Tire goes flat ONLY when stopped in a specific position

A week ago the tire went completely flat. I inflated it and took it to the tire shop. They found nothing and after checking twice, suggested that most likely some ne’er-do-well had let the air out of the tires. Things were perfect until the yesterday evening, when the tire was once again flat as a pancake. I inflated it (without moving the car) and set things up so that I could detect if it was a person who let the air out. This morning it was completely flat again, and this time I knew that nobody had set foot near the car. I inflated the tire again, listened closely, and heard a quiet hiss. I moved the car a foot or so, and no longer heard the hiss. I instructed my wife to check the position of the tire when she parked and make sure the valve stem was not at the seven o’clock position (where it was when we found the tire flat). Everything was fine all day, and when I checked the pressure, the tire had not lost air. Then I moved the car so that the tire was rotated back into the exact same position as it had been last night when we found it flat. I once again heard the hiss, and after waiting a few minutes and rechecking the pressure, I confirmed that the tire had once again lost pressure.

What could cause this to happen?

You don’t say how old the tires are or if you have had rim damage. Give this information to a different tire shop so they can check the rim and the tire.

Do you have a tire dunk tank?

If not, take the tire to someone who does.

And they’ll find the leak in no time.


You probably have some corrosion on the wheel at the location where it is hissing. The tire needs to be broken down and rim sealant applied. If that doesn’t work - new wheel.

I thought it was along the rim, too. I figured I could reveal it with soapy water. I did, but to my surprise, it wasn’t at the rim. It looks like it’s around junction between the tread and the inside sidewall. Only when the tire is resting on that spot. Here’s the video. Hope it’s an easy repair and not some sort of manufacturing defect that can’t be fixed–there’s a lot of life left in that set of tires. :worried:

I had a leaky tire on my truck that only leaked if the tire was positioned tilted against the curb, rather than flat on the road. That one was a pretty old tire though, and didn’t go completely flat, leaked down from 32 to 20 pounds then stopped leaking. It was leaking at a section of the bead area, from rust on the rim. Suggest you mark the spot on the tire you think it is leaking with a crayon so the shop has an idea where to look for a problem after they remove the tire from the rim.

The air bubbles are coming from between the tire and the floor, you should inspect the tread in that area for damage. If the damage is in the sidewall or near the sidewall it can’t be patched, if so the tire should be replaced.

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I noticed there appears to be a - oh, let’s call it a mark - in the area where the bubble is coming from. Perhaps that is a tiny puncture.

In any case, that is not a repairable area. A repair (patch or plug) will not work because the movement of the tire is so complex in that area that nothing will stay sealed for every long.

Sorry, but a new tire is on your horizon.


I’ve used my bath tub.

My guess - there’s something (nail, etc) stuck in the tire that, when pushed with the tire just so, causes the rapid leak. Probably leaks slowly in other positions.


I thought I saw a mark, too, both when soaping and in the video, but on the dry tire with a light and a magnifying glass, I couldn’t really see anything, either on the tread or the sidewall, except for vent spews (i.e., small “hairs” from the manufacturing process–had to google to know what to call them), and other things that looked normal, like a tiny triangle that looked like it was manufactured with the tire. Texases, your guess sounds highly probable to me, although I can’t detect it by looking at the tire.

I’ll take it in after the work week, either on Friday or Saturday and report on the outcome with the tire shop, now that I can point out exactly what is happening.

Oh, and in the mean time I can amuse myself imagining my wife’s reaction if I used our bath tub as a dunk tank! :rofl:

Well at any rate, you found the area of the leak so mark it with chalk and pull the tire off for further inspection. You may have a little nail in it that is hard to see or maybe a crack between the treads or something that will be hard to detect until flexed. I suspect Capri is correct though that a new tire or two are in your future. I had a brand new trailer tire leak from a sidewall blip, so these things do happen.

I’ve had slow leaks from finishing nails that were very difficult to see. Fix it on the tread only, never the sidewall.

No need. You get weird looks and a comment about cleaning out the tub.

The saga ends with new tire is on the car, fulfilling Capri’s prediction. No surprise there, but bummer, nonetheless.

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Thanks for letting us know, and best wishes.

Just one? Sure you don’t need at least two to not cause problems with front wheel or AWD?