Check For Tire Leaks With Liquid Soap

March 3rd, 2009 (122,234 views) by Pinny Cohen

Check tire

One of the really irritating things about tires is their proclivity for developing tiny leaks.  This leaves you feeling like a Russian Roulette player each time you step in your car, wondering if this time your tire will burst.

Fortunately, my experience with punctured tires hasn’t been all bad – it led me to find a mechanic a few years back who, while having far from the newest equipment in his garage, more than made up for it with the mental equipment he had acquired through experience.

The last time I thought a tire had a hidden leak, he whipped out a spray bottle with a 20/80 mix of liquid soap and water.  I was about to tell him “thanks, but I just got a car wash done the other week” when he started spraying the tire.  In a small area by the rim, I noticed a neat effect.  Bubbles started growing and bursting at a fast rate – a leak!

So folks, next time you think your tire is losing air, use a spray bottle and some soap to check, and enjoy the confidence of driving safe.

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6 Responses to “Check For Tire Leaks With Liquid Soap”

  1. Ram K Says:

    how do you know which side the leak is on the tire ?. What if the leak is on the other side of the tire that is not visible from outside.?

  2. Pinny Cohen Says:


    Great question. I would guess that you would need to remove the tire or get under the car to spray in those areas.

  3. Paul Morales Says:

    Nice, Didn’t know that worked ;) .

  4. A. M. Nugraha Says:

    Here in Indonesia, it has become standard procedure. Here, even the lowly tire menders on the side of the street use that method. See for yourself:

    I wonder what did you do before you found out about the method?

  5. MoJo Says:

    uh, probably before that simple method, an even simpler method, stick the tire in a large bucket and viola

  6. How To Keep Your Tires in Top Shape | New Car Pricing Insider | Tips on buying a new car from insiders Says:

    [...] do you think they are going to tell you? Save money by learning to inspect your tires yourself. Check for leaks by spraying slightly soapy water all around their inner and outer surfaces and watching for [...]

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