How to Repair Cracked Auto Tire Valve Stemsby John Walker
The tire valve stem provides you an access point to add air to the tire while maintaining the proper seal. The unit is a metal tube surrounded by rubber with an internal core that screws into the tube. The seal is produced by a rubber lip pressed against the rim and by a secured core that allows air in or out when depressed. The valve stem can be damaged or cracked through impact. Repairing a valve stem is not an option, but you can replace the stem readily.
Raise the vehicle with a jack placed beneath the axle. Loosen and remove the lug nuts with a lug wrench. Set the lug nuts to the side. Lay the tire on a flat surface.
Deflate the tire by removing the valve core with a valve core removal tool. Allow the tire to fully deflate before continuing.
Place a pry bar between the lip of the rim and the bead. Apply ample downward pressure to move the bead away from the rim near the valve stem. You may have to hit the pry bar with a hammer or rubber mallet to dislodge the bead.
Snip the inner rubber lip of the valve stem for easier removal. Grasp the valve stem from the outside of the rim with pliers and remove. Cup your hand beneath the valve stem inside of the rim to prevent any small pieces from falling into the tire.
Insert the new valve stem into the hole and pull through with pliers until the valve stem is properly seated. Stand the tire up and lean onto it to get the bead to swing over the valve stem's inner rubber lip.
Pump air into the tire, making sure to keep your fingers and loose articles away from the exposed bead. Inflate the tire to the factory-recommended tire pressure level.
Replace the tire onto the vehicle and tighten the lug nuts. Lower the vehicle to the ground and remove the jack. Tighten the lug nuts to the factory-recommended torque with a lug wrench.
Things You'll Need
- Lug wrench
- Replacement valve stem
- Wire cutters
- Valve core removal tool
- Pry bar
- Hammer or rubber mallet