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I have a few small hand-carts. One of them is the two wheel hand-truck/dolly, and one is a larger one on four wheels with an upright handle.

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Both have leaky tires. Some of the tires have a slow leak that I need to pump up every time I need to use the cart, but one tire won't even hold air for 20 minutes.

Is it possible to find the leaks and repair them? Or is it better to replace the wheels?

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3 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Quick and dirty

You could try some Fix-a-Flat. If nothing else, it might show you where the leak is.

Finding the leak

Pump the tires up and apply some soapy water to them, or hold them underwater in a large bucket. This will help you locate the leak(s).

Plugging the hole

  • If the leak is in the tread, you could try a tire repair kit like this enter image description here

  • If the leak is in the sidewall, you'll have to replace the tire.

  • If the leak is near the rim (and the rim is not bent), remounting the tire might fix the problem.

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If you look at the tires the size should be a size on it.It should be 6.00x4.00 or something similar.Then look for a tube that size,you may find a wheelbarrow tube, a snowblower tube or small lawn tractor tube that is the same size.Getting the tire bead to separate to install the tube can be difficult.I have squeezed the tire in a vise,stood on the tire,left it on the hand truck without air in it put a load on the truck and rolled it across the floor until the bead separated.Once the bead is broken insert a ratchet extension in the axle hole.Pivot a screwdriver into the tire and rotate it around the extension to remove the tire.Cut off the orignal valve and install the tube.Work the tire back on the wheel with a couple large srewdrivers.It usually goes on easier than it came off.

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Another option may be to replace the wheels with solid wheels. If I kept getting flats, I'd blame it on the environment. If it's happened multiple times, your fix won't last too long till the next puncture. Harbor Freight has a really good selection of wheels for that.

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I was considering this too... I guess I need to check how the wheels are attached to see if I can swap them out with the tools I have. –  The Other Steven May 2 '12 at 14:23
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