How To Spot A Slow Puncture & Fix It

A slow puncture in your car’s tyre can often go undetected for long periods because the loss in air pressure is gradual. However, to help you spot the puncture earlier on, we discuss how they are caused, the telltale signs and how to fix it.

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Considering that your tyres are the only contact your car has with the road, it’s important that you spot any issues early on. A slow puncture is a common problem but one that’s difficult to detect because the tyre gradually deflates.

How To Tell If You Have A Slow Puncture?

Whilst you are driving, there are many telltale signs that a slow puncture provides and this can include:

  • Pulling to one side on a flat road
  • Harsher ride than normal
  • Vibration from the steering wheel
  • Uneven tyre wear to the edges
  • The need to inflate the tyre more often
  • TPMS fault upon the dashboard

Is A Slow Puncture Save To Drive On?

Depending upon how much air pressure leaves the tyre each day will determine whether it’s safe to drive on. For example, if it was losing 10 to 20 PSI a day, this would need immediate repair. However, if it’s losing only a few PSI each day, it should be fine to drive on to a garage as long as you re-inflate it beforehand.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you can go on a long road trip or travel hundreds of miles. You’ll want to repair the slow puncture sooner rather than later because it could begin to lose more air without you knowing.

What Causes A Slow Puncture

Slow punctures are often caused by driving over sharp objects such as a screw or other road debris. Even a pot hole or kerb can cause a slow puncture because it can damage the sidewall of the tyre or the rim itself. Another cause of a slow puncture is a faulty tyre valve, which is caused when the cap doesn’t seal with the valve properly.

How To Fix A Slow Puncture

To fix a slow puncture properly will be determined by what’s causing it. For example, if it’s a screw or debris embedded into the tyre, you may be able to fix it yourself with a puncture repair kit or worst case you can go to a garage. However, it’s worth noting that if the damage is to the sidewall, you will want to replace the tyre altogether.

If you have hit a pothole or kerb and it’s damaged the alloy as well as the tyre, this can be an expensive repair. For example, the wheel may have cracked or the outer rim has lost its shape, which will cause air pressure to leave the tyre. Many alloy wheel refurbishment companies should be able to fix the wheel but it may better to buy a second hand wheel depending upon the price of the repair.

In terms of fixing a slow puncture caused by a faulty valve, you will need to visit a tyre repair garage. They will need to take the tyre off and then reseal it to complete the repair.


Your car’s tyres are the only contact your car has with the road and regularly inspecting your tyres for any damage is highly advised. If you drive a modern vehicle, most will have a tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS), which certainly helps detect a slow puncture. Therefore, whenever the TPMS alert illuminates upon your dash, act sooner rather than later.

author dan 4car

Written By Dan

Dan has been a car enthusiast ever since he can remember and has an extensive range of cars that include classic cars that he has restored himself from a barn find condition to modern performance cars. Whether you need advice on how to install car parts or recommendations on what products to buy, Dan’s first-hand experience will certainly help.

If you want to find out more about Dan, our testing process or the website itself, visit our about page for further information.

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