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PIP TPMS/no spare tire/fix it can

Discussion in 'Toyota Prius Plug-in' started by pineprius, Dec 27, 2011.

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  1. pineprius

    pineprius 15th Hole #4

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    With TPMS it is not recommended to use the tire repair gunk. What a mess!! Why would Toyota include a can in the PIP? Marketing the loss of spare tire to artificially make the buyer feel better?
    What is the (actual life) of the batteries in the TPMS sensors? 5-7 years? I know the techs can measure battery charge remaining, but wondered what real life scenarios there were for replacing the sensors when changing tires.
  2. jack520

    jack520 Junior Member

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    I have tire sensors in my 4Runner and they get replaced when I buy new tires.

    There is a technology out there for low power wireless networks, called ZigBee. It uses such low power that the life of the battery is determined by the life of battery. That is what ever the battery lasts by itself is the life of the system. This would be about 5 years for most good batteries.
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  3. pineprius

    pineprius 15th Hole #4

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    Seems to me if after 5 years on the original tires, logical to just replace the sensors when the new set goes on. No reason to have to replace them in another year or two. Thanks. Still think it's bizzare to include a can of tiregunk with the PIP. The whole idea of gunk is to plug holes from the inside. The sensors have tiny holes to read PSI and cannot imagine the gunk would not plug them too.
  4. daniel

    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

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    I've always been under the impression that "tire gunk" basically ruins the tire. Its purpose is to get you to the tire store, where you can have the tire replaced with a new one. This is great for tire stores and tire manufacturers. It's not so great for drivers, who used to put on the spare and then get the flat tire repaired.

    And what about the rim? Can the gunk be cleaned off the rim, or do you need to buy a new rim after you've used tire gunk?

    The argument on the other side is that tires are better than they used to be and "... you'll probably never get a flat..." I've gotten two or three flats in the last 7 or 8 years. One was a sidewall blowout. Tire gunk would not have helped. Fortunately, that car had a spare. For me, a spare tire is well worth the cost and the weight & space.
  5. jack520

    jack520 Junior Member

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    This requires a mindshift to understand.

    If you have the extra weight of the tire, you consume more energy every moment the car moves. This costs money.

    If you get a flat, you do not care about money (because you saved a ton from not having to haul it around ) but it creates a security issue (you might freeze, get mugged,,well you know the rest).

    So the can is to allow you to get to safety.

    At the end of the day, you have saved money even if you have to throw away the tire.

    I hope this logic makes sense...
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  6. DavidA

    DavidA Prius owner since July 2009

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    No tire goo for this guy. One way or another, when I get my hands on a GenIV PIP, I will have a real spare in the car (donut type probably).
  7. daniel

    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

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    What I dispute in the above is the notion that the weight of the spare tire consumes as much gas as the cost of the tire. I suspect that the tire does not add anywhere near a gallon of gas a year to my fuel usage.

    If the tire adds 1% to your fuel usage, and you drive 15,000 miles a year, the tire will cost you $12 per year in additional fuel. That's a price I'm willing to pay, considering that a can of tire gunk will fix a slow leak but not a sidewall blowout.

    To break even, taking $85 as a typical tire price, to replace the tire ruined by the tire gunk, assuming a flat every 3 years (close to my experience) the spare would have to add about 2.5% to your fuel usage. I suspect it adds more like 0.25%, if that.

    And the fix-a-flat still doesn't help you if the blowout is anything more than a nail causing a slow leak.

    Add to that the fact that most of my driving is electric, so my cost to carry extra weight is much less (electric is more efficient of energy use, and the electric energy itself is cheaper) and nearly all my gasoline driving is road trips, where the hassle of being stranded is far greater than if I were in town, and I really want to have a full-size, full-service spare tire so that I can continue my trip if I get a flat.

    Shame on Toyota for putting a doughnut spare in my Prius instead of a real spare, and for (I gather) leaving the spare out of newer cars entirely!

