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Old 01-29-2011, 03:16 PM
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Valve stems cracking

I noticed today after washing my truck that my valve stems are cracking. Looks like the rubber is dried out. I just put these new stems in less than 2 years ago. Had one that was on it before these to crack and break, causing a flat tire. Can you buy quality valve stems anywhere that will last the life of the tires? I can't figure out what is causing them to do it. The ones on my wife's car hasn't cracked. Has anyone else had this problem or know what do about it, or know where I can get some quality stem?
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Old 01-29-2011, 03:23 PM
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What do you use to clean your wheels?
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Old 01-29-2011, 07:17 PM
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I always make them use metal stems, even on my boat trailer wheels. Stems are probably more of a problem than people realize.

Pay the few bucks extra and get the good stems regardless of what the tire jockey says, after he's mounted them with rubber stems and you tell him he needs to redo them. Don't ask me how I know.
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Old 01-30-2011, 08:33 AM
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I'm just using the same soap/water mix that I wash the truck with. Its a really thick, sweet smelling, yellow colored soap. Could be Meguire's. I never use any wheel cleaners on them. The stems in now are the chrome ones at the upper part, but the lower is rubber. Do most tire shops have the metal ones in stock?
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Old 01-30-2011, 08:54 AM
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Yes, and usually they'll use only the metal ones (brass I think) on HD wheels, at least the Discount Tire I've used does. I still confirm though, just in case. I think I've paid like $8 vs $3 for them. The trailer tire example was just that the tire guy didn't use them out of habit although all 4 wheels already had them. Rubber stems on trailers, boat trailer especially, are probably the #1 tire pressure problem source. I think any tire that will have 50+ psi or is exposed to the elements/extreme weather etc. should be metal.

That chrome I think is just a decorative sleeve to cover the black rubber.
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Old 01-30-2011, 04:17 PM
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I'm sure you're right about the cover. I'll make sure they have the metal ones in stock when I get new tires put on in a couple weeks.
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