Tires go flat after service

I recently had my 2013 Lexus RX 350 15,000 mile service which included tire rotation and balance. The service was performed at the dealership where I bought the car. Less than two weeks later, both tires on the left side went COMPLETELY flat. The front tire so flat that it was actually coming off the rim when I stopped the car because it was driving funny. The distance was out of my garage and down the driveway. The serviceman initially said it was a slit on the outer edge of the tire. Now they are saying it was a pinhole in both tires. Is it possible something could have gone wrong during the servicing to cause the tires on my brand new car to go flat?

While anything’s possible, it’s hard to imagine what they might have done to the tires. But it’s confusing that a ‘slit’ turned into a ‘pinhole leak’. Have you seen the problems?

You might have happened to run over something after the service.

Since having it towed, I have not seen the tires to inspect the damage. Three days after the service, I had to start putting air in the tires because the light would come on to do so. Then a week later they are completely flat. Someone mentioned that the “beads” could have been damaged during the rotation. I certainly don’t want to accuse anyone of anything and don’t know anything about tires and the mechanics. However, it is parked in the garage and has not been drivin that often since the service. I’m the only person that has drivin it so I think I’d remember if I had hit or run over something. And it seems that if I had run over something it would be in tire. I find it ironic that problem started after the service and it’s two tires but I’m no rocket scientist when it comes to these things so I may be way off base even thinking it could be due to the service. I’m just puzzled.

You’ll never see the nail that flattens the tire as you roll over it. Both tires on the same side suggests an obstacle of some kind, maybe embedded in the road, punctured both tires as you rolled over it. I’ve had plenty of nails caught in my tires over the years, the last one just 3 weeks ago. I even had nail punctures in both rear tires of the family truckster at the same time just last year. It’s a common hazard and the coincidence is just bad timing, nothing more.

Rotating tires does not involve taking off the tire from the wheel, so no bead damage should occur.

When tires are rotated, they are moved as a unit (tire and wheel) from one location on the car to another. The tires are never removed from the wheel so there is no way the beads were damaged by a simple tire rotation.

Your brand new car has 15K miles on it, so it isn’t brand new anymore. in one of those 15K miles you likely picked up a nail or two and unfortunately on the same side of the car.

When you noted the tires were losing air pressure that’s when you need to have the tires checked. At that point the leak might have been found and repaired before the tire(s) got so low on air that they were damaged. Small leaks start small, and can get greater as the nail makes a deeper and bigger hold in the tire.

Car warranties don’t include road hazard damage to tires.

Suggest to ask the dealership exactly what they did with the tires during the routine service. Maybe there is something special about those tires installed on that model, or about the tire pressure measuring gadgets inside the tires, that they had to remove the tires from the rims to perform the scheduled maintenance.

Also, if you have the low-profile tires – the ones that have a shorter sidewall than normal tires in order to accomodate a larger than normal spoked wheel – that type can be more troublesome. For one thing, there is so little shock absorption in the tire (due to how thin it is) that hitting even a minor bump at speed can cause the wheel to deform enough to compromise the bread, then leak, and go dead flat.

In other words, you may have to live with the occassional flat tire. But the first thing to do is find out exactly what was done to your tires during the recent service. Best of luck.

While I generally agree with the others, you really need to have them show you the tires and what happened to them. If it was a slash or a nail, they can show you. If it was a pin hole and nothing in it, you might have just gotten vandalized. The only problem is that you mentioned having to air the tires up after service and then it was a couple weeks that they went flat. With a pin hole, it would have gone flat right away. Maybe the tires were even defective but you need to see them and there should be no reason rotating would cause the problem.

What about bad valve stems? I have out air in tire and them go down over night with moving the vehicle. When checking for a leak I found the valve stem leaking.

tires will pick up all kinds of junk off the road it happens

I agree with the crowd. It’s unlikely that anything happened during the service, but you’ll never know if you can’t examine the tires. If you run over small items like nails, you’ll never feel it as you’re driving.

In the future, if you start losing air, you want to investigate right away. Driving at high speed on a damaged tire could easily lead to a crash. Also, if you know that you’re losing air, you need to check the tires every morning before driving off.

Continuing to drive while a tire is so deflated that the car handles “funny” will trash the tire quickly and the damage from being run flat often totally hides the minor puncture that initially caused the loss of pressure. Driving on a flat, like driving with the oil pressure light on, makes the driver liable for the damage.

And could the OP have a neighbor whose roof was recently replaced?

There is no such thing as a “pinhole” in a tire unless something punctures the tire and creates it. It is possible that something happened during servicing, but far more likely that you simply and unknowingly drove over a nail or two. Especially if you drive wnywhere where any construction is taking place. When we were adding a building at work a few years back I got a few flats caused by sheetrock screws. And again for a few months after I had my house reroofed, except they were roofing nails. .

With awd, we’re u required to get 4 new tires?

You only have to get 4 new tires if you replace one. OP only had them rotated. (now, of course, OP needs 4 tires :wink: )

The key is, when did your tire pressure monitoring light go on. If it started blinking earlier, it could have been a slow leak that happened at any time. If only went on when you drove out of the yard…like everyone, I suspect you ran over something on the way home.

First thing to check for when tires start to lose air is a leaking valve stem. You can do this easily by removing the dust cap from the valve stem and applying a drop of spit onto the mouth of the valve stem…if it’s leaking you’ll see it bubble up…tighten with a valve stem tool from your local auto parts store.

Need to insist on seeing the tires. Pretty much everything everyone else has stated - is true. Especially when you know you are losing pressure - to really keep an eye on it.

However - I wonder if BALANCING the tire might have done something. You mentioned that it was a ‘rotation & balance’. In balancing (checking the balance, changing weights, etc.) - a weight is clipped/pressed onto the outside rim of the wheel. Not sure if possible; but I wonder if someone who didn’t necessarily do this correctly - if an installed weight might now be pressing against the side of the tire; moving the bead just a bit out; and causing a slow leak. Just a thought. Might not even be possible.

Sorry about the problem. Always be aware of any warning lights or indications of any type; and respond appropriately. Driving and overheated (hot warning light is on; or temp is way up) - because you just HAVE to get to work, or whatever appointment; or it is snowing, etc. - CAN result in THOUSANDS of dollars of damage. Driving on low, under-inflated tires - destroys the tire; and costs a bunch as well… So pay attention to the various dash warnings, and heed them.

Good luck.

Its not possible.