by Pat Goss
All cars now have tire pressure monitoring systems. Well, don't think of that as being a replacement for your tire gauge because it really isn't. See, if you want the absolute best life out of your tires and the best fuel economy and everything, at least once a month, get out the trusty old gauge and check the pressure manually. That will give you the optimum pressure, not just a safe pressure, which is what the tire pressure monitoring system does.
Next, you have to be proactive in selecting the people that work on your car, they're going to take the tires, remove them or install them. You have to make sure they know how to do it, and they have the proper equipment, because if you don't do it right, the bead of the tire will come up across the sensor, and it breaks the sensor. Hundred and fifty bucks gone right there. Here we have one where they did that to it. Right here, the whole end of the sensor is gone. It also has another common problem. The end of the stem is gone; it has actually remained in the cap due to corrosion. So just loosening it with your fingers, it just falls apart.
Alright, that corrosion also extends to the inside on many of these. It can damage the electronics in the sensor itself. Now where does the moisture come from? The moisture comes from air compressors. So you might want to consider nitrogen in your tires because it is absolutely dry, and it will prevent most of these problems.
Now, next thing, don't bump a curb because if you bump a curb, you can wind up damaging the stem. At the same time it can crack the sensor. And corrosion problems, if you want to prevent them, dialectic silicone grease. Take a little bit of it put it on each one of the threaded portions of the stems. Make sure you always have a good cap on the stem that will help keep moisture out.
Also when you go to the repair shop, they should have one of these tools. This is the tool that releases air from the tire without taking the core out of the valve stem. Very important, saves a lot of problems. Last, here’s something if you have a flat tire, if you have some type of emergency repair kit – well, be careful. Make sure that it is safe for the sensors, because if it isn’t, you could do a lot of expensive damage.