Tire Valve Stem Replacement Cost

Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 15, 2018

Lately, if you’re noticing your tire is slowly leaking and you cannot find the culprit, it could be time to repair the tire valve, the part located inside of a vehicle’s wheel where the tires are inflated.  Inside, they have a spring-loaded valve which seals itself by using the tire’s air pressure.

Over time, as the part grows old, the part will start to become brittle, often cracking, causing the unwanted leaks.

When the part starts to leak, it will not be able to hold air, and depending on the severity of the leak, it may be slower or in some cases, the tire will not hold air at all.

Regardless, in most scenarios, your best bet is to replace the valve stem to avoid a dangerous driving situation.

Tire Valve Stem Replacement Cost
IMG_1490” (CC BY 2.0) by GSEC

Valve stem replacement cost

The cost of a tire valve stem replacement will all depend on the professional you use and the type of system your car uses.

If your car uses a tire pressure monitoring system (all vehicles after 2007 have this part), for example, some of these systems will use a sensor that is all part of the valve stem, making the part much more expensive, about $75 to $125 per wheel if you needed the sensor replaced as well.

However, for a simple, straightforward valve replacement, without any sensors or computer components, the costs should be less than $5 to $30 per tire at most mechanics and tire franchises.  Some mechanics may charge a shop minimum, depending on the shop policy, but most are happy to offer a quote over the phone.

As for just the parts and no professional repairs factored in, a higher-quality four-pack will cost a pinch less than $10.

According to members on this RedFlagDeals.com forum thread, they stated you should be prepared to spend $12 to $25 per tire, with one member, in particular, claiming he paid $20 to $25 per tire at his local Walmart.

The valve stem replacement process

If you take your car into a mechanic, the first thing he or she will do is confirm that the valve stem is the part responsible for the leak, and this is often done by rubbing soapy water around the valve stem to see if any bubbles form.

Once the valve stem is confirmed as the faulty part, the next step will require the mechanic to deflate the tire, and depending on the mechanic’s preference, he or she may remove the tire off of the vehicle as well to make the repair easier.  However, the repair can be performed with the tire intact as long as the car is hoisted on a car jack.

Once the tire is deflated, a valve stem tool will be used to help unscrew the valve from the tire to remove the old core from the tire.

Next, while using the tapered end of the valve core tool, he or she will clean the valve stem and will make sure any obstructions from around the valve stem and inside the tire are removed.

Lastly, the new core will be installed using the valve stem tool, the same end that was used to remove the older core.  The new valve is then tightened by hand, the tire is inflated and the valve cap is replaced.

The entire process, from start to finish, will only take an experienced mechanic less than 15 minutes to perform  YourMechanic.com has a nice illustration as to how the entire process works.

Types of valve stems

Standard:  As the name implies, a standard valve stem can operate at an air pressure of 65psi or below and is commonly found on all passenger vehicles, according to Discount Tire.

Chrome-Sleeve rubber:  Similar to that of a standard valve stem, this valve stem can also operate at an air pressure of 65psi or below, but unlike a standard valve stem, it will have a chrome sleeve covering the valve, along with a chrome valve cap, primarily for cosmetic reasons.

High-pressure:  Commonly found on trucks and trailers, this type of valve stem is recommended when air pressures surpass 65psi.

High-pressure metal:  As per Discount Tire, this type of valve stem will be recommended for high-performance purposes since a rubber grommet will be used to help seal the metal performance valve to the wheel.  This stem, unlike the others, will be attached with a nut and rubber grommet, and as the nut will need to be tightened over time, it’s recommended it’s tightened occasionally to prevent any air loss.

Tips to know

To determine if your valve stem is leaking or not, CarsDirect.com recommends you rub a mixture of dish soap and water over the uncapped valve stem with your finger.  If you see bubbles starting to form, then this means air is escaping and the valve is, indeed, leaking.  However, if you see no bubbles around the valve stem, you will have to look elsewhere as the leak does not exist here.

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