Car tire losing pressure after tire rotation? Very confused

Hello all!

I have been having this problem for a while now. Everytime I have tire rotation done, the tire on the back/driver side always seem to lose air pressure slowly over a few days. Usually within a week I lose about 5 to 8 psi. The air leak issue gets fixed if I have the tires re-rotated (during oil change)

This has happened on my 3 different cars now, so I dont think this is a coincidence. Initially I thought maybe my tire or valve got bad, then when it got fixed automatically after the rotation again, I was surprised. But then when the same thing happened on 3 different cars that I have owned over the last 10-15 years, I am really confused.

What am I missing here?

Any help would be appreciated.


Maybe you have bad valve stems or the bead isn’t sealing properly against the rim(s)

Or you might actually have a small nail in the tread

For what it’s worth, I think the simple act of rotating the tires isn’t actually fixing the problem

When the shop rotates the tires, they’re also checking and correcting the air pressures . . . and therefore the tire that was low on air pressure now has the correct air pressure, because the mechanic inflated it to the correct air pressure

Thanks I appreciate your response.

You could be right, but the thing is when the tires is first rotated it keeps on losing air pressure continiously over time, i have to refill air every week.

But then when I have it re-rotated back to original location, the leaking stops, as if the problem was never there.

And mind you, I have seen the same issue on 3 different cars I have owned.

Are you hitting something or parking on a curb with that tire? Being location specific suggests something outside the car is causing the pressure loss

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If you’re losing that much air, you should be able to find the leak easily by spraying soapy water all over the tire (including the bead and valve stem area) and watching for bubbles. Once you know what’s leaking, then you can see if there’s any connection to the rotation (which seems unlikely), but that’s really secondary here.


when your tire is low how much air are you putting in? are you adding extra? If you have a slight leak adding extra air might seal it. when you go to have your tires rotated, they may be letting the air out to the correct pressure causing it to leak again. as far as three cars doing it, maybe you have a nail or slow leak in all of them. I would suggest you take lion9car’s advise and try the soapy water to see where the leak is coming from.

Some nails are embedded so deep . . . or under a pebble which has been pushed into the tread . . . that they are very difficult to see

And some nails can’t even be seen until the tire has been removed from the rim and you’re inspecting it from the inside

Just a word to the wise, whenever tires are rotated, the tire pressure should be checked and adjusted as needed, then the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) should be reset (if so equipped). And then a periodic rechecking of the tire pressure even if you have a TPMS. Catch any issues before you are on a trip or on the highway, stuck in traffic…

Had a friend call me that her TPMS light came on and she was stuck in traffic on the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel and her commute is usually an hour long. I asked her if she was moving or stopped at that time and she said stopped. I told her to get out and quickly photograph all four tires looking directly at them from the side (so I could see the entire profile. I know it was safe to do this, as I’ve often been stuck like she was and beach goers often get out their lawn chairs and set them up on the bridge while stuck in the traffic.

The four tires all looked the same and I told her it seemed to be OK for her to continue on, but to exit at the first exit and drive over on the city streets. When she arrived, I checked her tire pressures and yeah, it was low, low in all four tires and it probably was just happenstance that it went off when it did. I filled her tires to the proper pressure and reset the TPMS and had her monitor it. I also had her stop by the next couple of days and the tire pressure did not drop. She did not remember ever putting air in her tires… I bought her a tire pressure gauge and taught her to use it…

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Often a persons perception or analysis is faulty. This is simple science. Either a kid is playing games in the neighborhood or there is a leak. Tire shops say debris is kicked up by the fronts and thrown into the rear tire. Usually passenger side. Sources of small leaks are the sealing of the bead, valve stem, tire itself, or wheel. Soapy solution usually finds the issue. I once found a very small leak by dumping the whole tire into a tank of water and every 10-20 seconds a small bubble came from the valve core. I don’t believe in magic. Dunk the tire and watch for kids and report back.


Someone must live too close to Area 51 . :wink:

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Hi Ishu:
As others have noted, have the tire taken of and put into a tub of slightly soapy water. That should help you better identify where the leak is.

Has the same shop been doing the work on these three vehicles?

Tire only leaks when on drivers side rear - 3 different vehicles so 3 different sets of tires - ???

Holiday prank post ?


Although this is probably coincidence, I had similar experience. Seemed that the right front tire had a slow leak even after rotation. I believe the problem was corroded rims. All I know is that it took me a long time to sort it out. I ended up thoroughly checking all tires and repaired or replaced.
Also many times the tire dealers tire man may not take the adequate amount of time to find a slow leak. They dunk the tire for a few seconds and if they don’t see immediate bubbles they pass it. I make a habit to check for leaks myself before taking it in. I remove the wheel and take a sprayer with soapy water. Spray the tire valve, the rim where the tire meets and all over all the rubber. Look for moving sud bubbles. Then leave for ten minutes or so and come back and recheck for moving bubbles. On more than a couple of occasions I didn’t see any bubbles until after the 10 minute wait.
The last time I brought a tire in for repairs, I used this method and found a nail and a small leak around it. I usually mark it, but this time I just memorized the location. The service writer told me they dipped it and there was no leakage, must’ve been a fluke with the valve stem. So I walked him to my tire and pointed to the nail. He profusely apologized and fixed the tire. I was happy to know that the tech probably learned a lesson by that mistake and probably won’t happen again.

One more thing, this is a fairly new car - 2020 nissan altima with 40k milage with new tires. Bought it last March, had no problem with air leak until tire rotated in september.

Sorry but it is not possible that the rotation has anything to do with loss of air. And if it is a very slight leak, a tire shop will likely not find it unless they are very patient. It’s a case where you need to find the leak so you can tell them what to fix. But rotation has nothing to do with it.


Perhaps they patched your leaking tires when they performed the rotation, it is easy to spot screws and nails during inspection.

That is a long time to drive on a leaking tire, you should have had the tire checked 9 months ago.

I’m seriously beginning to think either troll, or check up from the neck up time. I mean really, the same mysterious problem with 3 separate cars and 3 separate shops. Does anyone really take this seriously? And then the OP marks the original problem as the “solution”


I’m seriously beginning to think either troll, or check up from the neck up time
I do believe you are right.

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As Tom and Ray would have said “Doesn’t anyone screen these posts.”