Sometimes a tire goes flat over the course of days, weeks, or even months. A leak like this never has an obvious cause - so why is your tire losing air? From Autoworks in Ithaca, NY, here’s some info on leaky tires.
Punctures - The most obvious reason a tire would leak air is that something has put a hole in it. A small nail or screw may have lodged itself into the tire, and the air is now leaking slowly past it. Sometimes objects stuck in a tire can be harder to find than you might think - they often blend in or become lodged between treads where they’re difficult to see. Most of the time, a puncture can be repaired and patched, and you will be on your way in minutes.
Dry Rot - Dry rot occurs when a tire gets too old, especially if it’s exposed to the elements. When the rubber starts to deteriorate, small cracks appear that will let air escape slowly out of the tire, eventually resulting in a flat. Dry rot isn’t something you can fix - the tire needs to be replaced. If it’s gotten to the point where the air is leaking out, it’s probably about to fail altogether anyway.
Valve Stem - The valve stem is the valve you use to air up a tire. If the valve stem becomes damaged, dry rots, or contaminated with debris, it will leak. Fortunately, they are only a few dollars and don’t take long to replace.
Rim/Tire Damage - The “bead”, or the place where the tire meets the rim, is another place air can escape. If a rim is rusty, damaged, or corroded where the tire contacts it, or the tire itself is damaged, air will escape slowly past the bead and eventually you’ll have a flat. More often than not, the rim can be cleaned up enough to allow the tire to seat properly, which will fix the issue. If you want to find a leak for yourself, use a spray bottle of dish soap and water to soak the tire down. A little bubble will appear where air is escaping, and you’ll have your answer.
With the right tools and equipment, most small leaks can be fixed in a matter of minutes, and you’ll be safely back on the road in no time. No matter your repair or maintenance needs, we’ve got you covered. For the best truck and auto service shop in Ithaca, NY, call or stop by Autoworks today.
Thank you for visiting Autoworks in Ithaca, NY. Count on our automotive repair technicians to keep your car, truck, suv, or van on the roads longer and safer.