I have a very slow air leak in my right front tire. It’ll lose 10-15 PSI over several weeks (2-3) while the others will lose next to no air. I plan on getting it fixed eventually because the tire is otherwise in great shape–lots of tread left. However, I’m very busy the next couple months and was hoping to put it off until I have more time available. Am I OK just continuing to fill up the tire every few weeks for the next couple months, or am I risking a blowout or other damage? Thanks!
If you religiously check the pressure every day (day, not every “few weeks”) and keep it where it’s supposed to be, AND if whatever is causing the leak isn’t something that will be exacerbated through normal use of the tire, then you’ll be fine.
Those are some very big ifs, though, and if any of those ifs turn out to be untrue, your risk starts with damaging the tire such that it must be replaced all the way up to losing control of the car and crashing.
Take an hour out of your day to get it to a tire shop and get it fixed.
Keep letting your tire get 10-15 psi low and you will ruin it.
In the past I have ground down the head of a nail and a screw to the point that you could not tell from the outside that they were still in the tire…until you dismounted it from the rim and looked inside ( first not knowing, then procrastinating too )…you could have one of those.
sometimes a valve core will leak from its old seal and the valve cap keeps most of the pressure in for a very slow leak.
’’ take an hour out of your day to get it to a tire shop and get it fixed.’’
Get it fixed ASAP. You are not doing the work, so not having time is a poor excuse.
This is a bad plan. If you fill it back up only every few weeks, it will be dangerously underinflated much of the time. That will damage the tire and possibly cause a blowout. Even if you fill it daily, whatever caused the leak could suddenly get worse while you’re driving. I doubt that whatever’s keeping you so busy for the next few months is more important than your safety.
Fill a spray bottle with soapy water, spray it over the tire and valve, and look for bubbles. Chances are you’ll find the location of the leak this way. Then the repair should be especially fast.
The last time I had a tire repaired it took less than 30 minutes so not having time is not really an excuse because WalMart is open 7 days a week.
I repaired one on my wife’s van recently. It was a very slow leak from a very small finishing nail. I already had a tarred cord and it took me about 15 minutes to remove the tire, find and pull the nail, plug the tire, cut the plug, and put the tire back on. It took another 5 minutes to fill the tire, but I didn’t have to stand around for that.
BTW, I plugged a tire during the summer a few years ago and stored the tarred cord plugs in the garage. They were very difficult to handle because they were so sticky. I now store them in a plastic bag and in the freezer. The cord is still a little sticky, but it is a lot easier to thread through the insertion tool. It was fairly flexible right out of the freezer too.
All the Walmarts near me have closed their Auto shops and when they were open you could not get anything done in 30 minutes (which may be why they closed) They were also the most expensive oil change place in town at the end.
Don’t be a cheapskate with either your money or time. I had a tire suddenly lose air on the interstate and it wasn’t concenient. If you have AAA or some other motor club, call them and have them come put on the spare when you are at home. Drop the tire and wheel off at a tire store and then while you go about your business, the tire store will repair the tire. Later, stop by the store and have them replace the spare with the repaired tire.
Here is,another idea that my wife used. She was on a business trip for the institution wbere, we were both employed with a car from the institution’s fleet. She discovered that one tire was low. She had the desk clerk at the hotel where she was,staying call a tire store. The tire store came and took care of the tire while she did her business. While you,are at your job, just call a tire store to handle the problem.
Thanks for the advice, everyone. I’ll have it looked at ASAP. I’m a law school grad studying for the upcoming bar exam (a full time job and then some, believe me). However, there’s a shop within walking distance from my school where I always get my oil changed. Hopefully they do tires as well.
Good plan. When you are a student, time is important. You don’t want to spend your time putting air in your tire. I was a graduate student once and I didn’t have time to mess with the car. There was a good service station right off campus. It was a Standard station and I had an AMOCO membership. There were students on the same program that were there a year before I started my work and were still there a year after I finished. Our son is teaching and working on a doctorate. They sold the 3 bedroom house they owned that was 35 to 45 minutes from his work and campus and moved into a 2 bedroom apartment 5 minutes away from work and school. He saves time not only in commuting, but on house maintenance as well. His wife and daughter adjusted really quickly–he has more time to spend with them…
Who is to know? Will it rain tomorrow. There is no way of telling without knowing what is causing the leak. I agree, it takes very little time to have it looked at by a shop-Goodyear, etc. Doesn’t have to be Walmart. You run the risk of ruining the tire. It could be a nail, a leak in the bead, or a leak in the valve. It wouldn’t be the first time I took a tire off at night and used a glass of soapy water to find a leak. Then at least I knew what the problem was.
You might luck out and discover it is just the valve stem that is leaking. Get some soapy water and brush it on the valve stem. See any bubbles?
I’m with @GeorgeSanJose on this. I always just unscrew the valve cap, put some spit on my finger tip and put it against the valve opening, with just a tiny opening for bubbles to form. Or you could try tightening the valve core a bit with a Schrader valve cap or a core tool. Might not help, but it’s a step.
Otherwise, fix it. And congratulations on finishing law school. The only thing that matters now is the Bar Exam. I did it 42 years ago (!) and my advice is to do what the Bar Review course says to do, and don’t try to analyse their directions. Just be an obedient student and do it, because once you pass that exam, you don’t ever have to do it again.
I’ve had slow leaks due to nails but this past winter I had a really slow leak in the right rear tire which would lose about 5 pounds after three weeks or so. I couldn’t see anything in the tire and the valve stem wasn’t leaking so I kept inflating it as needed until I got in for my next oil change. Apparently what was happening was I was losing pressure due to oxidation that had formed on the 20 plus year old mag alloy wheel, causing a very small breach in the bead.
My fiance’s Grand Prix has a tire like this. Sadly, I only have a bike pump. Luckily, I only need to add about 10 PSI to it every three weeks or so.
I’m sure the neighbors are watching me through their windows as I use the bike pump. Laughing. Mocking.
I recently found a slow tire leak by using my neighbor kid’s swimming pool. I kept the tire submerged until I saw tiny bubbles coming from the valve core after about 5 minutes underwater. I installed a new valve core and my tire hasn’t leaked for over a week. I pounded that little core with my sledge hammer and now it’s just a shiny spot on my bench vice.