Tire Pressure Sensors gone bad...

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Tire Pressure Sensors gone bad...

Postby noseoil » Mon Mar 09, 2015 7:32 am

A quick heads up about this subject. My 2007 Nissan Frontier started throwing a warning light on the tire pressure light. Checked everything & aired up all tires and figured the light would go out after a few miles. Wrong! Every new vehicle made since 2007 has tire pressure sensors, mandated by federal law in the U.S. Not a bad thing to have, especially if you plan on pulling a trailer on the highway at speed.

The light would flash after starting the truck, then go to full-on after a minute or so of driving. I called the dealer & told them what was happening. They said it was "just" the tire sensor going bad, they last "about 10 years" or in my case, about 8 years. When I asked about the replacement cost, I was told it was $250 per wheel, or $1,000 plus tax. WTF? I was shocked. Their warranty on this part is for one year.

I called our local Discount Tire (just around the corner from our house, about 2 blocks for me to walk if necessary) and was told it would be $200. I asked if that was $200 a wheel & they said, no $200 plus tax, or a total of $216.20 out the door. This included dismounting the tires, replacing the sensors (valve stem is the location), remounting tires & balancing, then replacing them on the truck. I did it on Saturday morning, they finished early, since I was able to drop off the truck at 08:00 when they opened. All is well.

Just saying, don't go to the dealership if you need a "regular" repair, they will rip you off.
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Re: Tire Pressure Sensors gone bad...

Postby 39Ratrod » Mon Mar 09, 2015 7:58 am

WOW that is crazy! The dealer was way outa line.
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Re: Tire Pressure Sensors gone bad...

Postby Padilen » Mon Mar 09, 2015 8:58 am

Stock parts are always more than aftermarket. The TPS in my Jeep from dealer would be about 50 each, plus install. Aftermarket for mine would be 1/2 of that plus install. I have been told some aftermarkets are being made so they can change the sensor without breaking the tire bead. Of course you'd have to break the bead to change to the new system.
I'm not a fan of these systems as mine can be fooled into resetting by parking by a tire with the same frequency.
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Re: Tire Pressure Sensors gone bad...

Postby Nobody » Mon Mar 09, 2015 9:04 am

Thanks noseoil! That's good info. On my '08 Toyota Tacoma the dealer also charges a ridiculous amount for small items like that. Dunno if it's the same on all new vehicles but my spare also has the sensor. Couple of years ago I kept getting an indication of low tire pressure. Checked all tires 'on the ground' & they showed normal pressure. After a couple of days getting the indication I finally remembered the spare; sure enough it was 'down' about 10lbs. Have no idea why or what caused it. I brought the pressure back up to normal, the 'trouble' indicator light went out & I've had no problem since?? I plan to have a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) installed on my 'new' Casita camp trailer before I go on the road with it.
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Re: Tire Pressure Sensors gone bad...

Postby MtnDon » Mon Mar 09, 2015 12:43 pm

The 10 year life estimate is wildly optimistic. If we get 7 years out of the sensors I call that good.

Keep this in mind because if you change the sensors when the tires are being changed you only pay for the sensors, no extra labor. Think ahead and save the trouble and expense of just changing the sensors. We replaced 4 tires on our Tacoma at Discount Tire a couple of months ago. They included changing the sensor on the spare with no extra labor above and beyond that charged for installing and balancing the 4 new tires. I also got all brand new chrome wheel nuts thrown in for nothing as the old ones had a few corners deformed. Discount Tire is good folks!!
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Re: Tire Pressure Sensors gone bad...

Postby Padilen » Mon Mar 09, 2015 1:57 pm

Yes battery life is only 5-7 years.
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Re: Tire Pressure Sensors gone bad...

Postby tony.latham » Mon Mar 09, 2015 2:14 pm

Crooks. (Now, I realize it costs money to run a shop, but sheeeeesh).

