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

Discussion in 'Wheels & Tires' started by guruboy, Jun 23, 2011.

  1. Jun 23, 2011 at 8:35 PM
    #1
    guruboy

    guruboy [OP] New Member

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    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.
     
  2. Jun 23, 2011 at 8:38 PM
    #2
    toyo freak

    toyo freak Another Toyota Enthusiast

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    I seriously doubt there is any way possible air could leak out without the cap.
     
  3. Jun 23, 2011 at 8:38 PM
    #3
    davidpick

    davidpick Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  4. Jun 23, 2011 at 8:45 PM
    #4
    BLKTRD6SP

    BLKTRD6SP Well-Known Member

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    Maybe someone took the cap off and deflated your tire!?!
     
  5. Jun 23, 2011 at 8:49 PM
    #5
    BradleyScottETC

    BradleyScottETC Class IV Category 8 Elite VIP Member (Only)

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    This. Not so much maybe as in definitely.
     
  6. Jun 23, 2011 at 8:57 PM
    #6
    jeckel7234

    jeckel7234 Well-Known Member

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    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
     
  7. Jun 23, 2011 at 9:01 PM
    #7
    guruboy

    guruboy [OP] New Member

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    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.
     
  8. Jun 23, 2011 at 9:02 PM
    #8
    Unknown

    Unknown He who angers you conquers you

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  9. Jun 23, 2011 at 10:51 PM
    #9
    nvdeserted

    nvdeserted Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  10. Jun 23, 2011 at 11:00 PM
    #10
    TnRedNeck721

    TnRedNeck721 GO VOLS!

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    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.
     
  11. Jun 24, 2011 at 9:27 AM
    #11
    BradleyScottETC

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    The packing on the shrader valve can deteriorate over time, but usually that sort of leak is extremely slow.
     
  12. Jun 24, 2011 at 9:51 AM
    #12
    guruboy

    guruboy [OP] New Member

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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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