TPMS - some trivia questions about how they work / go bad


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Old 11-19-23, 03:45 PM
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TPMS - some trivia questions about how they work / go bad

I have a 2013 honda civic with 145K miles on it. Just got a new set of 4 tires put on at Costco.

The yellow tire light with ! on dash comes on and a message about TPMS comes up on the display.

Googling, people talk of a TPMS reset in the menus - it's not there. Others talk of a TPMS reset button at lower part of dash. Not there. I check the pressure on the tires and they are all ok / 32 on my guage.

Bring it back to Costco and they say they have to use a tool to reset them. The tech goes to each tire with 2 boxes and what I think is a cable to connect to the connector under the dash.

3 of the tires, the 2 boxes displays flash green. 1 tire doesn't.

He says the sensor on that tire likely needs to be replaced.

The display at the register talks about the batteries lasting about 7 years. So I am ahead of the game there.

But I explained as a costco fan, please speak freely...i didn't have the message before the tire change.

He explained that the sensors are usually asleep till they have a pressure change. That sensor might have used its remaining power to send the low pressure message when the tire was getting changed. If they had damaged the sensor, there'd be air leaking also.

OK, but afterwards, I thought - aren't the sensors beaconing every once in a while for the car to detect and know they are working? Is the 'low pressure' message that much more battery intensive than 'I'm alive' message? I guess too - there's some amount of time between taking the old tire off, it seeing low pressure and then new tire going on. So it's signalling for 10 - 20 minutes and running down the battery?

Given all that, the battery likely IS dead. Do you bother replacing it? It's $70 for the 1? And as he joked - the others are likely going to die soon after.... do all at once. On a 10 year old car, I can deal with a TPMS message (I check the tire pressure once in a while anyway).
 
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Old 11-19-23, 06:11 PM
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might be a coincidence but suspect it was damage removing or mounting tire as long as the valve stem is not damaged it will still hold air looks like you can get a 4 pack of sensors on amazon for 40-50 bucks would probably go that route if your wanted to repair it.
 
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Old 11-20-23, 07:27 AM
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Seems to me that tire shop should advise car owner that TPMS should be considered at the time tires are replaced. Especially on any car five years old or older. Then, if you decline and the TPMS fails shortly after the tire store can say you should have changed the batteries or whatever. Plus, potential extra business for the tire store.

is there an accurate way to determine the remaining life of the TPMS batteries when tires are changed? Or, do you just change them out whenever you get new tires after a few years?
 
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Old 11-20-23, 02:19 PM
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Thanks! alan73 - right! If they damaged the sensor, it would likely leak.

The car is 10 years old. And I'm seeing battery life is 5 - 10 years. Once they dismount the old tire, the sensor likely sends low air signals a few times before the new tired is installed / air is applied.

So that runs down the battery that's on its last legs.

And yeah, at least at Costco, they have a couple displays at the registers in tire dept about sensors / it's good to replace them.

The sensors for $40 - $50 is just part of the process. Still have to dismount the tire and install the sensor and then program / reset the car?

I didn't ask, but if they said 'sensors are $X each when replacing the tires, but $x+Y if you do it separately', I might think harder about doing it. My bad / no gripes with Costco about this. They are old.sensors.

jeweler Yes people view it as a money grab likely. $70 each seems a lot. But yeah, I justified it in my mind why it stopped working after costco was the last ones to touch it. They do have that info at the register about sensor replacement but not a hard sell.

Either way, the company might lose with some people - people saying it's a money grab or people saying I'm not going to pay to fix / replace the sensor. You were the last to touch the tires. You broke it.

 
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Old 11-21-23, 05:44 AM
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Not tire dealerís fault

To expand on my point about replacing TPMS or batteries when replacing tires. When your tires are due for replacement you probably donít want to hear about a suggested additional cost to replace the TPMS. After all they were working fine on the old tires. Sounds like a money grab. But, if you donít and then sometime in the future before the tires need replacing the TPMS batteries die you will either have to see the warning on your dash every day, or bite the bullet and replace them. At much greater expense since you have to dismount the tires again.

