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why won't the tire/tube take air?

Old 08-20-13, 04:06 PM
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why won't the tire/tube take air?

Hi,
I'm new to this so this may be a dumb question. My bike had been sitting for some time and the tires were without air. I couldnt find a pump so I used the compressor. the front tire took the air quickly, in fact I was a bit afraid it was going to take in too much air too fast. anyway, I went to the rear tire and (here is where I will start making up words) the compressor thingy would just pop right off the tire valve thing. when I held it on as tightly as possible, it felt like the air was just coming right out of the sides of the valve/compressor thing. It didn't seem like it was getting past the valve. any ideas on what I need to do? do I buy a new tube?

again I am new to this, have never changed a flat nor to I have the tools to do so. I appreciate your help
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Old 08-20-13, 04:12 PM
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Which valve does the tube have?

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Old 08-20-13, 04:22 PM
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Hi,

Possibly a stuck valve. WD40 or penetrating oil may free it. That and a tap
or a good push on the valve stem may free it. Bit more oil at that point.

rgds, sreten.
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Old 08-20-13, 05:25 PM
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It could be a bad valve, but if the bike was rolled very far with the tires deflated the tube could have folded underneath the valve, preventing inflation. There also could be dried up sealant in the tube. The first thing I would recommend is to remove the tube from the tire and see if it inflates then.

I don't think putting oil or volatile hydocarbons (WD-40) into a valve is a good idea, The seals on either one could suffer damage from application of WD-40. It's also not necessary. If a Presta tube and you can't push the valve core down after loosening the knurled nut the tube should be replaced, as the rubber seal is not going to be good if it has adhered to the valve. If a Shraeder valve is not working you can either easily replace the valve or just replace the tube.

Last edited by cny-bikeman; 08-20-13 at 05:46 PM.
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Old 08-20-13, 05:25 PM
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thanks for the replies. It has the schrader valve.

I will give the WD40 a try and see if that works
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Old 08-20-13, 05:54 PM
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I agree with cny-bikeman, I wouldn't do that (WD-40). Instead take a small tool and press down on the little button inside the valve to make sure it isn't stuck; it should go down and back up under slight spring pressure. Once the valve is moving freely try airing it again. If it doesn't work you can use an inexpensive tool (many valve caps have it built-in) and remove/replace the valve.

If the air chuck is correctly mated to the valve no air should be coming around it even if none is going into the tube; possdibly it is at an awkward angel and you are not getting it pressed on right.
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Old 08-20-13, 06:17 PM
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At this point, it wouldn't be a bad idea to take the tire and tube off, and try inflating the tube outside of the tire to check for leaks.
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Old 08-20-13, 06:33 PM
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The odds are that there's absolutely nothing wrong, except a subtle variation in the fit of the valve and air chuck.

The typical gas station air chuck has a trapazoidal pin which is depressed to start the flow of air. The same pin alse depresses the pin in the tube's valve so it'll accept air. So here are two ways things can go wrong.

1- if the valve has a slightly thinner wall, it allows the trapazoid to slip in deeper which may mean that it won't depress far enough to start the flow of air. This is a very common problem with brass PV adapters.

2- if the pin is more recessed into the end of the valve, the the trapazoidal pin may not fit in deep enough to depress it. You can see this just by looking at the valve. Normal pin height is about 1mm sub flush, some are deeper, some are shallower.

In any case, you can often get air to flow, and the tube to accept it, by wiggling the chuck on the valve and/or pressing a bit harder.

I'm not discounting the other possibilities, which may also be correct, just offering an alternative.
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Old 08-20-13, 07:34 PM
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Hi,

I've WD40'd a stuck schrader valve to good effect. YMMV but alarmist opinions are IMO just that.

I clean all sorts of stuff with WD40 and I have never seen it attack rubber / plastic of any sort.

What it leaves behind the same, its pretty benign stuff.

rgds, sreten.

In my case the valve definitely stuck. Enough to open but not close properly with the usual
pump I had previously used to pump it up. Any attempt to pump it, it would not close on
on the return stroke fast enough and thus went down as you tried to pump it.

Conversely it can refuse to open, not happened to me, but a stranded biker I came across.
Broke the seals in his pump, wouldn't entertain my pump, or a petrol station car pump.
It was his spare tube, never used, or not used for a long time. I could open it pushing
it with a key on my keyring but it simply wouldn't open with any air pressure applied.

