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There’s A Slow Leak In My Tire – What Should I Do?

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Have you noticed that one of your tires is continually losing air? Do you have to constantly fill the same tire up with air? You could have a slow leak in your tire. There are many common issues as to why this could be occurring. Sometimes they are easy to identify such as small cracks in the side walls. You can spot these out just by looking at your tire.

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Other problems could be more difficult to detect. These are often the most difficult to deal with as well. Oftentimes you might need a mechanic’s help to detect the problem and fix the issue as well. Many drivers are unaware of how to detect a slow tire leak and also how to address one when you find it. It is very important to understand the fundamentals of slow tire leaks so you know what to look out for and how to protect your vehicle if there is one. Ignoring this problem could result in other issues in the future, which will cost you more money. 


What Is A Slow Tire Leak?


A slow tire leak is exactly what it sounds like. They can be described as small vulnerabilities in a tire, which causes it to lose air. This process typically happens over a longer period of time. These leaks are gradual so they are not the easiest to detect. These leaks are very different from your normal tire leaks. You might be wondering why they are different? The main reason they differ from one another is because you might not be able to spot these slow leaks unless you are specifically looking for them. 


Tire leaks are much more noticeable because you will walk out to your car and your tire will be completely flat. You will know that something isn’t right and you also won’t be able to drive your car. Another big difference between these two leaks is that slow leaks rarely cause a hissing sound. Additionally, you won’t notice significant changes in your tire pressure. These are so difficult to detect because they could occur anywhere on the tire. 


It is very important to understand that these slow tire leaks could be hazardous because they will eventually decrease your tire pressure. If you don’t have the correct tire pressure when you are driving, this could cause excess heat or a tire to blow out. This would lead to some detrimental issues. If you are driving on the highway at faster speeds, you have a higher risk of blowing out your tire in this situation. It is incredibly important to get this issue resolved as soon as you recognize it. You will only further damage your tire if you don’t. 


What Causes Slow Tire Leaks To Occur


There are many different reasons that could contribute to your tire leaking. Sometimes this issue could be coming from wheel problems. One main wheel problem could be poor valve stem. The valve stems can deteriorate over time. This will happen from common wear and tear. When this occurs, air will leak out because of the exposure to chemicals on the road. The majority of times these valves are replaced when you get a new set of tires. This is to try and prevent these slow air leaks from happening. Another way these valves could cause a leak is if you over tighten them. It is important to ensure these are tightly secured but not too tight. This will cause a slow leak in your tire if you tighten them too much. 


Another wheel problem that could contribute to your tire slowly losing air is a bent wheel. The wheels are supposed to be perfectly round to match the tires. There should be no spaces between the two. Unfortunately, over time the round shape could change from overuse or hitting a road hazard. This change in shape will eventually cause a slow tire leak. Also if your wheel is bent, this could damage the tire’s bead. This will contribute to a slow tire leak as well. 


If you notice any of these issues, it is important to go see a mechanic so you can get the problem resolved. They will be able to give you the proper diagnosis and then help you fix a leaking tire. It is important to do this as soon as possible so you don’t damage your car any further. 


Tire Damage


There are many different reasons as to why a tire slowly leaks that relates to the tire itself. Tires can get damaged over time. One common issue is bead damage. This is when the sealing between the rubber and metal is damaged. Any type of road debris could get lodged between the rim and the tire. If this happens, you will experience a slow tire leak. Most likely the debris will cut a hole in the tire and it will slowly start to leak. 


Another common cause is a nail in your tire. You never know when you will be driving around and accidentally run over a nail. Nails can puncture your tire. This will definitely contribute to a slow leaking tire. The nail will need to be extracted and your tire will need to be repaired or replaced. It is critical that you do this so you don’t get a flat tire. A mechanic will be able to get the nail out for you and repair the tire. 