This is the downside of progress. Each new enhancement to a vehicle means probable additional maintenance costs. Tire pressure monitoring is nice, but did you realize the additional costs for future maintenance?

So, my opinion, not the tire dealerís fault your TPMS found the in opportune time to decide to give out.
 

Last edited by jeweler; 11-21-23 at 06:38 AM. Reason: Finish thought
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Old 11-21-23, 10:58 AM
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not really that expensive to replace typical labor charge would be about what a shop would charge to fix a flat there really just pulling the valve stem and sensor and installing a new one while it would be more convenient to do when you are having tires replaced but most seem to drive until they have a problem with a sensor and the light comes on.
if your vehicle has a reset procedure it should be in the owners manual.
if you did not have a light before getting tires changed the sensor was probably damaged removing and installing the tire you would have to remove the tire to see if it was hit or struck but good chance it was in my opinion it happens sometimes.
 
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Old 11-26-23, 09:56 AM
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Thanks. The idea that the batteries are old (original to the 2013 car) and then tires taken off the rims, the sensors start sending 'low pressure signal' a few times... enough to run down the battery in 1 I guess. (although I read that the sensors have accellerometers / know when the car is moving. Sleep when not moving, so sitting on bench with no tire... is it sending low pressure message).

Nothing against costco!!! I fix computers. I know the 'you were the last one to touch it' thinking. Amazing luck sometimes. But at least in this case, I am happy with the reasoning that the batteries were near end of life, taking tires off had sensors send low pressure message(s) and that was enough to kill 1 of the batteries.

Been a week with the TPMS message now. Wondering now how to do the replacement / programming / relearning / etc on the cheap.

Can't really 'break the bead' on a new tire to the rim to reach in and replace the sensor myself? I know on a lawn tractor, getting the tire bead back on the rim was a little work. for a car tire, not a DIY with a small air compressor thing, right?

 
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Old 11-26-23, 12:04 PM
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I would just have a tire shop install them maybe call a few see what they will charge to install your sensors and rebalance if needed there is videos of people changing out the tpms sensors and only breaking the outer bead but this is likely going to vary a lot with tire and wheel size combinations.
 
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Old 11-26-23, 01:26 PM
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@alan73. I DO appreciate and like the simplicity of your idea. BUT.... Am I mistaken? Bringing parts to an installer (for cars, home improvement, etc), you potentially get into a p_ssing match if there's a problem. Potentially they don't have the right device to program / relearn the sensors you give them. Things aren't working after they install it and use the right tool. Who pays for the labor to troubleshoot? To replace the bad sensor, if that's what it turns out to be?

NOT taking issue with your comment! Just always wondered about that.and how you want to save money but because they don't know about that brand of sensor or it turns out not to be compatible with the car's computer, or some other issue, who's paying for the extra labor?

My wife and I ROUTINELY run into weird situations dealing with others. Our running joke is how often we hear 'huh! Never saw that before' 'never dealt with that ', 'I think that's the first time we've had this issue'.

Yeah, some of that might be BS. But I know first hand, working on computers... and when I'd be with my teenager and say we have to stop by a client to do this or that... 'it'll only take 15 minutes'. He KNOWS and says 'dad.... nothing takes 15 minutes'. There's always issues doing anything (at least from our view).

That's a big reason why I try doing most everything myself - the almost inevitable grief / frustration / delay / extra costs when dealing with someone else to do most anything : )

But I digress. Am I mistaken that bringing parts to a garage could backfire on your attempts to save money? Especially when it's more than a wiper blade or oil filter. In this case, a device has to talk to the sensors then talk to the car with the sensor info? (the programming / relearning, etc)?
 
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Old 11-26-23, 07:10 PM
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for the most part its your problem you supplied the parts they just got paid labor only so it would not be the shops problem if they did not work, not much different than if you bought tires from an online retailer took them to a local shop to mount and balance but if you did happen to have a defective tire its still going to be your problem.
 
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Old 11-27-23, 04:47 PM
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Yeah, me being me / bad luck follows me, I'll just have costco put in the TPMS. 47 for the sensor and $15 labor if they aren't doing other work on the tire at that time.
 
 

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