Slow Punctures – All You Need To Know

While they may be quite a common issue, slow punctures tend to be somewhat difficult to spot. As a result, we often drive around on tyres with slow punctures without ever realizing! So to try and help you avoid any further trouble with slow punctures, our team here at Sean McManus Tyres have put together a short guide, detailing everything you need to know about slow punctures.

What is a slow puncture?

Slow punctures are small holes on your vehicle’s tyre which allow air to escape. Since these holes are quite small, they are not only difficult to detect, but their size also means that slow punctures release air very gradually. This is a stark contrast to large punctures which cause your tyres to deflate rapidly and as a result are much easier to spot. However, one thing which slow punctures and larger punctures have in common is that often occur without the driver ever realizing it. In the case of slow punctures, it could even take weeks before you become fully aware of the issue.

How are slow punctures caused?

As with most punctures, slow punctures are typically caused by driving over a sharp object on the road. Examples are endless, ranging from screws or nails to glass or debris. In addition, many slow punctures are caused by your tyre coming into contact with a pothole. Another possible cause for your vehicle experiencing a slow puncture could be the result of a faulty tyre valve. If this is the case, the tyre valve itself is not secured correctly which allows air to gradually escape from the tyre, consistent reducing your tyre pressure. One thing all of these potential causes have in common however is that they can be costly as well as dangerous if they remain unnoticed.

Inspecting a tyre at Sean McManus Tyres

How do I spot a slow puncture?

While slow punctures tend to be extremely small and difficult to spot visually, there are multiple tell-tale signs that indicate your vehicle may be suffering from a slow puncture.

  • Steering pulls to one side: While driving, if you notice your steering gradually pulling to one side, a slow puncture may be the culprit. In order to test this, first you must find a perfectly quiet, safe straight road and while driving gently loosen your grip on the steering wheel. If it begins to pull towards one side, then there is an issue. This issue could be caused due to incorrect wheel alignment; however, it may also be caused by a slow puncture.
  • Steering is less responsive or vibrates: If your car has a slow puncture, this means that air will be gradually released from the tyre. This in turn will result in an imbalance in your tyres, which causes a noticeable vibration in your steering wheel. In addition, if you notice your steering to be responsive, particularly when cornering, again this may be caused by an imbalance between your tyre and wheel caused by a slow puncture.
  • Repeated loss of tyre pressure: If you find yourself constantly having to put air in your tyres, this could be a clear sign that your vehicle may be suffering from a slow puncture.

What do I do if I have a slow puncture?

If you discover a slow puncture, you must address the issue immediately. In most cases a slow puncture can be repaired. If the puncture has been caused by your tyre coming into contact with a debris such as a nail, then a tyre technician can usually resolve the issue using a rubber plug. However, in some cases it may not be as simple as that. If a slow puncture goes unnoticed for a long period of time, the damage caused may become too great to be resolved. If you leave a slow puncture alone for too long this may result in far greater damage to your tyres and hugely affect the safety of your vehicle.

Bearing all of the above in mind, here at Sean McManus Tyres, we strongly advise resolving any slow puncture issues immediately. If this requires a quick fix or even a set of new car tyres, we can assure you the short term costs will far outweigh the long term costs if you leave a slow puncture unattended.