Why Does One of My Tires Always Lose Air?
The most obvious cause of tires going flat is the tire has suffered some sort of puncture from a nail, a piece of glass or some other sharp object which causes it to lose air. If the object is embedded tightly in the tire’s tread, it might not lose air immediately. The air might seep out slowly over a period of a few days. These types of flat tires are usually easy to diagnose, and almost any tire shop can repair this type of puncture.
However, just because you’ve found the obvious leak (a nail, piece of glass, etc.), it doesn’t mean you’ve found the only leak. If you drove through a construction site and one of your tires picked up a nail, it is plausible that you might have picked up more than one. Be sure the tire technician checks for more than one leak, and make sure he submerges the tire in a tub of water to check for other air leaks.
Let’s say there are no punctures in your tire and you still encounter one particular tire that will always lose air. Maybe you have to air it up every few days or every two weeks or so. This is an obvious statement but one that needs to be said. Something, either the tire or the wheel, is leaking.
The wheel can leak?
Yes, the wheel its self can leak air. For those of you who might not know the difference between a tire and a wheel, the tire is the black rubber thing, and the wheel is the steel or aluminum thing that tire is mounted on.
Wheels sometime suffer hair-line cracks or other abnormalities such as a tiny pin-hole that will cause the tire to lose air and go flat. If this is the case, your wheel may can be repaired depending on where the leak is. Sometimes these leaks are so small and take so long to let air escape that it might take weeks for you to notice your tire needs air.
Another cause for tires to repeatedly go flat is you might have a leak between where the tire and wheel meet. This is referred to as “a bead leak”, or where the bead of the tire connects to the edge of the wheel. For some reason, the tire is not making complete contact with the bead allowing air to seep out.
How can these types of leaks be repaired? If your tire is suffering from a bead leak (see above paragraph), usually cleaning the edge of the wheel with a steel brush to remove any rough edges or other debris causing the tire not to seal properly will fix the problem. Once the area is deemed clean, applying an adhesive to the rim so the bead of the tire will stick to the rim is another option. These steps need to be taken by a trained tire technician.
If the wheel itself if leaking, appropriate steps must be taken to insure the wheel is still safe for you to have on your vehicle. A wheel with a tiny pinhole leak might be OK to drive on once it’s repaired. A wheel with a crack in it needs to be immediately repaired or replaced. If the wheel is deemed safe and it still leaks, the final option is to install an inner tube inside your tire.
What to do:
First and foremost, if you have that one tire that just won’t hold air for any period of time, let a professional tire technician like the ones at Postle’s Tire Barn inspect and repair the tire or wheel so it is safe again.
Postle’s Tire Barn has been serving the Tuscaloosa and West Alabama area for more than 35 years. We are home owned and home operated. For more information, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 205-391-0062.