Slow Tire Air Leaks - Cause and Prevention

Slow Tire Air Leaks – Cause and Prevention

Slow tire leaks can be frustrating for drivers and difficult for technicians to diagnose.

Slow tire leaks can be frustrating for drivers and difficult for technicians to diagnose. In this episode, Izzy from TECH Tire Repairs unpacks some of the most common causes behind slow leaks, including punctures, wheel damage, worn valve stems and poorly seated beads.

Transcript from the episode below:

Doug: Slow tire leaks can be one of the most difficult issues to diagnose for your customers. Any number of things can cause a slow leak… 

Joining me today is Izzy from TECH Tire & Wheel to explain some of the more common causes of slow tire leaks and what you can do to diagnose and prevent them. 

Izzy, thank you for joining us.  

Izzy: Thank you for having me.  

Doug: Slow leaks aren’t just a nuisance, they can actually be an indicator of a bigger problem, right Izzy? 

Izzy: That’s right, Doug. Leaks can be caused by a puncture, wheel damage or worn-out valve stems. Left untreated, a slow leak can lead to low tire pressure. And, prolonged running on an underinflated tire can cause more significant damage or even cause a dangerous blowout.  

Let’s look at each of these issues in a little more detail.  

We’ll begin with punctures. A common misconception is that a puncture will immediately cause the tire to go flat. However, in many cases, the object that caused the puncture remains lodged in the tire and prevents air from leaking out quickly – resulting in a slow leak.  

Start with a visual inspection to look for any objects that may have punctured the tire. As we all know, this can sometimes prove easier said than done. The object can often be down in the tread or so small it can be difficult to detect with the naked eye.  

If visual inspection fails, try a leak detector fluid. Simply mix the solution and spray the tire. Where you see bubbles form may help you find the source of the leak. 

Another common cause of slow leaks is leaks around the bead area. Wheel damage, pitting and corrosion or simply a poorly seated bead can be the source of your leak. 

To prevent bead leaks, we always recommend using a high quality bead sealer when installing any tire. Bead sealers help fill any tiny voids between the rim and the tire bead to prevent any air loss. 

The last common cause for leaks that we’ll talk about today is a damaged or worn-out valve stem. You can use the same leak detector fluid to find valve stem leaks. Simply spray the area. Look for leaks from not only the tip of the stem, but the base of the stem as well. If a leak is detected, you can either rebuild or replace the valve stem.  

Doug: Thank you, Izzy. For more tire repair tips and techniques, please visit techtirerepairs.com. 

We appreciate you watching… see you next time.  

This video is sponsored by Tech Tire Repairs.

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