RV Tire Safety: Can a “sealant” to prevent flat tires cause problems?

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By Roger Marble
I just read a tale of woe from a motorhome owner who appears to have been sold a tire sealant that caused nothing but problems. Names have been changed to protect the “innocent.”

We purchased “anti-flat” tire sealant for the 6 tires on our motorhome, to provide some protection from tire leaks on trips. Our RV has had vibrations running at highway speeds, and based on forum feedback, it was recommended we try a “road force balance” on the tires.

We took our RV to “Billy-Bob-Jo’s Tire Emporium,” which has road force balance machines. They were unable to balance the tires – the machines got a different reading after each spin. They assumed their machines couldn’t handle the motorhome rims.

Then we took the motorhome to the nearby dealer for the company that made the RV chassis (since the front two tires were no longer properly balanced), and they called us about the “goo” they found inside the tires – because they were also unable to balance the tires.

Once they removed the tire sealant (about 45 minutes per tire), they were able to get all 6 tires balanced. It cost us around $1000 for the “anti-flat” treatment and another $500 to get the treatment removed and the tires balanced.

Then the RV owner asked: “Has anyone encountered balance issues when using tire sealant?” They then added: “If we don’t have any vibrations on the next road trip, we probably won’t put any sealant back inside the tires.”

What caused the tire sealant problems?

Clearly the material used either was inappropriate or improperly applied, if the tire sealant caused problems. Also, I do not understand why the owner felt it was necessary to even use such a product rather than use a TPMS and sign up for road service. They would have saved some money, not to mention avoid the aggravation of a bad ride and lost time from tire sealant problems.

Have you ever tried a “sealant” or “flat-proof” or other stuff to prevent a flat tire? Do you think it worked? Did the sealant cause problems such as balance issues? Please leave a comment below.

Read more from Roger Marble on his blog at RVtiresafety.net or on RVtravel.com.

Need a tire question answered? Sign up for Roger Marble’s new Facebook Group: RV tire news, information and discussion, moderated by Roger. He’ll be happy to help you.

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Keira B
16 days ago

Those pressurized cans of inflator/hole filler stuff for tires (Fix A Flat) can really save you if you are miles from nowhere on a dirt road, with no traffic, and no cell service.
The other method that I have used is that device with the “eye of a needle” type tool that you push into the hole in the tire with a bit of goo coated string. I was surprised that it lasts a long time. I forgot that I had used it, and ran the tire for over a year before I noticed that it was still holding air. Tire repair shops don’t complain about this emergency patch method.
I use a 12 volt air compressor with both of these methods.
Neither method works with cracked, burst or worn tires, but for a nail hole, they get you going again.

Scott R. Ellis
16 days ago

Wait–the original treatment cost a thousand bucks? For six cans of goo from an auto parts store? You were ripped off royally there, even if it had worked and caused no other problems.

Hakker
17 days ago

I am the second owner of a 2013 Cadillac XTS. It came from the factory with an aerosol can of flat fixer and a 12 volt air compressor – no spare tire. After owning it for several years I had a tire that kept going flat. When I went to the tire store to get it fixed they showed me the rim. Evidently the previous owner had used the flat fix and the rim was full of goo and ate up. It would not seal around the bead as it was corroded. I had to buy a new rim. An expensive car built to self destruct.

Joe
17 days ago

Sometimes the short cut ends up being the long way around. Lots of snake oil salesman out there!

Bob Weinfurt
17 days ago

Having been in the auto repair and tire service business for 35 years, I very strongly advise against using that stuff for other than an emergency “flat tire on a stormy night” situation. As others have stated, it can damage the wheel, make it impossible to balance a tire, and is a real big mess to clean up.
On a motorcycle, the safest thing is to be sure the rim is clean and replace, not repair the tire.
As for lawn tractor and wheel barrow tires, I just put an inner tube in them.

travilenman
17 days ago

Never have — Never will

Gayle
17 days ago

I’ve used it for tractor and wheelbarrow tires, but would never use it for a vehicle tire.

Steve Pustell
17 days ago

I have used the slimy stuff on car tires which were having a problem leaking .. after having good success on my lawn tractor. It did stop the slow leaks that no one had been able to stop. In concept the stuff is supposed to self balance your tires as you drive. In warm weather it would be unbalanced for a few miles on the highway.. and then work fine. In cold weather it took longer (probably needed to reach a certain temperature in order to flow properly). In really cold (in the teens F and below) it would never warm up enough to balance.
I’m really cheap so I lived with it until those tires were worn out. I have never been so happy to replace a set of tires.

Thomas D
17 days ago

I used it on my lawn cart. Finally got to use it without going flat. I didn’t notice any wobble, course it only goes about 10 mph. I did do something stupid once and put that stuff in a car tire didn’t work and NOBODY WOULD fix the flat. They finally took the tire off the rim and gave it to me to clean. They would not repajr the tire.

Richard
17 days ago

I have used these products only on ATV type vehicles, but have witnessed the same issues: Vibration when first starting out; Plugged valve stems (Rotate the stem to 12 o’clock before using); Having to “Spin” the tire to re-plug a leak after it having set for a time. This type of product was promoted to me by past users who cautioned about the “Side effects”, so they were not a surprise. I would NEVER try this in a road tire. As stated previously, I believe the manufacturers advise against using it in street tires.

Primo Rudy's Roadhouse
17 days ago

I have used the stuff on OLD tractor tires in use around mesquite thorns. Spending the money on new tires was worth it. A lot fewer issues (leaks) with the new tires. I have also had some friends use a sealant product in their motorcycle tires, after a leak was found. They ended up with the goo all over themselves and their motorcycle.

Mark O.
17 days ago

Took me 3 hours to clean a load of “slime” off the rim of a Goldwing I bought. What an absolute mess!

Thom
17 days ago

That stuff is murder on wheels. Makes them rust. Surprised those folks didn’t have to replace the wheels.
Also seen valve stems get plugged up.

Michael Roach
17 days ago

I’m retired now, but when I worked as a technician I can tell you that cleaning up the mess this goo makes inside your wheel is a real pain. Therefore I would never use such a product on my own vehicles. IMHO there are better ways to fix a flat.

Last edited 17 days ago by Michael Roach
Bob
17 days ago

Every bicycle shop in Phoenix sells a Flat proofing mod that includes the green goo. I thought this might be a good idea for my motorhome, but when I looked into it, the green goo has a disclaimer that says it is not intended for motor vehicles. That’s all I needed to change my mind.

gerald buscemi
17 days ago

stuff will work when tire is warmed up and the sealant “flows” equally around inside. If trying to balance tire cold, sealant is “piled” up in one area and makes the tire unable to be balanced. Somebody did not follow directions.