Why Does One Tire Lose Pressure

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Tires are a fickle thing – if you own a four-wheel drive vehicle, then you’re likely very familiar with how they can unexpectedly lose pressure. Wondered why does one tire lose pressure? You might be out on a trail and suddenly find that one of your tires is significantly lower than the others, or you might notice that after driving on the highway for a while, one of your tires is noticeably softer than before. So, what gives?

There are a few reasons why this might happen, and thankfully none of them are too serious. The most likely explanation is that the tire simply wasn’t inflated to the proper pressure to begin with. If you’re frequently checking your tire pressure and keeping them at the recommended levels, then this probably isn’t the issue.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the other potential causes of why one tire might lose pressure, so keep on reading!

Why Does One Tire Lose Pressure

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why one tire might lose pressure:

Wheel Issues

The following are issues that can occur with your vehicle’s wheels that might cause one tire to lose pressure:

Poor Valve Stem:

First, check the valve stem to see if it’s damaged or loose. This is a common issue that can cause air to leak out of the tire. Due to their proximity to road chemicals, valve stems often corrode and may begin to let air out.

Also Read: Idle Air Control Valve Symptoms

Bent or Damaged Wheel:

If you hit a large pothole or something else that could damage your wheel, it’s possible that the tire could start to leak air. The wheel may partially lose its perfectly round shape due to corrosion or hitting a road hazard and poke and vibrate with each rotation. Additional corrosion on the surface where the tire is placed may also cause leaking.

Also Read: Steering Wheel Won’t Lock and Car Won’t Start

Tire Damage

The following are issues that can occur with your vehicle’s wheels that might cause one tire to lose pressure:


One the most obvious causes of a tire leak is when you get a nail or some other sharp object stuck in your tire. If you have a spare tire and jack, then you can simply change the tire and be on your way. However, if you don’t have a spare, then you’ll need to take your car to a nearby service station to get the tire patched.

Also Read: How to get a Stripped Lug Nut Off a Tire

Bead damage

If the valve stem looks fine, then it could be an issue with the bead of the tire. This is the part of the tire that sits on the rim and seals it in place. If there’s a problem with the bead, air can escape from there as well.

Damage Due to Road Hazards

When driving it’s not uncommon to hit the curb when turning or to run over something sharp in the road. While these things usually don’t cause any serious damage, they can sometimes puncture your tire or damage the bead, causing a slow leak.

Temperature Change

It’s also worth mentioning that changes in temperature can cause a tire to lose pressure. When it’s cold outside, the air inside your tire’s contracts and the pressure decreases. Conversely, when it’s hot out, the air inside your tires expands and the pressure increases.

Also Read: Why is my Temperature Gauge not Going Up?

If you’ve ruled out all of the above issues, then it’s possible that there is an issue with the tire itself. If the tire is old or has a lot of mileage on it, then it might be time to start shopping for a replacement.

How to Locate the Air Leak 

In order to locate the leak, you can employ the soapy water method. Simply add some dish soap to a bucket of water and mix it up. Next, listen for air or a hissing sound and take a brush and coat the approximate area of the tire in soapy water. 

If you can’t hear a sound just cover the entire tire. If there’s a leak, you should see bubbles coming from the area where the air is escaping so keep an eye out for that. Once you’ve pinpointed the location of the leak, you can decide whether you need to patch the tire or replace it entirely.

How to Fix Tire Losing Pressure

Now that you know the potential causes of why one tire might lose pressure, as well as how to locate the leak, it’s time to take a look at how to fix it.

Repairing a Tire

This involves patching the tire from the inside. You’ll need to remove the tire from the vehicle and then use a special adhesive to patch the hole. Once the adhesive has dried, you can re-inflate the tire and put it back on your car.

Repairing the Valve Stem 

For this repair, you’ll need to remove the tire from the car and then use a valve stem tool to remove the old one. Next, take a look at the threads on the new valve stem and apply some lubricant before screwing it in place. Finally, re-inflate the tire and put it back on your vehicle.

Repairing and/or Restoring the Rim

Last but not least, if the rim is damaged, then it will need to be repaired or replaced. This is a more expensive and involved process, so it’s best to take your car to a professional if this is the case.

Maintaining Proper Tire Inflation 

To help prevent one tire from losing pressure, it’s important to maintain proper tire inflation. You can check your vehicle’s owner’s manual to find the recommended tire pressure for your specific make and model.

It’s also a good idea to invest in a quality tire pressure gauge so that you can check the pressure on all four tires regularly. This is something that you should do at least once a month, and more often if you’re driving in hot weather or on rough roads.


So, why does one tire lose pressure? There are a number of potential causes, including a hole in the tire, a damaged valve stem, or bead damage. In some cases, it might just be due to temperature changes or normal wear and tear.

If you think that your tire might be losing pressure, then it’s important to take action right away. The first step is to locate the leak using the soapy water method. Once you’ve done that, you can decide whether you need to patch the tire or replace it entirely. Thanks for reading!

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