A tire can lose air without any visible punctures. It’s frustrating, but it happens and it can be somewhat typical for some people. It can stem from various things. Tires age, like anything else, and certain design elements start to fail. With that, out goes the air.
If you have to refill weekly, this could prove to be a much larger issue than if you just have to take care of it every few months. Regardless, you always want to know what’s going on with your vehicle and ensure the tires are in good condition.
Here are a few reasons why your tire keeps losing air:
1. Don’t Ignore a Tire Air Leak
A tire can lose air slowly at a rate of 1-3 psi monthly simply due to osmosis. That’s normal. If it’s leaking more than that, something’s wrong. You don’t want to ignore a tire leak. The likelihood of crashing triples when a tire is deflated by 20-25% under the recommended pressure.
2. Mounting Trouble
Mounting trouble is a common reason why a tire keeps losing air. If you just bought new tires and are losing air, it might not necessarily be a design flaw. Mounting problems are far more common with new tires leaking air. If there was a mistake mounting a tire, you would have to have the wheels examined and repaired as the leak will only persist.
3. Hole in the Tread
Your tread may have been punctured by something tiny like a nail or a sharp object that shouldn’t have been on the road.
4. Hole in the Sidewall
Another place where a hole can occur is in the sidewall. If you encounter something overly sharp on the road and it hits your wheel just right, the resulting puncture is going to leak air and sometimes rather quickly.
5. Pinhole Punctures
You are not necessarily going to be able to see the leak or even diagnose it on your own with traditional methods, such as submerging the tire in water. Pinhole punctures are very, very small and they don’t widen enough to let the air out on their own.
When you drive, the tire expands and from that the size of the pinhole. This is how what looks like a perfectly fine tire can still leak air. It’s being pushed out by force with every roll of the tire.
6. A Poor Seal
Where your tire attaches to the wheel is with a seal. If that breaks loose or isn’t properly put in, that’s where you encounter air escaping. There are a few ways to fix a bad tire seal. It is a repair you want to have made soon.
It’s not safe to drive with a slow leak like this, especially at the seal. The likelihood of a blowout is higher, putting yourself and passengers in the car at extreme risk.
7. Faulty Valve Stems
The valve stem is the rubber tube with a metal valve used to inflate the tire with air. A cracking valve stem can cause a tire to lose air quickly. If this is happening to you, it’s a bad sign. Should you hit the highway, you can easily blow a tire and lose control of the vehicle.
A constant, slow leak can come from a faulty valve quite easily, unfortunately, due to age and chemical exposure such as road salt.
8. Exposure to Chemicals
Any sort of chemical exposure can cause wheels to corrode. This includes road salt. It doesn’t happen quickly; however, you may inevitably be able to spot where damage has occurred. In a case like this, the best thing to do is to replace the tires. This sort of wear happens with age and cannot be repaired. Leaving it alone will only add more stress on the tire and possibly conclude with a blowout.
9. Damage from Other Road Hazards
Think of all the stuff you drive over that could impact your tire, i.e. sharp rocks, nails, hitting the curb accidentally, train tracks, and potholes of all shapes and sizes. Every impact could flex the sidewalls and make a tire suddenly lose air.
For most of these incidents, you may not even recognize there’s any damage to the tire wheel. Sometimes though, you find bulges, cuts, or punctures. Internally or externally, these are sure to cause a leak.
10. You Have Old Tires
On a car, an old anything is going to give you trouble. It’s not uncommon for old tires to have multiple leaks. For a minor leak, sure, it’s something that might be fixable. Once you have multiple leaks, it’s a sign that you just need a new set of tires.
If you’re not convinced, a tire inspection can give you an accurate view of what you’re dealing with in terms of why your tire keeps losing air and if it’s repairable or not. Fortunately, there are many affordable tires and available in all styles, sizes, and brands.