The older your tires are, the more susceptible they are to slow tire leaks. As tires experience more wear and tear, the seal could break and the rubber will weaken. This is why it is so important to know how old your current tires are. You should also know the age of the tires you are going to purchase. You don’t want to pay for older tires that won’t last very long and cause slow tire leaks. 


Have you ever been driving along your normal route and you accidentally drove over a large pothole? These situations could damage the sidewalls of the tire. This will make the tire lose air if they accidentally poke a hole in them. It can be difficult to find tire punctures because they could be small. Any type of cut could contribute to a tire slowly leaking. 


It is always a good idea to do routine checks. This will allow you to detect any slow leaking tires sooner rather than later. It will also allow you to avoid expensive repair costs that a leaking tire could lead to. Your local repair shop will be able to assist you in a routine car check-up. If any issues are found, the mechanic will be able to inform you of them and also help you come up with a plan of action. It is always good to get your car checked out so you don’t let smaller issues turn into bigger ones. Staying on top of any small issues will help you avoid expensive repair costs. 


What Are The Signs I Should Look Out For?


If you are trying to detect certain signs of a slow tire leak, you will need to pay close attention to how your tires drive. How they perform is crucial in determining if there are slow leaks in them. Have you noticed you have been getting frequent flat tires? Does this happen after you get your tires replaced? If so, you need to take your tires back to your mechanic. You could have faulty tires. The leak will not stop until you get your tires fixed.


Do you have low tire pressure after your car is parked for a long time? Is this low tire pressure issue only happening in one tire? If you said yes to these questions, you could have a slow leak in your tires. This will only get worse the longer you let it go. If your car is telling you there is low tire pressure, this is a sign that your tire could be leaking air. You should never ignore any lights that pop up on your dashboard. These are there to tell you that there is a problem that you need to investigate. 


How Can I Test For A Slow Leak On My Own?


Do you think your car tire is slowly leaking air? There are a few simple tests that you can perform at home to check if your tire is leaking. The first thing you could do is check for any visual signs. This would include any physical damage to your tire or foreign objects sticking out of it. If you can’t find anything then there might be a deeper issue. 


There is another test you can do besides a visual inspection. To perform this test you will need a large tub of water. You will need to pump up your tire with air. It could be smart to pump up your tire more than normal. If you do this, make sure you stay below the maximum pressure rating. This is located on the sidewall of your tire. You might be wondering why you should pump your tire up more than normal. This is because higher pressure usually will leak faster making it easier to find. 


Once you have your tire pumped up, place it in the tub of water. You might only be able to fit part of your tire in at one time. This is okay. You just have to make sure the bead is covered underwater. Now you will want to watch for any bubbles that occur in the water. If you see any bubbles, this could indicate that there is a leak in your tire. If you are rotating your tire through the water, make sure you are paying close attention as you rotate it. 


The last way you can test for slow leaks around the bead or valve is by using a bubble solution. You can purchase this bubble solution from home improvement stores. This solution is also used for leak detection in gas lines. The way you check for a leaking tire is by spraying the solution on the tire. You will be able to see if this solution detects a leak in your tire.


Remember, if you don’t want to test for a leak on your own you can always take your car to a local repair shop. A mechanic will be able to test your car’s tires to see if any of them are leaking. If they find a small leak, they will be able to repair it for you as well. 


How Can I Repair My Slow Tire Leak?


There are a few different ways you can repair your slow leaking tire. The method will depend on where your leak is located. It will also depend on how much damage you have done to your tire. The leak could be repaired by a simple patch from the mechanic. Not all tire leaks can be repaired though. Some will require a completely new tire. 


If the leak is caused by a bent wheel, it might require the wheel and the tire to be completely replaced. Another scenario that this could happen is from a leak caused by corrosion. If this happens, the valve may need to be replaced and as well as the tire.  




Is your car tire slowly leaking? It is critical that you get it replaced as soon as possible. If you continue to drive on a tire that's slowing leaking air, you could eventually damage the entire tire. If this happens, you will need to replace the whole thing, which could cost you more money in the long run. 


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