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darn TPMS ... grrrrrrrrr !!

Old 11/23/11, 10:29 AM
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darn TPMS ... grrrrrrrrr !!

Jusr swapped on my Winter wheels last weekend and after 20 miles or so, the "TPMS Malfunction" warning comes on and the yellow indicator light starts flashing.

This is Winter TWO ... training last November worked just as it should.

When I swapped my Summer wheels back on in Spring I did not not re-train and the light never came on so I figgured the car must now know all 8 wheels.

The sensors I got are the correct 2010-up OE Ford (supposedly Take-Off sensors with new valve stems) that I bought off of e-Bay. These were the cheapest I could find at the time ($125 / set of 4 delivered) ... the TPMS tool is the correct tool that I got from AM; both purchased in August 2010.

Tire is the Left Rear, last to be programed ... even tried programing this one 1st, 2nd, or 3rd and it still would not recognize it. Was able to go up in my attic and program one of my summer wheels as the 4th tire though so I know the problem is not the car or the tool.

So, I'm pretty confident that the problem is a "faulty" sensor !!

The cheapest I've found these sensors today is on e-bay from a Mustang Parts supplier that most of us are familiar with (hint: BOI).
$31.95 for ONE delivered
or
$104.90 for FOUR delivered ($26.23 ea)

These are BRAND NEW OE FORD SENSORS with NEW STEMS.

Is sensor failure common or do they have a certain life span ??

If failure is common, then I may as well buy a set of FOUR !!

The worst part of this is I have to take the wheel off and bring into my tire store and PAY to have them install the darn thing !!

I'm tempted to just hit the re-set on the dash every time I start the car and just get used to that yellow glowing idiot symbol until next Spring !!

Sorry for the long rant, but I'm curious if anyone else has had a sensor fail within a relatively short period of time like this.

Doug
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Old 11/23/11, 11:47 AM
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it's not uncommon to come across a faulty sensor here and there. there is a thread in here where someone made a pressurized plastic pipe where he threw in the sensors and put in the trunk so he doesn't get the TPMS warning. If you plan on buying new sensors, I'd do that instead. not worth paying so much extra just to unmount the tires, put new sensors on, and then remount and balance. you can always put that sensor on when its time to get new tires

Last edited by bones302; 11/23/11 at 11:49 AM.
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Old 11/25/11, 11:02 PM
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Originally Posted by bones302 View Post
it's not uncommon to come across a faulty sensor here and there. there is a thread in here where someone made a pressurized plastic pipe where he threw in the sensors and put in the trunk so he doesn't get the TPMS warning. If you plan on buying new sensors, I'd do that instead. not worth paying so much extra just to unmount the tires, put new sensors on, and then remount and balance. you can always put that sensor on when its time to get new tires
Agree... TPMS is an unnecessary POS forced on us by the nanny state to warn clueless clowns who can't master the fundamentals of automotive maintenance that they don't have enough air in their tires....

For the $130 or so it's gonna cost for the TPMS units plus installation, I'd pack 'em in a pressurized tube, toss 'em in the trunk and motor on... Just remember to check your tire pressure regularly...

Last edited by jimmbbo; 11/26/11 at 11:55 AM.
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Old 11/26/11, 07:05 AM
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I chose not to get TPMS for my winter wheels. When they are on my car, it displays the dash warning message and such periodically, not all the time. I don't find it all that hard to ignore.
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Old 11/26/11, 07:30 AM
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on the older band mounted ones, I noticed a laser etched number- suspect its a date code...lithium batteries last a long time, but not forever.

to date, had to replace one in the wifes 07, my 06 dont have them, and i'm sure the 09's are slowly going dead just sitting there. what I read somewhere was battery life was minimum of 4 yrs, estimated 6 yrs...

as these things get older and start dying, would expect china to start popping them out for 5 bucks apiece, but long as its seen as 'technology' theyre gonna retail up there for a while...

remember lincolns air suspension? used to be servicing any part of that was a multi-thousand dollar risk, now Arnott industries sells anything for it cheap and theyre easier to service than normal springs...just takes time.

my gut feeling is along with tpms, its just a matter of time till the never shrinking government comes up with a bureau of car safety inspections or some such crap, to check things like tpms function, date codes on tires and seat belts(did you know seatbelts had a service life too?) before plates can be renewed... good intentions run amuck at any cost.

you know fords unit cost for these sensors couldnt be more than a few dollars... just another drop in the 'planned obsolescence' bucket
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Old 11/26/11, 07:52 AM
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You can replace the batteries in these sensors...
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Old 11/26/11, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by jimmbbo View Post
Agree... TPMS is an unnecessary POS forced on us by the nanny state to warn clueless clowns who can't master the fundamentals of automotive maintenance that they don't have enough air in their tires....

For the $130 or so it's gonna cost for the TPMS units plus installation, I'd pack 'em in a pressurized tube, toss 'em in the trunk and motor on... Just remember to check your tire pressure regularly...
I agree with you 100% and seriously thought about making a TPMS cheater pipe too.

This is my 1st TPMS equipped vehicle and as much as I hate things like this being mandated due to the ingnorance of today's typical motorist (I like the term appliance driver), I kinda like the idea of a warning.

