It was time to take the Jeep to National Tire & Battery to have the tires rotated and have the valve stems changed. We purchased our Jeep tires at NTB and have had an excellent experience with their customer service and their work so it only made sense to take it back to the specific shop that has been so good to us previously.
Tire rotation can be beneficial in several ways. When done at the recommended intervals, it can preserve balanced handling and traction and even out tire wear. Tire rotation can even provide performance advantages.
The rotating process is also a good time to have your tires rebalanced if the vehicle has developed a vibration. In Jeeps or other straight axle vehicles balancing the tires can often prevent the dreaded "death wobble".
Tire rotation helps even out tire wear by allowing each tire to serve in as many of the vehicle's wheel positions as possible. If you have a full size spare don't forget to include it in the rotation process. Remember, tire rotation can't correct wear problems due to worn mechanical parts or incorrect inflation pressures.
It may seem odd that we changed our valve stems. We use our Jeep off road and we use it hard. One of the issues with the old valve stems that was always in the back of my mind was that they were metal.
We don't have bead lock wheels on our Jeep. When were rock crawling our tires and wheels often scrape hard against rocks. On a couple of our wheels the rocks cut into the side of the wheel and left gashes. Our concern has always been having a rock hit our valve stem and break it off. This would have let all of the air gush out of the tire in seconds leaving us on a trail having to change a tire. It was only a matter of time before it happened.
Rubber Valve Stems
The metal valve stems don't have any flexibility to overcome for a rock or boulder rubbing hard against it. We had NTB replace them with shorter rubber valve stems. This helps pull them back into the wheel slightly making it harder for a rock or boulder to push against them. If an object does push against the valve stem they will now have some flexibility to bend and not break.
Use Specific Parts
Obviously our issues with the metal valve stems are particular to how we use our Jeep. You might not rock crawl or put your off road vehicle in a situation where this could be a problem. You might have bead lock wheels that cover the valve stems. In that case the metal valve stems wouldn't matter. Determining the components on your Jeep is use specific. There are a lot of different builds and parts to accommodate. You may have in mind how you want to build your rig. Changes and upgrades may or may not be necessary. Give yourself some time on the trails to find out what you like to do with your rig, then begin making changes based on your personal wheeling habits.
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