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Do tire caps fit all valve stems? This is a question many car owners have faced when they realize one or more are missing. The answer is no. 

Tire caps are not universal and vary based on the type of valve stem. Schrader and Presta valves are the two main types. 

Schrader valves are the same size and shape as a regular air compressor hose tip you find at the gas station and are usually found on cars, SUVs, trucks, and minivans. 

Most tire caps are designed to fit this type of valve stem.

Presta valves, however, are different and have a narrower diameter. Tire caps that fit Schrader valves will not fit Presta valves.

Presta valves, which are much thinner than Schrader valves, are often used on bicycles. 

Schrader valves come in one size, making them universal for all cars and more affordable for manufacturers and consumers. 

This is due to their design, which is compact and lightweight to ensure the best fit for all applications.

Having just one size of Schrader valve simplifies retailers’ selection process and helps keep inventory costs low. The standard size of the stem hole ensures that the valve correctly fits the tire size and application. 

This allows a more efficient installation process. In contrast, Presta valves come in two categories – short and long – but both have a diameter of 6mm. 

Valve caps may need to be larger for commercial vehicles due to their bigger tires and thicker valve stems.

Short Presta valves are designed for tires typically found on road and mountain bikes, such as narrow sizes. They usually range from 40mm to 60mm in length. 

Long Presta valves are intended for wider fatter tires on touring bikes, ranging from 60mm to 80mm. The diameter for both is 6mm, which is the only measurement you need to determine their cap size. 

Schrader valve caps are universal for all vehicles except the largest commercial ones, with a diameter of 8mm. 

For Presta cycle tires, the diameter is 6mm and is the same for all, regardless of the length of the stem.

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