Cap-less - Citroënian {P}
Weird one this.

Someone has stolen all the little silver dust caps of the alloys on our MINI.

Annoying as it is, I\'m more confused than angry - what on earth do people want with dust caps?

There are some terribly odd folk about.

MINI adventure in progress
Cap-less - DavidHM
They're going to be put on to a Nova, of course.

Naturally, the thieves could buy them, but why spend more on a Nova than the car's worth?
Cap-less - JamesH
Or on kids bikes.

Halfords put green caps on my car once after putting some special air into the tyres. The caps were gone within a week (good job I asked to keep the old black ones).

Cap-less - Rob the Bus
>>Halfords put green caps on my car once after putting some >>special air into the tyres.

Eh? 'Special air'? James, please elaborate. I was always under the (apparently erroneous) impression that air was air!
Cap-less - Dynamic Dave
Eh? 'Special air'?


Nitrogen Gas. It seems some tyre shops are copying what the Formula 1 guys are using to fill their tyres with.
Cap-less - Rob the Bus
I'm probably going to get myself a reputation as a frilly-apron wearing tart here, but I don't follow F1. Why would putting Nitrogen Gas in your tyres be a good thing? I'm presuming that if the F1 chappies do it, it must be good but I'm jiggered if I can see how.

Cap-less - Dynamic Dave
I\'m probably going to get myself a reputation as a frilly-
apron wearing tart here, but I don\'t follow F1.

So your name really is Roberta then?
Why would putting Nitrogen Gas in your tyres be a good thing?

Tyres filled with Nitrogen will maintain their correct pressure for longer, because Nitrogen doesn\'t leak through the tyre\'s structure. Normal compressed air contains Oxygen and water vapour, both of which permeate through the tyre casing.

Quick google found these:-
Cap-less - Rob the Bus
>>So your name really is Roberta then?

I've told you not to reveal my 'other' identity, Davina!

Thanks for the explanation Dave. It all makes sense now. Where can I get this done? And is it expensive?

Thanks for the links too. Very (perhaps too!) informative.

Cap-less - Ian (Cape Town)
there is also the fact that common air contains H2O vapour, which heats up along with the tyre, expands, and increases the pressure in a non-linear way, whereas N expands in a linear fashion. If that makes sense.
Cap-less - Rob the Bus
Ian - many thanks for that. It made perfect sense btw!

I can reassure you that I am not a Roberta, but a fully paid up Robert! The Roberta thing came about as a bit of gentle p-taking in another thread.

Cheers! ;-)
Cap-less - Flat in Fifth
>> Eh? 'Special air'?
Nitrogen Gas. It seems some tyre shops are copying what the
Formula 1 guys are using to fill their tyres with.

Of course you could put in helium to reduce the unsprung weight!
Cap-less - Rob the Bus
I'm getting the rather uncomfortable feeling that I'm having the whatsit taken out of me ever so slightly!

It's not still April Fool's Day is it?!?
Cap-less - Dynamic Dave
Of course you could put in helium to reduce the unsprung
weight! ;-)

Or Hydrogen if you want your car to go like a bomb!!
Cap-less - frostbite
Or Nitrous Oxide if you fancy a giggle.
Cap-less - Steve G
My mothers Mini had its caps nicked.
Had a hard time explaining to my mum why someone would want to steal dust caps.
At least with the VW badges there was a reason behind it.....
Cap-less - slefLX
Funny enough, I had 2 silver dust caps nicked - but not until I'd lost a wheel trim so the silver cap was more obvious against the black wheel. More annoying was the fact they took TWO, I got 5 in my original set so had 1 spare but then I had to go out and buy a new set (4 this time) for the sake of one!
Cap-less - Citroënian {P}
As a follow up, I've just been to our local friendly MINI dealer and found these things cost the princely sum of 20p each.

I've bought a handfull as I can see this happening again. The parts chap seemed to think they're stolen by kids to put on their'd think for 20p each they'd just buy their own!

MINI adventure in progress
Cap-less - Wally Zebon
A bicycle only has two wheels, plus they only nick them from one side of the car. I've had this happen two or three times now.

I got some that have a little hex spanner with them and tightened them up so that they can't be undone without the spanner. It then goes on my keyring.

Cap-less - Dave_TD
One of the backwards baseball cap magazines has a free set of 4 alloy valve caps this month, I forget which one.
Cap-less - Brill {P}
"Or Nitrous Oxide if you fancy a giggle."

...or Hydrogen Sulphide, it'll go like stink.
Dust Caps - Leon on Derv
I had four new tyres fitted to my motor recently, the garage without special request fitted polished steel inflating valves and matching dust caps.

They did look well on the alloys. After about 3 months some thiefing git nicked all four of the dust caps. I went back to the tyre centre and asked if I could buy four replacment dust caps. They kindly gave me another 4 free of charge.

