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Check your valve stems
11-11-2017, 11:16 AM (This post was last modified: 11-11-2017 11:18 AM by Black Ice LSC.)
Post: #1
Check your valve stems
This is something that has never happened to me in my 30 years of driving:
woke up to head to work -- I manage an auto repair shop---at 6:00am and had a flat. DRAT! got my portable 12v inflator/compressor out and a flashlight. I was going to air it up, look for the leak and plug it on the spot if I could(I'd properly patch it at work)...I drive 25 miles to work, and wasn't going to put on the pizza-cutter spare. I aired it up to 40psi and was spraying the tire with soapy water from a spray bottle looking for a puncture. Couldn't find any leaks. as I was removing the compressor from the valve stem it started to HISSSSS....the valve stem was cracked but only leaked if I pulled it outward, away from the rim. Being a direct descendant from McGuiver himself (not really, but I like to think so), I used duct tape to hold the valve stem IN towards the wheel and drove to work...didn't lose a single psi !!!
I replaced the valve stem that day, and all was good. I even bragged about my ingenuity.

3 weeks later....got to work, and another tire was going flat.. WTH??? two flats in 3 weeks?
I checked, and sure enough...another cracked valve stem! I was already at work (Thank God) I went and replaced the remaining 3 stems.

My tires are all good, with a production date from 2012, so they are "old" by time, but not by miles/tread-depth. But either my valve stems are not up to the 5 year life they have OR the last shop that put tires on the car never changed them and they are ORIGINAL!

or perhaps it is the wheel design that causes excessive outward air flow pushing the stems outward, away from the wheel while at speed causing undue stress to the stems.
why knows?
Just be sure to check your valve stems visually, and move them in and out to see if any cracks are forming or if they are getting "soft".

Do it...go check them now...RIGHT now. 2 minutes could save you from being stranded, or getting in a wreck. Replacing stems does not require re-balance or even full tire removal from wheel...most shops charge $3 a stem and $10-$15 labor per wheel to replace them.
Many of you have TPMS systems...but most of us have older cars.

My 06 has a TPMS symbol on instrument panel from factory, but it doesn't light up, and the vehicle was never equipped with the TPMS system.
Former Lincoln Mark VIII owner/specialist
Former P71 owner
Current 2006 MGM owner
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12-01-2017, 01:11 AM
Post: #2
RE: Check your valve stems
Indeed, they are cheap and should be replaced either at each tire change or every other. Newer products seem to be getting worse and worse all the time.

To the best of my knowledge the TPMS (2008+) cars all used the banded type of monitors, the valve stems are just standard valve stems. :-)

Could be wrong but I think they made provisions for the TPMS during the 2005 refresh. I remember back in the late 70's and early 80's Ford put the horn buttons on the turn signal levers with the thought that they would be prepared for putting airbags into the steering wheels.
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2010 LTC Signature Series , Silver Birch Metallic, 2004 F150

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12-03-2017, 07:44 PM
Post: #3
RE: Check your valve stems
And to think my Continental has tired and valve stems from 1990...Knock on wood, theyre still holding air, not a sign of dry rot and plenty of tread and good grip...well, good is relative for a car over 5000lbs.

Is there a good valve stem out there? Or are they all made in china garbage these days? Im actually worried about the TPMS on my new car...I already went to the dealership once for that because one tire was showing very low but it was just a computer issue.

Shakes my head...this is gubment interference making this system mandatory, computers, sensors, wiring to replace a pressure gauge in your hand...and eyeballs that can do "gee, that tires seems low". Simple but never fails.
2004 Crown Vic LX Sport (currently with a booboo and totaled)
1972 Lincoln Continental 1 of 1
1973 Lincoln Continental Saved from the crusher
2014 Chevy Camaro
2007 Crown Vic P71 SAP (officially gone, but its parts still clutter my place)
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12-11-2017, 12:00 AM
Post: #4
RE: Check your valve stems
Can't say I'm a real fan of dumbed down drivers but it's the way the world is headed... :-(

Though I will admit they are a bonus on modern "rubber band" tires, 15psi looks much like 30 on those.

Not a concern in my world, anything less than a 50 aspect ratio won't survive long enough to worry about it on our rural highways.
Current:
2010 LTC Signature Series , Silver Birch Metallic, 2004 F150

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2004 LTC Ultimate, Black, 1998 LTC Signature Series, Silver Frost Metallic
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