How to Remove a Valve Stem

Written by jody l. campbell
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A conventional valve stem on a tire is a metal valve that can sustain air pressure. It is covered with rubber to protect it and to help seal the valve stem hole of the rim. Exposed to the extreme conditions in the environment, the rubber of the valve stems can deteriorate over time. Tire manufacturers recommend replacing the valve stems every time a tire is changed. There are different types of valve stems which require different removal procedures.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Tire machine
  • Tire stem puller
  • Shop rag
  • Tire core removal tool
  • Ratchet and socket set
  • Pliers

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    How to Remove a Valve Stem

  1. 1

    Remove the valve stem cap and then use the valve stem core removal tool to remove the core. Turn the core counterclockwise until the core can be extracted. Tires with air pressure in them will purge the valve core outward, so apply caution and wear safety glasses.

  2. 2

    Determine if the valve stem is a Tire Pressure Monitoring Sensor (TPMS). Most vehicles manufactured in 2007 up until now have TPMS sensors. A hex head retaining nut will be present, holding the valve stem of the sensor in position on the wheel. If you notice a hex head nut over the valve stem, use the ratchet and a socket to remove the nut by turning it counterclockwise until you can extract it from the valve stem. Poke the TPMS sensor into the valve stem hole of the rim so you do not damage the sensor while breaking down the tire to extract the sensor. If it is not a TPMS sensor valve stem, skip this step.

  3. 3

    Break down the tire from the rim (if you have not already done so). If you're extracting a TPMS sensor break down the tire from both sides of the rim and remove just the top tire bead from the rim to remove the sensor. If you're removing just a conventional valve stem, break down the top of the tire only if desired and press down on the rubber sidewall. For the easiest access to remove the valve stem, completely remove the tire from the rim.

  4. 4

    Inspect the top and bottom of the valve stem. There are different types. Some high pressure valve stems may be held in place to the rim much like a TPMS sensor, but without the sensor attached underneath. Them remove this type of valve stem, hold the round base of the stem from under the rim with a pair of pliers to hold it stationary while removing the nut from the top valve stem with the ratchet and a socket.

  5. 5

    Screw a valve stem puller onto the stem of a conventional valve stem. Place a shop rag on the edge of the rim to protect it from getting scratched by the valve stem puller. Use the puller as a lever and pry the valve stem out of its seated position in the rim. Sometimes you will incur damage to the valve stem, but anytime one is removed, it should be replaced with a new one.

  6. 6

    Make sure replacement valve stems are seated properly in the valve stem hole of the rim. Wipe the top of the rim near the valve stem hole of any dirt, mud, or other debris.

  7. 7

    Replace the valve stem by reversing the procedure of how you removed the type you have on the rim. Conventional valve stems can be reseated by using the tire stem puller until the stem achieves its seated position. TPMS sensors should not be installed back onto the rim until the tire has been replaced on the rim. Otherwise damage could be incurred to the sensor when trying to align the bead of the tire onto the rim.

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