Shortly afterwards they too were nicked. I replaced these with four which i bought in a local motor factors - they too have been nicked. I have now given up and replaced them with the original black plastic caps.

Just to take the pink fluffy dice I came out of work this evening to find these too have been nicked.....

Anyone aware of a locking type dust cap requiring a spanner or tool to remove them?

Seems like nothing short of a dose of locktite will stop this clampit whoever they are? Well, apart from the 4 X 2 therapy they will recieve if I catch them. Kinda hard to remove dust caps with broken fingers.

I have just taped them up with insulating tape for now to keep the crap out of them.

Dust Caps - DL
Loctite the caps on, just to 'annoy' them......trouble is, they might do some damage to your car in sheer frustration.

-- - Pictures say a thousand words.....
Dust Caps - T-Bod
Yes you can get locking dust caps.Audi make them and they fit all cars(valves).If you go to you can buy some there for £17.99.
You may find Halfords or somewhere simular sells them.
Hope this helps.

Dust Caps - T Lucas
Apparently it's a craze sweeping the nations Junior schools 'dusties'swop,sell,exchange etc.Bit annoying each time they are pinched.I've now super glued them to my wifes car.
Dust Caps - nick
How do you pump your tyres up?
Dust Caps - T-Bod
You could buy new tyres every month!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hopefully they are not 215/45 R17 or bigger!!!!!!!!
Dust Caps - T Lucas
Have'nt tried yet!
Dust Caps - Dynamic Dave
I've now super glued them to my wifes car.

The dust caps, or the children?
Dust Caps - SjB {P}
When I had my Vectra GSi Estate, it not only had nice metal dust caps, but also nice rigidly fixed metal valve assemblies instead of the usual rubber ones. Very smart, and looked a treat with the standard fit Speedline manufactured alloys and rubber band Yokohamas.

Having been annoyed when a thieving toerag stole one dust cap(the finger marks were clear against the roade grime, and anyway, why only one?!), after fitting a replacement, I nipped them all up beyond finger tight with a spanner, which I then kept in the tool kit in the car.

What happened when I went to check the tyre pressures one day?

The entire valve assembly sheared in half, and I was left with a flat tyre within a few seconds! Aaaaargh.

I too then admitted defeat, and replaced the caps with plastic ones.
Dust Caps - T-Bod
The Locking Caps i was talking about earlier use a alan Key to Lock and unlock them............i think its the best chance you have of keeping them on your car
Dust Caps - Vansboy
Mrs Vansboy had same theft from her Mx5, gone back to the plastic ones, for now.

I didn't relise it was a popular school-boy thing. I'd be complaining to a headmaster, if I had kids doing swaps with them, as I'm not too keen on 'trivial' thefts.

Dust Caps - X5
I was going to have a rant on this very subject a few weeks ago. I only stopped myself because I thought that everyone would think me a very sad individual, and I half-convinced myself that the things hurled themselves off of their own volition. I'm so heartened to read this thread. Thanks Leon.
Dust Caps - Leon on Derv

I trust you are heartened because I raised the subject as opposed to being heartened that you can take comfort in the fact there is another equally sad individual participating in the forum. :-D

Dust Caps - Cliff Pope
Silly question, but why are dust caps necessary?
If you wipe the dirt off before checking the pressures, applying the gauge blows out any dirt inside the valve.
What harm precisely would a bit of dust inside the tyre do anyway?
Are we just getting worked up about these things because they have always been there?

I've always found garages the worst culprits for stealing dustcaps. I go in with 4 nice shiny chrome caps, and if I don't check I find they have been thrown away and replaced by standard black ones.
Isn't it a little bit anal worrying about them at all?
Dust Caps - Graham

How do you just blow away dried up mud in the valve end?
Dust Caps - blank
How do you just blow away dried up mud in the
valve end?

Never tried, but I imagine the air pressure in the tyre would clear it, if you press the plunger in the middle of the valve.
I use plastic caps which (fingers crossed) I\'ve nevre had stolen, though I\'ve left them on top of air machines a few times!
Like Cliff I suspect there is no real need for them in normal UK conditions. I\'ve certainly run for maybe 12 months without them , no problems.
Are Dust Caps the new Mats? - Flat in Fifth
as in paraphrasing the fashion statement "xxxxxx is the new black"

I pose the question "are dust caps the new mats?"

It is Friday.

Are Dust Caps the new Mats? - helicopter
Surely this is in the wrong thread
Dust Caps ? - pmh
I remember that once upon a time Schrader (I think) would not guarantee airtightness of valves. The only permanent seal was the metal valve cap. Are valves better now?

I have always used metal when possible, and a good source of replacements is invariably on the ground near the airline of a busy garage!

