How Do You Remove The Plastic Cap Stuck On A Tire Valve? (Full Guide)

Taking a plastic cap off that is stuck on your tire valve can often be difficult to manage, as they can get stuck for various reasons.

Therefore, how do you remove a plastic cap from a tire valve? If you’d like to find out, continue reading to see what I learned!

How Do You Remove The Plastic Cap Stuck On A Tire Valve?

Plastic caps on tire valves get stuck because of the cold, brake dust, and road grime that gets stuck under the cap, or due to rust forming in the treads that the cap screws on to. Therefore, in order to remove the cap, drivers can use WD40 to help loosen it.

If you’d like to learn more about how to remove a valve cap, if you can drive without a valve cap and other similar topics, keep reading for more useful information!

How To Remove A Stubborn Tire Valve Cap: Step-By-Step

  1. Make sure your tire is rotated so that your tire valve stem is at the bottom (facing up at you).
  2. Use a lubricant such as WD40 and spray the valve with it.
  3. Wait a few seconds for the WD40 to settle.
  4. Use a set of needle-nose pliers to clamp down on the valve.
  5. Use another set of needle nose pliers and twist the cap off the valve.
  6. Fill the needed air that the tire requires.
  7. Apply a little more WD40 to the treads before you put the cap back on.

Do Valve Stem Caps Do Anything?

Valve stem caps are used to protect the valve stem and as well as how it looks.

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You won’t have to worry about air escaping from the cap being off, but you would have to worry about air entering the valve stem if it’s packed with dirt, road grime, brake dust, or ice.

Why Do Some Wheels Have Green Valve Stem Caps?

Valve stem caps that are green are to indicate that the last time the vehicle’s tires had a fill-up they were filled up with nitrogen.

Note that there is no real test that you can use to find out whether the tires contain nitrogen, as both compounds are odorless and colorless.

Can You Drive Without a Valve Cap?

If you drive without a valve cap, you could have some slow air leakage, but it likely wouldn’t be anything worth worrying about.

In fact, you could drive for years without valve caps and not see any initial tire pressure loss.

How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Valve Stem?

You can replace a valve even if you’re not a mechanic, as it’s not terribly complicated. You can purchase valves at the auto parts store for around $10, while having a tire shop do it for you could cost up to $30.00.

Are All Valve Stems The Same?

Are All Valve Stems The Same?

For the most part, all valve stems used to be the same until the introduction of the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS).

Therefore, you have to be careful when you go to the auto parts store and purchase a valve stem for your vehicle, and make sure you know if you have a TPMS on your car or not.

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Why Use Plastic Valve Stem Caps And Not Aluminum?

Plastic valve stem caps can get stuck, but not very often. Metal and aluminum caps are too easy to over-tighten, making them extremely hard to twist off.

As well, the valve stem is not the strongest part in the world and can’t handle that much torque, meaning they will easily spring a leak when torqued down on.

How Do I Know If My Valve Stem Is Leaking?

You can find out if your valve stem is leaking by taking some soapy water and applying it on and around your valve stem. If you start seeing bubbles, then you know you have a leaky valve stem.

To know more, you can also see our posts on what is a tire valve, air leaking from the valve stem base, broken belt in tire, and if you can drive without a tire valve cap.


Having a plastic cap stuck on your tire’s valve isn’t a large concern, but will take some work to get the plastic cap off without destroying it or the valve. Nevertheless, drivers can remove the cap using pliers and WD40.

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