A few weeks ago I took our camper van to town to the supermarket and to get fuel. As soon as we left the petrol station there was a very loud humming noise coming from the rear of the van. I pulled over as soon as I could and spotted one of the rear tyres was totally flat, it had gone down very quickly. I was on a busy road so it would have been dangerous to change the wheel here so drove a little further and into a car park of a nearby business where I had space and no traffic to worry about.
I’d only driven around half a mile in total however the tyre was very hot. I jacked up the van and removed it, then fitted the spare. I inspected the tyre to look for a puncture but could not see anything obvious so then checked the value. The base of the valve stem was badly cracked and I could see a gap where the air had escaped. The tyres were replaced a few years ago, however it looked like the tyre depot didn’t change the valves which I’d assumed were part of the job. I checked the other rear tyre and that value was also cracked with age so probably wouldn’t last much longer either.
My local tyre depot wanted £15 per tyre to replace the valves so I looked into options of doing so myself. I found a few solutions however one looked like the ideal method as detailed below. I needed to buy a few cheap items to do this:
- Xtra tyre bead sealer – £10
- Rubber tyre valves, pack of 10 – £2.95
- Tyre valve removal tool – £2.25
- A few drops of washing-up liquid
All prices included delivery, all bought from Ebay. They’ll be plenty left over for other repairs in the future if needed.
The wheel was already off the van. I began by removing the tyre valve core, using the removal tool. It just unscrewed from the centre.
Next I placed the wheel partially under the camper van, under a jacking point with the tyre valve next to it. I placed an old rag over the tyre to project it. I then attached the jack to the vehicle with a small metal plate underneath.
As I wound the jack up with pressure on the side of the tyre this broke the sealant around the edge. Once the one section was free I was easily able to push the tyre edge down all the way around. I needed to do this as I’d need to reseal the edge.
Using a Stanley knife I then chopped off the original tyre valve which was already half broken through, and removed the end from inside the wheel. Next I used a few drops of washing-up liquid and rubbed this over the new tyre valve to act as lubricant, it’s recommended not to use oil as this can cause the rubber to perish. I then inserted the new valve from inside the wheel as far as I could. I screwed the tyre valve removed tool to the threads on the valve, then pulled this through and into place using mole grips before wiping off the excess washing-up liquid.
With another clean rag I then gave the tyre edge, and the inside of the rim a quick clean. Next I used the bead sealer, which had a brush inside the lid to paint inside the metal wheel rim. Once I’d done this I replaced the tyre valve core using the valve removal tool.
I then released the jack and removed the tyre. I attached to my compressor and refilled the tyre with air. It filled fine, with no leaks. I then repeated the process for the other rear wheel which also had a cracked valve as that would no doubt be the next to go. This worked fine too.
I’d say this was a very successful repair, and didn’t take long to do. I wouldn’t try this method with old perished tyres as I imagine it could damage them however worked fine with my decent tyres and left no marks.