If you see your tire gradually leaking and you can not find the culprit, it could be time to fix the tire valve, the part situated within an automobile’s wheel where the tires are inflated. Inside, they have a spring-loaded valve that seals itself shut by utilizing the tire’s atmospheric pressure.
With time, as the part ages, it will start to be fragile, frequently breaking, leading to some undesirable leaks of air.
When the part will start to leak, it will not be able to hold air, and depending upon the severity of the leak, it might be slower or in many cases, the tire will not hold air at all.
Regardless, in a lot of circumstances, your best choice is to change the valve stem to prevent an unsafe driving situation.
Valve stem replacement cost
The expense of a tire valve stem replacement will all depend upon the specialist you work with and the kind of system your vehicle utilizes.
If your vehicle utilizes a tire pressure tracking system (all automobiles after 2007 have this part), for instance, a few of these systems will utilize a sensor that is a part of the valve stem, making the part far more costly, about $75 to $125 per wheel if you will also need the sensor replaced.
Nevertheless, for a basic, simple valve replacement, with no sensors or computer system elements, the expenses ought to be less than $5 to $30 per tire at most mechanics and tire shops. Some mechanics might charge a store minimum, depending upon the store policy, however many of them are more than happy to give a quote over the phone.
When it comes to simply the parts and no expert repair work factored in, a higher-quality four-pack will cost a pinch less than $10.
According to members on one RedFlagDeals forum thread, you need to be ready to spend $12 to $25 per tire, with one member, in particular, saying they paid $20 to $25 per tire at their regional Walmart.
The valve stem replacement procedure
If you take your vehicle in to a mechanic, the first thing they will do is to make sure that the valve stem is the part responsible for the leakage, and this is typically done by rubbing soapy water around the valve stem to see if any bubbles pop up.
When the valve stem is confirmed as the malfunctioning part, the next action will be for the mechanic to deflate the tire and depending upon the mechanic’s way of doing the job, they might get the tire off the car too to make the repair work much easier. Nevertheless, the repair work can be carried out with the tire in place as long as the vehicle is raised on an automobile jack.
When the tire is deflated, a valve stem tool will be utilized to aid to loosen the valve from the tire to eliminate the old core from the tire.
Next, while utilizing the tapered end of the valve core tool, they will clean up the valve stem and will ensure any blockages from around the valve stem and inside the tire are eliminated.
Finally, the brand-new core will be set up utilizing the valve stem tool, the very same end that was utilized to eliminate the older core. The brand-new valve is then tightened up by hand, the tire is inflated and the valve cap is changed.
The whole procedure, from start to finish, will take a skilled mechanic less than 15 minutes to carry out. YourMechanic has a great illustration of how the whole procedure works.
The kinds of valve stems
Standard: As the name indicates, a standard valve stem can run at atmospheric pressure of 65psi or below and is frequently seen on all passenger automobiles, according to Discount Tire.
Chrome-Sleeve rubber: Somewhat similar to a standard valve stem, this valve stem can also run at atmospheric pressure of 65psi or below, however, unlike a standard valve stem, it will have a chrome sleeve covering the valve, in addition to a chrome valve cap, mostly for cosmetic factors.
High-pressure: Typically seen on trucks and trailers, this kind of valve stem is suggested when atmospheric pressure exceeds 65psi.
High-pressure metal: Based on Discount Tire, this kind of valve stem will be suggested for high-performance functions since a rubber grommet will be utilized to aid seal the metal efficiency valve to the wheel. This stem, unlike the others, will be connected with a nut and rubber grommet, and as the nut will have to be tightened up with time, it’s recommended to be tightened up periodically to prevent any loss of air.
Tips to understand
To figure out if your valve stem is losing air or not, CarsDirect advises you to rub a mix of dish soap and water over the uncapped valve stem with your finger. If you see bubbles starting to form, then this indicates air is leaving and the valve is, undoubtedly, leaking. Nevertheless, if you see no bubbles around the valve stem, you will need to look somewhere else as the leak does not come from here.