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TPMS & Brake Pad Warning with Spare Tire

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Old 01-14-2014, 02:19 PM
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Default TPMS & Brake Pad Warning with Spare Tire

Wife hit a pothole. AAA came and put on the spare. This is the original tire from when the car was purchased in December 2005 (2006 Model). SHe just called me. She is getting TPMS error that the system cannot operate, not the usual warning when pressure is low. She also got a brake pad warning light. The pads have maybe 15-20K miles on them, car was just serviced, I asked about the pads, shop said they were ok. Did the pothole knock out the pad sensor?
Also, does the spare have TPMS?
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Old 01-14-2014, 02:42 PM
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Yeah, the OE spare would have a sensor and may have to be re-initialized (via MMI) for the TPMS so it's not angry...assuming the battery is still working.

Hard to say about the brake pad warning light. Just how severe was this impact? Is the suspension OK?
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Old 01-14-2014, 03:33 PM
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I am betting that the battery in the TPMS sensor, which based on my experience only last 5 years, died in the spare tire.
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Old 01-14-2014, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by KevinGary View Post
I am betting that the battery in the TPMS sensor, which based on my experience only last 5 years, died in the spare tire.
We have a winner...agree with Kevin on this. it's almost 99% guaranteed that the TPMS battery in the spare is dead. Furthermore, driving around on a 10+ year old tire may not be such a great idea either. Rubber deteriorates over time and becomes brittle, if you live in a place with extreme changes in weather (i.e. East coast - summer & winter), the impact on the spare will be even more profound.

You can either buy a new TPMS sensor and get it installed, or if the other sensors in your car are around 5-7 years old, you might as well get a full set of them and get them put in.

Good luck.
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Old 01-14-2014, 10:59 PM
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Beside the battery in the TPMS sensor being bad, the TPMS antenna in your 2006 may have also been knocked loose by the pothole. TSB #2011237/3 was issued in 2008 for this problem for all 2005 and some early 3006 A6s. My 2006 A6 Avant had the TPMS malfunction warning, and DTC 01521 was recorded. This DTC means that the antnenna could be mounted upside down or detached from its mounting. The antenna is directly above the rear reading lamp in the headliner. In my case, the antenna fell down from the foam that was used to mount it between the headliner and the inside of the roof. A new antenna-mounting bracket was developed to solve this issue. To check to see if this is the problem with your A6, pull the reading lamp out (using your fingers, pry from the rear edge down & remove the lamp), and check the sensor. If it is mounted between 2 pices of foam and loose, then you need to obtain the new bracket (P/N 4F0-907-526) plus (4) velcro strips (P/N 4D0-863-437-A). This fixed my problem for this DTC, but my original TPMS sensors are also dead.
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Old 01-15-2014, 12:54 PM
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Default It turns out TPMS is ok

Wife did not 'Initialize' the TPMS. After I told her, she did and TPMS is not complaining anymore. Advice taken about tire being old. I was planning on getting a new one as I already knew of tires 'expiring'. As far as the brake pad warning, it still happens even though the pads only have 12K on them. Too much of a coincidence that the warning came up right after the pothole encounter. Car is driving straight and there is no vibration though so I am assuming other components are ok, the tire took one for the team.
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Old 01-15-2014, 02:42 PM
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Glad to see it worked out for you. Also our cars only require 4 tpms to be active at any one time.
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Old 01-17-2014, 07:47 AM
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Slightly off topic, but I recommend people use the spare in the regular rotation. It's a good tire, and if you rotate them, you'll end up getting a bit more mileage out of your tires (same amount of miles per tire of course) and if you don't have any of them get a puncture, you'll just buy 5 tires when you need a new set. That gets you out from having an ancient tire on your car. Realistically, one probably will get a puncture that can't be safely fixed anyway and this lets you avoid having one tire with dramatically more tread than the others.
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Old 01-19-2014, 05:59 AM
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Guys, any ideas on the Brake pad warning? I took off the wheel yesterday (What a pain taking off the plastic lug covers), and the pads have plenty of life left. No visible damage to anything.
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Old 01-19-2014, 08:36 AM
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I hit a pothole in my old Allroad one time and the wheel travel was jarring enough to rip the pad sensor wire from its connector. Check the front pads on the side you hit and make sure the pad sensor wires are all intact and securely connected. I just had to splice mine back together and everything was resolved.
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