A leaking or cracked tire valve stem can be quite dangerous, both to you and your car. When you get a new set of tires, the repair center will almost always replace the valve stems with new ones to protect the tires and avoid having to unmount the tires again in the future to replace them.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through the whole process of changing a lousy tire valve stem. It may take some time, but if you follow every step carefully, you should be able to replace it in less than 30 minutes.
Without further ado, let’s get to it right now!
Prepare the Tools
Before you start replacing your tire’s valve stem, make sure that you have all the required tools within your hand’s reach. These tools include:
- Air compressor with hose
- Lug nut wrench
- Jack and jack stands
- Needle nose pliers
- Valve stem removal tool
- Tire iron
How to Replace a Tire Valve Stem
To replace your tire’s valve stem, follow these steps:
1. Loosen the nuts: The first step is to loosen the wheel’s nuts. Use the lug nut wrench to loosen each nut separately by turning it in a counterclockwise direction. You must loosen the nuts before lifting up the vehicle because the wheel will rotate against the direction of loosening if the car is off the ground, making it hard to loosen the nuts.
2. Lift the car off the ground: Use the jack to lift up the side of the car that contains the affected tire. Place the jack stands under the vehicle to hold it in position.
3. Unmount the wheel: Remove the wheel and place it on the ground.
4. Deflate the tire: Detach the stem’s cap and use the valve stem removal tool to uninstall the valve core and empty the tire from the air.
5. Separate the bead from the rim: Once you’ve deflated the tire, use a sledgehammer to separate the bead from the rim. Then, grab the tire by the bead and use the tire iron to detach it from the rim.
6. Uninstall the valve stem: Grab the needle hose pliers and use them to remove the old valve stem.
7. Install the new valve stem: Now, you need to install the new valve stem from the inside. Again, you’re going to use the needle hose pliers to attach it.
8. Attach the tire to the wheel and inflate It: Once the new valve stem is in place, remount the tire to the rim. Press it down tightly until the bead is fully engaged. Next, inflate the tire with the air compressor until it reaches the air pressure specified by the manufacturer.
9. Run a leak test: Once you inflate the tire, test it out for leaks before mounting the wheel on the car. Rub some soapy water over the stem, then check the base and see if there are any bubbles. If you see no bubbles, then the valve is intact and leak-free.
10. Mount the wheel back. Once you’ve made sure that the tire is leak-free, reinstall the wheel and put the vehicle back on the ground. That’s it; you’ve successfully replaced your tire’s valve stem!
Can I Replace a Valve Stem Without Removing the Tire?
It’s possible to replace a tire’s valve stem without removing it. However, accessing the tire from the inside while it’s mounted can be troublesome, so it’d be better to take the tire off first to make the job easier.
How Do I Fix a Leaking Tire Stem?
In some cases, you don’t have to replace the tire stem if it’s leaking. To fix a leaking tire stem, you should replace the valve cores with some new ones using a valve core tool.
The advantage of fixing the tire stem rather than replacing it is that it takes much less time and effort. Not to mention, valve cores cost less than full valve stems.
However, fixing a leaking tire stem is only a short-term solution, and you’ll probably need to replace it at some point down the line.
That’s all for this guide! You should now have your new tire valve stem up and ready. Remember never to postpone replacing your old valve stem. After all, it’s better to replace a valve stem than change an entire tire. Have a safe drive!