It is not a new thing, that something new behaves like old. Often, we avoid buying second-hand products because we would love to enjoy the benefits that come with being the first person to handle a new product.
But have you ever bought a new item only to discover that in just after a short use that it has begun developing a fault mostly peculiar to old items?
We have all been here at one time or the other. Vehicle owners sometimes experience this with new tires too.
New tires straight out of the manufacturer’s warehouse begin to lose pressure, leaking air. You panic. You wonder, how shocking?
A barrage of thoughts crosses your mind; did the dealer sell used tires instead of new ones to you? Did the tires get punctured?
Yes, new tires can leak air, and they sometimes do. When this happens, what can you do?
9 things you should do if your new tire loses pressure
- Find the leak
- Change the tire valve
- Check for temperature change
- Take alternate routes
- Plug holes if any
- Check for leak between rim and tire
- Check if the tire leaks because the rim is bent
- Check for improper seal
- Confirm that it’s a chrome wheel
Find the leak
When air is being forcefully expelled from a tire it makes a hissing sound. Find this sound by bringing your ear closer to the tire.
If it’s there, you can’t miss it. If the tire is warmer, the spot around the leak will be warmer. In some cases, you will feel the air on the back of your hand if you bring it close.
If this doesn’t work, try soapy water. Mix detergent in water, not too much, just enough to make it foamy.
Pour the mixture on the tire, on the sidewall, around the area of the rim. Wait about five minutes before check-in again. If there is a leak by now you’d see bubbles coming from the source.
And if this still doesn’t show if there’s a leak but your suspicions linger, then take off the tire and submerge it in water. The leak will begin to release bubbles.
Change the tire valve
Your tire will lose pressure if the valve is defective and you are unaware. As we have shown earlier, the tire may be losing air through the valve.
A close examination of the valve may reveal this defect. The fear that your tire is punctured is this allayed.
Air molecules expand when the temperature is high, they contract when the temperature drops.
Do not panic, this is normal. Before you rush to the repair shop, be sure that your tires haven’t been exposed to extreme temperature fluctuations.
To reduce this occurrence, park your car in the garage in winter where it may be warmer on account of the general heating in the home.
So, the pressure indicator may simply be doing its job when it tells you the pressure in the tire is down. There may be nothing to worry about.
Take alternate routes
Yes. Take alternate routes if you can. Why? Well, if your tire is tortured daily on a road that is riddled with speed breakers, then the pressure in your tires; new or not, will decrease faster.
The sidewalls of the tire weaken when your tire hits curbs, bumps, potholes, too often.
Soon, you will have more than air pressure to worry about. Consult with the map of your suburb or city and look for roads with less obstruction to protect your new tire.
Yes, refilling the air is all you need to do to compensate for the assault on your tire, yet it is also a great idea if you always check your tires after each run.
The truth is, your tire will lose pressure every time it flexes against bumps and the sides of potholes.
Plug the hole if any
If after finding the leak, it turns out to be not such a big hole, there are do-it-yourself hacks for managing the problem, especially so if the tire is a new one and if the cut is in the tread area alone.
Culprits like nails or screws don’t care if your tire is new. You’ll need a tire plug kit (like this one on Amazon) to do this.
Tire plugs come with two T handles, one to make the hole of the puncture big enough for the tread and the other with an eye for sticking the plug into the hole.
First, remove the nail or screw, next, insert the reamer to get the hole open. You’d have to push the reamer all the way down, see it up and down to get the hole open.
Next, run the plug through the eye of the installer, stick the installed with the plug into the hole in the tire, all the way down.
Turn the installed 90 degrees around, pull the installer out as you do. Fill the tire with air to the proper PSI.
Check for a leak between the rim and the wheel
If your tire is a tubeless type, the leak may not be caused by a puncture in the regular place.
And yes, this is often the case with tubeless tires; those tires are tough. If you have done a thorough check and are certain it isn’t a puncture, and the pressure in the tire continues to drop then it most definitely must be a leak in the place where the rim meets the wheel.
You’d have to remove the tire and reset the bead.
- When the tire is off, lay it on the floor with the side of the valve facing up.
- Fill the surface of the suspected area with soapy water. Escaping air will make the area of the leak bubble.
- Dry the soapy water off, when it’s dry enough, mark that spot with chalk or any other material available in order not to miss it.
- Break the seal holding the rim and tire together by sitting a block of wood on the sidewall, just by the marked spot. Use a hammer to hit the block of wood, thereby freeing the tire.
