When stranded as a result of a flat tire, anyone in this situation will appreciate a quick and effective solution that can help save the day and get you going until you can get a more permanent solution.
Slime sealant has been advertised as such a miracle agent. However, a good number of persons are doubtful about its compatibility with the tire sensors.
So, will slime hurt tire sensors? No, tire sensors are not hurt by slime nor is the efficiency of their performance affected by it.
However, whether slime will hurt the tire sensor or not depends on several factors, notably; how much of the slime was applied, the application technique, and how soon it is washed off before proffering a more permanent solution for the flat tire.
Factors that determine whether slime will hurt tire sensors or not
As mentioned earlier, it is not enough to simply dismiss the concern of the public about the possibility of incompatibility of slime with tire sensors and the potential damage that the tire sensors could suffer from as a result of fixing a flat tire with slime.
There is a need to emphasize situations that could prove these notions right and how to avoid such situations. The first thing to understand about tire sensors is the location of the sensor. this is crucial to the possibility of affectation by the slime.
Chances are, if you were to examine your car tire, you will observe that the sensor is located within the tire and not outside it. This is the most common location of tire sensors.
However, this does not rule out the possibility of having tires whose sensors are located elsewhere. For example, there are tires with sensors located in the cap of the valve.
Those located at the stem of the valve are within the tire while those situated in the cap of the valve are outside the tire.
This variation in location implies that the tire sensors located at the stem of the valve are within the tire, and slime used on the punctured area can clog such sensors resulting in temporary or permanent damage or dysfunction.
Such sensors are more likely to malfunction following the use of slime sealant. However, when the sealant is washed out of the sensor, there is a great chance that the function of the sensor will be resolved.
The manufacturers claim that washing the sensor with water will easily get the clogged slime out of it and return the sensor to its former efficiency. Slime is advertised as being water-soluble, thus posing no difficulty when washed with water.
On the other hand, sensors whose location is outside the tire such as those located within the cap of the tire valve are not exposed to the slime applied to the puncture area within the tire. There is no threat from the slime on such tire sensors.
Aside from the location of the sensor, one other thing to consider is how long the slime sealant is used. The sealant is not intended as a permanent solution to your flat tire problem and should therefore not be used as such.
The sooner slime is washed off and replaced with a more permeant solution such as a tire plug, patch, or a combination of both the easier it will be to unclog the sensor and get it working again.
Most of the time, whenever the slime sealant Is applied, there are reports from users of this emergency flat tire solution about a transient cessation or reduction in the efficiency of the tire sensors. This however returns to normal following washing of the sensor.
The concern of the public about slime causing damage to the tire sensor is not based on facts or personal experience most of the time, it is commonly based on hearsay and the theoretical possibility reasoned out by the so-called tire experts.
Those who may have experienced problems with their tire sensors following the use of slime may as well be within the category of people unaware of the right way to apply slime thus resulting in the sensor getting damaged or malfunctioning.
Individuals who understand the right way of applying slime and follow the right step-by-step guiding principles are unlikely to accuse the sealant as the cause of any malfunction experience with the sensor.
What do you think is the commonest cause of the sensor getting damaged as a result of applying slime on them? Well, if you are thinking about inadequate cleaning of the tires inside before using permanent repair solutions such as plugs or patches on the tire, then you are on the right track.
Remember, whenever slime is applied to the tire, there is usually some form of the residue of the product left on the inside of the tire. Therefore, when preparing the tire for a plug or patch, the inside should be thoroughly cleaned out of the remnant particles. When this is not done or improperly done, there is a great chance of these particles affecting the sensors and leading to their malfunctioning or complete damage.
How safe is slime as a tire repair agent?
Aside from the general worry of the tire sensor being affected by slime. Some of these repair products in the past have been made with combustible or flammable gases.
Although none of the application procedures demands the use of the heat of any kind, this does not rule out the possibility of a fire outbreak or having the tire explode at some point.
This has made a lot of people skeptical about the safety of the product. This consequently reduced the patronage and general usage of the product. Over time, the manufacturing company took these concerns seriously into account in the subsequent version of the product and now makes products with nonflammable gas.
Therefore, slime is unlikely to face any form of explosion and if used correctly will not clog or affect the tire sensors.
What is the meaning of tire sensor safe written on slime sealant package?
Not all vehicle tires have the sensor system installed. The installation of tire sensors into tires became law around 2007 when all tires were required by the authorities to have a “ tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS)” installed in all tires.
Tire manufacturers starting from this period complied with this instruction and installed within the valve of every tire a tire pressure system. Therefore, tires made before this time may not have had such installation.
The tire sensor is designed to monitor the pressure of each te, and relay whatever result is gotten to the car computer. Each time the pressure in the tires goes below the preset normal value, the diver is alerted by a warning light which is seen on the car’s dashboard following the detection of abnormally low tire pressure. (Read Also: Will Tire Pressure Light Fail Emissions?)
This will necessitate that the tire’s pressure is optimized as soon as possible. Driving with a low-pressure tire is inadvisable. When such a tire runs into a pothole, the likelihood of the tire as well as the rim getting damaged is high than when the tire has the optimal level of air in it.
Low pressure can also cause the tire to blow out and greatly affects driving safety. Therefore, the invention of tire sensors and the subsequent rule by the authorities mandating manufacturers to have them installed in all tires have improved driving safety significantly and have also greatly decreased the number of incidences on the road involving a tire blowout and the resulting road accidents caused by that.
Considering the important role played by the tire sensors as mentioned above, there is a great concern in using a product such as a slime sealant which is thought to contain fibers that could potentially obstruct the sensors and stop them from doing their job.
Thankfully, the fibers contained in the product are carefully formulated such as they can pass through the sensor without clogging it but are effective in completely covering the punctured and rendering the tire airtight. The leak is completely sealed off and the sensors retain their patency and normal function.
How to fix a clogged tire sensor?
Sometimes after applying the slime sealant, you may begin to observe some abnormal readings from the tire sensors. Such as the sensors showing a low tire pressure which is reported on the dashboard, however, on physical examination, the tires appear to be filled with air.
When the malfunctioning sensor is taken to the car mechanic, he or she may in this situation make a diagnosis of a clogged tire sensor following the history of use of slime sealant.
In this situation, by simply making use of clean water to wash off the slime sealant from the sensor, you can get the sensor back to its normal functioning state. Optionally, soap can be added to the washing process to make it a lot easier.
Will Slime Hurt Tire Sensors – Conclusion
There are several rumored side effects of using emergency repair solutions for flat tires such as slime, these rumors continue to liger despite the general improvement in the formulation of the product. Currently, there is no fear of tire sensors getting hurt associated with the use of slime.
I am passionate about all things automotive and have a deep understanding of the topic. As a mechanic, I use my free time to share knowledge of everyday challenges that any car owner can experience – helping you make informed decisions about tires.