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Can you get a flat from a missing valve stem cap?

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Old 06-23-2011, 08:35 PM   #1
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Can you get a flat from a missing valve stem cap?

Hi everybody. I was visiting my brother today and I realized I had a flat on my '02 Tacoma right as I pulled into his parking lot. We successfully changed it which was surprising because we are both real dopes.

The weird thing is, I looked over the tire pretty thoroughly and I couldn't find any damage at all. That's when I noticed that the valve stem cap was missing from the tire. So my simple question is: is this the likely cause of the flat? It is of course possible that I just can't find the damage. I plan on bringing the tire in to see if it can be repaired tomorrow but I was wondering if maybe I just need a new cap and a trip to the air pump.
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Old 06-23-2011, 08:38 PM   #2
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I seriously doubt there is any way possible air could leak out without the cap.
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Old 06-23-2011, 08:38 PM   #3
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negative. a missing valve stem cap will not cause a flat. try spraying the bead of the tire or any of the tread with a soap/water combo and see if any bubbles form. if air is escaping from the tire, the bubbles will show where.
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Old 06-23-2011, 08:45 PM   #4
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Maybe someone took the cap off and deflated your tire!?!
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Old 06-23-2011, 08:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLKTRD6SP View Post
Maybe someone took the cap off and deflated your tire!?!
This. Not so much maybe as in definitely.
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Old 06-23-2011, 08:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLKTRD6SP View Post
Maybe someone took the cap off and deflated your tire!?!
That or if u take ur truck off road much, mud and debri can unseat your bead and deflate ur tire, but if its holding air now somebody loosened ur valve stem
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Old 06-23-2011, 09:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLKTRD6SP View Post
Maybe someone took the cap off and deflated your tire!?!
Wow really? The trip I took that ended in the flat was about 20 miles, from a public parking lot where it was unattended for about 45 minutes. It was pretty darn flat when I got to my brother's and as I said I didn't hear or feel anything until right at the end of the drive, which was mostly highway and some terrible Boston roads. Maybe I pissed somebody off on the road and they followed me to the arts and crafts store!

I guess we'll know the answer when I take it to a mechanic tomorrow. I would love to try something like the soap+water but I don't have the time in the next couple days all things considered.

Also you guys rock thanks for the replies.
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Old 06-23-2011, 09:02 PM   #8
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No
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Old 06-23-2011, 10:51 PM   #9
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The valve cap does not hold pressure, it's just there to keep the valve stem clean (the little nip that you press down to let air out). It is possible that somehow a tiny rock impacted the valve stem just right, then stuck and let the air out... but that's like a 1:1,000,000 shot, and would probably be the first time in history that has ever happened.

Maybe your valve stem is loose for some reason... vandal only got it 1/2 way out before you got close and he snuck off?

There is probably a hole in the tire.
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Old 06-23-2011, 11:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nvdeserted View Post
The valve cap does not hold pressure, it's just there to keep the valve stem clean (the little nip that you press down to let air out). It is possible that somehow a tiny rock impacted the valve stem just right, then stuck and let the air out... but that's like a 1:1,000,000 shot, and would probably be the first time in history that has ever happened.

Maybe your valve stem is loose for some reason... vandal only got it 1/2 way out before you got close and he snuck off?

There is probably a hole in the tire.
i'd say its more likely than that. i have found dirt in the valve stem on a flat atv tire. BUT on a truck it maybe less likely idk. i found one of mine loos yesterday.
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Old 06-24-2011, 09:27 AM   #11
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The packing on the shrader valve can deteriorate over time, but usually that sort of leak is extremely slow.
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Old 06-24-2011, 09:51 AM   #12
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I just got the tire back from the mechanic and turns out it needed to be plugged so it was not (or was very good) sabotage. Thanks again for the info and advice everybody.
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