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How to Check Your Tires for Leaks

While not all drivers will be a stickler with regards to the pressure in their tires, a leaking tire is something that must be addressed immediately. If a tire becomes overly deflated, it can become a danger to your personal safety as well as to the safety of other people on the road.

Generally, a leak will spring from a puncture or tear in the tire. These are easily spotted and repaired depending on the degree of damage. However, some sources of leaks are extremely small or completely invisible to the naked eye. In these cases, the leak can be unbearably slow, and you’re left wondering why your tires are always losing air.

Finding the source of a slow tire leak can be challenging, and perhaps even difficult to fix. That said, knowing what to look for can help make the process of locating a slow tire leak that much simpler. Here are three easy ways to find the leak.

1. By sound or touch

If you have keen ears, you may be able to hear a faint hissing sound that gets louder as you get closer to the leak. Mark the portion of the tire where you believe the hissing sound is coming from, then drive your car for a few minutes to let the tires get hot with use. If there is a leak in the tire, the marked portion will feel hotter than the rest of the tire.

2. By applying soapy water

Add a tablespoon of soap or detergent to a pail of water, then pour the mixture on the tire sidewalls and tread. You can also pour some on the rim edge to make sure you cover the tire completely. If there’s a leak present on the tire, that part of the tire surface will be forming bubbles.

3. By immersing the entire wheel in water

Remove the entire wheel from the vehicle and drop it into a tub of water. Any source of leak will start to release small bubbles and present itself. Make sure to observe one side of the tire for about five minutes, and if you don’t see any bubbles, turn the tire over to check the other side.

If there is indeed a leak in your tire, take it to a tire professional to have the leak fixed. Better yet, for your complete peace of mind, buy new tires instead. Make sure to replace your tires in pairs. Happy hunting!

Tires
© Highways Agency/ Flickr
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