Are tire caps important?

Just a few days ago, I was checking on my wife’s car’s tires and noticed 2 tire caps were missing:

tips caps

They were probably stolen, because they were there when I gassed up the car earlier in the week. (I check my tires every time I get gas.)

Most people would ignore this, but tire caps are surprisingly important for the health of our tires.


The valve stem cap has a rubber seal on it. This keeps dirt and moisture out of the valve stem core. If it fails, the tire valve stem cap keeps the air in the tire.

Even worse, not having a tire valve cap can ruin our tire’s┬áTire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS).


Of course, water and electronics do not mix. And moisture can easily enter our tire without its tire cap.

Bonus tip: always get black-colored tire caps.

Green caps let our mechanic know we have nitrogen air-filled tires. So instead of topping off our tires with plain ol’ (free) air, they will use expensive nitrogen (and charge us for this).