Learning The Basics Tire Repair / TPMS Sensors

Michael Mobile Technician Clinton, Utah Posted   Latest  

I was called out to a shop that was having difficulty relearning the TPMS sensors on a 2014 Ford F-150. The vehicle was involved in an accident. Due to rim damage replacement wheels were installed. The technician assigned to the vehicle was not able to relearn the TPMS sensors. The shop replaced two of the sensors and tried again without a good result. When I got there I put the truck in learn mode. The front two wheels learned just fine. When I moved to the rear wheels there was no signal from the sensors. I had some replacement sensors in my rig so I programmed them and set them one each on the rear tires. I learned the sensors again and got the "training complete" message on the dashboard. The shop installed them and all is good to go. It seems that the replacement wheels were from a 2015 model. The 2015 is a new version sensor that is not backward compatible.

So this is a tire store that does a fair amount of tire replacements. The repair solution was simple. What are they doing with all the Fords? Are they relearning with every rotation? TPMS seal kits? TPMS replacement stems? Black Vinyl tape on the cluster? I offered them training for TPMS. It is scary to think of how many vehicles leave a shop with TPMS systems where the wheels are in a different location than labeled on the dash. I hear from many shops that the customers will not spring for sensors or seal kits. We now have ADAS. What are we going to do when an ADAS calibration is declined?

How about tire repair? A few months back I watched a guy throw a match on drying cement to hurry the patching process. It is not 1970 any more. Why does this bad habit continue? I see far too many brown strings and flat patches in the shops that I visit. If you are using these, are you aware of the liability involved with an improper tire repair? Do you know what is interesting? I gave a class to tech school a couple of years ago. I asked the audience in the classroom about proper tire repair. One student raised his hand and went through all the proper stages of the process. When I asked where he learned how to do it, he said Wal-Mart. This kid got a big Gold star for that one. I have yet to see a proper repair in independent shops. If you are following the RMA and/or TIA standards then you are the minority. It is amazing we don't have more tire failure deaths.

If you want to train your technicians according to RMA and TIA standards I would be happy to help. 

-Mike

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Sheldon Diagnostician
Port Moody, British Columbia
Sheldon
 

I actually have issues with Ford's regularly with my 2 professional TPMS tools. I purchased once of those $35 OEM Ford ones that look like a key fob. Never had an issue since. And it's only been on Fords, will even train 1 of 4 sensors.

+1 Ð Bounty Awarded
Anthony Technical Support Specialist
Kirkwood, Pennsylvania
Anthony
 

Hi Mike: Looking at the "Tags" at the top, "Discussion" and "Safety" make sense. It's the "Education" one that I'm not sure about, at least in this venue. We know that regulations like these usually only apply to professionals. The consumer is often exempt. TREAD Act, refrigerant purchase, vehicles used in commerce (as opposed to a "Commercial Motor Vehicle"), chemicals, etc. type of public

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Daniel Technician
Salinas, California
Daniel
 

Evening mike. Can u discuss "I see far too many brown strings and flat patches in the shops that I visit." I would like to know what this is. Thanks

0 Ð Bounty Awarded
Michael Mobile Technician
Clinton, Utah
Michael
 

Tire plugs meant for off highway vehicles are the brown strings. Many shops use them on highway vehicles because you can remove the nail and shove the plug into the injury without dismounting the tire. According to TIA and RMA these repairs are unapproved. If you do not dismount the tire, there is no indication of the integrity of the inner liner. There could be a handful of black powder inside

+3 Ð Bounty Awarded
Glen Owner/Technician
Arthur, Illinois
Glen
   

Mike, For the posted vehicle it is my understanding and the WSM states that tire rotation will only affect vehicles with different PSI front to rear.

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Michael Mobile Technician
Clinton, Utah
Michael
 

The statement about rotations was meant in general an not specific to the vehicle. A High Line system shows each tire individually and a low tire may be misidentified. In my opinion any time a tire has been removed the system should be relearned. It may prevent an "ever since" experience.

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Eric Owner/Technician
Edgerton, Wisconsin
Eric
 

My shop has always been in the minority. Over the decades I have followed the rules along with the correct procedures while watching the shops around me cut every corner they could to get by. Plugs in tires were the least of it. Cheap parts, poor repairs, no service information systems, impact wrench for a torque wrench, you name the rule they did their best to not just break it but to smash it

+1 Ð Bounty Awarded
Michael Mobile Technician
Clinton, Utah
Michael
 

Hi Eric, There are hacks in all markets. I was traveling and went into a respectable tire shop last year. A technician brought a handful of tire dust up to the service advisor. A tire had been run flat. The advisor stated. "If it holds air, ship it" I was shocked. Being ethical and following the rules helps one sleep at night. As far as nothing happening I cant tell you how many stretched and

+2 Ð Bounty Awarded
Eric Owner/Technician
Edgerton, Wisconsin
Eric
 

I was taught to do a better job patching my bicycle tube when I was eight years old.

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Allan Instructor
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Allan
 

Eric thats because the person who taught you cared about you and wanted you to do it right. I am assuming the person who taught you was your a Dad.

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Martin Diagnostician
Burleson, Texas
Martin
 

Hi Mike. My 18 ram learned the new positions on its own after a rotation. Drove home about 5 miles and a only couple of them were reading correctly. The next morning I left for work and they were all correct. Pretty cool! Early systems obviously don't do that and I'm not sure when that started but I'll bet most vehicles will end up that way. We don't do tire repairs at our shop, but when I

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Samuel Technician
Somers Point, New Jersey
Samuel
 

I enjoyed this thread...good read....I ABSOLUTELY agree with using the proper process for tire inspections and repair...the majority of the industry, particularly independents take short cuts and don't give a damn! I say go to the furthest extent to do the best job....a plug is clearly not the furthest extent nor the safest option for your customer.

0 Ð Bounty Awarded