We are always in a hurry to get somewhere. With our busy lives keeping us driving all over town, the last thing you need is a flat tire. We don’t usually spend much time worrying about our tires until there is an issue, and by then it’s too late. Either we have to find a gas station with a tire pump quickly or learn to change a flat.
Tire pressure is very important for a number of reasons including safety, where the tire eventually becomes flat while driving. When you notice the tires losing air, it’s safer to either change them right away or get new tires as replacements. The last thing you want is to keep driving with tires that have no air, leading to an emergency tire change on the road.
Keep in mind that your car tires wear irregularly when they are underinflated. This causes the life span of the tires to decrease. Tire pressure can affect the load capacity of your vehicle as well as fuel consumption. When your tires are losing air, it will affect the car’s overall performance and your driving experience.
So, why is your tire losing air? There are a host of reasons why you could be losing tire pressure. Let’s go over some of the most common reasons your tires keep losing air:
1. A hole in the tire’s sidewall or tread
This is the reason we first think of when experiencing an underinflated tire. You may have run over a sharp, rigid object and punctured the tire. A punctured tire can slowly lose air all day. Even if the loss is slow, leaving a nail in a tire can cause bigger problems if not fixed right away. Better to have a patch rather than replace their tire completely.
2. Damaged wheel
A damage wheel often the reason why tires keep losing air. Sometimes you come in contact with curbs and other solid objects that can bend the tire and rim. This could warp the round shape and cause vibration, damaging the tire’s bead and leaking air. Corrosion, where the tire is mounted, can make matters worse when there is an impact on the tire.
3. Corroded wheel bead
Some wheels are more susceptible to corrosion and rust. If the rim and bead are corroded you can develop a slow leak in the tire and it may also change the round shape of the tire. Unfortunately, it will only get worse as time goes on and if the damage is severe, you must get new wheels, not just tires.
For smaller corrosion, a tire professional may be able to remove the corrosion and stop any further damage. Sometimes the bead is improperly set on the rim during a wheel service and will lead to leaking as well.
4. Valve stem
Your valve stem is the place where you fill up your tires and if have a leak, you’ve accessed this valve a few times already. Some of the chemicals on roads, including road salt, can lead to a deterioration of the valve stem and cause it to leak air.
This makes the rubber and plastic become brittle. You will likely notice consistent air loss in all four tires. If this happens you will need to replace them. Missing or stolen stem caps can also contribute to air loss so check periodically to make sure they are on.
5. Changes in temperature
You may not realize it but with every 10-degree dip in the temperature, you can lose around 2% of the air in your tire. The opposite happens when the temp goes up. The air expands and contracts with the temperature and this is completely normal. These pressure changes will even out during the day so don’t panic if in the morning your tires seem under inflated.
6. Hitting potholes & curbs
While you try to drive defensively and with caution, you can’t trust what is around the corner. You may end up with a tight turn that you weren’t prepared for or a rough road with large potholes. As you make contact to this degree it will cause your tire to flex and lose some air. This will be pretty minimal but if you are constantly driving on bad roads or hitting the curb frequently, check the tire pressure. While you are looking at the tire, check for any damage, slashes or bulging as well.
If you think you may have a tire leak you can check the tire yourself by using soapy water. Wash over the sidewalls and tread and look for bubbles. This means that air is escaping and you need to go to the shop right away for a repair or tire replacement.
What to do when your tire keeps losing air
Get your tires fixed! Having a tire that is losing air isn’t fun. You have to take time out of your busy day and go get it repaired. You can go to the gas station every day and fill it up but at some point, you have to deal with it. The last thing you need is to come out to your vehicle and the tire is completely flat. Take the time to get it fixed and then you can go about your life, confident in your ride.