If you’ve been driving for any significant length of time, you may have already dealt with a flat tire that resulted in a call for towing service. The problem happens for a number of reasons, one of which is a leak from tiny holes or punctures in the rubber. Fortunately, a leak can be patched up by a professional, depending on its size and severity. Learning how to detect the issue will keep you safe behind the wheel.
How to Diagnose a Slow Tire Leak
1. Visual Inspection
Inflate your flat tire until it reaches the recommended pressure, and thoroughly inspect for any punctures or objects protruding from it. If you find nails or another material piercing the rubber, avoid driving to mitigate the risk of a blowout. Remove the tire and put the spare on; a towing service can help with this if you don’t have the tools. Then, drive to an auto repair shop to have the tire patched or replaced. If you suspect a leak but can’t locate any objects piercing the tire, run your hands over it to feel for any escaping air and listen for hissing sounds.
2. Soap & Water
Spray soapy water or any sudsy solution at every quarter of the tire and inspect for any bubbles gurgling on the surface. When air leaks out and reacts to the soapy mixture, bubbles will form. Mark the bubbly spot with a white grease pencil or anything that shows up on the black rubber so you’ll know where to have a mechanic inspect. If the leak is located on the sidewalls or shoulders, you may need to replace the tire to avoid blowouts.
3. Submerging the Tire
If you suspect a leak but can’t locate it, carefully remove the tire from the vehicle. Once you’ve loosened the lug nuts and pulled the wheel off its base, submerge it in a large container, like a kiddie pool, filled with water. Look for bubbles rising to the water’s surface and trace where they’re coming from, as these are your sources of leaks.
While these tips can help, not all tire problems are easy to detect beforehand. When yours goes flat on the roads of El Paso County, CO, the team at Monument Towing will come to your rescue. For nearly 30 years, they’ve provided emergency roadside assistance and towing service to stranded drivers. As long as you have a spare tire, they can quickly swap it with the flat so you can get back on the road and to a repair shop as soon as possible. Call (719) 481-2511 to request their help today, or check out their website to learn more about their towing services.