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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Having issues using an automatic tire inflator on my 2017 subaru outback. The tire inflator won't start inflating and will cut out. Noticed that on three of my valve stems there is some red wax looking stuff around the inside of the stem. Not too sure what it is but it causes issues with two of my tire inflators. Is this something that was factory installed.
 

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2007 2.5 L Obsidian Black Outback XTL
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You can replace the entire core on a schrader valve (the valve in the tire stem is named that). I would suggest against trying to force air through that red stuff, if even the tiniest bit gets pushed down in the the O ring your will not be able to hold pressure in the tire for more than a few seconds.

The little valve unscrews from the middle and you can buy a replacement set of 4 from any auto parts store for less than $5.

https://www.autozone.com/tire-repair-and-tire-wheel/tire-valve-stem-core

You may even recall that bike tires sometimes have this little barb sticking up on top of the valve cap. That is the wrench end that is used to unscrew the core.

https://www.niagaracycle.com/categories/slime-22052-valve-core-remover-and-valve-cap

It's funny, you can buy a set of four valve stem caps with the core remover for less than $3.50. If you want just the tool that removes the core it is more than $5
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Is this something the dealer did? I just had the car in the dealer last Friday to repair a nail in in the tire. I also own Honda and don't have red stuff in the valve stems. It does not make sense if you can't inflate your own tires. I will call the dealer on Monday.

Did see a thread about a Lexus owner saying the same thing. He just pryred the red stuff out. I want to know why it is there and if other subaru owners see it on there valve stems.
 

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2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
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Having issues using an automatic tire inflator on my 2017 subaru outback. The tire inflator won't start inflating and will cut out. Noticed that on three of my valve stems there is some red wax looking stuff around the inside of the stem. Not too sure what it is but it causes issues with two of my tire inflators. Is this something that was factory installed.
Those stems look almost totally obstructed, and I would think any attempt to add air even from a bigger compressor would run into problems. You might also not be getting accurate tire pressure readings through this material. It didn't come this way from the factory. Something is amiss here; this isn't normal.

Are you the original owner? Any chance someone added a preventative tire sealant to the tires? Are your TPMS sensors functioning normally?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes, I am the original owner. I bought the car new from a local subaru dealer. Three of the four tires have that red stuff. Never seen this before but can't inflate tire with two different makes of tire inflators. The dealer must have seen the stuff Friday as they fixed one of the tires which has the red stuff in the stem. I will ask them next week as I want to be able to inflate my own tires. The tpms system is working. Last week a small nail caused the light to come on. I was unable to add pressure to to the tire as that red stuff caused the inflator to not work.
 

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17 Outback Touring 3.6R blue 18 Chevy Silverado High Country and a 11 Dodge Challenger SRT 8
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If you just had it in for a tire repair it could be something they use to check valve stems for leaks. maybe they checked all the tires for leaks.
 

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2015 Outback 2.5i Limited, Ice Silver/Black
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Nothing like that on my '15. Look like any other Schrader I've seen in the past 60 years. There are no gaskets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I will try to pull it out on one of the tires later when it stops raining. What is the best way to pull it out, what tool?

I checked the one tire that doesn't have this stuff and look inside the valve cup and it doesn't have a gasket inside.
 

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I will try to pull it out on one of the tires later when it stops raining. What is the best way to pull it out, what tool?

I checked the one tire that doesn't have this stuff and look inside the valve cup and it doesn't have a gasket inside.
You ask "What tool?"

Personally, I would consider the following candidate tools:
*) Curved Pick (These are specifically designed to get behind and remove rubber seals)
*) Sewing Pin
*) Safety pin (easier to hold onto than sewing pin)

Note: I would even consider using needlenose pliers to custom-bend a pin into whatever shape works best in this situation.
 

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Same thing happened to me. Its really nice the valve cap has a gasket but its not nice the gasket can be wedged down into the valve body when screwed on too tight.

Popped mine out with something pointy and put it back in the cap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks. I will try popping it out once we get our next dry spell. Didn't realize that it is part of the cap. I checked the cap on the tire that didn't have this red stuff and couldn't see a gasket. It annoys me that this causes me not to check and adjust my tire pressures.
 

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2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
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Upon reading others' posts, as well as your statement that you are the original owner, I would agree that this is only a defective gasket on the valve step cover that came off and stayed inside the stem.

However you pick this stuff out of the stems, you'll probably leave some residue. To eject it, simply push in the schrader valve for a second or two to release air and blow it all out, then re-inflate the tire to normal pressure.

And you'll need to replace five valve caps - don't forget the spare - as these caps are defective.

BTW this has nothing to do with using ordinary air or nitrogen for fill; it appears (per @Irishsub post above) that a bad batch of them got out that happened to be colored green for nitrogen.
 

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Are these after market caps everyone is referring to? Mine was delivered with the age old standard black plastic caps. There’s no gaskets of anytype I’ve ever seen on the thousands I’ve had over the decades.
 
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