So you’ve got a new tire on your car and thought your tire related problems were over. Alas, it wasn’t to be.
Below we will highlight the six main causes a new tire keeps losing air.
Often, a new tire is not the cause of your air pressure leak, but it may be a symptom of another problem.
This can include problems with the rim or a damaged valve.
When fitting a new tire, tire shops usually always switch over the valve as part of the job. It is rare for car shops not to do so, but it can happen. The valve is not part of the tire but a separate part fitted through the gap in the rim.
Reputable tire shops – with a presence to maintain – are unlikely to use an old valve on a new tire. More unscrupulous shops might not. Your invoice should have this itemized separately, so have a look if you are unsure.
Check this: Is the valve discolored or dirty compared to the tire? If so, this points to an old valve.
It could be possible that the valve has been damaged since you had your new tire fitted, and it could simply be a case of bad luck and timing. Look for cuts on the stem and dirt under the cap around the pin.
Apply some soapy water to the valve area and look for bubbles; if you do, the valve is the source of the air leak.
Although annoying, valves are cheaper than a new tire and rim damage, so this is a good outcome and cheaply fixed.
Bent Rim or Wheel
Have you rubbed your rim or wheel up against a curb or been over a pothole? A cracked rim is not the only way air can leak from a rim. Often a rim or wheel will bend and not crack.
If the rim is bent, the tire bead can’t seal, and a small amount of the air will escape.
Sometimes it’s obvious that your rim is bent just by looking.
Other times though, if you have hit a curb or a pothole recently and the tire is leaking, check the back of the rim for damage if you can’t see any obvious damage at the front.
Related Article: Will A Cracked Rim Leak Air? [NOT ALWAYS]
Rim or Wheel Corrosion.
The process of aluminum corrosion on rims is quite complex. The first step of the process is oxidation, which occurs when oxygen from the air reacts with the aluminum to form aluminum oxide.
With rims, the aluminum oxide is nonconductive and non-reactive, meaning that it does not cause much damage to the rim. However, it builds up over time as more and more oxidation occurs.
Corrosion and rust happen a lot on the lip of the rim where the tire bead is connected.
A similar event happens in steel wheels that rust rather than corrode. Rust forms on metal that become wet and react with oxygen in the atmosphere.
This corrosion or rust can cause the rim lip to not make a tight seal with the tire bead and air escapes.
Most tire shops will tell you that your rim is corroded and may, for an additional fee, brush and clean the rim lip and use sealant to prevent leaks from happening in the first place.
A badly corroded rim lip that is beyond being smoothed out will allow air to escape through it no matter how new your tire fitted on it is.
Our more details article explains more: Can Rim Corrosion Cause A Tire Leak? [ANSWERED]
Sometimes hairline cracks that form in the body of the rim rather than the lip will be wide enough to allow air to leak away.
A cracked rim can be caused by very bad corrosion but often driving over a pothole or hitting a curb hard. Often not noticeable under the tire is removed; they can sometimes be repaired depending on the location and severity of the crack.
Unfortunate as it may be, bad luck can happen, and you may find yourself with a new tire that is already damaged.
Thoroughly check the tire for any nicks, cuts, and bulges on the sidewall, nails, screws, or other sharp objects in the tread and shoulder areas.
Don’t forget to check the inside sidewall. It is often overlooked. If you cannot get underneath your car to inspect the tire, try running your hand around the inside circumference to feel for any bulges or nails there.
Are you aware that with each 10-degree drop in temperature, the air pressure in your new tire could decrease by 1 to 2 PSI? Has your tire losing pressure coincided with a season change to autumn or winter
Keeping an eye on the pressure in your tires is essential, especially when you’ve just changed one.
The thing is, all your tires would lose pressure in colder weather and not just the new one, but we are more likely to notice lower pressure in a newer tire as it’s the one that we would subconsciously pay more attention to after just spending $100 + on it.
Perhaps your tire isn’t leaking, but the TPMS is to blame.
As already said, most tire shops will swap out the valve when replacing a tire. The TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) sensor sits just underneath the valve. If it’s not properly attached to the valve stem, it can lead to an incorrect tire pressure reading being received at the car’s ECU.
The only way to check the TPMS is to remove the tire from the rim again. Therefore, it’s best to check all other visible external causes before returning your vehicle to the tire shop to determine if the TPMS is malfunctioning it badly fitted.
Although rare, batches that have inadvertently passed quality control by mistake can be dangerous and need replacing ASAP.
To help with this, the US Tire Manufacturers Association maintains a database of all tires that have been recalled.
All tires sold in the US have a tire identification number that can be used to check if a tire has been recalled. If it has, the manufacturer will replace the tire at no cost.
This link will take you to a page where you can input this number and search to see if your tire is subject to a recall. Tire recall checker
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Sometimes a new tire is the better option if your tire is old or has been damaged before.
We recommend Priority Tire. They often have clearance sales that result in the cost of a new tire being little more than the cost of repairing the damaged one.
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It’s unfortunate if your new tire is losing air pressure. It’s more likely due to a rim or wheel-related issue than the tire itself.
To diagnose the issue, ensure the rim isn’t corroded, bent, or old, and check the inner sidewall for any foreign objects.
Additionally, check the manufacturer’s site to ensure the tire isn’t subject to any recalls. The TPMS sensor may also have been damaged during the tire’s mounting process.