A number of years back in my 1998 Mustang I must have ran something over on the interstate that caused me to loose air out of a front tire pretty quickly. When it happened, it DID NOT feel like a blow out and since it was snowing I instead slowed down and got off at the next exit to check it out in a service station parking lot (rather than stop on the shoulder of the interstate). Well, it was completely deflated by the time I stopped ... bead not separated from the rim though .. but drove on it just long enough that I had side wall damage making the tire no longer servicable. As I said, it did not feel like I was driving on a FLAT TIRE; especially a "front" as I should have felt it through the steering wheel ... I was completely flabbergasted when I got out to see what was wrong (assumed I was dragging something) and hey that's a flat !!

This was a Blizzak WS-50 snow tire and the set was about 3/4 worn out so instead of buying just ONE new tire, I bought a set of FOUR Dunlop Wintersports (which I was planning on getting anyway) but was hoping to at least finish off the season on the Blizzaks.

Anyway ... my thinking is if I had TPMS on this 1998 Mustang, it may have warned me an exit or two before and I may have been able to salvage the tire and got another 5-10k miles out of this "set" of tires.

Doug
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Old 11/26/11, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by texastboneking View Post
You can replace the batteries in these sensors...
That's good to know, I was kind of wondering if the problem could be as simple as a battery issue and whether they were servicable.

I talked to the owner at the service station where I buy tires and have tire related work done (and other service I either can't or prefer not to do myself) and he said they see quite a few sensor failures. His cost (through Carquest) is typically around $50 each for aftermarket replacements, so the $32 each or $105 for a set of 4 of brand new O.E. Ford from BOI is quite the steal. If I brought in my own replacement sensor ... he'd un-mount, swap in, re-mount, and re-balance for $10 to $15.

After talking to him as well as my friend who works at Carquest I decided to buy a set of 4 rather than just one and they are already on the way.

Thanks everyone for your replies,

Doug
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Old 11/26/11, 09:38 AM
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They are not supposed to be "serviceable" but I have pulled many of them apart and replaced the little button cell batteries in them. I have never seen a sensor actually fail. It's always been batteries.
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Old 11/26/11, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by texastboneking View Post
You can replace the batteries in these sensors...
the 'blue' ones used from 07-09 appear to be molded/one piece shell- if you know a way to 'cut here' to replace batteries, please share
I still have the old one from the wifes car, was going to cut it apart just to see what made it tick, but never did...
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Old 11/26/11, 09:46 AM
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Mine have been working well, only came on twice when I had nails in the tires. On the other hand, it comes on all the time for no reason in my wife's Hyundai. I started calling it "The PMS sensor"!
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Old 11/26/11, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by ford4v429

the 'blue' ones used from 07-09 appear to be molded/one piece shell- if you know a way to 'cut here' to replace batteries, please share
I still have the old one from the wifes car, was going to cut it apart just to see what made it tick, but never did...
Let me see if I have one lying here in the shop somewhere to take apart. I'll take some pics.
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Old 11/26/11, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by orange3.9stang View Post
I agree with you 100% and seriously thought about making a TPMS cheater pipe too.
...
Anyway ... my thinking is if I had TPMS on this 1998 Mustang, it may have warned me an exit or two before and I may have been able to salvage the tire and got another 5-10k miles out of this "set" of tires.

Doug
You make a valid point, and if it were an option, I would consider it if it displayed actual tire pressure, but IMO it is not the job of some headline grabbing pinhead in DC to force them to be installed in every vehicle in the US "for the common good"...

An even better idea would be to make them mandatory for the "appliance drivers" who can't pass a basic mechanical aptitude test...
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Old 11/28/11, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by texastboneking

Let me see if I have one lying here in the shop somewhere to take apart. I'll take some pics.
This the one your talking about?
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Old 11/28/11, 09:03 AM
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Oops forgot the pic
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Old 11/28/11, 09:15 AM
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Here is the battery. Any 3v button cell battery that can fin in this space will work. The hardest part is that the leads to the button cell are soldered/welded to the faces of the battery making it more of a pain to change but still possible. Some hot glue smothered back over the batter once reinstated will seal it back off. These are the hardest sensors to change the battery in.
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Old 11/28/11, 04:58 PM
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Buy universal tpms sensors that go on the
Valve stem, relearn it and off you go. You
Almost destroy the sensor trying to replace the battery.
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Old 11/29/11, 12:31 PM
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This sounds like an economy problem; you bought a cheap part to stray away from ford, turned out faulty now you want to another cheaper source which in total made it to the same price if you had gone to ford in the first place
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Old 11/29/11, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmbbo View Post
Agree... TPMS is an unnecessary POS forced on us by the nanny state to warn clueless clowns who can't master the fundamentals of automotive maintenance that they don't have enough air in their tires....
That wouldn't be a problem if people would foster a bill that allowed the police to randomly pull drivers over, check thier air pressure and cite them with a very stiff fine (say 1.5-2k) when tires are more than 10% low since the RMA now considers a tire 10% or more to be unacceptably low. 20% is considered critically low.
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Old 11/29/11, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by bob

That wouldn't be a problem if people would foster a bill that allowed the police to randomly pull drivers over, check thier air pressure and cite them with a very stiff fine (say 1.5-2k) when tires are more than 10% low since the RMA now considers a tire 10% or more to be unacceptably low. 20% is considered critically low.
Low or overinflated tires also are a risk. Severely under inflated tires get much hotter than a correctly inflated tire and after long trips of increased heat a blow out is a real possibility. We have had three cars come into the shop with blown tires because the owners ignored the light.
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