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2007 Ford Five hundred-flat tire issue

My husband and I had the misfortune to have a flat tire on the driver’s side front tire of our 2007 Ford Five Hundred. We managed to get the tire changed to the small spare that is provided with the vehicle. We went may be 1/4th mile and the speedometer quit working and we had numerous error messages, such as “parking brake is on” on the dashboard. My husband stopped the vehicle, turned it off, turned it back on and every thing seemed normal. Again, went about 1/4th mile, same thing…no speedometer and all sorts of error messages. We managed to limp the remaining 15 miles of our journey. The next day (of course, this event happened on a Sunday afternoon), we called our auto repair shop and asked them to come and get the vehicle, replace both front tires and explained all the issues we encountered. When we picked up the car, later that day, the service manager said once they had replaced the tires, every thing came back up as normal. They did some testing to see if there were any other issues they needed to address. The service manager said he was unaware that these particular issues would come up because of the flat tire and use of the small spare tire. Any one else know about this? Was this a normal response of the vehicle, because the spare tire is markedly smaller than the normal tire? I’d like to be reassured that these issues were the result of the flat tire/small sized spare or should the auto shop be looking for some thing else? We have now used the vehicle 2 days, just going back and forth to work and have not had a reoccurrence of the dash board issues but we live in a small town. Back and forth to work, for me, is 4 miles one way, but I make trips, 2-3 times a month to visit my elderly Mother, who lives 65 miles away.

Just a guess, but I’ll bet the computer sensed the difference in tire rpm and then reacted to that. The fact that it did it twice and replacing the tires fix the issue - apparently permanently - is consistent with that.

My advice? Don’t worry about it.

I agree with CapriRacer, as I usually do.

However, I have a question for the OP.
I recall that AWD was an option on this model, so I am wondering if her Ford 500 is equipped with AWD. If so, that would be the most likely explanation for the problem, as differences in tire circumference on an AWD vehicle can produce problems.

Do you have traction control? If so, the small spare would have confused it, next time you need to use the small spare, turn off the traction control.

I think more information would help here.

What size are the tires on the car? Is this the size that originally came with the car?

What size is the spare tire? Have you owned the car since it was new or is there a chance that someone replaced the spare tire with a different size? Was the spare tire properly inflated when you used it?

Does your owner’s manual tell you to turn off any systems when installing the spare tire?

It may help to just mention that on today’s vehicles the speed of each wheel is measured and reported to and used by the car’s computer(s). Input from wheel speed sensors is integral to the operation of anti-lock braking systems, traction control, AWD drive systems, stability controls, and is often an important part of vehicle speed measurement. For that reason, if the wheels vary much in diameter they can create complete havoc all over with multiple systems. It seems to me that this is a clear explanation.

I wonder, czech7985, whether you looked in the owner’s manual to see whether or not or what it has to say about use of the temporary spare? It might say something about this.

Is the OP going to return to answer the questions posed by me, keith, lion9car, and cigroller?