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That stubby little black object you see is a typical valve assembly, possibly identical to what is found on your car.
It doesn't look like much but it is a complex piece of engineering comprised of metal tubes, springs, rubber and plastic that perform a vital task in keeping your car and it's tires functioning as they were designed.
The following drawing will give you some idea of the complexity and function of the valve.
What is the valve's function? It is used to inflate your tire or adjust the air pressure. Through its action it automatically closes when you are not using it, however it opens easily when you need to add or remove air from the tire to increase or decrease the tire pressure.
The little plastic cover at the top of the diagram above is an essential part of your valves. Because of its tiny size it can easily be lost or misplaced and many drivers do not pay much attention to this detail. It is vital! Without this cover dust, dirt, sand, water and many other foreign elements can enter into the valve mechanism. Remember this warning: just a single grain of sand is enough to cause your valve to leak.
A leaky valve can cause a chronic problem with low pressure in your tire which can lead to dangerous control and performance problems. If you discover a valve cover missing, have it replaced as soon as you can. If you suspect that your valve has been contaminated by some foreign material, have a tire technician check the valve for integrity and, if necessary, correct the condition.
Usually correcting a dirty valve is simple and even if it needs to be replaced they are not costly.
Most professional tire dealers will automatically change the valve when you install a new tire, however, it is not something that you should take for granted. Ask. If it isn't done, request that it is changed with your new tire, the cost is minimal -- usually so low that most dealers include the valve at no extra charge, but if you need to change a tire away from a professional shop it is a detail you are well advised to check on.
An assortment of tire valves for special uses manufactured by Sonil
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