (aluminum wheels) at a young age is becoming status quo in the snow (salt) belt areas.
Most speculate it is a result of frequent trips through the car wash.
Few realize that car washes reclaim, filter, and re-use their water......think of a large tank like a toilet bowl with a valve and float under the floor on the lower level with all the rest of the pumps and whatnot.

The problem is, you can't filter for most of the winter you are pressure washing the car with salt water.
This saline solution gets driven at the bead and valve bore area as well as the whole wheel/tire assembly and we suspect it stays damp in those areas for a while.....corrosion is the result.
Eventually the tire must be removed, the rim bead polished and sealed, the valve removed, the bore cleaned and a new valve stem....reassemble and balance......whata pain.

Seems to take three to four winters before this shows up......folks that hand wash/fresh water don't seem to have the problem or it takes a few more years for it to crop up.

Another reason for running steel wheels with snows for the winter.....seems the steelies put up with the salt far longer before corrosion becomes a problem.

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I wonder what the WD-40 will do to the longevity of the valve stem. Which I think is the TPMS sensor.
I wonder what the WD-40 will do to the longevity of the valve stem. Which I think is the TPMS sensor.
The TPS unscrews from the stem and is essentially a sealed pressure sensor.......the valve stem might degrade if it was continually washed in WD but odds are the short blast will disappear over time and no damage would occur.

Not a recommended process though......just delaying the putting a soup can and hose clamps on a leaking exaust....just buying time.

When we see a GM wheel, we check beads first if there is no apparent nail in the tred. Started with Cadillac and now they all do it. Other brands do it as well, depending on coating process. But GM is usually a go to when looking for a slower leak. Even faster depending on how the car looks cared for.
An update. The leak has not re-opened yet. I do agree that it will almost certainly re-occur over time, but this was a convenient fix to keep me home for Christmas. As far as damage to the rubber stem or tire pressure monitor, I am nearly 100% it won't damage the rubber in the near term, or at least until I change out my tires in a year or two. Something like a petroleum solvent would have damaged it probably, but WD40 is fairly friendly to rubber. If it lived in it, it would degrade it, but it is just on the surface. It was just a way to creep something in there to break up the corrosion and salt crystals...according to my non-scientific thinking. I'm surprised it stopped the leak myself, but it did.
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