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Tire Question


Puncture's Avatar
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Join Date: Jun 2004
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01-10-05, 08:35 AM   #1  
Tire Question

Probably a pretty basic question but I'm not too terribly handy or knowledgable about automobiles so here goes.

Recently while driving on the tollway we were notified by another driver that our right rear tire of our 2002 Nissan Pathfinder was going flat. We pulled over and the tire was about 2/3 flat but the rim was not touching.

I used a fix-a-flat that I had to get us to the next exit so I could fill it back up.

Ok, with that said, (proof of my procrastination here) it's been since Christmas and the tire pressure hasn't gone down yet. However the tread on this tire is pretty bad, had been spinning out a lot while low.

I'm considering switching it out with the full sized spare and using it as the spare. Thing I'm worried about is it gradually going flat on me and being unusable when I need it.

Is there any way to check and see if it was flat due to a leak or just went flat from neglect? Money is tight so purchasing a SUV tire is not my #1 priority unless absolutly necessary.

 
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stickshift's Avatar
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01-10-05, 09:32 AM   #2  
First thing to do is look at the tire to see if you can see a hole or some piece of debris sticking out of it. If not, inflate the tire and spray soapy water on it or dunk it in water. If there is a leak, this will show air bubbles in your soap or water. Obviously, this would indicate your tire needs to be fixed. Keep in mind, not all holes can be repaired. The other concern I would have is that driving an underinflated tire can damage the tire. I would therefore recommend taking the tire to a service center and have them take a look at it. As far as the tire slowly going flat if used as a spare, all you need to do is check the air pressure once in a while to know where it is. It's a good idea to check your tire pressure at least once a month, especially when the weather is changing - changing outside air temperature affects the pressure in your tires.

 
Puncture's Avatar
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01-10-05, 09:39 AM   #3  
Hey thanks for the advice, I'll definitly take it off and dunk it in soapy water.

Also is it true that it's better to purchase all 4 new tires when buying new ones or is it ok to just buy one new one as the spare if I need to?

 
carguyinva's Avatar
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01-10-05, 09:57 AM   #4  
4 tires vs anything else...

...in todays autos with sophisticated ABS brakes, traction control and 4WD, it's always recommended to replace tires in sets of 4. if the tires are maintained properly, they should ALL need to be replaced at the same time anyway. in the case of a road hazard, the tire should be evaluated ASAP for appropriate repair. if it's not repairable, then ideally, the circumference of the old tires should be compared to the circumference of a new one, and if not within manufacturer's tolerance, a set of tires is called for. i realize that this might be expensive...but a set of good tires is cheaper than say...a transfer case...and it may be the ONLY way to turn off that pesky ABS or Traction lamp.

my chevy tahoe with 60k on it got a full set of tires...i rotated them regularly and they were all equal in wear. no sense in risking burning up the automatic 4WD transfer case for the sake of a few more miles out of two tires...and i know they ain't cheap...600 bucks!...and worth every penny

 
stickshift's Avatar
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01-10-05, 10:37 AM   #5  
I need to add one thing: be sure to inspect the rim when looking at the tire - I bought a 1999 Buick Regal last month with 16" aluminum wheels. The left rear was losing air, but I found out the problem was a dented rim and not the tire when I pulled it off and looked at it.

 
Desi501's Avatar
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01-10-05, 04:50 PM   #6  
Not only is this tire worn out but it has a hole, temporarily stopped with fix a flat so it is completely unreliable. At bare minimum, you shoud be looking at 2 tires. Depending how old your spare is and whether you can match it exactly, I'd be a little hesitant about using it. If it's been stored on the outside, the rubber will be very deteriorated. Don't put it on the truck unless you can match it exactly with at least 1 tire.

 
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