    Note: I would not object in the least if there were SPACE in the tire well for a full-service spare, and the tire itself were an option at extra cost. You could save the money and have the storage space if that's your choice. But in my Prius, a full-service spare won't even fit in the tire well!!! (I'd have bought one long ago if it did.)
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  8. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    My strategy with TPMS: if they work, fine. If they don't, either because their batteries have died, or because I've swapped in snow tires on which I don't have sensors, fine too. ;)

    Regarding spares: I've got to have one. No spare? No sale.
  9. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i can't remember the last time i had a flat. 15-20-25 years? still.i would rather a spare. wouldn't it be sweet if someone came up with a really lightweight rim and tire that fit somewhere on the car now that the battery is in the spare tire space?
  10. movingforward

    movingforward Member

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    Side wall blow u're SOL, but for small nail type punctures I'll bring a repair kit around with me and run on the same size tire, at least until i can get the car to a shop to patch the inside. For long distant trips, ie outside of the metropolitan area, I think a light weight full size spare is absolutely valuable. As for TPMS, has our society become so lazy that we need all this technology just to enrich the maker of this product? If your tires are blown while driving wouldn't you know it or am I being overly presumptuous?
  11. Allannde

    Allannde Just a Senior

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    It takes all kinds of people to make a world. Some people routinely drive 80 miles per hour and do not pay attention to their tires. If they have a tire failure, there could be serious accident involving more than one car. Others are cautious AND watch their tires. They could do without TPMS. The rules are made for everyone (and TPMS IS a rule). I haven't had a moving flat tire in 20 years but I have had three repairs for for a nail or screw in that time. I caught the tires before they went flat. They seldom go flat right away. That is the value of TPMS.

    I will carry a mounted snow tire when on an out of town trip after my PiP comes.
  12. daniel

    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

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    The value of TPMS is when you're driving, and you get a small puncture resulting in a slow loss of pressure. The TPMS will alert you before the pressure is low enough for the ordinary driver to detect.

    It's also good for people like me: I'm a klutz: By the time I've got the tire gauge firmly enough on the tire stem to get a reading, I've lost several psi. This means that the only way I can check my pressure is first plug in the compressor, then wait for it to build pressure very noisily, and then use the combined inflator/gauge so I can replace the pressure I lost getting it connected. With TPMS I just press a button in the car and read the pressure. And it alerts me if it detects too low a pressure, in case I don't happen to check.

    For me, it's well worth the price. After seeing how well it works on the Tesla, I'll be having them installed in my 2004 Prius before my next road trip.
  13. macman408

    macman408 Electron Guidance Counselor

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    Also, a tire pressure that is low but not zero is very dangerous (and inefficient!), and most people won't notice. There are many people that never check their tire pressure, unless it's obviously flat and they happen to see it. By that point, they've already risked a catastrophic blowout due to overheating the rubber. TPMS is really meant to detect when the tire is low but not completely flat.
  14. movingforward

    movingforward Member

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    This is my first car with TPMS so I'm stilling trying to see the value of it. I hear what you folks are saying, but to me it still sounds like a very expensive system that's really over complicating the ICE system car. Usually when somebody tries to sell me something based on fear, I immediately think of America's situation today with the whole naked body scan thing at the airport for "the sake of everyone's and national security". But in the case of a pure EV like Tesla or Leaf, tacking on TPMS wouldn't add much to a really mechanically simple designed propulsion system.
  15. rogerv

    rogerv Senior Member

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    The whole TPMS came about because of the Ford Explorer/Firestone tire problem several years ago. Owners were running underinflated tires on top-heavy SUVs, which resulted in tires heating up and failing, causing rollover accidents. So the government in its wisdom through the baby out with the bath water and decreed that all consumer vehicles now have to have warning systems to tell a driver when a tire is losing air pressure beyond a certain point. I don't see any difference between electric and gasoline powered vehicles. You have a multitude of sensors all over the car to keep track of fuel levels, temperatures, etc. What is complicated about TPMS on a car with an internal combustion engine?:rolleyes:
  16. movingforward

