Perhaps this belongs in Technical but it's not very technical. Before being too harsh, please bear in mind that it's being asked by someone who has owned a car for less than three years and isn't used to dealing with even minor problems.
I went to use my car today for the first time since Tuesday and immediately noticed that a tyre was flat My immediate reaction was to pump it up to find out how serious the leak was. This made me resolve to replace my cheapo Argos footpump: fine for a top-up but hard work to inflate the tyre completely.
After inflating the tyre, it became clear that the air was leaking from the valve itself.
How common an occurence is this? Is it likely to be repairable or will I need a new tyre? Given that Kwik Fit is only half a mile away and the leak is slow, should I inflate the tyre and drive straight there, or would not changing the wheel be a really stupid thing to do?
Luckily, I happen to have the week off work and don't need the car too urgently.
If it is leaking from the valve then you probably need a new valve. Wherever you take it will need the wheel off the car to do the work so the best bet would be to fit the spare and go down to the tyrefitter with the problem wheel in the boot, IMHO
if its the innerpart of the valve these screw out and the tool for doing it should be available at your local car shop along with a new valve they are basically the same as in a pushbike,if it is leaking where the rubber valve meets the rim then you either need a new valve or a new innertube,as said put the spare on or drive carefully to your tyre dealer.
\"a little man in a big world/\"
Thanks for all the responses. It's nearly three hours since I
fully inflated the tyre and there's no visible flattening.
Local toerags let it down for a laugh?
If the valve is still leaking, it's not going to take you 3 hrs to drive to Kwik Fit, so I would leave the wheel on the car and gently make my way down there in the morning - first checking the tyre isn't flat again.
good o Welliesorter your answer is in my first post. Bare in mind my push iron has 3 speed sturmey archer gears and is therefore a bit of a relic but the valves do unscrew out,if they dont on modern bikes then i must put that down to progress.With regards tubes yes modern cars are but it doesnt mean to say that you may have a porous rim or a ripped bead on your tyre and somebody has fitted a tube to counteract this.
\"a little man in a big world/\"
I wish my bike were as simple. I don't think I've ever owned one (at least not as an adult) where the valve wasn't welded into the tube. Break the valve and you need a new tube. I once destroyed a pump by holding it at the wrong angle and breaking off the screw-in bit of the Presta valve. Bike tyres use much higher pressures than car ones. Seeing how badly damaged the pump was when I retrieved the bits was quite a shock, and it was amazing that I escaped without injury to myself or neighbours' property. Gone are the days when pumps had a little flexible hose so it didn't matter if you held them crooked.
has fitted a tube to counteract this.
I should have mentioned that the car is less than three years old and hasn't done a huge number of miles: it's still on the original tyres.
The easily replaceable bike tyre valve, retained by a lockring was the Woods. It's now pretty well extinct, though I have a Trusty Spacemaster in my collection which has them fitted.
It is possible to replace the cores in Schrader (car type) valves in pedal cycle applications and presumably in cars as well. A special tool is required for the purpose. I'd happily experiment with a bike inner tube, but TBH if the car was involved I would rather get a new valve professionally installed.
I often used to take the valves out of my old pedal bike - the rubber tubing which allowed air in but not out used to perish and had to be replaced.
A car valve dust cap will certainly stop virtually all the air escaping over a period if tightened up properly and using a small piece of plastic film to cover the valve opening first will enhance its effect.
I use plastic valve extensions on my Bora as it's difficult to get an airline onto the valves because of the wheel trims getting in the way (you get very dirty taking them off because of the brake dust); I only lose one to two pounds of pressure in a couple of the tyres over a period of a month or so.
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What\'s for you won\'t pass you by
After inflating the tyre, it became clear that the air was
leaking from the valve itself.
Can we assume you used the normal DIY method and put some suddsy water around the valve base where it meets the rim and also at the open end?
If it leaks from the base then its off to the tyre fitters.
If it leaks from the open end then as others have indicated it should be easily fixable either by yourself or the fitters.
There is a small multifeatured tool that is readily available for the task. www.justoffbase.co.uk/s.nl/sc.9/category.210/it.A/f
Tyre Valve Repair Tool 11502 Draper TV100 Price £3.76 (Incl. VAT)
The top part in the picture is what extracts the core. Then you screw in a replacement.
How common an occurence is this?
I have the tool but never ever used in decades.
Is it likely to be repairable or will I need a new tyre?
You said it was the valve. If so the tyre is not the problem.
If it is the base of the valve then the tyre will be taken off to fix the problem.
They didn't on my Mondeo, they kept leaking, so when I
bought new tyres I asked the tyre fitter to remove them
and replace with snap-in ones.
I had the same problem, I have also had a leak around a couple of the snap in ones, one of my rears currently loses a psi a day, I need to get it removed and a new valve fitted and sealed, I did this with two other snap in valves previously which cured the problem.
Can we assume you used the normal DIY method and put
some suddsy water around the valve base where it meets the
rim and also at the open end?
Didn't need to. As soon as I'd inflated the tyre fully, it was obvious where the air was coming from. The valve cap stopped it. I've taken a glance now and it isn't obviously much flatter than the other tyres. After a boost, I think it'll be safe for a mile or so.
If it leaks from the base then its off to the
If it leaks from the open end then as others have
indicated it should be easily fixable either by yourself or the
I don't think I'll risk a DIY job. After relating my bike tyre disaster (albeit of 16 years ago) could anyone think I should be attempting to work on anything as safety-critical as a car tyre?
You can't get quicker than a Kwik-Fit fitter! I crawled there just now and told the man the problem. He filled the tyre, tightened the valve with a tool he had in his pocket, pronounced it fixed, and refused any payment. I hope he's right!