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The 'whomping' wheel

Hi all,

I was wondering if someone could help me. A couple of weeks ago I came home from work to find my front passenger side wheel completely deflated. I didn’t think much of it at the time and thought someone must have let it down. However, ever since then I have had a very low pitched intermittent ‘whomp’ sound coming from it, when braking at a low speed. When the car comes to a stop, so does the noise.

I’m beginning to suspect that the tyre being deflated was due to it not being properly sealed to the wheel. I’d parked half on/half off the pavement outside my house with the passenger side on the road. I assumed the tyre deflated because it couldn’t handle the weight of the car on the tyre. I’ve inspected the tyre and there are no obvious punctures and the wheel has remained inflated ever since and I’ve now agreed with my housemate that I can use the drive to park it on for the time being to stop it happening again.

However, before the deflation everything was fine with the car and there was definitely no ‘whomp’.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to what it may be/ways to check what it is myself and/or potential costings of taking it to a mechanic?

All help and suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks :slight_smile:

The weight of the car has nothing at all to do with the problem . people park at angles and one side on curbs all the time. I suggest having a tire shop look at the tire, you may have separated insides of the tire and if that is the case you could have catastrophic failure at a very bad time.

"assumed the tyre deflated because it couldn’t handle the weight of the car on the tyre’ It would have to have a major defect for that to be true. And, the forces on it when moving and cornering are much higher that when parked.

“I can use the drive to park it on for the time being” ? what does this mean?

“‘whomp’ sound” could be a defect in the tire. I wouldn’t drive on it until you can get it checked.

It may be that driving on the tire when it was low damaged it. Ask you mechanic for an opinion. One idea to decide if it is the tire or not, temporarily swap the tire with another wheel and see of the noise follows.

Someone needs to remove the wheel and examine the tire… and if they can’t verify anything you’ll want it spun on a machine that does “road force balancing”. Those will detect internal tire problems that regular spin balancers won’t.

My guess it that as soon as they remove the wheel from the car they’ll find the problem. My guess is that they’ll find a bent rim. If you have a spare and live where the weather will accommodate it, you could even verify this yourself.

Why have you not put on the spare?

I’ll bet that the deflating tire was damaged. I’ll also bet the loss of air was caused by the peculiar parking arrangement. Lesson here ought to be to avoid parking such that your tires are distorted.

I cannot believe that how the car is parked would cause the tire to deflate.

Look how many vehicles have to park on un-level ground. Rutted driveways that have frozen over, construction sites, poor maintained parking areas at a job site.
Not every worker at a rough construction site drives a pickup truck and I have never heard that a tire went flat from parking…unless it’s parked on a nail.

Half on and half off the pavement could be pavement/grass, pavement/gravel, pavement/dirt, pavement/mud, pavement/the neighbors cat.

I believe that there was some damage to that wheel or tire, weather the OP hit a curb unknowingly, or the tire has a defect.
The tire then went flat overnight and when inflated, now the damage is detectable by the noise that the OP hears.

For less than $50 any tire shop can pull that wheel and inspect the wheel/ tire, and run it on the road force balancer.
That is safer than finding out what was wrong when you have a blow out at 50mph.


There is a good chance that the OP is in need of new tires all the way around due to wear or age. if the parking had anything to do with it ( I doubt it ) was because of cracked sidewalls.