Soapy water is know in the industry as the best answer on how to find a leak in a tire, but it’s not the only one.
A leak in your tires can be a serious issue that can lead to a very dangerous situation. That’s why it’s so important to know how to check if there is a leak in case you’re suspicious or are just doing a bit of maintenance.
The good news is, you don’t necessarily need a pro to find a leak in your tire, as you can find it yourself. We’ve helped customers find leaks for themselves for years so we definitely know our way around the block. Here is our guide to finding a leak in a tire.
How to Find a Leak in a Tire
Finding a leak in a tire can be done in four simple ways: checking visually, using soap and water, water only, and without water.
Some people are happy to try and feel for a leak by running their hands over the tire wall but this can be dangerous as there could be nails or shards of glass protruding from the tire wall. Our methods are both effective and will be sure to keep you safe.
Find a leak in a tire by checking visually
The easiest way is to look for leaks visually. Check the tire for any protruding objects or nails or sharp objects. If there’s any, it’s likely that your tire has a leak.
How to Use Soap and Water to Find a Leak in a Tire
Using soapy water to trace a leak in a tire is the most common method, even among professionals. While this might sound simple, it works fine, as the leaking air causes the soapy water to form bubbles on the tire, indicating where the leak is coming from. Also, the system only requires water, soap, and a spray bottle.
Plus, you can use any soap that produces bubbles.
However, it is worth noting that using soapy water to trace a leak is best for slower leaks. The method works best when an object is stuck in the tire, disrupting the air coming out. Follow these steps to find a leak in a tire using soapy water:
Step 1: Prepare the Solution
The first step to finding a leak in a tire with a soap solution is to mix the soap and water in a sprayer. While the concentration might not matter, you might want to consider an inch-worth of soap for a spray bottle filled with water. Shake the bottle to ensure the solution mixes.
Step 2: Spray the Tire
The next step is to spray the tire. Spray the tire with the solution in the spray bottle and ensure it covers the tire. Since the valve stem and bead are more susceptible to leaking, you want to pay more attention to those areas when spraying with the solution.
Step 3: Look For Bubbles
Once the soapy water gets to where the air is leaking from the tire, bubbles begin to form, indicating the leak’s location.
How to Use Water to Find a Leak in a Tire
Again, soapy water is best for slower leaks and might not work for faster leaks. Hence, if the leak is faster than what a soap-water solution can detect, you want to try another method, and this is where using ordinary water comes in.
The process involved in this method is different from using soapy water. While using soapy water to trace leaks in a tire means spraying the tire with soapy water, using only water means submerging the tire in water. This can be a bit more work since it requires removing the tire from the car.
Step 1: Remove the Tire
The first task to find a leak in a tire with water starts with removing the tire. Start by parking the vehicle on level ground and jacking it up. Loosen the nuts and remove the tire.
Step 2: Source for Water
After removing the tire, fill a container with water to submerge the tire. The container should be large enough to contain the tire or a large part of it. As a guide, a kiddie pool and bathtub are of the required size.
Step 3: Submerge the Tire
By submerging the tire into the container, bubbles form around the tire and rise to the surface. This makes the leaks in the tire obvious to locate.
How to Find a Leak in a Tire without Water
While the most common methods involve using water to trace leaks in a tire, you can still find leaks in a tire without water around. However, this method only works if the damage in the tire is obvious or the leak is fast enough to make a sound.
There are two options to finding a leak without using water, but first, you must pressurize the tire, ensuring it has enough air in it to ease the process.
Once there is the proper amount of air in the tire, run a rag along with the tire and notice if it catches any object. The rag catching on any object provides you with the object that caused the leak and the location.
The second option is to place your ear closer to the tire and listen to any hissing sound produced by the air leaking out of it.
What to do if you have a leak in your tire ?
If you have a leak in your tire, the best thing to do is to take it to a professional who can fix it for you. Trying to fix it yourself can be difficult and might even make the problem worse.
So, save yourself the trouble and take it to someone who knows what they’re doing. However, if it’s not possible to fix then the only option is to buy a replacement.
How to fix a leak in your tire ?
You can also try patching the leak yourself, but it’s important to note that this is a temporary fix and is not as reliable as taking it to a professional. If you do decide to patch the leak yourself, make sure that you get a proper tire patch kit and follow the instructions carefully.
Tips for avoiding leaks in your tires
There are a few things that you can do to avoid leaks in your tires:
- Check your tires regularly for any signs of wear and tear and watch for things like cords showing.
- If you see any, make sure to get them fixed as soon as possible.
- Avoid driving on rough roads or over potholes as much as possible.
- Make sure that your tires are properly inflated.
- If you’re going to be driving for a long period of time, make sure to stop and check your tires every few hours.
By following these tips, you can help to avoid leaks in your tires and keep yourself safe on the road.
What to do next
Hopefully now you can feel secure in the knowledge that if you do have a leak, you know exactly how to find it. Once you do find the leak you obviously have a decision to make. While you can try to patch the tire, you probably will need to think about replacing the tire sooner or later.
Fortunately, we’ve put together some guides to help you find the best tire for your vehicle. So, check those out now.
We hope you enjoyed this article and found it informative. If you have any questions then please leave a comment below or get in touch via email or through social media and we will read and respond to every comment, email or question. Thanks for reading!