If your tire appears flatter, it could have a valve stem leak. A tire valve stem regulates the amount of air in the tires. Low air pressure makes driving the vehicle dangerous, especially at higher speeds.
You don't have to replace the tire. It isn't difficult for a novice to repair the valve stem. Here are tips to fix a leaky tire valve stem.
Prepare to Work
For this project, you need:
- work gloves
- safety goggles
- vehicle jacks
- bricks or concrete blocks
- liquid soap
- rust remover
- valve core
- tire valve cap (optional)
- valve core tool
Engage the emergency brake, and raise the side of the vehicle with the bad tire valve on jack stands. Place bricks or concrete blocks around the front tires.
Inspect the hole in the tire rim for corrosion or nicks, which interfere with the operation of the new tire valve stem. Use a rust remover to clean rust. If the rim is damaged, it will need replacing.
Test for a Valve Stem Leak
Find the valve stem. The valve stem is commonly located where the tires are filled with air.
Test for a valve stem leak before replacing it. Take off the end cap, and rub the opening with soapy water. Bubbling indicates air is escaping. Otherwise, the tire is leaking in another area.
Remove the Old Core
If you have determined you have a valve stem leak, the tire must be deflated to remove the core. Ensure you wear safety goggles while you do this, since there will likely be dust particles. To make core replacement easier, take the vehicle off the jacks, and remove the tire from the vehicle by detaching the lug nuts with a wrench.
Place the tapered end of the valve stem core tool securely into the valve stem, but don't make it too tight, or it could strip the valve threads. Turn the tool to the right to detach the core. The tire should start deflating.
Install the New Core
Clean the inside of the valve core. Use the same tool to install the new core.
Secure the new core in place, but not too tight. Take the tire to a filling station, and refill it with air. If it doesn't have an end cap, install one to keep the inside clean and to prevent leaks. Reinstall the tire, and disengage the emergency brake.
As you drive the vehicle, watch the tire for air leaks. If the tire is damaged, or it still leaks, consider replacing it. For more information, talk to a professional like http://evanstire.com.