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Author Topic: TPMS Rebuild kit upon replacing tire? Back to Topics
jmdeng

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Message Posted: Jul 9, 2013 6:39:35 PM

Looking to get new tires for a 2008 performance sedan and the tire shop (Discount Tire/America's tire) recommended also buying their TPMS Rebuild kit to assure that no leaks from the valve system would be present after the tires were installed. This is how they describe it:
http://www.discounttire.com/dtcs/brochure/general/tpmsRebuildKit.jsp

Anyone have experience with this and recommend paying the $7.50 per wheel or passing on it?

Thanks

(TPMS = Tire Pressure Monitoring System)
REPLIES (newest first) Post a Reply
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monkey102010
Veteran Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Oct 11, 2013 9:42:41 AM

This sounds like another way for them to make money to me. In my experience working at a dealer I never heard of such a service and neither have the more experienced technicians or service advisors.
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BartandLisa
Champion Author Newfoundland

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Message Posted: Oct 11, 2013 8:45:41 AM

I swap my factory low profile tires and their alloy wheels each year in late December or early January for 215/60R16 winter tires on alloys with no TPMS. The low pressure light will be on until the end of March when I swap them back, but no adverse effect otherwise.
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eB40
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Aug 24, 2013 12:54:06 PM

will pass it on. Thanks!
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2Tall
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Message Posted: Jul 30, 2013 10:31:42 AM

thanks
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Titanic1985
Champion Author South Carolina

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Message Posted: Jul 13, 2013 9:09:38 AM

Good Morning CactusBobs,

Wow, I didn't realize the "relearn tool" was $500.00! Now I understand your first response to this Topic.

The reset tool may become a thing of the past as I now know of one vehicle that now has it built in, the Mazda 3 (they told me about it when I bought my wife's 2011 Toyota there).

Hey, you gave it your best shot. Kudos to you!

The "reset tool", what CactusBobs, is talking about is used when you rotate the tires or even put on the spare until the original tire is repaired/replaced, the Amber dash light stays on until the sensors acquire/adjust to the TPMS tire valve. A garage, such as he works at, cannot deliver a vehicle to a customer with a warning light lit as it would seem to some customers that the problem wasn't fixed. The tool is used to reset the system.

To those who do their own tire rotations, the vehicle will eventually "relearn" (e.g. re-synchronize) itself just by driving.

As I stated previously, this law and technology was not well thought out.

See ya :-) . MGY

[Edited by: Titanic1985 at 7/13/2013 9:11:23 AM EST]
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CactusBobs
Champion Author Arizona

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Message Posted: Jul 12, 2013 11:28:48 PM

Titanic 1985 : 1.5 to 3 volts that explains a lot
the glue in the unit can be removed buy picking at it when it's frozen
the battery is a button type soldered to the tiny board
i only started working on these to learn how it worked and to build a low/no cost test tool . I was able to do that using an old cordless phone
but in the end i bought the $500.00 reset tool anyway

i don't really need to know much more about them anymore , i have bigger fish to fry , to me they will always be a pain in the arse and nothing more
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Titanic1985
Champion Author South Carolina

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Message Posted: Jul 12, 2013 1:50:41 AM

Hi CactusBobs,

You and I are seeking the same answer(s) from EdPG. I did some research on the Internet and found many differing answers, most state the batteries are not replaceable, measurable or have a designated lifespan. Here is one of the more "reasonable" responses I found:

TPMS Sensor Batteries

A key comment here is:

"A depleted battery can’t be ex­changed, so the entire sensor must be replaced.

Rigney says potting material inside the sensor housing secures the electronic components and protects them from the harsh environment inside a tire. “In order to remove a battery, the potting material would need to be melted. Heating the material could damage components and allow the battery’s lithium to seep out of its housing and into the environment.”

From my readings, the batteries used are the lithium button type.

The article I linked calls for standardization of testing and construction.

My suggestion to you, if you have the time, is to search on:

"TPMS Battery Change"
"TPMS Battery Replacement"
"TPMS Battery Life"

After reading articles and viewing several YouTube videos, it does not seem to be practical or cost effective. It also doesn't seem to guarantee the repaired assembly, if possible, will survive within the tire.

Please let me know if you draw similar conclusions.

Take care :-). MGY

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Wrench45840
Rookie Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Jul 12, 2013 1:00:54 AM

The rebuild kit just replaces the o ring seal my experience with replacing tires that have sensors I would just replace the sensors they are available at most parts stores my have to order a day before you can check if they fit your vehicle at least one of the four will get damaged by the tire machine
dorman website

[Edited by: Wrench45840 at 7/12/2013 1:04:30 AM EST]
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CactusBobs
Champion Author Arizona

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Message Posted: Jul 11, 2013 11:53:55 PM

edPG : ED , can you please tell me what the value of the voltage should be ?
I cannot tell what it should be and cannot tell if the battery is low or normal
also , can you tell me where to get a replacement battery , all the units i have opened have no markings on the battery

second : how do you get these things back together , i was going to use a plastic two part epoxy , but i was not sure if it would hold

please let me know what make or color unit you have worked on , these units are a little project i am trying to figure out , and so far i have ruined more of them trying to get them apart than i have whole ones to try to fix

please let me know what you have done and how PLEASE !
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pacecar68
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Message Posted: Jul 11, 2013 9:34:20 PM

i would pay it. $7.50 per wheel is not much money ($28.00). the tires will likely last 4 years. the current sensors has been there about 4 years. that is much exposure to the air in the tires.
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Titanic1985
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Message Posted: Jul 11, 2013 2:12:56 PM

Hi EdPG,

You said, "change the batteries in the TPMS values." I don't believe that is possible. I've seen four different brands of the TPMS valve assemblies and they were all sealed. You could not disassemble them.

Have you found a particular brand where changing the batteries is possible? If so, are the batteries available for purchase?

Take care :-). MGY
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EdPG
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Message Posted: Jul 11, 2013 7:59:50 AM

change the batteries in the TPMS values
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jscdig
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Message Posted: Jul 10, 2013 6:26:36 PM

Likewise, I have two sets of tires for my wife's Mariner. I have had them changed back and forth many times and continue to use the original TPMS. No problems at all.
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Titanic1985
Champion Author South Carolina

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Message Posted: Jul 10, 2013 6:13:51 PM

Hi CactusBobs,

Your sentiments are quite clear (stated a bit differently than I might have said), but true. When my wife broke her 2007 Dodge Caliber TPMS valve off, we had a three day nightmare. Two TPMS valves were ordered from NAPA and both leaked at the rim, so for two mornings we found a flat tire. The tire store who I deal with ordered two different vendor' valves and we finally got one that did not leak.

While I was there, I spoke to a NAPA buyer who told me they changed suppliers and were experiencing problems such as mine with the new parts.

Another issue with these TPMS systems is the vast amount of misinformation about them. When I purchased my 2008 Chevrolet Equinox the book was vague about tire rotation and the "relearn" function. I was told that you had to drive 50 miles for the sensors to sync up. I called Detroit and spoke with an Engineer. No, it wasn't 50 miles but just one RPM of the wheel. That certainly is a big difference.

You said, "as time goes on and these cars get older these systems will all be bad and there pressure lights will all be lit (i see this already)." I agree 100%. When I spoke with tirerack today they gave me a battery life range of 5 to ten years. Well what is it, really? As stated earlier, if a valve battery fails and your only indication is the mandated amber light, how do you know which one is bad (the dealers do have a tool for that purpose)?

A friend on Gas Buddy, Reb4, provided a link to the law I mentioned. It shouldn't take 195 pages and five readings to understand it!

I mentioned other topics I and yodudebc wrote and there were praises and scorn by gas buddies. Some didn't know anything about the light or even if they had TPMS. I alluded to the inaccuracy of them and the lack of documentation regarding their function.

On a positive note, thus far several to include me, have had nails in their tires and the light did prevent driving on a flat tire. Some also mentioned getting in their vehicles to go to work and finding a tire had gone flat over night.

Your assessment of the future of TPMS and owner's disdain is accurate. They are now in six or seven model year vehicles, so reality will soon come.

I thank you for you very candid response to my question. :-) MGY
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jrfan6767
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Message Posted: Jul 10, 2013 3:51:25 PM

only if the old ones get damaged in any way
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Timberline
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Message Posted: Jul 10, 2013 2:49:55 PM

We live in an area where we swap summer/winter tires. My wife's car has OEM TPMS and summer/winter tires have been dismounted/remounted 11 times with no kits and no problems (and I do know they work since I intentionally deflated them, one by one to test). Why fix what ain't broke?
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jmdeng
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Message Posted: Jul 10, 2013 2:44:21 PM

Talked the price down to $5 a pop. And that'll make the difference. =)

Edit: Though I'm a little miffed that the new sales guy I talked to said that it was required that they use the rebuild kit.

[Edited by: jmdeng at 7/10/2013 2:48:48 PM EST]
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Chazzer
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Message Posted: Jul 10, 2013 2:31:14 PM

Very intetresting! Will check out and see.
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jmdeng
Champion Author San Jose

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Message Posted: Jul 10, 2013 2:25:17 PM

Apologies for miscommunicating Titanic1985, but my issue is two fold.
I have both a screw in my tire and because my tires are so threadbare (the leak cannot be fixed) I need new tires.

So I am going to be buying new tires and deciding on this TPMS rebuild kit. Leaning towards just buying them too. =)
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CactusBobs
Champion Author Arizona

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Message Posted: Jul 10, 2013 2:03:12 PM

Titanic1985: in a few words , I HATE THEM !!!!!! and so do most car owners after a while

your factory units are the best , keep them as long as they work , most parts stors and tire shops sell an aftermarket unit , that is garbage as far i i can tell , plastic cracks , lights light for no reason , just cheep junk . we are still replacing defective units with dealer bought units and have no problems with them

as time goes on and these cars get older these systems will all be bad and there pressure lights will all be lit (i see this already) . a strip of black tape over the light does wonders
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Titanic1985
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Message Posted: Jul 10, 2013 12:05:30 PM

Hello CactusBobs,

I agree with your shop's policy. It makes perfect sense. We did the same thing when selling tires.

I have a question for you since you are more up-to-date. What do you do regarding he actual TPMS valve itself considering the battery life in the sensor transmitter. Do you wait for them to fail or replace them by circumstance (e.g. vehicle age, the customer's desire to keep the vehicle, etc.).

Thanks :-). MGY

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Titanic1985
Champion Author South Carolina

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Message Posted: Jul 10, 2013 11:47:42 AM

Hi 14Smoke,

It usually seems we come up with the same answers. Wonder why? This OP has decided and, as stated, is a tire repair and not a replacement. Tirerack.com did say (one person's opinion) that the kit didn't need to be replaced just for general principle, but if I were putting on a new set of tires on a 2008 vehicle, I think I may be inclined to have the valves changed due to the battery life which is not well documented.

You mentioned tire rotations and rebalancing, but consider this point. The TPMS law only states you have an amber light as a warning. Some vehicles like my former Chevy Equinox and Dodge Caliber actually showed the tire pressures. With only an amber light present, which tire/sensor is defective? If it is a tire, a gauge will figure that out, but if it is the actual valve itself then you must have what is called a "relearn tool". These are used by garages to reset the light as many garages don't want to drive the vehicle around to reset the TPMS. My 2012 Sonic, according to GM's Engineering, takes five miles of drive at speeds above 25 MPH.

This issue is only going to get more complicated as vehicles age.

Take care :-). MGY
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CactusBobs
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Message Posted: Jul 10, 2013 11:46:29 AM

your car is a 2008 , that's 5 years old .......don't think-just do
buy the rebuild kits , don't be cheep when we sell a tire we just rebuild them as part of the sale and the cost(2.00) is passed on in the price of the tire , that way you can't say no.
it's a small price to pay to know your stem is not going to leak
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Titanic1985
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Message Posted: Jul 10, 2013 11:27:19 AM

Hi rick_evans,

You asked, "If the TPMS rebuild kit is bought with the tires, is it covered under the hazard warranty in case it starts leaking or is damaged?" I cannot answer that question with certainty, but in the garage I worked in if a tire valve (non-TPMS) was bad, we would replace it free of charge. If someone buys a new set of tires along with the TPMS valve kit, it only seems right to repair/replace the defective valve. That said, I cannot find any tire road hazard warranty that states the valve kit is included. To me, it would make sense to keep a customer happy :-).

I just caught a word in your question which would be a game changer. You used the word "damaged". I worked on tires in Pittsburgh, PA in the days of steel wheels and hubcaps. I would always put the correct length tire valve in to enable the customer to put air in the tire without removing the hub cap (some call it a wheel cover). We did get quite a few customers who hit curbs and literally tore the valves out of the wheels. That became a judgement call as you had to break down the tire to replace the valve and rebalance the wheel. Most of our customers were repeat customers, so we did not charge them. This may not be the case with some TPMS valves which can cost $100.00 each. That is the rationale of the rebuild kit rather than a valve replacement as in the past.

Rick, I just called tirerack.com with your question. If you bought tires from them and four brand new TPMS valves (not the rebuild kits), the TPMS valves are NOT covered by the additional cost road hazard warranty. I don't know about Discount Tire, but would assume (that usually gets me in trouble) they would have the same policy.

While on the telephone, I also discussed this Topic. The TPMS valves they sell are made by Siemens who supply them to the auto manufacturer. So you are buying OEM valves as OE. I checked on the price for my previous vehicle, a 2008 Chevrolet Equinox. When new the valves were $150 each. Tirerack's price is $44.00. That certainly is a huge difference!

As this subject migrates, it becomes more confusing. I hope I answered your question.

Take care :-). MGY

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Titanic1985
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Message Posted: Jul 10, 2013 10:43:47 AM

Good Morning,

I sent a more detailed message (if that is possible) to jmdeng. His situation is not one of having to replace tires, but rather one with a screw in it which leaks enough air after five days to initiate the TPMS Amber light on the dash. He has decided to purchase the tire valve kit and have the tire repaired. His problem is resolved.

The TPMS issue will continue to generate questions and expense. Fortunately the costs are declining, but still are not cheap. Just two years ago, tire prices increased 30% and a bit more last year. When you add the tires and the valves together this can be quite expensive. I've noticed, since I just purchased four tires for my wife's Toyota, that major tire manufacturers are now producing a tire which cost significantly lessin price and quality than their "better" tires. The gotcha is that they only have a tread wear rating of 300 or slightly better meaning they will last 40,000 miles or less. The issue here is the cost of mounting and balancing which adds still more expense. These are tough choices in this economy.
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14smoke
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Message Posted: Jul 10, 2013 10:25:19 AM

As for not doing it now, I would use this logic, you will need to balance and rotate your tires from time to time...if and when you decide to change out the TPMS, just have it done when you have a rotate and balance performed. Yes, it's the extra step of the shop having to take the tire off, but, it's not that bad of an experience, and might take the shop you go to an extra 30 minutes or so.
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rick_evans
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Message Posted: Jul 10, 2013 6:18:40 AM

If the TPMS rebuild kit is bought with the tires, is it covered under the hazard warranty in case it starts leaking or is damaged?
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jmdeng
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Message Posted: Jul 10, 2013 12:41:41 AM

Thanks for the answers everyone and especially Titanic1985 for the thorough answer.

I guess I'm also wondering...if I elect not to purchase the kit now, then a leak springs, how costly/time consuming will a fix be at that point (and I think I'd bring it into the store).

If it's one of those. Do it now or do it later, same charge, then I'd definitely choose later. But if the charge and time go way up if I wait til later, then I might as well do it now.

Then again, I am missing two valve caps so... =)
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Titanic1985
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Message Posted: Jul 9, 2013 11:11:33 PM

Hello jmdeng,

Once again, the TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) topic has arisen with a new area of interest. As you may know, yoududebc and I have covered several renditions of this topic. Thank you for bringing this one up since I haven't addressed it before and thank you for the link. Wamster has also been involved in a previous discussion as this GB has five useable tires with matching wheels and AWD.

For the sake of those who did not read the other topics (there were four), TPMS became mandatory in the United States on vehicles manufactured after September 1, 2007 with a GVW (Gross Vehicle Weight) of 10,000 pounds or less. TPMS became law in Canada and Europe in 2012 and in Japan in 2013.

The previous topics ranged from 'Do you have TPMS' to 'Do you rely on them'. Many GBs responded (my guess was over 400) and provided a great deal of information. Even tough TPMS was a law written on 195 pages (yes, I did read them all five times as they are written in 'legalese') the only mandate was that an amber light had to come on when the tire pressure dropped below a preset level. Only one GB found what that was normal for his Toyota in the Owner's Manual. It was 25% below the pressure listed on the label on the driver side door post. Many found out what their vehicle threshold was by gauging the tire when the light came on. My 2012 Sonic mandates 38 PSI and after having a nail puncture, the amber light came on at 32 PSI. Every vehicle seems to be different.

Now, onto your Topic. Yes, a TPMS rebuild kit is available. I spoke with a buyer for NAPA and their price was slightly more than $5.00. I just checked with tirerack.com and they are $3.50, but out of stock. No other local auto parts store had them two months ago. You link made a key point, "Warning: Using standard valve stem parts in your TPMS Sensor will damage the sensor." That is very important to know. Tirerack.com also sells the kits and the entire valve.

Now comes the hard part, answering your question :-). According to tirerack.com each of these TPMS valves has a battery in it which sends an RFI signal to a sensor for each wheel. The battery life, according to them, is seven to ten years. The battery is not replaceable -- the entire valve assembly must be replaced. Your vehicle is a 2008, five model years old. Is it worth replacing the valve stems if they are not leaking? When I worked in a garage, I'd use a saliva test to see if the valve bubbled leaking air. I tend to go along with bearscharger's post. Here is a question for you, is it worth keeping the entire valve assembly and PERHAPS in two year having to replace it mandating the tire be taken off the rim, the TPMS assembly replaced, and then rebalancing the tire? To further confuse you, will the replacement valve "relearn" itself and seal properly? My wife broke a TPMS valve off and before it was fixed, we had to order four valves to find one that did not leak air around the wheel. None of the four were from the dealer ($85 versus OE $50).

Here is a link from tirerack.com:

TPMS Frequently Asked Questions

I suggest calling tirerack.com and speaking with them. They have been my most accurate source of information. One good thing, you have time on your side to further investigate this issue. I also would suggest searching the Internet on "TPMS Rebuild Kit" and "TPMS".

There are a great many opinions on this Topic (e.g. TPMS). The law was, in my opinion, not well thought out. For example, I found on Gas Buddy that many Canadians had four snow tires mounted on wheels for the winter. Do you spend hundreds of dollars for sensor valves or, as one GB did, put tape over the amber light and use standard tire valves. In your case, do you put out $30.00 for a rebuild kit or replace the entire valve due to it being a 2008 vehicle at a cost of $200.00? Will the battery last 7 years or ten years? Do you plan on keeping the vehicle? There certainly are a lot of questions.

If you have a question, please send me an Inbox. I'll try to find an answer for you.

Thanks :-). MGY
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wamster
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Message Posted: Jul 9, 2013 9:00:32 PM

I purchased 4 new tires from Discount Tire for my AWD. I planned on one, but in another topic in this forum; I really had to purchase 4; due to it being an AWD. I purchased the
$7.50 each. But in the end, they threw it in for free. :)
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bearscharger
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Message Posted: Jul 9, 2013 8:37:35 PM

Generally where I work we do not replace the rubber seals/stem depending on the application. We will replace those pieces when there is a leak. I know some manufacturers suggest replacing those pieces when you change the tires. Personally I will replace them on my truck when I get to that point.
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Happyherman
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Message Posted: Jul 9, 2013 6:42:38 PM

I have a TPMS on my Acura TL and have never changed anything. No problems at all.
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