Leaking Valve Stem

I have a 2019 Infiniti QX60. I got a flat tire last night. I soaped it and it looks like the valve us leaking. I need new tires anyway. Unfortunately, we are going away this weekend and I don’t have time to shop for tires. Can I do a temporary super cheap valve core replacement? Is that still a thing? Is it a reliable fix? Is this a good plan?

You can tighten the valve stem if that is where it is leaking. If the leak is on the outside edges, it can be replaced by any tire shop. Because it contains the tire pressure sensor it will be $100 or so if the entire sensor needs replacing. There is a service kit with stems and seals, too.

As Mustangman stated if that is where it is leaking. The valve cores and tool are available in both auto parts stores and big box stores for less than $4
If the stem is leaking anywhere else, the stem requires replacement.

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So what is my move? I don’t have time to play with it. If I get a new 100 dollar thing could that be switched into the new tires when I get them? If I replace the core and get no bubbles, can I trust that for a road trip tonight?

If you are asking these questions you won’t be able to do this yourself. Get to a reputable local shop and have them look at it. If you are lucky a simple (but possibly expensive) swap of the valve stem/sensor will get you going. If you are unlucky the rim will need to be replaced. My daughters 2012 RAV4 had leaks around the valve stem and it was due to rust around the stem, no way to fix. I had to get new rims


Yes, the new valve stem with tire pressure sensor stays with the rim when new tire is mounted.
As Steve noted, go to a good tire shop. Call ahead to make sure they have the correct part in stock. Appointment may be required.

Where are the bubbles? At the end, where you put in the air, or around the base of the valve stem?

The bubbles are right on the end. Nothing looks cracked or corroded. I don’t know how those valves work, but it sure looks like it is an internal problem. It seems like a really easy fix. I need somebody to tell me that they do it all the time and it lasts for years. Or it is a stupid hack and those valve cores should be taken off the shelves because they almost never work.

The valve cores are HOW they work. Just go to the tire store and get a repair. If it is only the stem it may need replacing or just tightened.

You have spent far more energy with these posts than just getting it fixed.


If you have a compressor to completely inflate a tire from zero psi get a tool to tighten the core and some replacement cores. Try tightening (just snug) the one you have, if that doesn’t stop the leak replace the core with a new one. If any of this is confusing, drop by a tire store, they can do it quickly.


I’ll be the spoiler here . . .

I would never take a car with a questionable tire and/or valve stem on a weekend trip

Either get everything fixed properly . . . sounds like new tires and tpms service kits are needed . . . or rent a car


Yeah, I skipped over that. Much better to just get the tires now, I’d want good tires for the trip.


The one part that fits every year make and model vehicle with balloon tires.


That’s a good piece of trivia. Was there a Puzzler with that as the answer at some point?

I wonder if the valve stem cap would also qualify.

I don’t know if it was a puzzler or not I was raised on a farm and was thinking of the farm equipment wagons bicycles cars and truck ETC. It probaly would as I seem to remember them being all the same size.

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I agree. I am as cheap as the day is long, and there is no way I would take a car with questionable tire(s) on anything further than a short trip to the grocery store, etc. And even then, I’d check the pressure every day, and top it off as needed until I had time to have the tire(s) replaced. For a “weekend trip”, I need a car where everything is in good condition.

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I will give you a bit of sarcastic advise here…
Go on your road trip with tires that need/require replacing (never said what the tread depth is) I’m sure you will enjoy putting the spare on while our family watches you and then you get to find tire shop in a strange place to get a junk used tire or new tire or if you have an AWD 2 or 4 new tires. Then you have to use the cash or funds you saved back for the trip on new tires as they are probably well over a thousand $… Plus instead of enjoying your time away now you are stuck in a tire shop showroom waiting hours to get new tires… I am sure the family or whoever “we” is will thank you for a great time…

GO to a tire shop of your choice and get this taken care of before the trip (or rent a car as mentioned)…
I used to work right off 2 interstates and very close to a 3rd in Nashville and saw this time and time again…

Remember: Lack of planning on YOUR part does not necessitate an emergency on the SHOPs part!!!


The cap is just used to keep dirt and moisture out and something from coming in contact with the Schrader valve releasing the air/nitrogen out… But I think that was more of a rhetorical question… lol

Valve stem caps were of universal size and thread. Hand operated tire pumps used to be threaded on rather than clamped on as they are now.

Back to the OP, current valve stem core, easy fix, but I ‘m repeating above advice.

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Replacing a valve core is a simple matter of unscrewing the old one and screwing in the new one. But you need the tool to do it and also need the compressor to pump the tire up again after all the air is let out. Like usual though if you have to ask about this, just swing by a tire shop and tell them the valve core (not valve stem) is leaking. About two minutes and. $5. Don’t go buying the valve sensor when you get tires. If it still registers, no need to replace.

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