    movingforward Member

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    Typical problem-reaction-solution cronyism capitalist system. The nanny state is alive and well and thriving. TPMS adds more cost to an already overly complicated inefficient ICE system. Current existing ICE automobile are unnecessarily complicated due to burning oil as a source of energy. What it means for you is that there's more things to possibly go wrong and more expensive to maintain. Last i checked it's about $200 for these TPMS transmitters for every set of tires you own and every 5 years you'll need to remove your transmitter to: either change just the battery (which i doubt) OR forced to buy a brand new transmitter because it was designed so that you can't simply change the battery yourself once you paid for your tires to be dismounted. Can you see what's happening here? It's call the Apple iScrewU business model.

    While we're at it, why don't our good government decree and protect us from ourselves by forcing all automotive manufactures to install a creepy camera on the steering wheel to monitor our retina so that we don't fall asleep while we're driving? I believe Lexus is already doing it on their LS line. Make it a sweeping legislation and all car model years 2012 forward must have this feature for "our safety". I'm sure some of you would welcome this idea and I've just open a new can of worm on this thread...

    All I am saying is that we should be given a choice, let the market decide whether if we want this TPMS or not. It's just like when you go in a buy a new car and the salesperson tries to tell you that it's mandatory and it'll protect your car from theft and forces you buy window etching and nitrogen gas filled tires for $500. Ask yourself this question why did you own a Prii to begin with?
  17. daniel

    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

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    I am sympathetic to folks who object to being forced to buy the tpms if they don't want it. I have mixed feelings (an accident due to a blowout affects more than just the driver who had the blowout) but I guess I come down on the side of making it optional.

    That said, I'll happily pay for it, and as I said, I am going to have a set of tpms installed in my Prius before my next road trip this summer.

    As for movingforward's mention of $500 nitrogen, the tire place I used when I lived in North Dakota filled all tires with nitrogen for free, with free fills for as long as you owned the tires you bought from them. I'm very skeptical that it does any good. But if they wanted to fill my tires with nitrogen I didn't care. When they got low, I put air in them.
  18. frodoz737

    frodoz737 Top Wrench

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    Most people do not check their tire pressures, let alone fluid levels. TPMS is good for safety and fuel savings, a system that should have been required long ago. Kind of like seat belts, whiplash resistant seating, airbags, crumple zones, ABS, side impact protection, etc...

    I believe manufactures are deleting spare wheel assemblies due to cost (theirs), space and possibly because they know most people either will not or do not know how to change one. These same people will not know how or when to use slime.

    The age of cell phones and roadside assistance has changed the average American motorist, so I suspect most people will not even care the spare was removed. I disagree with this trend and will always have a spare, tire gauge, real jack, real tire tool and jack stand, whatever I drive, but that's just me.

    P.S. 100% Nitrogen filled tires are used on aircraft due to extreme pressure changes that would occur within minutes between -60F and a few hundred degs F with shop air. It does not prevent or reduce leaks as some have marketed for autos and is not require. General rule is hot pressure is appx 3 lbs. greater than cold pressure with shop air. There are charts for the perfectionists.
  19. movingforward

    movingforward Member

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    The firestone fiasco was a combination of greedy corporation cutting corners (some mba genius thought that they can increase profit by a certain % by using cheaper glue) and negligence, something beyond the control of the owners of those tires. This is not the first time that has happen, remember ford and the pinto? But there's also the concept of owner's responsibility as well to do basic maintenance on their vehicle, it even said so in the owner's manual if anybody bothers to read it.
  20. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    The main fault I have with the required TPMS is that they are too dumb, and most drivers aren't much brighter. Most only inform the operator when the pressure falls outside a predetermined range, and don't give an actual pressure reading. Some even, the gen3 included I believe, won't even tell you which tire is the problem.

    So, despite the requirement of a safety system that adds cost and hassle to tire maintenance, you still need a $3 tire gauge.

    Typical driver smarts comes into play when they fail to realize the system also gives warning when the pressure is too high, and they don't have a $3 gauge to check with while pumping up the air.
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