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Old 01-22-2019, 10:05 AM   #1
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TPMS--Metal Valve Stems?

I have just purchased my first TPMS, I see where many recommend switching to metal valve stems when using a TPMS. I also see when reading reviews on Amazon, that there seems to be a lot of dissatisfaction with them, principally the nuts that hold them in have a tendency to back off--something that is never a problem with standard stems. So what exactly is the advantage of having metal stems? Does the upside outweigh the downside?
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Old 01-22-2019, 10:11 AM   #2
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Rubber stems flex with a tpms attached and will leak. If the stems are installed correctly, the nuts don't come loose.
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Old 01-22-2019, 10:12 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by mharrel View Post
I have just purchased my first TPMS, I see where many recommend switching to metal valve stems when using a TPMS. I also see when reading reviews on Amazon, that there seems to be a lot of dissatisfaction with them, principally the nuts that hold them in have a tendency to back off--something that is never a problem with standard stems. So what exactly is the advantage of having metal stems? Does the upside outweigh the downside?
Metal stems are the best for pressure , longevity , and don't crack or brake . if there are complaints on Amazon then most likely they were not installed correctly . i've had the same set on my TT tires through 2 tire changes and one my truck for 3 with out issues . metal stems are the only way to go . often wonder how many tire failures are due to stems and not really the tires. PS get the metal stems and have them installed at your tire dealer . some amazon products are pretty cheap
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Old 01-22-2019, 10:19 AM   #4
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I used my TPMS on the factory rubber stems with chrome sleeves that I installed for the first year. I didn't have any issues. I also have the cap style sensors which I removed the anti-theft-part for less weight.

When I switched to Goodyear Endurance tires because of tire issues, I had metal stems installed. As others have said, I've not heard of the metal stems coming loose.

Someone must of screwed up and blamed the stem. It happens a lot... EVERYTHING is someone/something else's fault anymore.
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Old 01-22-2019, 10:22 AM   #5
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When we switched to Endurance I also had them install high pressure valve stems for my TPMS.

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Old 01-22-2019, 10:48 AM   #6
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I've had my TPMS on my 5'ver with metal valve stems for a year and a half and over 6000 miles and the only leak I had was the first time I rolled with the TPMS.

And that was a nail in one tire that the TPMS alerted me to by telling me that I had a low tire.

I already had metal valve stems on the trailer that I had installed the day I bought my 5'ver.

It is my understanding that rubber valve stems can flex or even break off from the added weight of the TPMS sensor caps.
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Old 01-22-2019, 10:49 AM   #7
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I have never heard of a metal stem problem, but many rubber stem problems for a variety of reasons.
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Old 01-22-2019, 10:55 AM   #8
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FWIW the most popular TPMS on here says that unless you have the Flow-thru type sensors, rubber valve stems are adequate. I also believe in metal valve stems, and put them on all my motorcycles except dirt bikes when I do the first tire change. I would never consider taking off a perfectly mounted tire to replace only the valve stem unless it had a problem or I was using the flow-thru type sensor.
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Old 01-22-2019, 11:05 AM   #9
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FWIW the most popular TPMS on here says that unless you have the Flow-thru type sensors, rubber valve stems are adequate. I also believe in metal valve stems, and put them on all my motorcycles except dirt bikes when I do the first tire change. I would never consider taking off a perfectly mounted tire to replace only the valve stem unless it had a problem or I was using the flow-thru type sensor.
In my case, I had just one week prior to purchasing my brand new 5'ver I had just dropped over $3000 on upgrading axles, springs, tires and wheels on my previous and only 2 1/2 year old TT.

Since they were the same size tires as the 'China Bombs' (BlowMax tires) that came from the factory on my new 5'ver, I had the dealership swap the tires and install the metal valve stems.
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Old 01-22-2019, 12:05 PM   #10
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In my case, I had just one week prior to purchasing my brand new 5'ver I had just dropped over $3000 on upgrading axles, springs, tires and wheels on my previous and only 2 1/2 year old TT.

