Connection between sensors tire pressure monitoring systems and products such as Fix-a-Flat is complex. It has been generally accepted for some time that products like Fix-A-Flat and TPMS sensors do not mix, but expert opinion has changed in recent years.
This article focuses on TPMS sensors located inside the tire, which is common to many TPMS sensors original equipment (OE) and many aftermarket sensors. Since these sensors are built into the valve stem, the sensitive part of the sensor is inside the tire. If you have sensors in your TPMS that are built into the lid, don’t worry. Products like Fix-a-Flat cannot damage your sensors.
Does damage to tire pressure sensors fix?
Fix-a-Flat will not damage the tire pressure monitor just by making contact with it. There are a number of issues to be aware of when using Fix-a-Flat in a tire containing a tire pressure monitoring sensor, but the bottom line is that you can use it in an emergency as long as you take the necessary steps to protect your sensors afterwards.
Types of emergency tire repair products
Fix-a-Flat is a brand name that people tend to use for all products in the same range, the same way people call Kleenex generic tissue paper, call Xerox photocopy, or Google for any information. Web search. However less so products , like Fix-a-Flat, Slime and other crash tire sealants and inflators all work on the same principle of sealant injection, and then filling the tire with air or other gas.
There are two types of these emergency tire repair products. The former contains both a sealant and some type of compressed gas, which is usually contained in a pressurized cylinder. When this type of product is used, the tire is sealed and inflated to some extent.
Another type of emergency tire repair product consists of a sealant in addition to an air pump. Sealant seals the leak from the inside and a pump is used to fill the tire to a safe level.
There are also two persistent rumors that surround these types of products. First, they can cause a fire or explosion, and second, they can damage tires, rims, and TPMS sensors.
Fix-a-Flat is a type of emergency tire repair product that combines sealant and compressed gas in one dispenser. At some point, the gas became flammable, and hence the rumor began that Fix-a-Flat caused fires or explosions. The idea was that if an emergency tire repair product uses flammable gas and distributes that flammable gas in the tire, it can ignite during the repair.
Because most tire repairs require removing the foreign object that punctured the tire and then reaming the hole with a special metal tool, the idea is that a tool rubbing against steel belts in a tire can create a spark and ignite the flammable material left in the tire. The tire from the Fix-a-Flat emergency application was very real.
Today, Fix-a-Flat uses non-flammable materials, but the rumor persists and there’s always the possibility that someone somewhere is still making a crash tire product that uses a flammable propellant, or that someone else has an ancient a can of old Fix-a-Flat lay around that still works.
The bottom line is that if you buy a new can of Fix-a-Flat from your local auto parts store, you don’t have to worry about exploding tires during repairs.
Damage to TPMS sensors, tires and rims
If you’ve searched for images of rims or TPMS sensors that have been damaged by Fix-a-Flat, get ready to browse through some tires. It is not clear if this type of damage is actually caused by the modern Fix-a-Flat, older versions, or similar products in the same range. It is also unclear how long this type of corrosion and other damage will take.
For example, Fix-a-Flat claims its product is safe to use with TPMS, but with the caveat that you should fix, clean, and inspect the tire quickly. Thus, although the product currently developed is designed to be safe for use with TPMS sensors, driving around the vehicle for extended periods of time without cleaning and repair can have unforeseen consequences.
Fix-a-Flat is a temporary fix. After using it, it is necessary to remove the tire from the rim, repair it and clean it of sealant residues. Leaving Fix-a-Flat sealant on for a long time can cause uneven tire wear, even if you don’t have TPMS problems.
All emergency tire repair products leave some residue inside the tire that needs to be cleaned up. This is a problem because most tire repairs that involve some type of puncture can be repaired either on the vehicle or at least without removing the tire from the rim. A typical procedure involves removing the foreign object, widening the hole with a special tool, and then installing a plug.