What happened to our Tire Valve Stems? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-14-2008, 12:19 AM   #1
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This weekend we drove to Portland to work. Over night we awoke to a flat tire on the door side of the trailer. Okay, we called good sam and said we needed our spare put on. We figured we had run over a nail or something. Things happen so we weren't too upset. Then since we were surrounded by about three hundred other trucks, trailers and people they all had to come look and see. It was discovered that the stem on the tire was rotted and had about three lines of split that you could hear the air coming out of. We put a jack under the trailer to it wouldn't go totaly flat on the tire. Then we looked at the other tire. It was the same way. The stem was only moments away from matching our flat on the other side. Hmmm. The tow driver couldn't do anything about both tires with only one spare. Then we looked at our spare. It was the nearly the same.

What is strange is that our trailer is only two years old. 2006. Okay, we have over 45,000 miles on the trailer, but we just bought new Kumos in February. AND the spare has never touched the ground. So if it was the miles we put on it then the spare should be fine. Les Schwab came out and put new stems in the two touching the ground since it should have been replaced when they put on the new tires, balanced them and mounted them. They did it for nothing and while it was still parked at the expo center and put new metal stems in.

My question is why did the stems go bad so fast? I would have thought they would have lasted at least two years. Has any one else checked their stems?

If not maybe it is time to check your stems before they let go as you drive down the road at 55 miles an hour on only two tires. We are very grateful that we were just parked and sleeping when ours went flat. And thanks Les for standing behind your service.
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Old 07-14-2008, 06:12 AM   #2
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Chinese supplier recalls six million tire valve stems

And there you are.

Roger
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Old 07-14-2008, 08:38 AM   #3
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Yikes!!! All three of our stems on our nearly new Escape 5.0 are cracked around the base. I gotta take the trailer to my tire dealer for a looky see. Thanks for the heads up Roger!!!
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 07-14-2008, 11:10 AM   #4
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From the article Roger posted:

"When the rubber is exposed to high levels of ozone as it is being stressed, surface cracks can appear. High speeds and an unsupportive rim profile allow the rubber valve to flex at a greater angle and may cause these cracks to propagate, leading to a slow leak of air," the bulletin said. "

I'm obviously confused. Does this mean that even if you had metal tire stems installed when you purchase tires they could still fail in the same way? If the tires would fail in the same manner, what is the advantage of installing metal stems at all?

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Old 07-14-2008, 11:22 AM   #5
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How do we let the other trailer owners know if they are not sending recalls or letters? Much as this topic helps, not everyone will read it, especially if they are not having problems and have no idea that they have a time bomb waiting to let go.

It says that they will notify retailers but before Casita is notified how may accidents will happen?
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Old 07-14-2008, 11:54 AM   #6
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How do we let the other trailer owners know if they are not sending recalls or letters? Much as this topic helps, not everyone will read it, especially if they are not having problems and have no idea that they have a time bomb waiting to let go.

It says that they will notify retailers but before Casita is notified how may accidents will happen?
The article does not speak to trailer tires alone. In fact, the article cites an incident where a man was killed in his Ford Explorer when his rear tire blew. "NHTSA's investigation follows the death of Robert Monk of Orlando, Fla., who was killed when the right rear tire of his 1998 Ford Explorer failed, triggering a rollover crash."

According to the article, only valve stems produced by this particular Chinese manufacturer before November 2006 are faulty. Furthermore, nobody really seems to know which tires have the faulty stems. If the faulty stems were produced prior to November 2006, when were they actually inserted into new tires during the tire manufacturing process? Wouldn't it be easy to assume that the tires themselves could be newer than 2006?

"Tech International does not know the identity of any end-users of the TR413 valves and has no realistic method of determining the identity of such individuals. Furthermore, there is no realistic method for Tech International to identify the production dates of any specific TR413 valves," the company said in its letter to NHTSA. The distributor will notify tire retailers of the recall."

Perhaps it is time to begin an email campaign notifying all our friends and familes to check around the valve stems on ALL tires. . . just to be safe.

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Old 07-14-2008, 12:55 PM   #7
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THANKS for this very important info!! Going to check the valve stems on my Casita tires.
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Old 07-14-2008, 12:59 PM   #8
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Our Casita is a 2006 and all three are bad but you can't see the cracks unles you flex the stem just slightly.

Remember they only know of problems with 2006 on but any tire company could have bought a box and be still using that box of stems today.
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Old 07-14-2008, 01:06 PM   #9
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If the faulty stems were produced prior to November 2006, when were they actually inserted into new tires during the tire manufacturing process? Wouldn't it be easy to assume that the tires themselves could be newer than 2006?
A technical point here Lisa... the valve stems are inserted into the metal wheel, and are completely independent of the tire. There are no valve stems inserted into tires. This has absolutely nothing to do with the brand of tires you have, or who installed them. This is about the valve stems only. Further, even though the stems were manufactured prior to 2006, that doesn't mean that valve stems installed today haven't come from that manufacturer during that time frame.

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Old 07-14-2008, 01:37 PM   #10
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Thanks for the clarification, Roger. Clearly I needed a lesson on the anatomy of a wheel! What was I thinking? Tires don't have valve stems!!! But you did confirm my concern that although the faulty stems were produced at some point in time prior to November 2006 they could have been installed after that date and some may still be sitting in boxes on shelves waiting to be put onto new wheels. Is this kind of an issue the reason so many people prefer metal valve stems?
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Old 07-14-2008, 04:21 PM   #11
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That explains why I had two flats withing 800 miles of each other two years ago.
Brand new tires but the valve on one went bad and was replaced in Tenn. tire was OK I found it going flat during a rest stop. The other the tire and valve replaced by original installer when I got home after it went flat at 60 MPH. Tire was ruined.
No sway bars or equalizer. I felt nothing in the Tow vehicle, pulled like nothing was wrong until I changed lanes and felt some mushyness.
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Old 07-14-2008, 06:39 PM   #12
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Pure Rubber ROTS (oxidizes) fast when exposed to Oxygen.
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Old 07-14-2008, 06:47 PM   #13
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Thanks for the heads up. Now how to tell which potentially might be on our tires with all the valve stems out there? This is the best I could find. Measurements are in mm. Please correct me if I am wrong. (I don't see a copyright on the picture nor do I have permission, but given the circumstances, who cares?)


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Old 07-15-2008, 01:35 AM   #14
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We stopped by Les Schwab to show them the article and thank them for fixing our tires. They said they had gotten an email a few months ago and had thrown out all the boxes that might have come from those shipments. That means that as late as May of this year, they might have used those stems in replacing stems on new tires.
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