I see the parts sell for $52 on eBay. I wonder what my local Les Schwab would charge me if it were there part and installed? My 2007 Tacoma's sensor is still hanging in there.

I wish I could add sensor's to my teardrop tires... but the system doesn't allow that! That'd be sweeeet.

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Re: Tire Pressure Sensors gone bad...

Postby MtnDon » Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:25 pm

There are aftermarket ones....

http://dillaircontrols.com/dill/categor ... iler-tpms/

http://www.cabelas.com/product/ACCUTIRE ... 898&rid=20

I haven't tried any of them myself (other than the factory ones in my Toyota and Honda. )
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Re: Tire Pressure Sensors gone bad...

Postby tony.latham » Mon Mar 09, 2015 6:03 pm

MtnDon wrote:There are aftermarket ones....

http://dillaircontrols.com/dill/categor ... iler-tpms/

http://www.cabelas.com/product/ACCUTIRE ... 898&rid=20

I haven't tried any of them myself (other than the factory ones in my Toyota and Honda. )


Don:

I've looked at those. The one listed on Cabela's –if you look on Amazon– there's a preponderance of don't-buy reviews. There's some good one's used by the trucking industry that are over my price range. I'd like to be able to just add the sensors to my trailer and use the Tacoma's receiver/indicator system and not have a piece of aftermarket floating around my dash. Toyota could include it with their tow package and I think it'd attract trailer towers.

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Re: Tire Pressure Sensors gone bad...

Postby MtnDon » Mon Mar 09, 2015 6:34 pm

If the mfg offered that as an option it would be great. I wonder what the range of the present day (Toyota, etc.) units are? Hmmmm. Maybe I'll have to ask the guys at Discount Tire if they have any idea or want to take some time to try it out... if the truck end of the system can handle another 2 sensor inputs.
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Re: Tire Pressure Sensors gone bad...

Postby Woodbutcher » Mon Mar 09, 2015 6:48 pm

My light has been on in my van for 2 years. I'm not fixing it. I have driven for 40 years before getting a vehicle with a low pressure warning light. I plan on making is till my kid takes my keys away before worrying about it. But that's just me....
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Re: Tire Pressure Sensors gone bad...

Postby noseoil » Mon Mar 09, 2015 6:54 pm

Just checked with Discount about running an extra pair of sensors on the trailer. They said there was a limit of 5 (?) it can read on a vehicle normally. Also said the best option was a different system which would monitor tire pressures independently of the TV being used. Looks like about $100 is the cheapest you can get...
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Re: Tire Pressure Sensors gone bad...

Postby MtnDon » Mon Mar 09, 2015 8:11 pm

Maybe a tire 'thump' with a hammer is still the better idea for the trailer......

Or... take the one from the spare tire and 1 other and place those on the trailer. Maybe the drivers side front would be the one on the TV to be without a sensor...
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Re: Tire Pressure Sensors gone bad...

Postby noseoil » Mon Mar 09, 2015 11:42 pm

The trouble with running a trailer and the TV with the same sensors has to do with the sensors themselves, according to Discount. Depending on the vehicle type, they can throw an error code from over-pressure, as well as under-pressure & a loss of pressure over a given time interval. If the TV is running at 35 pounds & the trailer runs at 60, it can start an error code as soon as the sensors send a signal.

That's what I was told, but I would need to find some written research on the subject matter to be sure. Also have to find out about different vehicle types & the systems they use. I'm not sure about the manufacturers and how they use this technology; is there one standard they have all used or are there different platforms available from different vendors? It's an interesting subject.
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Re: Tire Pressure Sensors gone bad...

Postby wagondude » Tue Mar 10, 2015 8:01 pm

They are all different. The monitors in my Mom's Cadillac would actually read out the pressure in each tire at the dash. You just scrolled through each of the tires until you found the low one. It is common practice for Subaru owners to get a second set of wheels with winter tires on them. Since the car can only register one set of sensors at a time, they get cloned sensors to prevent having to have them reprogrammed every time you change out the tires.
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