Tire valve stems are the valves located in a vehicle’s wheel where the tires are inflated from. They contain a spring loaded valve core that seals itself using the air pressure inside of the tire. Over time valve stems may get old, crack, become brittle, or begin to leak, causing larger problems with your tire and your driving experience.
When valve stems begin to leak, the tire will no longer hold air. Depending on the severity of the leak, the tire may leak air slowly, or in more sever cases not hold air at all, warranting replacement of the valve stem.
In most cases the the fastest way to replace a valve stem is to take it to a tire shop and have them remove the tire and replace the valve stem using aid of a tire machine. However, for instances where this is not an option, a tire can be removed and the valve stem changed manually. In this step by step guide we will cover how to remove a tire from a wheel manually, using a tire iron, to replace the valve stem.
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How to Replace Valve Stem
- Air compressor with hose
- Jack stands
- Lug nut wrench
- Needle nose pliers
- Tire iron
- Valve stem removal tool
Step By Step Guide
Step 1: Loosen the lug nuts
First loosen the lug nuts of a wheel to unmount the tire from its place to replace the valve stem.
Step 2: Raise the car on jack stands
Secondly engage the parking brake and then raise the vehicle on the jack stands.
Step 3: Remove the wheel
Thirdly remove the wheel carefully and place it on the ground facing up.
Step 4: Deflate the tire
Remove the cap from the valve stem, and then remove the valve stem core using the valve stem removal tool to release the air from the wheel.
Once the valve stem core is removed the tire should deflate on its own.
Step 5: Separate the tire’s bead from the wheel
Hit the tire with the help of a sledge hammer on the side wall of the tire simultaneously on the same spot until the tire breaks free.
Step 6: Lift the lip of the tire up from the wheel
Once the tire’s bead has been broken, insert your tire iron between the edge of the rim and the inside lip of the tire, and then pry upward to pull the lip of the tire over the edge of the wheel.
Once you have pulled the lip of the tire over the edge of the wheel, work the tire iron around the rim until the entire lip of the tire is off the rim.
Step 7: Remove the tire
The tire will break free and it will easily be loose and you can pull it apart from the wheel.
Step 8: Remove the valve stem
Once the tire is removed from the wheel remove the valve stem. Use the needle nose pliers to pull the valve stem free from the wheel.
Step 9: Install the new valve stem
The old way to install a new valve stem was to use a special wrench, which requires special tools and takes longer than the original process. The new process only requires standard needle nose pliers to pull it through into place.
Step 10: Reinstall the tire
Reinstall the tire onto the wheel by pressing it down over the the rim .
Then press the side of the tire down underneath the edge of the wheel, tuck your tire iron in between the lip of wheel and the bead, and then pry the bead over the lip the of the wheel.
Step 11: Inflate the tire
Inflate the tire by using a digital gauge. For most tires, the recommended pressure is between 32-35 pounds per square inch (psi).
Step 12: Check for leaks
Lastly when the tire is properly inflated, double check to make sure that there are no leaks of any kind, and then reinstall the tire onto the vehicle and lower it off of the jack stands.
In conclusion, don’t take the risk of replacing the valve stem in a tire too early. If you find that the tire is leaking when you drive, wait until it’s flat. Don’t risk driving on a leaking tire. This can be dangerous because if the tire bursts, you will be injured and the vehicle damaged. Instead, change the tire when it is flat.