A leaking tire is one of the more common problems you may face when owning a vehicle. A tire leak can occur for a number of reasons, and when it happens, it presents a risk to your safety. This is why it’s important to be able to identify when your tire is leaking air and know what to do when you find a leak. Below, we’ll highlight a few key ways to identify a tire air leak and what you can do about it.
How Can I Tell My Tires Are Leaking?
There are a few signs to look for that will tell you that your tire is leaking air. Read on to learn three ways to check.
Take a Look
The first thing to do is to visually examine your tire. Look closely at the whole tire for any holes or cuts on the surface. Also, look for any objects that protrude from the tire, such as a nail. If you see any of these signs, this is likely where the tire leak is coming from.
When examining your tire, you may notice that it looks flat. If the tire is flat on the bottom, especially compared to your other tires, it’s likely that you have a leak. Even if you don’t know where the leak is, noticing that the tire is flat will indicate there’s an issue.
Another method you can try involves using soap and water. Mix up some sudsy water and put it into an empty spray bottle. Spray the solution over the whole tire, then closely examine it, watching for air bubbles. If you see any froth forming, this is the location of your air leak.
If you’re unable to visually find the leak in your tire, you can try using one of your other senses. Place your ear close to the tire and listen for a hissing sound. This sound is a clear sign that air is leaking from your tire. Try moving your ear around to different spots on the tire, listening for when the hissing sound grows louder. Once you’ve zeroed in on where the leak sound is coming from, you can then switch back to visually examining the tire, trying to spot the specific location of the leak.
Check Out What Your Car Says
If you drive a newer model vehicle, it may have sensors that alert you when there’s an issue with a tire. Start your vehicle and look for any illuminated indicator lights on your dashboard. If you see any, look up the meaning of that light in your owner’s manual. You may find that the indicator light is warning you that your tire has low air pressure.
In some vehicles, you may even be able to see the current air pressure in each of your tires on your dashboard. Try exploring different menus in your driver’s dashboard to see if there’s any information related to your tires. If you have this menu available, you may be able to quickly see which tire has lower air pressure and identify the leak.
What Causes a Tire Leak?
There are a few things that can cause a tire to leak. One of them is simple wear and tear. As you drive your car, the tires slowly wear down over time due to friction against the road. If a tire wears down too much, it may develop a small leak. You may also experience a leak if you hit a curb or go through a pot hole, as this can cause the tire to separate from the metal wheel.
A common location for tire leaks is around the valve stem, which is the nozzle you use to inflate your tires. If you lose the valve stem cap, or if there’s damage to the valve stems from weather elements, you may get a tire leak. Finally, a puncture can cause a leak in your tire. Driving over something sharp, such as broken glass or a nail, can pierce your tire and result in an air leak.
What To Do if Your Tires Are Leaking
If you suspect there’s a leak in one or more of your tires, you’ll need to replace the leaking tire. A tire leak won’t repair itself and poses a safety risk every time you drive on it. You’ll want to take your vehicle to a trusted service station in your area where they can identify the correct tire you need and install it for you.
When you can’t immediately get to a service station, there are a couple temporary measures you can take. If your vehicle came with a tire patching kit, you can use this to seal up the leak in your tire before re-inflating it.
Your other option is to remove the tire and install your vehicle’s spare tire. This is the better option if you have a big leak. However, you won’t want to drive on your spare tire for too long, as you don’t want to get another flat tire and not have a spare on you. Again, these are temporary measures that you should only use until you’re able to get a new tire installed.
Visit the Service Center at Huffines Chevrolet in Plano
If you’re in the Plano area and suspect that your tire may be leaking air, Huffines Chevrolet is here to help. Our service center can examine your tires for you and determine if there’s an air leak. Once we’ve confirmed there’s a leak, we’ll find the right replacement tire from our Parts Center and install it for you. Here at Huffines Chevrolet, we aim to make sure that each of our customers leaves our service center with a safe vehicle in a short amount of time. To learn more about the services we provide Plano residents, please contact us today.