Can the cold cause tires to go flat?

My friend drives a Mitsubishi Eclipse, which has fairly low-profile tires. On two different occasions, he has come out in the morning to find an unexpected flat tire. The first time he took it to a shop and they told him nothing was wrong with the tire, it just needed to be filled with air. The second time he just filled it up himself and all was good. Each time it was a different tire. The first time it occurred after he hit a pothole pretty hard. Nothing happened prior to the second incident. But both times the temperature was fairly cold, between zero and in the teens, Fahrenheit. What is causing the tires to deflate? Can the cold create a condition where an impact to the tire would cause it to lose air but not leave any damage to the tire?


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Flat tires are among the most common cold-weather calls for roadside assistance, said Dawn Duffy of AAA Minneapolis.

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It tends to happen every year: Subzero weather arrives and tires go flat. Why does it seem worse now?

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It probably has to do with timing.

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After the warmest January in 160 years, many people may have been caught with their maintenance down. That is to say, their tires weren't fully pressurized.

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"Maintenance isn't the first thing on the mind when it's 40 degrees," said Larry Krause, manager partner at Firestone in Edina. Over the weekend his shop experienced an abnormal number of flat fixes, about 25 tires.

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Cold weather causes the air in tires to contract -- a pound of pressure per square inch for each 10-degree drop in temperature.

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Besides just causing a drop in pressure, subzero temperatures can make the rubber of the tire stiff and loosen its seal or "bead" (where the rubber meets the metal rim). The resulting air leak can make the tire flat. Sometimes the valve, which is also rubber, will leak, said Krause.

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Even a tire with an embedded nail or debris may drive fine until cold weather arrives, he said. That's because extreme cold makes the tire contract away from the nail, opening a hole, causing a leak and then a flat.

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Aluminum alloy wheels also are more likely to leak, and they're used on most cars today, said Douglas.

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It's harder to get a good seal on alloy wheels, said Krause. Road salt eats away at the metal, leaving an uneven surface that's prone to air leakage.

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And the jarring and jostling from hitting potholes doesn't help.

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The best way to prevent cold-weather flats? Keep an eye on tire pressure. Douglas recommends that drivers walk around their vehicles before they get behind the wheel.

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Check tire pressure regularly, at least once a month, experts say. In addition to preventing flats, proper tire maintenance enhances road safety and gas mileage, Duffy said.

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Rim leaks, very common in cold climate.

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i dont think it does. maby some kid is just flattening them


You'd have to hit a pot hole pretty hard and it would go flat right away. You could have a leak around the rim, alloys tend to get corroded on the edge where the bead seals. Cold would cause a slight drop, just the way heat causes it to increase but wouldn't go flat. They need to check around the rim it would be a very slow seepage.

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Well stop and think cold air gets supercompressed i mean people that go hike on MT. Everest have to carry oxygen to keep from passing out so on a low profile tire there is less air in the tire to begin with since they have a low psi req. vs a tire that is on a regular eclipse so if he wishes to keep his lps then he needs to get a small compressor for when its cold to re-air them and his other option is to switch back to regular tires untl it warms up but his lp tires will most likely continue to flatten in cold weather or he has pissed someone off and they let the air out of his tires and in that case he should be glad they didnt pull his stem or he would have to buy another tire. so hope that answered the question

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Cold temperatures do have an effect on tires. Chilled air is more dense. The molecules pack closer together. This will cause a drop in tire pressure not usually more than a few psi. It definately will not cause a tire to go flat.

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I would definately inspect the wheels and tires with them removed from the vehicle. Make sure there are no nails, screws, or staples in the tread, or rips in the sidewall. Make sure there are no dents or gouges in the rim bead.

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If you find nothing like that and are really concerned, you can have the tires remounted. Have the rim beads thoroughly cleaned and have bead sealer applied before remounting the tires.

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Give that a try. I hope this helps!

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a drop in air pressure will have effect on tire pressure..but it sounds like you have a leak on the rims I have seen drops in air pressure as much as 10psi but never going flat...

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you can lose or gain 1psi for every 10 degrees of temp change... so do your home work...
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