View Full Version : Tire Valve Cap Problem

06-19-2011, 07:00 PM
I was rattin around our Horror Freight store a month or so ago and came upon a set of aluminum valve caps for my truck tires. They look REALLY nice.... except for one small problem; I now cannot remove any of them. I've only tried penetrating oil so far, but no dice. I'm sure I will twist the valve stem off before the caps will come.

I know I know. I should have put a dab of anti seize on them before installation, but hindsight is 20/20. So no real need to whip my azz over it. I'm doing that just fine to myself.

Any ideas other than having the entire valve replaced on all four tires (not a cheap proposition)?


on edit- they are rubber stems, not metal. If I do have to change them they will be metal.

06-19-2011, 07:15 PM
Thats a tough one man. Did you try applying a little heat to them (assuming the caps are metal). I wouldn't use a flame, just a heat gun. Just be careful and don't melt or discolor anything. You can use some Aluminum sheet to mask anything you don't want to get heated. Just an idea. Be careful at any rate.

06-19-2011, 07:43 PM
The caps you want to use are the chrome plated brass that are a 3/8 hex which can be applied and loosened with a 3/8 nut driver. If the Aluminum ones are of that shape I would sacrifice an old nut driver by heating it and using it to heat and remove the cap in a single operation. If that is not possible a little judical use of the dremel tool will help to weaken and split the aluminum cap.

The caps need to be snug on the internal rubber gasket. I had one employee that tightened them so tight that the internal gasket deformed and depressed the valve core.

06-19-2011, 10:59 PM
Maybe you could hold the valve stem with some vise grips and unscrew the caps with another wrench or pliers.

06-19-2011, 11:11 PM
Vise grips with some rubber tubing (3/4" ID farmer fuel hose works great) over the jaws is awsome at grabing things you don't wanna marr the hell outta.

06-20-2011, 12:20 AM
I had to carefully split mine with a Dremel tool like Boucher said. This after I ruined one stem.

06-20-2011, 05:03 AM
Two hammers and safety glasses:cool:

06-20-2011, 09:19 AM
I'll try the heated nut driver and then will attempt to cut them off with a Dremel. I did use vice grips with a rubber buffer, but it only wanted to twist the stem off anyway. However, it's nice to know I'm not the only boob that goofed this one up.

Damn that Horrible Freight store! :mad:

No... Damn that idiot installer. :rolleyes:

Thanks for the replies and ideas.


06-20-2011, 11:57 AM
Could be dissimilar metal corrosion perhaps? I once put some copper grease on carburettor idle mixture needles and a week later they were permanently stuck.

Anyway, I never use those alloy caps as I don;t like the thought of all that weight hanging off the stem. I use the thin pressed metal caps with the rubber seal to keep out moisture.

Joe Rogers
06-20-2011, 12:21 PM
It is exactly the dissimilar material causing the corrosion. GM has a bulletin out warning of this as some of the new valve stems have pressure monitor transmitters built onto them. Now they are expensive to replace when they get wrung off. A small stone or a carbide burr on a die grinder is what I use at work. 2 cuts 180 deg apart and they come off.

06-20-2011, 10:43 PM
take a pair of pliers to hold the valve stem steady and to prevent it form moving on you, then take another pair and twist the cap off,

06-21-2011, 09:31 AM
That was tried first, with and without a rubber buffer in the jaws. The stem just spun with the buffer in place, and with the teeth in place it began ripping the rubber off of the valve stem. I'm telling you, these bad boys are ON THERE to stay without cutting. :mad: