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Nissan Altima perpetually flat tire

So I have a 2001 Nissan Altima GLE that runs very well, gets good gas mileage, and seems to get a flat tire (the driver side front tire) every week or so. Anyway, I have periodically taken the car into my mechanic and they seem to think the tires are fine (occasionally they’ll find a nail and patch the hole, more recently they replaced the valve. This problem is robbing me of fuel efficiency and I’m tired of lugging out the air compressor 5 minutes before I need to be in class.

I’m not sure why your mechanic doesn’t take the wheel off and put it in a tub of water to see where the air bubbles out. You can spray a mixture of soapy water all over the tire and see if it bubbles anywhere.

Take your car to an independent tire shop and have them look at the tire and rim. A good tire man ought to be able to solve your problem.

I can take it to another tire shop but my mechanic works at a place that supposedly specializes in tire work so I don’t know how they could be missing the problem. So do you think the rim might be causing this issue?

Sounds like you may have a small dent on the mounting surface of the rim. Given the air loss, they should be able to find it and determine if you need to replace the wheel, or not. Alternate choice is to air up the tire one hour before class, giving you 55 extra minutes to study.

Enron specialized in staying in business, and look how that turned out.

Specializing in something does not automatically make someone good at it. It’s time to get a second opinion.

Sometimes it’s possible to have a problem with the bead sealing properly.
Whether it leaks or not may depend on where the tire stops. For instance, it may have a flaw that will only leak when that part of the tire is nearest the pavement and causing the sidewall to bulge out a bit more due to the weight of the car.

It can be near impossible to find something like this with the wheel off and the car’s weight removed.
If there are absolutely no leaks at all shown when submerged in a tub of water I would consider having the tire broken down and the wheel rim inspected for corrosion or pitting where the bead of the tire mates up. Air it back up with some soapy water and see what happens then.

Another possibility is if you have aluminum or magnesium rims, the metal can actually be porous and causing a leak, necessitating replacement of the rim. If all else fails, try swapping tires on this rim with another on your car and see if the problem follows the rim, not the tire.

Of course you’ve considered the possibility that someone who doesn’t want you on time for class is either letting the air out of the tire or adding a nail to the tread. Seems it might be possible. While you’ve gotten some gr8 suggestions here, I’d try putting the spare on and THEN see what happens.

If you say you’re being robbed of fuel efficiency, does this mean you’ve been driving around a lot with the tire low on air? If so, you’ve damaged the internal structure of the tire and you now need to buy a new one for safety reasons.