Having slow leaks is an irritating and annoying experience for anyone. It drives people crazy; it is actually a nightmare when you in a hurry. Also, it is a challenge for the persistence as you have to repeat the pumping work week after week, even day. Not so surprising for you after few days, your tire lost more than ten psi and become flat.
When you that situation, the first thing will come across your mind will be the mechanic. But, hold on, think it back! If the leak is not so serious, you still can fix it yourself. By doing that you will save for yourself a lot of bucks, and might be time, too. Meanwhile, that does only happen when your house is so far from the garage. That reason why you should know how to fix a slow leak in a car tire, which is the essential skill for every driver.
First and foremost: figure out where the leaks are
To fix the leaks exist in the tires, you have to find it first before you can find the way to seal it. Normally, there is nobody will try to stare at the tires and hope to see the leaks on them. To be honest, apart from the tires have the serious damage that can not be repaired, to figure out the leaks is the hardest step.
To examine the tires and find out the leaks really take time and effort. Because of it not easy to see it by the necked eyes, and because the leaks are tiny. Although you try many times, you can not find where it is. Most of the people give up and give the leaks to the mechanic to care because of this challenge.
But do not fret, there are methods to solve this problem, and in nearly all the case, it works. Those are by hearing the sound and feeling air when to inflate the tires, using the soap water and submerging the tires in the water. You can follow and try those respectively or not; that depend on you. But make sure you are patient enough to find the appropriate one for you.
Determine the leaks by pump the tires up
If you want to do this task without water, this method is the best suitable one for you. Nevertheless, for sure you will need an air compressor to fill the tire with air. Do not even think about using a bike pump because you will need to put air in the tire for at least 10 minutes. Also, it will make you exhausted soon, as it is labor-extensive.
In order to locate the leaks, your tire needs to be full of air; the air pressure will force the air out. That is the principle for you to discover the leaks on the tires. One thing you should never forget is to check the recommended pressure which is printed on the tire. What you should not do is to inflate over the maximum pressure.
Next, you can choose to “diagnose” the flat tires by the visual way. Carefully check on the surface and see whether it have the small holes, cuts, or bulging object like nails, glasses, screws or any things like that. You might conclude that the root of your tire’s leaks.
When you pump up your tires, you should select a quiet place! Why? Because in the silent area, you can hear the hissing sound from the leaks. Some are extremely hard to recognize to see the problem by eyes, and you must use your ears to examine it. Once you hear the sound, you should mark that spot as it is the cause of the leaking air. When hissing air disappear, it will be difficult to find it.
Besides, you can check it out by your hand feeling; you might locate the leaks by your hand. Move your hand along the tires, and do it prudently, you can feel the air are getting out. After you fill up your tires with air, the pressure inside will higher than outside. That make the air get out powerfully, so you can easily feel it.
By the time you inflate the tires, you should both do the careful hearing as well feeling. The air in the tires will run out of soon due to the leaks. Not much air a tire can spare so better you use a combination for the most efficient. Besides, stop much time to fill the air absolutely not a good choice and time-consuming.
Finding the leaks with soap water
By using soap water means that you need to create the mixture of soap and water to figure out the place that air escape out. Also, the necessary tool you will need is a spray bottle to spray on the tire surface. In the case you do not own one, you can slowly pour it on the tire. But ensure you pour a little one time unless the soap water can not spread out on the whole tires.
That mixture will help you a lot since the will see the bubble on the spot that the air leaks out. You may wonder that when you pour the liquid on the tires, you have already seen the bubbles when you mix the soap and water. However, the bubbles which show you the leaks will continuously appear at the leaking spot.
You should notice that whether any particular place exists water bubbling, the air escape out will from it. Spraying a layer of soap and water mixture will give you a chance to see the leaks. This is the one take less effort in all the methods and being the favorite of many people.
Locating the place, the air escape by submerging the tire
To do this way, you need to gather the stuff to detach the tire such as a wrench and a car jack/ lift you have. And a pool, tub or any water container that fit the size of your tires, so it not a difficulty putting your tires in.
You should find solid ground to do this work, and that area should not have water, grease, oil to avoid the slippery. Your jack and your car can fall anytime, especially when you try to take out the tire on the ground that is not solid and quite slippery. Consider doing that to guarantee your safety.
Another thing you can do to make you safe is to loosen the nuts when the vehicle are still on the ground. This way, you have already removed the tires while the car pressure is not on the jack, which makes it easy for you and lows down the risks. Because when the jack raises your car up, it is likely to fall when being shaken. You might shake it unintentionally when you try to loosen the lug nuts when having already jacked up.
Then you can jack up the tire to take out the wheel. The contact area of the car and the jack should be the thick and hard metal. You will not want to break that area or there are holes appear. Make sure you check the contact area before you try to lift your car up. Unless you do that, you will have to pay for the mechanic to repair your car.
After jacking your car up, you can remove the wheel out, and this does not take much effort. If you have not loosened the lugs enough, you should grab the impact wrench and try to loosen it more. Consequently, you can pull the wheel out. The rust might make you slow a little bit, however, do not worry too much about it. Sooner or later, you will detach it; that is just the matter of time.
Now, you will need a pool or a bathtub, or anything can be used to contain water like things are cited above. Put your wheel into the water container, then add the water in it, till all the wheel is submerged in the water. It is very important for the wheel totally submerges in the water, and if it is not, you can not see the leaks.
You will see the bubbles appear, as the water block all the air around the wheel. The bubble with air inside will not be so difficult to be detected. In the case you just see the bubble from the tires but can not tell exactly where it is, you should turn to the other side of the tires. This will help you to figure out where the air comes from.
Many people will not love this one as it takes them more time than the others. Besides, it requires tools to take out the wheel and to do it makes you wear out. However, by this method, you can see if the problem comes from the valve stem. For many people, this is the last choice when they have not found any leaks on the tires. The slow leaks might not the problem from the valve, not from the tire.
Examine the whether you can fix the tires on your own
As it is told only the leaks not so serious can be repaired, for some, you will need to get the mechanic to deal with it. Now let check where the leaks locate, hope them are not on the shoulder, as you can not do anything with it. If the leaks are on the tread, you can fix it at home.
But that does not mean all the hole or cut in the tree can be fixed. You can only repair it as the puncture in the surface is not too big. Well…So how to define the big one? Many people will want to know. The answer is the puncture should not be more than one-fourth of the diameter of the wheel.
Fix the tire by sealing the leaks
To seal the leaks, the easiest way one can do yourself is to use the sealant. It is quick and does not require your expert skills as well as do not need tools or jack. For the quantity of the sealant you should put in, you should read on the product or follow manufacturer. Because it is various, and depending on the brand and materials make of it.
Unscrew the valve cap, you will need to put the sealant in the tires just like when you pump the tires up. But do not forget to keep the cap in your pocket, you will not want to lose it for sure. The next thing you need to do is to rotate the wheel to make the sealant fill in the leaks and it your tire will not lose the balance.
Some people complain that their car lost the balance after use the sealant. That make them control the drive harder. You should consider this problem before attaching the sealant in your tires. And if the problem from the valve, replace it, then the problem is solved.