Last edited by sreten; 08-20-13 at 08:09 PM.
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Old 08-20-13, 09:50 PM
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It's generally good practice to express one's opinion without disparaging those of others, certainly not by labeling someone "alarmist."
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Old 08-20-13, 10:14 PM
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A sticky shrader valve is so easy to check/unstick. Use any pointed object and push the pin in. If it moves the valve is unstuck, though it's still possible that it's clogged if for example liquid tire sealant were used.

The key difference between Shrader and Presta valves is that Shrader valves are sprung closed and the pin MUST be depressed for air to flow in either direction. PVs on the other hand are simple check valves and greater pressure outside will open the valve and flow into the tube (crappy far eastern valves do get stuck closed and need to be forced open (burped) before they work as designed).
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Old 08-20-13, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by cny-bikeman
It's generally good practice to express one's opinion without disparaging those of others, certainly not by labeling someone "alarmist."
Hi,

I said YMMV so feel free to disagree with whatever IMO follows.
Disparaging is too strong a word, for I don't see it the same way
but you are welcome to see it the same way if you want to.


rgds, sreten.
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Old 08-21-13, 01:21 AM
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While sretens experience is that WD has never caused any harm it IS a petroleum distillate and can cause harm to many materials. You are welcome to use/abuse it any way you want! As a clockmaker, it "poisons" my cleaning solution so I have to charge extra when someone coats their timepiece in WD40.

Socal79- I have the same problem you have every so often too. On all KINDS of shrader valves. The other day I got annoyed by a tractor tire. The tire gauge fit well and got a pressure, but the filler worked OK on one side and not the other. I think changing the valve core will solve the problem. They are cheap and seem to have a wide range of quality.

-SP
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Old 08-21-13, 01:30 AM
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So many people suggesting to take the tube off - do you really get the impression that SoCal can handle that at this point?

Should have been inferred anyway, but I'll just quote this to reiterate:
Originally Posted by SoCal79
again I am new to this, have never changed a flat nor to I have the tools to do so. I appreciate your help
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Old 08-21-13, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by acrowder
So many people suggesting to take the tube off - do you really get the impression that SoCal can handle that at this point?

Should have been inferred anyway, but I'll just quote this to reiterate:
I had never changed a flat before I changed my first flat. What's your point?
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Old 08-21-13, 10:08 AM
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To the OP,

You're new to this, and we can only advise so far via the net. Your best bet is to visit a bike co-op if there's one near you, or just any bike shop so someone can walk you through it. In fact, if you own a car and have a relationship with an auto shop, ask them since it's the same kind of valve cars use.

BTW- if you add your city of residence to your profile, someone may live close to you, or can refer you to a good local shop or co-op.

Also, flat repair, or changing tires and tubes is easy to learn, and IMO a requisite to owning a bike unless you never ride farther than walking distance from home. Flats happen, and one day you'll get one on the road, you might as well learn at your convenience ather than after a long walk home. Bike shops and co-ops offer repair courses, and you'll never regret learning.
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Old 08-22-13, 03:25 PM
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I appreciate all of the feedback, even if some of you did get a little feisty. LOL. Anyway, I checked the valve with an oversized nail and it was stuck, but it very quickly became unstuck. The tire immediately began to take air, but a few seconds later, lost it very quickly. I was able to here where it was coming from and because it was so deflated I was able to get my fingers in there and saw a nice size tear in the tube.

In regards to changing/fixing a flat. I have every intention on learning how to do so. It was just that I had yet to do so, nor do I have the tools, or the know how. Now that I know I need to change the tube, I will go and get the necessary stuff and attempt it. However, I am planning to swap out my tires so I may just take the bike in so I can have a million questions answered at once.

FBinNY thanks for the feedback on the profile update, I didn't realize. and to the rest of you...thanks for all the assistance. This won't be the last time i post here.
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Old 08-22-13, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by SoCal79
I appreciate all of the feedback, even if some of you did get a little feisty. LOL. Anyway, I checked the valve with an oversized nail and it was stuck, but it very quickly became unstuck. .
So it's a bad valve core. These are incredibly cheap, and any auto tire place throws hundreds away daily, an has a tool for removing and replacing them. Bring the tube or the wheel to whoever services your car, and they'll probably replace the core for you --FREE.
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Old 08-22-13, 06:14 PM
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Replacing the valve core will not fix the "nice size tear in the tube."
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Old 08-22-13, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by bhchdh
Replacing the valve core will not fix the "nice size tear in the tube."
You're right. I was reading fast got to where the nail opened the valve and air went in, then came out fast. Stopped there thinking the valve was now stuck open.

But the OP could still benefit from knowing that SV cores are easy to replace.
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Old 08-22-13, 06:48 PM
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I picked up a 4 pack of these at Car Quest auto parts for my Schraeder valved tubes.

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