On yesterday's trip around Chautauqua Lake (40 miles) with friends in my '14, I had an inner tube stem (metal of course) tear out as we were going around 35 MPH about a quarter of the way into the trip. I had checked all the tires before leaving and made sure they were properly inflated, so I donít know what happened to cause it. The tire came off the rim of course but to the inside of the wheel, so it stayed with the car. I had a spare tube, a hand pump, and a jack so we werenít stranded. We easily re-mounted the tire with hands and feet and no tools, but we found that the valve core in the spare tube was leaking (I think it was just loose, but I didnít have the core tool to tighten it). We put the plastic valve cap on and it seemed to stop about 90% of the air leakage, but that's still a problem if one is driving any distance.
Now here's the interesting part: The guy whose house we stopped in front of was an old-time mechanic. When he heard the problem, be left and came back with some wheel bearing grease. He told me to pack the little plastic valve cover with it, and also to fill the valve. Then screw the cap full of grease on tightly. Since the solid grease cannot be compressed, the air could not escape.
He was absolutely right. After we got the cap on there was NO detectable leakage. So we elected to continue the trip rather than turn around and go back. Made it all the way around the lake and back home with no trouble whatsoever, and that included a nearly two hour stop for dinner.
The tireís still holding air this morning just fine, so I will put it in the local parade today.
Clever! Good to know. Thank you for sharing.
Now, that's a trick worth knowing.
Interesting. It must be that's it's too viscous to work out.
Going forward, ditch the plastic caps.
Put a notched metal valve stem cap on one of your inner tubes (the type of cap that can be used to install and remove the valve core).
For your other inner tubes, install a plain metal cap.
Do something similar on your modern car: notched cap on the spare tire, plain metal caps on all the other tires. Even on your bicycle - one notched cap on one tire, a plain metal cap on the other.
Note that both the plain and notched metal caps have a rubber washer inside. There is a reason for this; the cap serves as insurance against a leaky valve core.
You can still purchase both styles of caps new, today.
First photo are brand new, modern Schrader caps.
Second photo - first caps is a brand new, modern Schrader notched cap. The second two are vintage.
If you are a purist, antique caps are easy to find.
Brand new Schrader USA caps:
Left to right: brand new Schrader USA, two vintage Schrader USA
Yes, it's on the to-do asap list. The grease saved the trip when faced with less than ideal conditions. I didn't think it would work with the flimsy plastic cap but by golly it sure did.
Eric, Every time I put the metal cap with the tool built in on anything it was stolen in a few days. So you need to keep it with your tool box. Scott
I always carry the handy-dandy valve tool like the one in the Schrader ad in my tool box.
3 of the 4 tires on my T have those caps. "I" lost the 4th one.
For our "other" cars that run on sand dunes regularly, we don't run cores at all. Just a metal cap. It makes it much easier to air down for the sand.
I always carry the tire valve core tool too--unless I've loaned 1t to someone ;<)
Reminds me of a favorite "puzzler" from Tom and Ray.
What part of a modern automobile has been used since before the automobile was developed, and remains, unchanged, today. It is used on all cars and trucks alike. It still costs about 15 cents, as it did when automobiles were first built. There are 6 or 7 or more on your modern car, and 5 on your Model T. They're all alike, and interchangeable.
Answer: the Schrader valve. Why 6 or 7 or more on your modern car? Air Conditioner. Why since before the automobile? Bicycles.
These are even better. The upper cap is screwed onto the usual small thread that all vaalve caps use. There is an inner sleeve with rubber seal, which slides up inside the cover.
The lower stem is covered by the assembly, just by sliding it up before final tightening.
These covers fit all valve stems, fat, skinny, even modern rubber ones.
Allan from down under