Since they were the same size tires as the 'China Bombs' (BlowMax tires) that came from the factory on my new 5'ver, I had the dealership swap the tires and install the metal valve stems.
Sounds like a good move! I don't know if you quoted my post because you disagreed with it? If I was putting on new tires (even if I was doing so to replace new, inferior grade tires) then I would obviously put on the metal stems. Just can't see the benefit vs. cost and effort to dismount and then remount the same tires only to change the valve stems...
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Old 01-22-2019, 12:10 PM   #11
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All you have to do is break the beads to mount stems. At least that's how I have done it!
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Old 01-22-2019, 12:17 PM   #12
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All you have to do is break the beads to mount stems. At least that's how I have done it!
Good to know. I only have the tools and equipment and know-how to mount motorcycle tires, so for me it's a trip to tire shop...
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Old 02-02-2019, 07:11 PM   #13
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Stem flex aside, metal stems are preferred if you want accurate temperature readings from your TPMS sensors. Rubber wont transmit heat from the wheel as rapidly as a steel stem. Add on TPMS sensors, unlike OEM sensors are on the end of the stem instead of inside the tire/wheel assy. Steel stems will give a lot quicker indication of heat buildup from an overloaded tire or dragging brake.

The rubber stem will eventually transmit wheel heat but delayed and with some loss due to air circulation.
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Old 02-02-2019, 07:53 PM   #14
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Stem flex aside, metal stems are preferred if you want accurate temperature readings from your TPMS sensors. Rubber wont transmit heat from the wheel as rapidly as a steel stem. Add on TPMS sensors, unlike OEM sensors are on the end of the stem instead of inside the tire/wheel assy. Steel stems will give a lot quicker indication of heat buildup from an overloaded tire or dragging brake.

The rubber stem will eventually transmit wheel heat but delayed and with some loss due to air circulation.
Don't quite agree with that. I have the rubber stems and have been on my camper for almost 2 years no issues and the heat and temp build up is fairly quick. I use an temp gun and measured temps and maybe a degree difference. My tire guy said metal valve stems not really needed and I have the GY Endurance e rated and have 80 # in them. Matter of preference I believe. No loss of air in tires. Later RJD
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Old 02-02-2019, 08:50 PM   #15
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It' a "Centrifugal/Force" thing......depends on fast you drive.....I drive like an old man, cause I are one!......NO issues with rubber stems!......I've had RV's pass me at 75/80 MPH.......not only stupid, but rubber stems are probably not a terrific idea for these people either.....
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Old 02-02-2019, 11:06 PM   #16
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Of course many metal valve stems are insulated from the wheel via a rubber gasket so the heat transfer through the stem itself is probably insignificant anyway. Depends on the metal stem. Mine are completely insulated so no metal of the valve stem touches the metal wheel. I use my sensors on wheels with rubber and metal valve stems and I see no difference in temp between the two.

With the cap TST cap sensors and the antitheft device removed, not really worth changing to rubber valve stems. If you have flo-thru sensors, TST recommends the metal valve stems since they are heavier.

To me, no reason to get flo-thru valve stems if you remove the anti theft cap. Plus, the flo-thru valve stems have been know to leak.
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Old 02-02-2019, 11:13 PM   #17
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Of course the metal valve stems are insulated from the wheel via a rubber gasket so the heat transfer through the stem itself is probably insignificant anyway.
This ^^^^ My TST-507 non-flow-thru didn't record any temp difference between installing metal valve stems vs rubber.
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Old 02-03-2019, 10:41 AM   #18
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I was told that the metal valve stems are needed for strength...

The rubber valve stems can flex from the weight of the temp sensor...
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Old 02-03-2019, 11:16 AM   #19
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I was told that the metal valve stems are needed for strength...

The rubber valve stems can flex from the weight of the temp sensor...

As mentioned removing the anti theft part reduces the weight of the TST and less or no flex would be noticed of course maybe excessive speed might come into play. I was told by the tire folks when I installed my new GY Endurance tires metal valve stems not needed. Later RJD
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Old 02-03-2019, 11:40 AM   #20
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I was told that the metal valve stems are needed for strength...

The rubber valve stems can flex from the weight of the temp sensor...
The TST cap type sensors don't weigh very much at all and for centrifugal force to be a factor you need some weight.

On my trailer I'll be changing to metal stems when I get new tires (maybe next year) but over thousands of miles on rubber stems, no issues with stem flex and leaking.

As for temp, I've compared TST readings with both I/R temp tool and an actual tire pyrometer used for measuring tread temp's on race car setups. There is a definite difference in TST temps and the I/R/Pyrometer readings. The IR and Pyrometer both yield close to the same readings and the TST is significantly lower. Temp readings are taken as quickly as possible after pulling off the road as when the wheels sit, temps tend to change. Tread and casing temps lower and the sensor temps rise as heat migrates up stem and is radiated from wheel. For what it's worth a tire pyrometer can even be used to check for proper inflation and alignment. The part of the tread carrying the most load will be hottest. This can be due to improper camber, toe, or inflation. Things that the average "tire guy" doesn't ever bother with (or sometimes even know about).

(note: when one works in the tire industry for a few decades they accumulate all kinds of tools and "instruments")
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