Wheels and Tires

Xmas eve slow puncture - choices?

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 26th, 2017 10:26 am
[OP]
Jr. Member
Aug 23, 2017
109 posts
88 upvotes
Quebec

Xmas eve slow puncture - choices?

Not the greatest time to get a slow puncture, everywhere is closed and I've got to travel for Christmas :( So this morning I find that one tire was partially deflated, at about 15psi. I've pumped it up to 32psi and I'm waiting a few hours to see if it holds the air. I can't see any damage with a visual inspection, so either there's a nail in the tire or the valve is leaking.

But what's best? Should I swap to the space-saver spare, bearing in mind that we're expecting 10 to 15cm of snow tomorrow and I'll be traveling about 150km on highways and rural roads, or should I keep the slowly-deflating winter tire pumped-up and hope that it doesn't suddenly fail? No garages are open until the 26th or even the 27th... Vehicle is a Subaru Crosstrek.
7 replies
Deal Fanatic
Sep 16, 2004
9779 posts
2030 upvotes
Toronto
Have you examined the tire to see if there is a nail etc ?
There are do it yourself patch kits at places like Canadian tire.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Aug 23, 2017
109 posts
88 upvotes
Quebec
Thanks, but I can't see anything with a visual inspection, and I don't have the tools to remove the tire from the rim to patch it anyway.
Deal Guru
Jun 24, 2006
12270 posts
6297 upvotes
jimprdx wrote: Thanks, but I can't see anything with a visual inspection, and I don't have the tools to remove the tire from the rim to patch it anyway.
You don't need to remove the tire from the rim to patch, but you do have to find the hole first.

It has been a while now, is it holding?
Deal Addict
Aug 10, 2013
2787 posts
2021 upvotes
Theres a product called "Green Slime". It works great! Held up a military tire that was dry rotted for years.

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Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 9, 2007
14888 posts
11198 upvotes
Think of the Childre…
Cold weather causes air in tires to contract -- a pound of pressure per square inch for each 10-degree drop in temperature. If your tire pressure was low to begin with, you might have trouble.

Subzero temperatures can make the rubber of the tire stiff and cause the seal or "bead" (where the rubber meets the metal rim) to loosen. The resulting air leak can make the tire flat. Sometimes the valve, which is also rubber, will leak.

Even a tire with an embedded nail or debris may drive fine until cold weather arrives. That's because extreme cold makes the tire contract away from the nail, opening a hole, causing a leak and then a flat.

Aluminum alloy wheels also are more likely to leak, and they're used on most cars today. It's harder to get a good seal on alloy wheels. Road salt eats away at the metal, leaving an uneven surface that's prone to air leakage. And the jarring and jostling from hitting potholes doesn't help.

The best way to prevent a cold-weather flat is to keep an eye on tire pressure. Walk around your vehicle before you get behind the wheel. Check tire pressure regularly, at least once a month, experts advise. In addition to preventing flats, proper tire maintenance enhances road safety and gas mileage.
jimprdx wrote: Not the greatest time to get a slow puncture, everywhere is closed and I've got to travel for Christmas :( So this morning I find that one tire was partially deflated, at about 15psi. I've pumped it up to 32psi and I'm waiting a few hours to see if it holds the air. I can't see any damage with a visual inspection, so either there's a nail in the tire or the valve is leaking.

But what's best? Should I swap to the space-saver spare, bearing in mind that we're expecting 10 to 15cm of snow tomorrow and I'll be traveling about 150km on highways and rural roads, or should I keep the slowly-deflating winter tire pumped-up and hope that it doesn't suddenly fail? No garages are open until the 26th or even the 27th... Vehicle is a Subaru Crosstrek.

WOULD SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!
Member
Jun 10, 2008
498 posts
374 upvotes
Halton Hills
I would go to walk mart or crappy tire NOW and buy a plug kit. You'll need it someday. Fill it up and spray it down with soapy water to find your leak. Don't forget the valve. If it's a nail that's not on the sidewall then use the plug kit. A loose valve core can be tightened with a small flat screwdriver. Rim leak would require a tire shop.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Aug 23, 2017
109 posts
88 upvotes
Quebec
Gutty96 wrote: It has been a while now, is it holding?
It's holding but losing 4-5psi per day so I'm just going to wait and go to a tire shop when they open tomorrow.

Thanks for all the suggestions. :)

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