Slow tire leaks can have a variety of causes, but they may creep up on you quickly and compromise your safety on the road. Understanding the causes and diagnosis will help keep you safe. If you believe your tire is losing air, it’s time to call Big Chief Tire to learn how to fix a slow leak in a tire or get patched up at one of our four Jacksonville tire stores. Our tire repair services will keep you rolling.
What Causes a Slow Leak in a Tire?
Most slow leaks in tires are caused by gradual wear and tear on your vehicle from exposure to natural elements. However, there are numerous risks to be aware of to avoid tire damage.
When your tire gets punctured, it doesn’t always go flat instantly. Small punctures often leave objects lodged in the tire grooves, causing a slow leak many people don’t notice. It is crucial to address punctures as soon as they occur to avoid more costly tire damage down the road.
Slow tire leaks can also be caused by damage to the wheel. This damage typically takes place in the area where the tire bed contacts the tire rim. It is often caused by hitting curbs, accelerating over speed bumps, or even driving over potholes. These types of impacts on your tires can deform the wheel’s metal surface due to your tire pulling away from the wheel’s surface.
Valve Stem Damage
Valve stems are a component of your tire that allows it to inflate and deflate. Due to elements like weather or debris, valve stems can become worn out or damaged. This can result in leaks as your tire loses its ability to retain air.
How to Find Slow Leak in Tire
If your tire is losing air, you need to find the cause and take action as soon as possible. That’s the only way to avoid more severe tire damage or higher repair costs. Here are a few of the best ways to find a slow leak in your tire:
Check the TPMS Sensor
The tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) gauges the amount of air in your tires. If your TPMS warning light comes on, it may indicate that one of your tires is deflated. Re-inflate your tires and observe the TPMS sensor for the next week. If the light reappears, you are most likely dealing with a slow leak.
If you can’t read your TPMS sensor, use water and liquid soap to test. Mix the liquid soap with water in a spray bottle and spray the entirety of the tire. While you do this, look for a spot where bubbles from the soapy water begin forming. This is how you know where the puncture is on the tire.
Manual Pressure Readings
Even if your car has a TPMS sensor, it is still important to manually check your tire pressure weekly. If you consistently notice that one of your tires constantly has lower pressure, you are most likely dealing with a slow leak.
How to Fix a Slow Leak in a Tire
Is your tire showing signs of a slow leak? Don’t worry, you can address it quickly by following these simple steps:
Step 1: Inspection
- Identify the source of the leak by visually inspecting the tire.
- Look for punctures, valve stem damage, or holes near the sidewall.
Step 2: Temporary Fixes
- For minor punctures, consider using plugs for a quick and effective temporary solution.
- Opt for patches if dealing with smaller holes; they can provide a reliable fix.
Step 3: Professional Solutions
- Larger punctures might require plug insertion, which is best handled by a professional.
- Valve stem damage may necessitate a valve replacement, expertly done by your local tire shop.
Quickly addressing the issue can prevent further damage, ensuring your vehicle stays safe on the road. If the damage is severe, tire replacement might be the best solution. Always consult with tire professionals for a thorough assessment.
Make an Appointment at Big Chief Tire Shop in Jacksonville, FL
At Big Chief Tire, our mechanics will provide the perfect tire type and size match for your car so you can drive safely and issue-free on the road. Make an appointment today at one of our four locations to experience a tire shop in Jacksonville, FL, that you can trust.