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Valve Stem Caps - Impact on Tire Pressure Sensors

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Old 08-16-2009, 02:57 PM   #1
PBChase
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Default Valve Stem Caps - Impact on Tire Pressure Sensors

I just replaced all four tires on my 05 C6 at Big O Tire here in Northern California. When I was washing the car I noticed that the aluminum valve stem caps had been replaced with gray plastic ones. I called Big O Tire and they told me that metal caps are not a good idea on cars with tire pressure sensors - something to the effect that the metal to metal contact (stem to cap) will cause corrosion at ultimately impact the sensors.

Does this make sense to anyone??? Why would Chevy put aluminum or chrome metal caps on from the factory if this is the case.

I would appreciate any feedback on this issue.

Thanks in Advance.

Peter Chase
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Old 08-16-2009, 03:07 PM   #2
bob guzzy
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I think the different color and shape caps are just a warning to the uninformed they are tire pressure sensors in this tire, I have both style caps on three of my cars, the corvette has metal caps my truck had plastic caps and rubber stems.

I have a few sets of sensors some have meatal and some have plastic, there is a difference in the valve stem core, it needs to be nickel plated so it will not interfere with the transmitter.
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Old 08-16-2009, 03:08 PM   #3
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Tell them you want your factory original caps back, or they can buy you a new set.
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Old 08-16-2009, 03:10 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gearhead Jim View Post
Tell them you want your factory original caps back, or they can buy you a new set.
had a flat a month ago and the tire place took my cap but i got it back........ After i had to by the 5 buck replacement
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Old 08-16-2009, 03:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PBChase View Post
...........I called Big O Tire and they told me that metal caps are not a good idea on cars with tire pressure sensors - something to the effect that the metal to metal contact (stem to cap) will cause corrosion at ultimately impact the sensors.......
Total

If you use a cap made of a dissimilar metal you can get corrosion making it difficult to remove the cap.

There will be no other negative impact to the TPMS, just the threads on the stem.

OEM cap is aluminum so WTF. How about the metal nut that holds the TPMS/stem to the wheel.

Sheesh.
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Old 08-16-2009, 03:54 PM   #6
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biggest pile of ive ever heard.
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Old 08-16-2009, 04:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PBChase View Post
I just replaced all four tires on my 05 C6 at Big O Tire here in Northern California. When I was washing the car I noticed that the aluminum valve stem caps had been replaced with gray plastic ones. I called Big O Tire and they told me that metal caps are not a good idea on cars with tire pressure sensors - something to the effect that the metal to metal contact (stem to cap) will cause corrosion at ultimately impact the sensors.

Does this make sense to anyone??? Why would Chevy put aluminum or chrome metal caps on from the factory if this is the case.

I would appreciate any feedback on this issue.

Thanks in Advance.

Peter Chase
Most TPMS Service standards strongly suggest servicing the actual sensors any time the bead is broken between the tire and rim. Obviously, this would also hold true when mounting new tires.

To properly "service" your TPMS sensors, the following items are replaced: Valve Stem Cap, Schrader Valve, TMPS Gasket, & TMPS Mounting Nut. These TPMS service parts come in a nice little kit. In most cases, the TPMS Service Kits come with a plastic valve stem cap vs. the aluminum cap.

I found all this out by chance. I had a TMPS sensor self destruct at speed about two weeks ago. Unknown to me, my front sensors were secured to the wheel with bands and 3M tape. One of the bands broke, and the tape was useless at holding the TPMS sensor in place. I bought two new sensors, the proper sensor mounts (I-Forged has nice ones), and 4 TPMS sensor service kits (the rear sensors were properly mounted, but I did the service on them anyway). The new sensors come with the aluminum valve stem cap (didn't use plastic in service kit), but DO NOT come with a new mounting nut. For this, you must buy the service kits, or use the old one.
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Old 08-16-2009, 05:35 PM   #8
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The value stems are antennas for the tire sensors and the oem caps are recommended. Some aftermarket caps can cause interference. I would get the oem caps back on.
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Old 08-16-2009, 07:21 PM   #9
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The GM ones that came with my '09 ZO6 were aluminum over a plastic cap. They were a total POS! The over cap would strip when trying to tighten onto the tire stem. I lost one of them 2 days after I bought the car. I ordered a quality set in chrome from a CF vendor, and have not had any problems with my tire sensors.
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Old 08-16-2009, 07:25 PM   #10
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crock of chit...........

just dont mix metals...

if you have an aluminum valve stem cap then its totally compatable with the valve stem and no corrosion or interference will take place. I replaced mine with aluminum waterfall embossed caps right after i got the car, no problems at all.
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Old 08-16-2009, 07:48 PM   #11
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OMIGOD!!!!

Peace, out!
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Old 08-16-2009, 08:28 PM   #12
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Thanks everyone. I am going to get my stock aluminum caps back!!!!
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Old 08-16-2009, 10:45 PM   #13
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I have these US flag caps on my C6 (and my other 3 vehicles), no problems with TPMS.

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Old 08-17-2009, 09:09 AM   #14
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From the '05 Helms Manual; Page 3-393

"the cap is aluminum and the valve is nickel plated to prevent corrosion and are not to be replaced with a cap or valve made of any other material'.
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Old 08-17-2009, 11:00 AM   #15
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I've had my C6 for 4.5 years, over 60,000 miles, DD all year except snow covered roads. No corrosion, no problems.
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Old 08-17-2009, 11:40 AM   #16
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Schrader makes the TPMS sensors and they put the aluminum covers on, so there's just no reason to think that the aluminum caps aren't just fine.
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Old 08-17-2009, 11:40 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike's LS3 View Post
The value stems are antennas for the tire sensors and the oem caps are recommended. Some aftermarket caps can cause interference. I would get the oem caps back on.
With all due respect...I don't think so.
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Old 08-17-2009, 11:54 AM   #18
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The tire place was partially correct. There is a potential problem with metal valve stem caps with the Corvette TPMS and integrated valve stem and this is noted in the service manual. The OEM caps are aluminum with nickel plating. Any other metal or any other plating you are increasing your risk for corrosion.

There is the very real possiblity for for galvanic corrosion to form. Galvanic corrosion is a reaction to dissimilar metals in contact with each other. The further two matrials are on the galvanic table, the larger the likelihood there is for corrosion to form.
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Old 08-17-2009, 12:48 PM   #19
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Where do I get these service kits?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fieldskr View Post
Most TPMS Service standards strongly suggest servicing the actual sensors any time the bead is broken between the tire and rim. Obviously, this would also hold true when mounting new tires.

To properly "service" your TPMS sensors, the following items are replaced: Valve Stem Cap, Schrader Valve, TMPS Gasket, & TMPS Mounting Nut. These TPMS service parts come in a nice little kit. In most cases, the TPMS Service Kits come with a plastic valve stem cap vs. the aluminum cap.

I found all this out by chance. I had a TMPS sensor self destruct at speed about two weeks ago. Unknown to me, my front sensors were secured to the wheel with bands and 3M tape. One of the bands broke, and the tape was useless at holding the TPMS sensor in place. I bought two new sensors, the proper sensor mounts (I-Forged has nice ones), and 4 TPMS sensor service kits (the rear sensors were properly mounted, but I did the service on them anyway). The new sensors come with the aluminum valve stem cap (didn't use plastic in service kit), but DO NOT come with a new mounting nut. For this, you must buy the service kits, or use the old one.
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Old 08-17-2009, 01:45 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fonzijr1964 View Post
had a flat a month ago and the tire place took my cap but i got it back........ After i had to by the 5 buck replacement
I am missing one of the originals. Can I get a replacement at the dealer?
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