Astoria Mechanic | Collision Repair | Tolimas Auto Center

Different Types of Tire Leak Repair

Different Types of Tire Leak Repair

Repairing tire leak sounds like a straight forward task. Unfortunately there is a lot of nuance when it comes to repairing a tire that is losing air pressure. There are multiple reasons as to why a tire might be losing air pressure. In this blog post we will discuss the most common and some uncommon reasons as to why some tires might be unable to hold air.

Nail In the Tire

The most common reason a tire might not hold air is due to the tire being punctured by a nail, screw, or some other form of debris. These repairs tend to be simple as long as the puncture doesn’t occur on the sidewall of the tire. For a temporary repair the tire can be plugged with a thick rubber strand. A permanent repair will require dismounting the tire from the rim and applying a tire patch to the inside of the tire. If Somehow the nail managed to puncture the sidewall of the tire then the internal structure has been comprimised and unfortunately, you’ll have to replace the tire.

Bent or Cracked Rim

Your tire might be losing air due to a bent or cracked rim. Hit an infamous New York pothole and you can bend or crack your rim. This will cause your tire to not properly seal against the rim and lose air slowly. Your tire is perfectly fine, but your rim will need to be re-straightened or replaced. If you are on factory rims replacement may cost hundreds of dollars. As an alternative Tolima’s Auto Center offers a rim straigtening and refurbushing service for $185.00. Once your rim is repaired your tire will have no problems holding air anymore.

Leaking Valve Stem

The valve stem on the tire is the nipple that sticks out where you fill the tire with air. They have little plastic caps on them to prevent corrosion or debris from damaging the valve. Many tires people lose the caps and don’t replace them. Then corrosion can form inside the valve causing an air leak. Other times the rubber body of the valve stem can dry crack due to age and cause a leak as well. Thankfully the valve stem can be replaced on a rim inexpensively.

Paint Peeled and Rusty Rims

Rims are painted or chromed to look good and prevent corrosion. Over years of being exposed to the weather and thousands of miles the finish or paint on them can start to peel or rust through. This will cause the tire to not seal properly against the rim and start leaking air. The solution for this is to have your rim acid-washed and repainted or re-chromed.

How to Find Air Leaks

As mechanics when a customer comes in with a flat tire the first thing we do is identify the location of the leak or puncture. We use soapy water and look for bubbles. That will tell us air is escaping the tire, rim, or valve stem. Once we identify the location of the air leak we can proceed accordingly with the correct repair. A plug or patch can be done quickly, but rim refurbishing can be done in an average time of 2 business days. If you have any questions or have a leak in your tire you’d like for us to take a look at feel free to contact us at Tolima’s Auto Center.

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