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Tyres  /  Tyre NewsHelp and Advice  / Slow Punctures - A Silent Danger

Slow Punctures - A Silent Danger

Slow Punctures - A Silent Danger

Slow punctures can be a frustrating and inconvenient problem for drivers – whether you have standard car tyres or EV tyres.

What are slow punctures?

These are punctures that occur over time and cause a loss of traction and handling, reduced fuel efficiency, and can even lead to a dangerous blowout.

What causes slow punctures?

The causes of slow punctures can vary, but some of the most common include:

  1. Puncture wounds: sharp objects on the road, such as nails, screws, or other debris, can cause small holes in the tyre. These holes can allow air to slowly leak out of the tyre over time.

  2. Valve stem damage: the valve stem is the part of the tyre that allows air to be added or removed. If this stem is damaged or corroded, it can cause air to leak out of the tyre slowly.

  3. Bead leaks: the bead is the part of the tyre that attaches to the rim. If there is damage or corrosion at the point where the tyre and rim meet, air can slowly leak out of the tyre.

  4. Porous tyre: over time, the rubber in a tyre can become porous, which means that tiny holes develop that allow air to slowly leak out.

How to identify a slow puncture

If you suspect that your tyre(s) have a slow puncture, there are several signs to look out for.

TPMS Screen

  1. A gradual decrease in tyre pressure: If you notice that one of your tyres is consistently losing air pressure over time, this could be a sign of a slow puncture. If your car has a TPMS, this will flag decreases in the air pressure. Should this happen on a regular basis after you have topped up the air pressure, this is a sure sign of a leak.
  2. Increased fuel consumption: when a tyre is underinflated, it causes more resistance on the road, which can lead to increased fuel consumption.
  3. Reduced handling: if your car feels like it is handling differently than usual, such as pulling to one side or feeling less responsive when turning, this could be a sign of a slow puncture.

The risks of driving with a slow puncture

If have a slow puncture, it is important to get it fixed as soon as possible. Driving on an underinflated tyre can cause significant damage to the tyre itself and potentially other parts of your car.

Tyre pressure warning

On top of this, it can be exceedingly hazardous - particularly at high speeds or on slippery roads. As your tyre's grip and handling will be less effectual and compromised, which can lead to accidents and collisions.

How to fix a slow puncture

If you suspect that you have a slow puncture, take your car to a local tyre fitter as soon as possible. They can identify the root cause of the leak and determine whether the tyre is repairable or needs to be replaced.

In some instances, the tyre may require replacement due to the extent of the damage or the age of the tyre. If the puncture is small, the mechanic may be able to repair it by applying a sealant or patch. However, if the damage is extensive, the tyre will need to be replaced.

Preventing slow punctures

The best way to prevent slow punctures is to maintain your tyres regularly. This includes checking tyre pressure, inspecting for damage, and rotating your tyres regularly.

You should also be mindful of driving conditions and avoid driving over debris or potholes whenever possible.

Additionally, investing in high-quality tyres can reduce the likelihood of slow punctures occurring.

Remember to check your tyres

Slow punctures are a common issue that drivers face on the road. They can be caused by a variety of factors, including puncture wounds, valve stem damage, bead leaks, or porous tyres.

If you suspect that you have a slow puncture, it is important to get it check by a tyre fitter. They will be able to advice on whether it can be repaired or new tyres are needed.

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