I would have thought leaving caps off was a potential source of problems if dirt gets into the valve.

pmh (was peter)
Dust Caps ? - L'escargot
I remember that once upon a time Schrader (I think)
would not guarantee airtightness of valves. The only permanent
seal was the metal valve cap. Are valves better now?

Nope! I have two valves that leak, but fortunately the air doesn't seem to get past the plastic valve caps.

L'escargot by name, but not by nature.
Are Dust Caps the new Mats? - arnold2
Watch when your car goes in for service - my New Beetle had one of its nice plastic ones 'replaced' by a 5p job in a VW service dept - didn't spot it until I came to do the tyres some time later ...
Are Dust Caps the new Mats? - matt35 {P}
Maybe Ian (Capetown) can let us know if, having developed the flame thrower car some years ago, they have found a way to put a good electrical charge through metal dustcaps so we could fry the little pfd's that steal them?
PS - insert 'seriuosly fry'
Are Dust Caps the new Mats? - martint123
A couple of points on dust caps.

(1) My bike manual says they must be present. Centrifugal forces tend to move the valve in the 'opening' direction and the dust cap prevents leakage if it moves too far.

(2) I've seen some alloys (can't remember which ones) that don't have a valve in the rim. There is a drilled passage through one spoke and the valve appears at the center of the wheel which has a locking cover over the wheelnuts (and valve).
Are Dust Caps the new Mats? - Andrew-T
martin - I like the idea of a valve near the centre of the wheel. Awkward checking pressures though ...
Are Dust Caps the new Mats? - Ian (Cape Town)
Mmmmm, funny you should say that, but a mate of mine has some really funky shiny metal ones which are shaped like the flight of a dart - and those edges are razor sharp! They come with a special metal tool, which is a tubular thing, about 2 inches long, and has a knurled body, and a cross in the top to remove the caps without lopping off one's fingertips!
Now, why go to such bother, I hear you ask? Simple - they are from some tyre-test application, apparently, where ONLY Nitrogen may be used in the tyres, so they prevent some oik topping up with 'normal' air.
Stealing tyre valve dust caps - Mad Maxy
Who keeps nicking the dust caps from the valves on my tyres? I don't want the name and address, just a clue as to what sort of idiot is responsible. Kids? Low-life adults? People replacing theirs that have been nicked?

I've just replaced the complete set for my MINI Cooper once again. Should I use the black plastic variety cos they're lower-risk?
Stealing tyre valve dust caps - malteser
The same thing happened to me!

I bought,(from an ad in the Daily Telegraph,as I recall), 4 of the valve caps which let one know if the tyre pressure has dropped from the correct value.
I live in an apartment block with private underground parking and that is where the car was when the caps vanished!
I went back to common or garden black plastic and - surprise, surprise - they are still there!
"Rude, crude and socially unacceptable"
Stealing tyre valve dust caps - carayzee
Had 2 sets go from the girlfriend\'s Cooper in 2 weeks when she first got it. Given up now. I never got that familiar with them, but weren\'t they just plastic anyway?
Here\'s my tale of Mini abuse.
Someone liberated the rear badge the other week (£18 for a replacement btw) as well as other choice acts of vandalism along the way, the best of which was someone writing BMW across the windscreen in a whitewash-like substance. The other mini round the corner got the same, but not the seven \"real\" BMW\'s in the street??
It came off easy enough though. We\'ve also had a keying, a mirror booted off, diesel poured in the heater vents below the windscreen,
nice touch that one, I thought it was going on fire by the time it had warmed up and called BMW-international-rescue - lol. Oh and someone nikced my girlfriends glasses and threw the service books all over the main road, after, I think, I left it unlocked over night.
At least it\'s not a personal vendetta, the one round the corner has had the whitewash, lost a mirror, had the bonnet stoved in, and had chewing gum in the locks. It\'s still a pink fluffy dice great car though!

Stealing tyre valve dust caps - bugged {P}
carayzee where do you live, if i get a mini id rather the above didnt happen to me!!! people are so jealous arent they, how annoying your car got trashed.

anyway. when i first got my car the dust caps it came with were black plastic ones as you'd expect, however what was good was you could check the pressures and top up with air WITHOUT removing them, i guess they have a mini valve in that allows this to happen!! more than once i got a funny look whilst doing the tyres!!

Anyway after VW replaced my alloy (that they had damaged) they also replaced the dust cap with a normal one. I made the boy go and hunt for my special dust cap as it was so handy!! Anyway had all 4 tyres changed a couple of months ago and unfortunatly i lost my old caps, i now have rubbish normal ones. I just never thought to take them off before hand!!
Stealing tyre valve dust caps - carayzee
Bugged - I'm in Edinburgh - apparently my postcode is 119th richest in the UK.

Value my car