It’s happened to all of us—you go out to your car in the morning, only to find that one of your tires has lost air overnight for some reason you can’t explain or figure out.
Now you can’t take the kids to school or work, so you decided to change the tires and inflate them. You’re positive you’ve solved the puzzle only to find out that it still keeps losing air.
Well, there is no shame in that. We’ve all walked through that road at one point or another. You’re asking yourself, why do my tires keep losing air?
Good question! In this post, I’ll help you understand.
What Causes a Tire to Lose Air
One common reason tires lose pressure is because of a slow leak. A slow leak could be caused by any number of things, including but not limited to: a hole in the tire, a faulty valve stem, or even old age.
Another cause of low tire pressure that many people don’t think about is simply overinflating the tires.
When this happens, there isn’t enough space for air to escape, and they need to cool down before they regain their proper pressure level.
If you notice your tires are losing pressure regularly, it’s important to get them checked out by a professional.
Why Do Tires Lose Air When Not Used
Tires lose air for various reasons, which we will discuss later in detail. For example, as tires sit, the rubber slowly deteriorates and dries out, causing it to become less elastic and more susceptible to punctures.
Another common reason for tire deflation is when the temperature drops; as the air inside the tire cools, it contracts and causes the tire pressure to drop.
One way to avoid these problems is rotating your tires every 5,000 miles. Doing this will even wear on all four tires and prevent one from wearing faster than the others.
Additionally, make sure that you check your tire pressure at least once a month with an accurate gauge.
Now, come with me as we dive deeper into the nine reasons your tire keeps losing air.
1. Temperature Changes
As the temperature changes, so does the air pressure in your tires. In fact, for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit that the temperature drops, tire pressure decreases by about 1 PSI.
So, if you’re from an area with large temperature swings, you may find that your tires are constantly losing air.
On the flip side, if you live in a climate where temperatures don’t fluctuate much, this is less likely to be a problem. You can also check your car’s manual or call your local dealership to see their recommended tire pressure and go from there.
Calling your local dealer to know your car’s recommended tire pressure is something many of us don’t do, yeah? So try to call those guys there who know a thing or two about your tires more than you do.
3. Valve Stems
One of the most common reasons tires lose air is faulty valve stems. If your valve stems are old or damaged, they may not be sealing properly, which can cause air to leak out.
A quick way to tackle this problem is to replace the valve stem. You should also replace your valve stem if you notice it’s leaking oil or gas, if it’s made of plastic and cracked, or if it has loose parts that make a rattling noise when you drive.
The good news is that new replacement valves come with a lifetime warranty so long as you install them yourself and use only original equipment parts when you do so.
Hey, you don’t have to break a sweat replacing the valve stems yourself. A simple youtube video can guide you on this, or you let your mechanic do this.
But I’m sure it’s something you could handle yourself. Can’t you?
Replacing your valve stems can save you from having to fill up with air multiple times a week.
One of the most frequent reasons why tires lose air is because of punctures. If you have a hole in your tire, air will slowly start to escape until the tire is flat.
Usually, you’ll be able to tell if you have a puncture by looking for a small tire tread hole. Nails can cause holes in your tire as can stones and pieces of metal that might be lying on the road.
To prevent this from happening, inspect your car’s tires before every drive and be careful when driving near construction sites or rural areas where nails may have been left on the ground.
Of course, there are days you can’t be careful enough, and before you say jack, you have a hole in your tire.
Ever been in that position? Then you know what I mean. Punctures can be repaired, but if the hole is too big, you’ll need to replace the tire.
4. Rim Damage
Another reason you keep having a flat tire could be traced to your rims. Yes, I’m talking about the rims of your tires. It’s not rocket science. When your rims are damaged, your tires will keep losing air over time.
Now the question here would be, what can cause the damage to tire rims? Well, some things could lead to a degraded rim, but the common one includes:
- Hitting a pothole or curb
- Driving over a speed bump too fast
- Even just normal wear and tear
So, if you’re not trying to go fast and furious on the road, you can avoid potholes and obviously won’t be driving over a speed bump too fast.
Nevertheless, if your rims get damaged due to just normal wear and tear, it’s important to get them fixed as soon as possible.
5. Misaligned Wheel Mounting
Your tires might be losing air because your wheel mounting is off. This can occur if you hit a pothole, curb or damage your suspension.
When your wheel isn’t mounted correctly, it puts extra stress on the tire, which can cause it to leak air.
You might not notice this immediately, but it can cause serious problems over time. That’s why it’s important to have your wheels checked regularly.
