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Ownership: Why Does My Tire Keep Going Flat?

Shopping for a Used Car? Keep in Mind That Tires Age, and Not Like Fine Wine

  Shopping for a Used Car? Keep in Mind That Tires Age, and Not Like Fine Wine Even though they might still have plenty of tread, older tires can be dangerous. Here's what you need to know.There is some fluidity as to when tires go bad by age, because the reasons for their degradation are numerous. But 12-year-old tires would exceed all age limits in the world of rubber radials. Most tiremakers say tires should be inspected after six years and replaced after 10, and several automakers recommend replacing tires after six years of use. Tires get weaker with age because of heat, oxidation, humidity, and other external factors, such as where they’re driven or stored. Even tires that are never put on the wheels of a car age as they sit.

Nothing is more annoying than stopping to fill an under-inflated tire every week or two. Of course the first thing you look for is a puncture or tear. It's normal for tires to lose a few PSI (pounds per square inch) of air due to temperature changes. However, if temperatures remain consistent and your tires constantly lose pressure, there is a leak that needs attention. Age, exposure to contaminants and stress can cause parts of your tire and rim (wheel) to fail. But what do you do if your tire is not visibly damaged? Consider that one of these problems is causing your flat tire:

  Why Does My Tire Keep Going Flat? © icolourful/Shutterstock

Sharp Objects

Running over any sharp object can puncture a tire. A tiny nail can puncture a tire, then fall out, causing a slow two-to-three PSI leak per week.

How to Change a Car Tire

  How to Change a Car Tire Do you know what to do when you have to change a tire? Here are some tips that'll make the job easier and safer.Getting a flat is the most common and obvious reason you might need to change a tire. But there are also a few other reasons to swap out an old tire for a new one. The wear and tear of the road on tires will gradually grind down the depth of their treads, leaving the tire with a lessened ability to grip the road (especially in rainy or snowy conditions). The commonly held belief is that once the tread of a tire is worn down past 4/32-in., slipping on wet or icy roads or even hydroplaning is much more likely to occur.

Valve Stems

Made from rubber, valve stems can deteriorate over time. They also can be damaged from hitting a curb or even from an automatic car wash brush. Keep your valve stems clean and always replace the valve cap, but don't overtighten it. Overtightening the cap can damage the valve core. Hand-tight is tight enough.

Ripped Tire

A ripped or torn tire is unsafe, especially if the rip is on the sidewall. Driving on a weakened tire, even if the leak is minor, is dangerous. Compound that with an under-inflated tire that can overheat and you've got a prescription for a blowout.

Bead Leak

The bead is where a tire seals itself to the rim. The bead on older tires, or tires that have "dry-rot," may have decreased elasticity and no longer seal properly. Beads can also be damaged when a tire is mounted or dismounted without the use of tire lube and beads can become chaffed, due to a corroded rim. The only fix for a damaged bead that cannot seal to the rim is a new tire.

Harbor Freight recalls 1.7 million jack stands over concerns they could collapse

  Harbor Freight recalls 1.7 million jack stands over concerns they could collapse The affected Pittsburgh-brand three- and six-ton jack stands were in production for six years, and span three separate model numbers.It's the latter of those two that has come back to bite us in the ass, however, because Harbor Freight is now recalling its Pittsburgh-brand six-ton jack stands over risks that they could collapse during use, according to a filing with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (PDF) from March 20, a dangerous fault first reported on by The Drive on Tuesday. A second recall filed May 3 (PDF) extended the recall to three-ton jack stands.

Rim Issues

Corrosion where the rim meets the tire bead is a common cause for a tire losing air pressure. Die-cast aluminum and magnesium alloy wheel are more susceptible to corrosion. Be sure your tire technician inspects the area where the wheel and bead seal before installing new tires. As well as being unsafe, even a new tire will never properly seal to a badly corroded wheel.

Often overlooked is wheel porosity, where air leaks through the rim itself. Usually caused by a poor casting or corrosion from using incorrect wheel weights, there is a proper, accepted way to repair this type of leak. Don't inject your tire with tire sealant to fix a leaky rim. It can be extremely difficult to clean out and can ruin a repairable tire or tire pressure monitoring system sensor.

Over-inflated Tires

You are playing a dangerous game if you think that by over-inflating a tire with a slow leak, you will increase the time between fills. Besides a rough, noisy ride due to stiff sidewalls and tread, an overinflated tire wears quicker, and overall tire performance suffers. Rigid, overinflated tires are unstable, lose traction easily due to reduced tire-read-to-road contact area (think of a basketball) and make sidewalls vulnerable to blowouts when hitting a pothole.

Figuring Out What Size Wheels/Rims Fit Your Car

  Figuring Out What Size Wheels/Rims Fit Your Car Understanding wheels so you can figure out the largest wheel or rim that will fit your car without rubbing.Wheels and tires can make, or break, a car. We've all seen the otherwise great car with poor fitting rollers. This isn't the 1980s, and tires that stick out past your fender lips just look dated. But, aside from looks, poor-fitting rims can rub your tires right into a dumpster and give you the turning radius of a bus. If you go with smaller tires, it's pretty easy to get them happily residing in your wheelhouses, but if your goal is to maximize your tire size then you need to nail the measurements to prevent fitment issues.

Road Hazards

Anything that can damage a tire or rim — punctures from a nail, metal fragments, broken glass, a piece of wood, a cracked rim or sidewall rips from hitting potholes or a curb — are considered road-hazard damage. Only your tire technician can determine which of these are repairable.

So, as you can see, there are a lot of reasons why your tire can go flat. Inspect your tires and check air pressure at least once a month. Properly inflated tires last longer, wear more evenly and are safer to drive on.

Indian Motorcycle Goes Hill Climbing .
Indian backs John Koester on an FTR750 in new AMA hill climb twins class.When Indian got into American Flat Track in 2016, the twins class had been dominated by Harley-Davidson for decades, aside from a few years that Honda’s RS750 mixed things up in the mid-‘80s. A predictable race is a boring race, but with Indian quickly proving that its team was serious competition for H-D, the fans showed up to watch. Now with larger crowds, we’re seeing flat track races of all kinds popping up in new locations from the Sturgis Buffalo Chip to the Hooligan Moto Beach Classic, and people seem to love it.

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