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Tire Repair Questions

My name is Paul Melton and I am a technical trainer for TECH Tire Repairs. Please feel free to ask me questions about any type of tire repair!

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Welcome to the forum, Paul. Yup, we do get such questions from time to time. We take them as they come.

Hello Paul, I have a possibly dumb question. On a 2006 Mountaineer, I am getting a flashing TPMS fault. I would like to narrow down to either tire sensors or vehicle mounted ‘receivers’ before I really start digging into it. Is there such a thing as a magic wand which can be held next to each tire to verify it is sending?

Oldcars . . there is a magic wand.
The dealers ( Ford and tire shops ) use it to program and diag. It DOES tell them exactly which one. On a ten year old truck you could easily have more than one with a low or dead battery.

I think that’s usually diagnosed by pro - mechanics via the diagnostic software on the engine or body control computer @OldcarsRbest . In conjunction with the appropriate scan tool. But I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s some kind of stand alone gadget available. If there isn’t one, it would be something that would sell well to the diy’er crowd I’d guess. Good idea.

Thanks for the replies. I was hoping for an owner diagnostic tool of some sort, but if they need to access the on boards…
I have hopefully another 10,000 miles left on these tires, so I shall live with it for now, and just prepare to wipe the tears off the check I’ll have to write when that day comes.


I believe you have a “banded” type of sensor. The sensor is mounted on a band, and is 180 degrees from the valve stem

That tool is just one example

Beware, though . . . the battery in the sensor might be strong enough to cause the tool to chirp, but not strong enough that the tpms module picks up the signal

In all likelihood, you have at LEAST one bad sensor.

What you do is this . . .

open your owners’s manual
go to the section that tells you how to initiate the tpms relearn procedure
initiate it
hold the tool against the tire sidewall, where the sensor is located and press the appropriate button

If a sensor’s signal is satisfactorily received by the tpms module, the vehicle’s horn will chirp. If it doesn’t chirp, that sensor is no good, or you’ve set the tool up wrong

If you still have ALL of the original sensors, it’s best to replace them all and relearn the new ones using a tool, such as the one I showed you

If one of my car tires has to be replaced because of a nail on the side wall, do I need to do an alignment on my tires? All tires were balances and aligned 3 mos ago. Thanks!

Jax, you should open a separate thread with a new question.

You probably would not need an alignment, unless perhaps you drove on the flat some distance or some such.

Thanks, Bill! I didn’t think so, but most car shops want to push that. And, sorry I’m still new at this stuff.

How old are the 3 remaining tires?

My point is this . . . if those 3 remaining tires are 7 years old, dry-rotted and/or worn out, you should have just replaced all 4 of them

Good point DB. I withdraw my comment. I’m reading too fast today.

“If one of my car tires has to be replaced because of a nail on the side wall . . .”

It would appear that not everybody reads and interprets identically. I suppose it’s subjective

IMO . . .

It would appear Jax has replaced that tire with the sidewall puncture, or is intending to replace it

I don’t get the sense that he’s actually intending to “repair” that sidewall damage

DB and all,

All four tires are not brand new but all were in good shapes: plenty of tread left, no bulging, nor irregular tread wear. And certainly no patching if a tire has a puncture on the side wall. Thx everyone!

@cdaquila I think pmelton means well but should there be a notice on this thread that people should start their own question thread to receive answers just in case Mr. Melton forgets to check on a regular basis. My first impression was that he wanted people to Google his repair place.


I don’t know what kind of car you have, but tires should be replaced in pairs, and sometimes all 4.

If you have FWD, the front tires should be matched. You can get by with a small mismatch on the rear.

If you have RWD, the rear tires should be matched. You can get by with a small mismatch on the front, but this can cause tracking problems and is not recommended.

If you have AWD, usually all 4 tires have to be matched.

Check your owners’s manual…

I normally replace one damaged or unrepairable tire each week and have never asked a customer to buy two or four tires because one was damaged, it is very rarely necessary.

If the customer has a road hazard warranty, will they receive two or four free tires?

none of my owner manuals say that. I find it far fetched that I should replace tires in pairs or even all 4 when only one needs replacement. I think it is a myth inspired by tire manufacturers and places that push for that.

Subaru awd states all 4 tires should be replaced at the same time. They also want them rotated every 10k miles. If not the awd can be damaged.

If you have a FWD or RWD, the tires on the drive wheels have to be fairly closely matched, or you will have excessive wear on the differential. Plus possible handling problems.

And as knfenimore says, many AWD vehicles require all 4 tires to be matched.