Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Leaky tires

I have a 2003 Acura MDX with four leaky tires. Approximately every 3-4 weeks I need to add 10 psi air. Any suggestions?

*Are Those The Original Tires?

Four tires leaking simultaneously is phenomenal.

I would have the tires removed from the rims and the rims inspected for corrosion.

*See if the tires are dry-rotted.

Replace the valve stems with new ones.

The rims may be the culprit and can possibly cleaned and the tires put back on with bead sealer.

How old are the tires? If they are the factory originals, they are pretty much due for replacement. Also, are these on steel or mag rims? Untreated mag rims can trap moisture, and lead to corrosion under the tire’s sealing bead, leading to leaks. Steel rims are generally powder-coated, and less prone to corrosion for only 5 years old. I’d do as ‘common sense answer’ said, but plan on buying 4 new tires, unless the tires on there are new.

My suggestion is to take the car to a shop that can check and repair the tires. If they are original tires, I would go to a neighborhood tire store. If you bought them separately, I would take them in to where you bought them.

It could be anything. You could have some of the defective valve stems that were imported from China. You could have a bent rim. You could also have a small object in each tire.

If the problem is a defective valve stem in one tire and something else in the other tires, go ahead and replace all four valve stems.

This is why I always buy the road hazard coverage when I buy new tires. In my experience, it is always worth it. These days, they don’t just plug a leak in a tire, which used to cost less than $10. They plug and patch the tire. Then they must rebalance the tire. The whole repair can cost as much as $30-$40 per tire, where the road hazard coverage is usually about $10-$15 per tire.

Whitey is correct on all counts.

It’s likely, if the car is relatively new, that the tires or the rims or the value stems are defective. With all four leaking, it’s likely to be a bad set of something. Check for recalls through the dealer.

A long shot could be that you drove through a patch of nails or glass or something. But all four tires? Not likely.

He is also correct about the “road hazard warranty” available when you get new tires. It is ALWAYS a good deal, especially if you live where the roads are rotten - and who doesn’t?

If the problem is a defective valve stem in one tire and something else in the other tires, go ahead and replace all four valve stems.

Just a couple months ago there was a MASSIVE recall of valve stems…In the neighborhood of tens of millions.

As for adding 10 lbs. If you know they are leaking…I sure wouldn’t let them drop 10lbs before checking. Driving 10lbs under is a sure way to destroy your tires.

“This is why I always buy the road hazard coverage when I buy new tires.”

That is one of the many reasons why I buy my tires from Costco. In addition to lifetime rotation and balancing, Costco also includes lifetime road hazard coverage at no extra charge when you buy your tires.

If you want to do some checking yourself, take off a wheel, lay it down flat, spray the bead and valve areas with soapy water, and look for bubbles. If it’s leaking that much, you should see the leak right away.

10psi/month on all four tires probably indicates more than the usual bead leak. I would suspect the valvestems.

A while ago a bad batch (a very large batch, mind you) of valvestems came over from China, who supplies much of the country. Many tire stores have a recall on valvestems. A tire store will usually check the valvestems for free.

Many different tire stores have information on their website. Here is one example:

Tires are two years old. Rims are aluminum. I have a service appointment at the dealer on Thursday. I’ll keep you informed. Thanks everyone.