Tool recommendation to clean corrosion on aluminum wheel at valve stem causing a leak.

Jul 21, 2008
Phila, PA
Is there a tool to quickly clean up corrosion on a aluminum wheel at the valve stem hole? This is my winter set of wheels for an `06 Honda Odyssey EXL. This is to fix a slow/med leak, I am not really concerned about how it looks. The salt/brine has done a number on these wheels and I just want to get one more set of winter tires out of them. I will be pulling the valve stems on the other 3 wheels to check for corrosion also. In case you are wondering I am getting Bridgestone Blizzak WS90's 235 65 16 at Costco (on sale). Coming off are Blizzak WS80's.

I have the valve stem out and used fine emery paper like 1000, but is time consuming.
I would wire-brush it and then wipe it with Fluid Film.
Let that soak in and rewipe as needed.

I just saw some corrosion on my aluminum lawn-mower deck and that's what I did.
A dremel with small brush or emery barrel will clean the outside but i dont think that is the problem. Inside of wheel surface is where the seal happens and should be clean.

With tire removed clean stem hole area with a solvent and let dry. I would then find a suitable pliable sealant like permatex and coat inside the wheel around the hole so the new valve stem you pull thru will seal. Pull the new stem into the wheel and mount tire. once tire is mounted the stem will have positive pressure to force sealant into any void around stem. Aluminum wheels can also have porous areas that leak and the beads can be dirty so not necessarily just just leaky around stems.
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I have fixed a few for my buddy, just wire brushed the wheel, be sure to clean the corrosion off the vavle stem also, replace the black gasket if it looks bad. I usually add some silicone grease or dielectric grease around the valve stem hole in the wheel when I re-install the valve stem.
Wire brush followed up with sandpaper. 240 grit is fine, no need for emery. Go easy, aluminum comes off quickly!
If you use a brush to take any significant corrosion off the inside of the wheel, always ask or apply tire sealant to the bead etc. I find it helps so much better in preventing more and lets it seal better as well...