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Why do my tires keep losing air and how to prevent it

Getting a deflated car tire every now and then can be a real hassle to everyone, and it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s important to keep your tires checked and well-maintained to avoid any compromise on your driving as well as to keep your safety in check.

A tire normally loses air at the average rate of 1-3 psi (per square inch) a month due to osmosis. However, stronger leaks may be a result of damage in the following circumstances.


Wheel Issues

There are two main wheel problems which make it lose air slowly.

  • Poor valve stem

    • Exposure to lots of chemicals on the road results in deterioration and leakage of valve stems. Over-tightening the valve cores may also be one of the causes of the leak. It should be adjusted accordingly.
  • Bent or damaged wheel

    • The wheel may be partially dented due to corrosion or small incidents. Surface corrosion also contributes to the air loss.

Tire Damage

Several common tire-related reasons contribute to why your tire loses air slowly.

  • Nails

    • These and other sharp metal objects can puncture the tire and cause air to leak at the rate of 2-3 psi a day. A punctured nail on the tire must be extracted as soon as possible before the leak gets worse.
  • Bead Damage

    • Any damage in the sealing surface between the rubber and metal can cause loss of air. Small pieces of debris between the rim and the tire can open a small window where the air will come out.


Temperature Change

A tire loses air as temperature drops. Pressure changes according to the temperature because the air inside the tire expands when heated and shrinks when cooled. The amount of air is still the same and if there is no other visible damage to the tire, keep the pressure as it is.


Locating the Air Leak

If you feel like your tire loses air slowly, here are some ways to find the leak.

  • By sound or feel

    • There will be a distinctive hissing sound that intensifies as you get closer to the leak. You may also touch the tire in the place where the sound is coming from and you will feel the hot air coming out.
  • By using soapy water

    • Spray the tire and rim edge with a mixture of detergent and water. Cover the valve stem with the mixture as well and bubbles will appear where the leak is present. However, you may have to wait for about 5 minutes before noticing it.
  • By putting the wheel into the water.

    • Remove the wheel from the vehicle and put it into the water. The leaky part will start to release small bubbles. Do it on all sides of the tire for 5 minutes until you find all the parts with leakage.


Fixing the Issue

If your tire loses air slowly, here are the things you can do.

  • Repair the tire components
  • Repair the valve stem
  • Repair and/or restore the rim


Note that not all damage to the wheel and tire are reparable. Some repairs are only temporary and in some cases, you should have it replaced immediately with a new tire. For personal assistance in purchasing a replacement, you may visit the authorized Bridgestone dealers near you: