HomeMods, Tech Talk & TipsProjects & ModsWarning: External TPMS Sensors Could Ruin Your Towed Vehicle Valve Stems!

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Warning: External TPMS Sensors Could Ruin Your Towed Vehicle Valve Stems! — 6 Comments

  1. My TireMinder TPMS System has already taken care of that. I have aluminum valve stems for my 2011 car and they have aluminum transmitters available for it. I’m glad they thought of that. I’ve had the system on my car for over 4 years with no problems and no need to “grease” my wheels or purchase something for it. The price is the same.

    Thanks TireMinder

  2. 1) the $5 tire valve kit at a chain auto parts store should include a tool with rethreading tap and die for all threaded tire valve parts. It isn’t hardened steel, but neither is a valve stem.

    2) All inexpensive copper-tin-zinc alloys are susceptible to chloride contamination. There is a progressive zinc-chloride/zinc-oxide conversion that recycles the chlorine ion almost as a catalyst. There’s no way to stop it once it starts without an oxygen barrier, and dielectric grease is just a long chain dimethyl-siloxane oil and pure silica paste … good at excluding water, not an oxygen barrier. So to recap after the salt exposure is too late to fix it, dielectric grease won’t protect it from oxygen.

    • Hi, sorry missed your comment somehow. 1) Yes that helped but a lot of the metal (aluminum) was gone. 2) Good info, so what would you recommend? Is what you described the same as the galvanic corrosion of dissimilar metals (which is what I thought was going on)? Not disputing your comment as it sounds like you sure know a heck of a lot more about the chemistry than I ever will, but I can say after 3 years of using the grease or anti-seize the problem has not recurred.

  3. Another comment on your excellent article is to not use the TST flow-through sensors on the towed vehicle. We had them on our Jeep and the rotational mass and/or additional weight of the sensor was enough to damage the rubber valve stem. TST replaced them with the regular sensors for us (talk about good C/S). BTW, on the regular sensors TST showed us how to remove the anti theft device so you don’t need to use the tool to air up the tires. Not a big deal, but sure is more convenient.

    • Jim, good info on the flow thru sensors being too heavy for rubber stems! I didn’t realize they were that much heavier than the standard sensors. Yes, it didn’t take long for the anti-theft casings on my sensors to be removed either. Thanks for your contribution!

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