How To Find A Tire Leak

Tires, like every other part of your car, require regular maintenance to function at peak performance. We tend to take our tires for granted, until something goes wrong, like a flat. While a flat tire can be a major problem there is one other issue that can cause some headaches, a slow leak.  

The problem with minor leaks is that they can be difficult to diagnose due to tire PSI variance as a result of factors like ambient temperature, how long you’ve been driving, or how long your car has been stationary. To diagnose a slow leak, you don’t always have to take your car to a tire shop.  

Let’s take a look at some DIY methods for finding that leak. 

Look At It 

The simplest way to find a leak is to visually inspect the tire. You should be looking for things like nails or other road debris that may have caused harm to your tire. If you’re lucky, your adventure will end here and you can patch or plug it. 

Listen To It 

Sometimes the easiest solution is to just stop and listen. In this case, simply get down next to the tire you suspect of a slow leak and check for any telltale hissing sounds. The trick to this is that you must change the tires’ orientation to ensure that you don’t miss the leak, so be ready to roll your car forward or back to ensure that you are not using the ground to unintentionally plug your leak.

Feel It 

This can be done at the same time you carry out the listening and looking steps. Slowly run your hand along all the outer surfaces of the tire feeling for any small amounts of airflow. This is a good step to take when a leak is not loud enough to hear either due to its size or the amount of ambient noise that you are contending with. 

The next steps will be slightly more labour intensive than the first few and will require additional time and effort.  

Give It a Bath 

Mix a bucket of dish soap and water (make sure it is extra sudsy), coat your tire and watch. If you see bubbles coming consistently from one spot, you have likely found your leak. This may take a couple of attempts to successfully carry out.

Soak It

No joke here, just get yourself a plastic kiddie pool and fill it with enough water to completely submerge the tire. Then simply watch for bubbles! 

If all this fails and you still suspect you have a leak, please bring your tire to our service department. Our factory-trained techs will run a full series of checks to ensure that you don’t have to worry about any surprises down the road.  

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