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Friday, August 14, 2020

Does your tire dealer know what they are doing?

Just got this message from a reader.

"I just replaced 6 235/80R 22.5 XRV Michelin tires on my 2013 Monaco Monarch Class A Motor home. The dealer installed, balancing bead bags and new valve stems. I have good access to all valve stems now and have an after market TPMS. A couple of the rears were below the 95 Pound alarm point when cold and I decided to add air. When I removed the TPMS sensors, the valve stem seats leaked on three of six tires. I replaced the faulty valve stem inserts, completed pressure checks and all is well. I heard from one of my friends that the bead bags are causing the valve stem seat to fail and I understand there are redesigned valve stem seats that solves this issue. Can you comment?"

I responded:
The dealer that installed the "balance" stuff should have also installed the special valve stem/core air filters. Powder from beads can get into both the core and the TPM sensor and make them malfunction.

Bolt-in valve stems have a rubber insert on the air chamber side and a large metal washer on the outside. There is a torque spec on the bolt in valves. This blog post, covers valve stems of different types and has the torque spec for the bolt in nuts.
By "stem inserts" do you mean the valve core? Every valve stem I have ever seen comes with a new core. The only reason for them to leak is some "stuff" got into the new core and most likely was from the balance stuff.

This makes me wonder if the dealer was just interested in selling you the balance beads but didn't want to kill the sale with an increased cost for the valve air filters.  OR He didn't know that filters were needed when you put "stuff" inside a tire.

Also did the dealer give you a written tire warrantee that covered the use of the balance stuff? 



  1. I purchased 6 new tires and had valve extenders (Borg Equipment) transferred from old tires to new tires. Instructions from Borg stated that conventional balancing would not work with extensions installed and that balance beads should be used.
    After driving approx 7 miles I have discovered that 5 of 6 valve cores needed to be replaced due to "gumming up". Culprit appears to be balancing beads. Borg suggests a filter screen should have been put on each of the cores to prevent debris from clogging the core. Borg did forward a video showing how "screen" should be applied although video did suggest this clogging issue was rare and that filter/screen would tend to load with particle matter over time which would result in impeding airflow through the valve stem.
    What are your thoughts about filter becoming clogged and becoming a chronic problem?


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