In June of 2014, Moby developed a flat front tire on the driver side while en route to to Maryland. The cause, as it turned out, was a faulty valve stem that cracked where it passed through the tire rim. Then last summer, on the way home from Assateague, MD, the front passenger tire lost its air less than 15 miles from home on our return journey. The cause? Again, a faulty valve stem that broke in the same place as the first. I never encountered valve stem failure before, not even heard of it in fact, but I certainly understand that all parts fail sometimes, even those that seem to encounter so little stress. The first flat I chalked up to this type of failure; just a possible defect in the part, perhaps something struck the valve, or I was a little overzealous in cleaning around it when washing the bus. But to have two fail on the same vehicle? That seemed a bit odd.
The guy at the tire shop informed me that in many cases, when new tires are installed, the stems never get changed and eventually succumb to dry rot. It is possible that this Continue reading