Leaky tires

I’ve had the rather unpleasant experience of having about half of my 50 mile commute to work turn into construction in the past year. It’s a PIA but I levae early and deal with it alright, but I have been noticing air pressure loss in all of my tires, more than normal. Fairly new car (2012), new tires and wheels last Fall, loss seems to be 5-10 pounds every 2 weeks in all tires. I check air pressure and fluids and do a general “go-over every 2 weeks”, nothing changed except this construction stuff in my commute. I’m tempted to pump some "NEVER-FLAT in a can into my tires but I heard that this screws up the TPS and air valve. Comments? Rocketman

If you have one of those plastic kids wading pool, remover one of your leaky tires, pump it up to 50 PSI or so and submerge it in the pool… Look closely for the tell-tale bubbles…Carefully inspect the area around the valve stem, examine the tire closely for nails…If you find a problem it will probably be duplicated in the other tires…Do NOT use the stop-leak products…

Don’t put gunky stuff in the tires. That just masks the problem.

Are you losing 5 psi? or 10? or it varies? As we move into fall, colder temps can cause this. Construction alone should have no effect on tire pressure, unless;

Is it possible you have screws or nails in all 4 tires? Take a look yourself or head to a tire store and have them check. That is the only thing Never-Flat is good for, punctures. I don’t think it is prudent to drive around with “sealed” nails and screws in the tires, do you?

You could easily have a nail or screw in…and staying in…the tires.
I have .
One was in there for a year…wore off the head so you could not even see it from the outside ( unless you knew precisely where to look )

If you mix up a spray bottle of soapy water and spray it on the tire, you’ll probably see bubbles wherever you have a leak. Make sure to check not only the tread but also the bead and valve stem areas (where you might have to take the wheel off and lay it down to get the soapy water to stay in place). So far this has always worked for me.

I had a number of slow leaks after my house was re-roofed. Nails.
A few years later, we had an addition being built at the college where I worked. Again, a number of slow leaks. Screws.

Depending on what kind of construction is being done, you may very well have nails or screws. The easiest way to check is on a rack with a soap bottle, so you may want to stop by your local favorite tire store.

We get fasteners in our tires periodically. They loose air slowly, just as your tires do. It’s worth a check to see if that is the problem. It may or may not be related to the construction. I used to work at a place that had facilities near a scrap buyer. The were so many nails and screws in the road, that most people wouldn’t drive past the recycler. We would walk about a half mile to avoid ruining our tires.

“New tires and WHEELS last fall”.


Dunk the tire/wheel in water to see where the air is leaking out of these NEW wheels.


Thanks folks! The new tires and wheels were a tire rack present to myself, I bought a tire and wheel package to make my ride look cool. I had NO ISSUES for a few months, actually my issues started about the same time as the road construction began last Spring, so I guess I had 6 months of issue-free tires. Then the construction, first one tire, then another would be down on pressure. Now all four are losing air , not much . . . but a PIA. I looked until my eyes hurt, checked for nails and screws, nothing. Could be deep in the tread and the head worn away (I’ve had that before), but I can’t see anything. Curious about the tire gunk, is it that bad? Comments? Rocketman

If it was me, the fix-a-flat stuff would be the last, last, last, last resort. My priority would be find the leaks. I seriously doubt fix-a-flat would be good for long-term use.

I would pump the tires to at least the recommended pressure, spray soapy water solution on as much of the tires as I could, and look for bubbles. I’d move the car a little and spray the parts that I couldn’t spray before. I would be very surprised if I couldn’t find bubbles. I would still have my tire guy fix any leaks, but I’d prefer to do the initial checking.

If I didn’t find bubbles, I’d probably go to my tire guy. Tires are too important to mess around with a short-term fix-a-flat fix or doing nothing and hoping nothing bad happens.

Fix-a-flat will in all likelihood damage the tire pressure sensors

Any mechanic worth his salt will tell you that

Thanks folks, I’m going to my mechanic friend with a rack on Saturday and we’ll pull all four and do the soapy water. He said he has a tank just for that. Thanks again! Rocketman

You said you changed the tires and wheels. Did you switch to very low profile tires? They are very prone to damage from pot holes and such.

I missed the “new wheels” Porosity in the castings? There is a gooey sealer that can be painted on the inside of the rims to fix that without wrecking the TPMS sensors OR really ticking off the next guy who installs new tires…

Nope Mustangman . . . American Racing, just a nice set of customs and tires. I’m going to do the soapy water thing this weekend, then go from there. I’ll let you folks know how it goes, thanks again! Rocketman

I concur, the soapy water or dunking method will most likely get to the bottom of this quickly. My guess is it isn’t the tires. The new wheels are leaking due to porosity in the castings. These are not steel wheels presumably, alloy, right? I can’t think of any obvious reason why the road construction would matter, but maybe just the extra dynamic forces on the wheels due to the bumpy road is making it more difficult for the wheel to keep the air inside the casting where it is supposed to be.


Are they chrome rims?


Anybody curious to see what rocketman finds this weekend?

Well now that you throw in the Tire Rack combo package, the possibilities are bad wheels, poor mounting, bad valve stems, nails. Seems to me if its all four tires, that would tend to discount nails.