Is it Safe to Drive With a Tire That Has a Slow Leak?

Tire has a slow leak

Driving with a slow leak in your tire is potentially dangerous because it can cause a flat tire. Once the tire becomes flat, it can become a blowout hazard. A blowout can cause you to lose control of the vehicle, putting yourself and others at risk for a car accident. If you notice your tires are not holding air like they are supposed to, or you have to keep putting air in your tire constantly, your tire may have a slow leak. It is best to get the tire looked at by a mechanic so they can diagnose the problem and repair the leak and/or the tire. There are several ways to check for a tire leaking of air.

Here are some things to look for if you feel that one of your tires is slowly leaking:

  • One way to check for a leak is to listen near the suspect tire. Sometimes you will be able to hear the pressurized air escaping from the small hole in the tire. It will sound like a faint hissing noise. If you hear this, make an appointment with a mechanic to have your tire problem inspected and repaired.

  • Another way to check if the tire has a leak is to move your hand across the entire area of the tire to feel any air that is leaking out. If you suspect one area, focus putting your hand over the spot to see if you feel any air. Chances are if you have a small hole, you will be able to feel the pressurized air coming out.

  • A tire with a low psi can cause heat to build up in the tire, which can cause wear and eventually a blowout. If a slow leak is left unattended, the entire tire could be lost and would have to be replaced, where a small patch or plug could have fixed the tire before. A blowout requires a more intensive repair than a relatively simple one if you would have had the leaked checked out when you first suspected it.

Driving with a slow leaking tire is dangerous, especially at higher speeds. The tire should be looked at by a professional as soon as the leak is noticed. If the tire does happen to fail while you are driving, causing a blowout, you may lose control of the vehicle causing injury to yourself and others. If you suspect a leak in your tire, make sure to have it repaired or replaced by a mechanic as soon as possible to prevent experiencing anything worse from occurring.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

More related articles

Insurance Requirements for Car Registration in Kentucky
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet requires that all drivers in Kentucky carry liability automotive insurance, or “financial responsibility” in order to operate a vehicle legally and maintain vehicle...
How to Get a Louisiana Driver's Permit
s licensing program. The first step in this program is to obtain...
Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in Idaho
The state of Idaho offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch in the...

Related questions

Q: How do I disarm the security alarm?

The security alarm is automatically set when you lock your vehicle using your remote keyless entry (RKE) key fob. When this happens, your car’s alarm will go off if someone tries to enter your vehicle without the RKE. Sometimes, however,...

Q: What should I look for in terms of tire wear?

While your tires should be inspected during normal maintenance, it’s even more important that you’re able to keep an eye on them yourself. Knowing a couple of things to watch for will help make sure that you reduce your risk...

Q: How do I use the safety locks?

The safety locks are a key safety feature that helps keep your passengers safe. When the safety locks are activated, the rear doors cannot be opened from the inside. To turn on the safety locks, press the safety lock button,...