Q:

How do I fix a tire valve stem leak?

A:

Quick Answer

Pour a dilute soap solution on the stem before beginning to determine if it's the source of the leak, and repair any leaks by replacing the valve stem core. The process takes about 10 minutes and requires a valve stem tool and replacement core.

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How do I fix a tire valve stem leak?
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Full Answer

  1. Remove the valve stem cap

    The caps protect the stem from mud and dirt. Unscrew the cap, and save it to reinstall later.

  2. Test for leaks

    Pour a small amount of dilute soapy water on the end of the valve stem. If it's leaking it should form bubbles.

  3. Clean the stem

    Use the tapered end of the valve stem tool to remove any debris from the end of the valve stem so that they don't drop into the tire when you remove the stem insert.

  4. Remove the insert

    Use the tool to unscrew the insert and remove it from the valve stem. Air leaks out of the stem when you loosen the insert. Work quickly so that the seal between the tire does not break.

  5. Insert the replacement part

    Use the tool to screw the replacement part into the valve stem. Make sure it's snug, but do not over-tighten.

  6. Inflate the tire

    Use an air compressor to inflate the tire. Use a pressure gauge to check the pressure and ensure it's within the manufacturer's recommended range. Test for leaks.

  7. Replace the cap

    Screw the cap back on the valve stem to provide protection as you drive the vehicle.

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