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Old 04-13-2012, 10:06 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Colorado Springs, CO, USA
Posts: 184
New tires - do I need a TPMS rebuild?

I have a 2011 VW Tiguan that is about due for some new tires. I was pricing them out at Discount Tire's website and noticed that they added a $32 TPMS rebuild kit which can be removed before placing the order.

Looking into it, this seems to include just a new gasket, valve, and cover. See There's nothing fancy like a new battery or sensor or anything.

Googling around, I didn't seem to find a consensus on whether it is actually necessary, but there is a lot of speculation. The car is about 1.5 years old and I looked at all the valve stems and all the rubber and plastic parts seem to be in good condition. The claim that Discount Tire is making is that these parts wear and lead to slow leaks over time. I can see that happening, but not over such a short time frame.

It's not a whole lot of money, but I'd rather avoid it if it's not necessary. Wouldn't it make more sense to replace these as needed or possibly every other set of tires?
Old 04-13-2012, 11:27 AM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 948
I would skip it unless you've noticed a slow tire leak. "Value added" services like this are often unnecessary and only serve to boost profits by selling the customers things he probably doesn't need.

Of course this assumes you're doing a good job checking the tire pressure on your own initiative. You are checking it monthly or every 1,000 miles, right? if not or if the peace of mind is worth it to you then you may want to go for it.

I wouldn't touch it.
Old 04-13-2012, 11:31 AM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: N.O.T. Land!
Posts: 6,061
Yeah, the fact that they just added it to your order without your inquiry or permission screams that you don't need it and they're just trying to up your order in any way possible.
Old 04-13-2012, 11:39 AM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Duluth, GA
Posts: 1,166
Does your Tiguan even have TPMS sensors? Some VAG models use the ABS sensors to detect differences in wheel circumference, and just use regular rubber valve stems. I know that some recent Jettas & Golfs do it that way, as does my 2010 Audi A3 (basically an upscale Jetta Sportswagen).

You can probably get more detailed answers at a VW board, such as VWVortex.
Old 04-13-2012, 11:47 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Colorado Springs, CO, USA
Posts: 184
It does use the actual in-valve-stem TPMS sensors. It seems that for 2011 at least, both versions were produced depending on what region of the world the car was built for. I verified that mine does have them.
Old 04-13-2012, 01:50 PM
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: KCMO
Posts: 11,103
One and a half years old and seem to be in good condition? I'd pass. The nut, valve stem, and cap can easily be replaced any time without dismounting the tire. The rubber gasket should remain undisturbed and be okay. If the car were over three years old it might be a wise precaution to replace it because it might not last an additional three years (total of six), but in your case I think you'd be safe to leave it be.
Old 04-13-2012, 02:26 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Falls Church, Va.
Posts: 13,179
We're putting new coversheets on all the TPMS rebuilds before they go out now. So if you could go ahead and try to remember to do that from now on, that'd be great.

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