A valve stem is the valve that allows air to enter or leave a tire. The tire’s inflation and deflation depend on it. However, there are some problems related to the valve. A major one is valve stem leakage. If the stem isn’t tightened, air can leak out of it. This can adversely affect your performance and fuel economy over time. If you don’t fix the issue, it can damage the tire. So, here’s how to tighten a tire valve stem.
Also included is a procedure for identifying and fixing stem leakage.
How Does a Tire Valve Stem Work?
A tire valve stem is usually made up of Aluminium or Steel. The stem is a protrusion that contains a pin. The air in the tire is pumped via the stem. When this pin is depressed, it doesn’t allow air to leave the tire. The stem can loosen up over time. Hence it will need to be tightened.
How To Tighten a Tire Valve Stem?
Tightening a tire valve stem is simple. You just need a valve core tool and the know-how. The steps are as follows:
- Remove the valve cap or the stem cap
- Use your fingers to turn the stem clockwise.
- Turn it as much as you can. Then, hold the valve stem in place.
- Place the valve tool on top of the valve stem.
- Turn it clockwise to further tighten up the stem.
- Remove the valve tool.
- Place the cap back on.
If you’re still losing air from the tire, consider the stem to be leaking.
Is Your Valve Stem Leaking?
Leakages are different from loose valve stems. In the case of a leakage, you need to replace the valve stem. It is a cheap and easy task to complete. There’s an easy way to find out if the stem is leaking.
Spray a liquid such as a window cleaner or just soapy water over it. If the valve stem is leaking; bubbles will start forming. This means that the stem needs to be replaced.
If the stem isn’t leaking, but you’re still losing air; look for a puncture.
How To Fix a Leaking Valve Stem?
So, let’s say that you’ve identified the leakage. You now need a replacement valve core and the same valve tool as above. It is also good to wear eye protection. Now, you must do the following:
- Remove the valve cap.
- Deflate the tire. You can do so by putting up the car on the jack.
- Insert the forked end of the valve tool to remove the core.
- Turn it anti/counter-clockwise.
- Insert the replacement core where you removed the original one.
- Screw it into place with the valve tool. Rotate it clock-wise.
- Inflate the tire back.
- Put the cap back on.
You’ve officially replaced the leaking stem valve.