They’ll need to be reset or replaced if they’re out of alignment. If you think your wheel mounting is off, take your car to a mechanic and have them check it out.
6. Ripped Tire
If you notice air loss over time, the first thing you should do is check for any damage to the tire. If there is a hole or puncture, you’ll need to get it repaired or replaced as soon as possible. Even a small hole can cause big problems down the road.
Not only will you lose air from that particular spot on the tire, but eventually, other areas will start leaking too because of uneven pressure.
If not addressed immediately, this could lead to a blowout, and replacement may be necessary before too long. But, yeah, you don’t want a blowout. So, what’s the step to prevent this from happening?
The keyword is “monitor.” You have to monitor your tires’ pressure regularly and have them checked by an expert at least every few months.
7. Over-inflated tires
As strange as it may sound, another reason why tires lose air is that they’re over-inflated. When your tires are over-inflated, they have less contact with the ground, which causes them to heat up and wear down faster.
Additionally, over-inflated tires are more likely to get punctured or experience a blowout. Over-inflated tires also use more gas due to the increased rolling resistance caused by their stiffer construction.
On average, tires should be inflated between 20 psi (pounds per square inch) and 35 psi. So if you frequently have to add air to your tires, it’s best to check your tire pressure and adjust accordingly.
8. Worn-out Suspension Components
Tires are made up of components. The tire starts losing air when these essential suspension components get worn out, perhaps due to prolonged usage or lack of maintenance.
When your shocks or struts start to wear out, they can’t do their job properly, which causes your tires to lose air.
Not only will this make your ride less comfortable, but it can also lead to premature tire wear. Because of this, I’d always recommend you check your suspension as soon as you notice that your tires are losing air.
You might need new shock absorbers or struts if the problem continues. Also, hearing loud noises when you go over bumps in the road could signal that something is wrong with your suspension.
9. Bead Leak
If your tires are losing air, it could be due to a bead leak. The bead is located at the edge of the tire that sits on the wheel and seals the air inside. A bead leak can happen if the tire is damaged or the seal between the tire and wheel is not tight.
Sometimes water will seep into the area where there’s no seal and get trapped in this space. Over time, this water will freeze when the temperature drops in winter and expand, causing a bead leak.
Another cause of a bead leak is puncturing the sidewall with something sharp such as a nail. Now, what’s the best way to go about such leaks? It’s quite simple.
Find a place to park and turn off the engine. Next, lift one side of the car and remove one of the four lug nuts at each wheel.
Use a lug wrench to remove each lug nut from its corresponding stud on the other side of the car (or use an electric impact wrench). Finally, lay down tarps under your work area, so you don’t get oil, dirt, or grease stains on anything else.
Remove the flat tire from the rim by pulling it straight out. Check for any cuts or nails poking through your tire, then pull them out with pliers.
Take care not to poke holes in your new spare by doing this! Once all items have been removed, remove the old tube and replace it with a new one – making sure that both ends of the tube align properly before securing them tightly together.
How To Fix Tires When They Lose Air
It can be frustrating when your tires keep losing air. Here are 9 reasons why this might be happening:
Fix 1: You have a hole in your tire. It is the most common reason for tires losing air. If you have a hole, you’ll need to get it patched up as soon as possible.
Fix 2: You have a leaky valve stem. A leaking valve stem is another common reason for air loss. Fixing this is simple – tighten or replace the cap on the valve stem with an Allen wrench or screwdriver.
Fix 3: Your tire has a crack that allows air to escape. Cracks are caused by old age and over-inflation, but they can also happen if you hit something sharp while driving on your rim (which will cause more damage). When your tire has a crack, find someone who specializes in repairing auto rims and tires. They’ll either patch the hole or replace your entire tire.
Fix 4: Your tire isn’t inflated enough. Ensure you’re inflating your tires according to their recommended pressure levels before driving again, which will help make them last longer and reduce fuel consumption.
Fix 5: The wrong size is installed on your car’s wheel hub. Ensure all four tires match the size specified on the side of the car door panel, so they fit securely without leaks!
One of the most frustrating scenarios while driving is having a tire go flat. If you’re lucky, it’ll happen when you’re parked and not in the middle of traffic. But even then, it’s still a pain to deal with.
But, with the reasons and solutions we’ve pointed out here, hopefully, now you know what to do! And if you find yourself stuck on the side of the road because your tire went flat, there are worse places to be stranded.
If you’ve tried all the fixes and your tire is still losing air, it might be time to change them. Why not read some of our tire reviews to find the best match? Happy tire buying!