Why Do My Tyres Keep Losing Pressure?

Image of a flat tyre on a car with a grey five-spoke alloy wheel.
Apr 16,2024
Mike Abbott

Tyres are a critical component of your vehicle, influencing safety, performance, and efficiency. However, they often lose pressure for various reasons, which can affect your driving experience. The primary causes of loss in tyre pressure include natural air permeation through the tyre, impacts with potholes or debris, temperature changes, and valve stem damage. Understanding these factors can help maintain optimal tyre pressure and ensure safer, more efficient driving.

Common Reasons for Loss in Tyre Pressure

Tyres are essential components that contribute to the safety, efficiency, and overall performance of your vehicle. Understanding the various reasons why tyres lose pressure can help you maintain them properly and extend their life. Here are some of the most common causes:

Temperature Fluctuations

Temperature has a significant impact on tyre pressure. For every 5.6°C change in ambient temperature, your tyre’s pressure can change by about 1 PSI. This is particularly important to consider during seasonal transitions. For instance, as colder weather sets in, the air inside the tyres contracts, reducing the pressure, which might necessitate more frequent checks and adjustments to maintain optimal pressure levels.

Punctures and Leaks

One of the most common reasons for a drop in tyre pressure is punctures, which are often caused by nails, screws, or other sharp objects on the road. Even small punctures can cause a gradual loss of air that is hard to detect immediately. Additionally, leaks can also occur around the valve stem, or at the tyre bead—the edge of the tyre that sits on the rim. Both areas are susceptible to damage and wear, which can compromise the air seal.


Permeation is the natural and gradual loss of air through the rubber material of the tyre. All tyres experience this to some extent, but the rate can vary based on the tyre composition and the external environment. Regular tyre pressure checks are essential because of permeation, as this slow loss of air might not be immediately evident but can significantly affect tyre performance over time.

Impact Damage

Impact damage, often resulting from hitting a curb, pothole, or other road hazards, can lead to immediate and noticeable drops in tyre pressure. Impacts like these can cause visible damage to the tyre or rim and might also lead to internal damage not visible from the outside. Frequent inspections for bulges, cuts, and other deformities on the tyres can help detect such issues early.

Why is it Important to Maintain the Correct Tyre Pressure?

Proper tyre maintenance is critical for several aspects of vehicle performance. The key reasons why maintaining the correct tyre pressure is so important include safety, efficiency and tyre lifespan.


Properly inflated tyres are fundamental to safe vehicle operation. They ensure the best possible contact with the road, which is really important for effective braking and reliable handling. Incorrect tyre pressure can lead to unpredictable vehicle behaviour, increased stopping distances, and even a heightened risk of accidents.


Tyres inflated to the appropriate pressure level operate with maximum efficiency. Under-inflated tyres increase rolling resistance, which means your vehicle has to use more fuel to move forward. Maintaining the correct tyre pressure ensures optimal performance and can significantly improve your vehicle’s fuel economy.

Tyre Lifespan

Regularly checking and adjusting your tyre pressure to match the manufacturer’s recommended levels can prevent premature wear and tear. Under or over-inflated tyres can wear unevenly, reducing their usable life and necessitating earlier replacement. By keeping your tyres properly inflated, you extend their lifespan and ensure they perform as designed throughout their life cycle.

How to Fix Drops in Tyre Pressure

Addressing drops in tyre pressure effectively can help ensure your vehicle remains safe and efficient. The steps to manage and correct drops in tyre pressure include regular checks, inflating your tyres to the correct level and inspecting your tyres for damage.

Regular Checks

It’s essential to check your tyre pressure regularly—at least once a month and before any long trips. Use a reliable tyre gauge to measure the pressure accurately. This routine check helps you maintain the right pressure and identify any issues before they lead to more significant problems.

Pump It Up

If you detect that the pressure in any of your tyres is lower than recommended, you should inflate them to the correct level. The manufacturer’s recommended tyre pressure is typically found on a sticker inside the driver’s door or in the vehicle’s manual. Proper inflation is crucial for maintaining tyre health and vehicle safety.

Inspect for Damage

During your regular tyre checks, also inspect for any visible signs of wear, punctures, or damage. Look for cuts, bulges, or objects like nails that might be embedded in the tyre. These damages can compromise tyre integrity and safety. If you discover any such issues, it may be necessary to repair or replace the tyre to ensure it remains safe and functional.

Check Your TPMS

Most modern vehicles are equipped with a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), which alerts you when your tyre pressure is low. Understanding this system is important:

TPMS Functionality: If your TPMS light comes on, check your tyre pressure and inflate as needed.

TPMS Maintenance: Ensure your TPMS is functioning correctly by having it checked regularly during vehicle servicing.


Can I drive if the tyre pressure warning light is on?

It’s safe to drive to the nearest service station to address the issue, but avoid longer journeys until the tyre is properly inflated to avoid damage and safety risks.

Should I over-inflate my tyres?

No, over inflating your tyres can reduce the contact area with the road, impairing handling and increasing wear and risk of blowouts.

Is low tyre pressure dangerous?

Yes, low tyre pressure can lead to reduced handling and braking performance, increased tyre wear, and even tyre failure.

How often should I check my tyre pressure?

Check at least once a month and before any long trips. It’s a quick process that can save you from future issues.

What causes the TPMS light to flash and then stay on?

This often indicates a malfunction with the TPMS itself. If the light flashes for more than a minute before staying illuminated, have your TPMS system inspected.

Longbridge Tyres

If you’re experiencing issues with your tyre pressure or need a replacement, contact Longbridge Tyres today. 

We offer an extensive selection of tyres, from mid-range to high-performance options, tailored to meet your needs. With over 20 years of experience serving the Birmingham and Solihull communities, we provide expert advice and a wide range of top-quality tyre brands suited for all budgets and vehicle types. 

Our skilled team, experienced with both cars and commercial vehicles, is committed to delivering honest, professional service. Trust us to keep your vehicle running safely and efficiently. Get in touch with us on 0121 457 7582, or fill out our online contact form

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