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Master Tech Matt
Master Tech Matt, ASE and Chrysler Master Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 1608
Experience:  20 years automotive experience, Factory trained by Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, and Toyota
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so often seem to have slow leaks..corrosion on the bead seat..sealant

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My tires every so often seem to have slow leaks. I take the car to the tire place, they tell me there is corrosion on the bead seat, they grind it off and put the tire back on. Should it be routine for them to use a sealant before putting the tire back on? I never watch them, but I just read about that on your site. I've spent so much money having this done over and over again that I am now thinking I should buy new wheel$. Just wondering if that is necessary, and if I buy more alloy wheels will problem return? Car is 98 Subaru Outback w/ 88k miles.
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Master Tech Matt :

Corrosion once started, is never going to stop. The only permanent fix would be new wheels. I would not recommend trying to use any type of sealant on the tire wheel contact area. You could have the wheels completely cleaned, all paint and clear coat removed, and then professionally corrosion treated, this is commonly done on expensive aircraft components, but the cost would exceed just purchasing new wheels. Check prices on wheels from a larger tire store or someplace online like, they are much cheaper than wheels purcahsed through Subaru.


Thank you. Already looked at tirerack, etc. Just wondered if the problem will reoccur with


new alloys and if so how quickly?


Steel wheels are ugly, but seal better, no?

Master Tech Matt :

Steel wheels are generally better with corrosion/rust issues. Yes the problem will reoccur unless you change the conditions the vehicle is operated in. I assume your state uses some sort of aggressive anti-ice substance on the roads. This is likely what is causing the corrosion. You can expect new wheels to last as long as the original ones did before having problems start again. One solution is to buy nice wheels and mount summer tires on them, and then buy cheap steel wheels and mount winter tires on them. In this way your nice alloy wheels should last forever as they would never be exposed to the winter conditions. Of course you would have to drive around all winter on ugly steel wheels.

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