How to Repair a Tire Valve

Lead Image
  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 1-50
What You'll Need
Car jack
Jack stands
Valve core tool
Replacement valve core
Safety glasses
Corrosion cleaner
Tire valve plug
Soapy water

Tire safety is an important aspect of the maintenance of your car. A tire valve is responsible for maintaining the air pressure in the tire. Without a tire valve or with a faulty, malfunctioning or broken valve, air will slowly leak from the valve stem, causing a loss of air pressure. A low tire or disproportionate and unbalanced tires, as it relates to the tire pressure, is extremely dangerous when driving at highway speeds. Inspect your tire valve every time you replace a tire, balance, or repair the tire. If the valve is cracked or damaged, replace it immediately.

Step 1 - Mount and Lift the Car

Using a car jack, raise the car or the specific wheel in the air so you can comfortably move around the car and access the wheel. Prop the car using jack stands for safety.

Step 2 - Inspect the Tire Valve

man jacking up a car

Before beginning the tire valve repair, take a look at the hole in the rim. Look for nicks or corrosion. Either issue could damage the repair or replacement valve and prevent a leak-free seal.

Next, determine if you have a leak. Uncap the valve. Using the ends of your fingers, apply a little soapy water to the end of the uncapped valve. If bubbles form, you have a leak with the tire valve stem.

Remove the tire from the car and deflate the tire. You can replace the valve while the tire is mounted on the car, but it requires extra precaution and skill. For safety reasons, we recommend you remove the tire completely.

Step 3 - Remove the Core

Put on a pair of safety glasses or goggles to prevent dust and particles from reaching your eyes. Using a valve core tool, remove the core. As you remove the core, pressure will release. Particles may shoot into the air.

Step 4 - Insert New Core

man working on a tire

Before you insert the new core, inspect the threads of the valve. If corroded or dirty, clean the inside of the valve (the threads particularly) with a corrosion cleaner. Screw the new core in snugly. Do not thread it too tightly as you may strip the threads of the tire valve. Insert a valve stem-cap to maintain the cleanliness in and around the tire valve. This will prevent any further leaking and maintain the tire valve optimally.

Step 5 - Re-mount the Tire and Lower the Car

Take the tire to the gas station and, using a compressed air supply, reinflate the tire to the recommended pounds of pressure. Mount the tire back on the car and lower the car to the ground. Drive the car for a day or two and look for any new or persistent air leakage problems. If the tire is free from any and all leaks, you have fixed the problem.