You may have been driving on old tires for a while now and it seems only safe to replace such tires and also to stop adding air pressure all the time.
But wait, even with new tires, it seems you still lose air pressure. When this happens, you might get so frustrated knowing that you have spent money buying a new tire, but it still does not work.
What could be the reason for losing air pressure? Can it be fixed? These are the questions you would ask yourself. Not to worry as we will help you further in this guide.
Importance of Tire Pressure
Tire pressure is an important part of driving a car. If the tire pressure is not at the right level, you might find yourself having trouble controlling the car, the ride quality, and other aspects of driving a car.
Even when inflating the tire, it has to be done correctly. It is key to have the tire at the right tire pressure as recommended by the manufacturer of the car.
Too low or too high tire pressure can easily lead to premature wear you do not want.
The tire pressure would also affect the functionality of the suspension system and the brakes too. So, keeping the air pressure at the recommended level should improve the safety and performance of the car.
Causes of Tires Losing Air Pressure
It is possible that a tire might lose an average of 1 to 3 PSI each month. When you lose more than 10 PSI each week or month, there is a problem with your tire. You should have it checked.
Below we look at the possible causes why your new tire is losing a lot of pressure.
Loose or bad bead seal
The beads are key in ensuring there is a proper seal between the tire and the wheel. This type of leak can easily leave you stranded if it is not addressed fast. It is possible to lose a lot of air in a short time.
Corrosion is the biggest reason why the seal might break. The wheel can start to bubble and end up corroding. So, even if you are using a new tire, you find it hard to have a proper seal.
Another reason for leaks around the beads is that the person who mounted the new tire used the incorrect procedure.
It is possible that sometimes the technician has no idea what he is doing. This can lead to the wrong installation thus you end up with leaks later on.
A leaky valve stem
Whenever you are changing a tire, chances are you will not change the valve stem. So, you might think the problem is with the tire but actually, it is the valve stem.
It is advisable to always change your valve stem each time you change to a new tire. Or, whenever you notice the valve stem is cracked, have it changed as soon as possible.
This is because it will continue leaking air even with a new tire.
Valve stems are cheap, so it should not cost you a lot to have them changed leaving you with peace of mind.
Damaged or bent wheels
Potholes are the biggest reasons you might have bent wheels. Other than bending, the potholes can crack the wheels depending on the wheel quality and how severely you hit the pothole.
The wheel will no longer have the right contact with the tire if it is bent. This is another scenario where the tire beads do not seal properly. The result is that now you have a tire that keeps losing air pressure.
If it seems hard to know whether the wheel is bent or cracked, consider taking the car to the technicians for further diagnosis to ascertain whether it is good or not.
Sneaky punctures or defective tire
99% of the time the new tire loses air pressure because of a bent wheel, bad seal with the tire beads, or bad valve stem.
We cannot rule out the possibility of having sneaky punctures on the new tires. It might be that you recently stepped on a nail and now you experience slow leak punctures.
Also, you could have bought a faulty or defective tire. Luckily, most companies have a warranty covering their tires. So, you might just get the help you need to fix the leakage issues.
How to Find and Fix the Tire Leaks
Now that you know what can lead to tire leaks, it is good to know how best to identify and fixed too.
The most common method would be to spray soapy water onto the affected wheel. Create a mixture of 20% dish soap and 80% water and put it in a spray bottle. Go ahead and spray this mixture onto the affected tire.
Mostly spray around the rim and wait. Spray on both sides as the leakage might be on the inner side. Do not forget the valve core and valve stem too.
Look for signs of bubbles around the rim and valve stem. Mark the spots with bubbles as they would be the reason the tire is losing pressure.
In case you identify there are leaks on your new tire, you should proceed to start repairing the correct way. Here is what to do.
Replace the leaky valve stem or core
The valve stem is an important part of the tire system. It will not need frequent replacement, but when it does, just have it replaced.
Valve stems are cheap and still easy to replace. However, you might still need a valve core removal tool. If you have the tool, it should not take long before you have it fixed.
Here is a video to guide you further on the removal and replacement of a leaky valve stem
Have the beads reset properly
We had indicated that if the beads are not seated properly, then there will be no seal. That is why we recommend having the tire removed and the beads reset correctly.
First, there is the need to inspect the wheel to understand why the beads are not working in the first place. If there is a problem such as a bent wheel, then address it first before reinstalling the wheel.
Sometimes the wheel could be corroded to a point the beads won’t work anymore. In this case, it would be best to just have the wheel replaced and install the tire correctly.
Fixing a bent or warped wheel
A damaged wheel is not something you will fix in your home garage. Sometimes you just need professionals to do it.
Also, some materials such as aluminum do not respond so well to too much force. So, consider taking it to a professional for repair.
Still, it might be advisable just to replace the whole wheel if the damage is extensive. This saves you additional costs you may have to incur later.
Here is how you would fix a bent wheel
Cost of Repairing Air Pressure Leaks
Knowing the things you have to replace is great, but how much do you have to pay to get them fixed? We always recommend that you have a professional do the repairs rather than doing them yourself.
When you want to do a valve stem replacement, simply do it without hesitating. The valve stems cost around $4 with the labor for replacing to be around $20. This is for cars with no tire pressure sensors.
In case the car has TPMS, the labor might be around $100 as it is more involved to get the job done.
For a bead leak cost repair, you can pay around $15 to $30. Depending on where you bought the tires, you should get a bead leak repair free of charge since it would have been done recently.
What about those who have to straighten their wheels? Expect this repair to be the most expensive. It can carry a cost of $120 for each wheel. In case the wheel needs welding, then the cost can go up to $300.
So, rather than repairing a badly damaged wheel, just consider replacing that wheel to be on the safe side.
Will the temperature affect the tire air pressure?
Yes. An increase in temperature can leave you with increased tire pressure by around 2%. That is why you should always measure your air pressure when the tires are still cold.
How can you locate air leaks?
Listening to the tire is one of the easiest. This is if it is a puncture where you can hear the air coming out of the tire. You can use soapy water sprayed on the tire for the silent and sneaky leaks.
Can you repair a damaged wheel?
It will depend on the extent of the damage. If the wheel is bent, have a professional straighten it for you. Those who end up with cracked wheels are often advised to replace the wheels rather than repair them.