- When the seal is broken, use warm soapy water to clean the edge of the tire thoroughly to free it of dirt or other particles that might cause gaps, which in turn causes leaks.
- Now, begin to fill the tire with air again. If you can, pull the tire up as you pump. The tire will sit along the rim as air fills it up.
Check if the tire leaks because the rim is bent
A bent wheel is a significant problem for your tire. Such damage does not only leak air gradually, but it can also cause a blowout while on the road.
Do not ignore after finding out that your rim is bent. We wish we could tell you a way to fix this problem at home but you’d have to take the rim in for repairs at a shop.
Trying to repair it yourself may cause it to break, or cause a crack depending on the type of metal the rim is made of. technicians there would straighten out the rim.
One of the dangers of a bent rim other than causing a constant need to fill the tire with air, is that, it can damage the tire by puncturing it.
Especially is this so if the bend is into the tire itself instead of out.
Check for improper seal
One reason why your new tire may be loosing pressure is if the seal in the tire no longer holds the rim and the tire together.
If you fail to totally remove the label on the tire before putting it on, the tire will not seal properly with the rim.
If the rim is bent, as we have considered earlier, or if there is rust around the rim, this may lead to a leak.
So check for corrosion, rust, and cracks. Any of thes issues will not allow for a proper seal between the rim and the tire.
Confirm that it’s a chrome wheel
You may have gotten new tires, but are your wheels old chrome wheels? If the chrome wheel is old, the chances that this may be the reason for the loss of pressure in your tire are high.
Chrome wheels are usually coated with a material that is capable of flaking off with age. If this happens around the bead area, it may be responsible for the leak.
In this case, the soapy water experiment is a fine tool for diagnosing the problem.
After dousing the spots on the wheels where it has flaked off and it bubbles, you have your answer. Once again, it is most advisable to change the wheel.
There isn’t any other way to make your tire stop losing pressure.
Check for missing valve cap.
It may be that the valve cap on the valve may have fallen off, or even been stolen while your car was parked on the street.
If this has happened, the tire will definitely lose pressure over time even though the tire is new. Luckily, valve caps are cheap.
You can buy a new one from the tire dealer in your area. Note also that valve stems deteriorate over time due to road salts and other chemicals.
When this happens, the valve on your tire becomes weakened and can cause slow leaks.
But first, why may a new tire begin to leak and lose pressure?
A damaged or faulty valve
The leak in the tire may be caused by a damaged valve. It may be purely a factory fitting issue.
Perhaps the guys at the quality control section missed that one thing about that particular tire before certifying it for sale.
If this happens, sorry, you just might be the unlucky buyer of that tire.
Temperature is never static. Whether you live in a predominantly hot or cold region of the earth, temperatures are never the same throughout the day, week or month.
Sudden temperature drops can cause your tire to lose pressure as a result of leaks. For every 10° Fahrenheit that the temperature drops, your tire loses one PSI (Pressure Per Square Inch).
Trust that a continual drop will lead to plenty of loss of pressure over a short time.
For your tire to maintain constant integrity all the time, the rim must firmly grip the tire. A corroded seal for example is sure to lead to leaks.
If the tire is not properly mounted on a rusty seal, the tire will soon begin to lose pressure.
My parting words to you
Quality tires are pricy, which is why we have provided here tips to help your repair a new one that’s loosing pressure.
However, it is important to note that certain problems with your new tire can not be solved at home. These repairs require the help of a professional.
For example, if it is a puncture on the sidewall, it is recommended that you take your tire to a repair shop for professional advice.
Likely, you’d be advised to buy a new one. And if the loss of pressure is due to a bad rim, you’d be looking at replacing it with a new one.
While looking for the cause of pressure loss, do not overlook the TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) on your car.
The TPMS alerts you when tire pressure is too low. Some drivers have observed situations where the system pops up a warning even though the pressure of their tires is already at their recommended PSI.
If you observe that this is happening, it is an indication that you need to change your TPSM unit. This will require the services of a technician, there’s no DIY for this.
And at other times you may not be able to figure out what’s causing the drop in tire pressure. This is even after you have applied all the tips in the book.
When this happens, take the tire to a repair shop or your tire dealer. They have the tools, and the expertise to tell what exactly is wrong with the tire.
If you do succeed in fixing your tire yourself, then great, anything to save money, right.