1. Attachments are working again! Check out this thread for more details and to report any other bugs.

Low tire pressure light on then blinking

Discussion in 'Prius c Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Carolyn M Delvalle, Oct 19, 2023.

  1. Carolyn M Delvalle

    Carolyn M Delvalle New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2023
    24
    4
    0
    Location:
    Tonawanda New York
    Vehicle:
    2014 Prius c
    Model:
    ----USA----
    Hi everyone I know that when the low tire pressure light on the dash means that our tires are low. They are 14's and need 30lbs of tire pressure. My son filled them up and put them on 33lbs and then the light was blinking. Then he let out the extra pressure and they are all at 30lbs yet it is still blinking. Does this mean the sensor is bad? If so where is the best place to buy the sensor and where is it located to change it? Is this a Do It Yourself kind of job? Are there any YouTube videos anyone would recommend watching to switch it out? Thank you in advance if i don't have the opportunity to thank you later. Have an awesome day on purpose!
     
  2. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2018
    6,579
    6,321
    1
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Vehicle:
    2018 Prius c
    Model:
    Two
    Check the driver's door jamb.

    You are likely to find a sticker listing the exact tire pressures Toyota recommends for the vehicle, and I suspect it will list 39psi for the front tires and maybe 33 for the rears. (your car is a different model year than ours, so it could be different)

    The bad news is that the sensors are inside the wheels. The tires must be dismounted in order to access the sensors.

    Given the age of your car, it could just be that the disposable coin batteries in the sensors have gone bad. But again, nobody gets near them until the tires are removed from the wheels, and that is best done with a tire machine.

    It is typically more practical to put a bit of black tape over the blinking light, and go back to periodic pressure checks with a gauge.
     
  3. Carolyn M Delvalle

    Carolyn M Delvalle New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2023
    24
    4
    0
    Location:
    Tonawanda New York
    Vehicle:
    2014 Prius c
    Model:
    ----USA----
    Oh ok thank you will do and let you know the outcome. I was told by the dealer that 30lbs for front and back. I will definitely check the door jam. Have an awesome day on purpose.
     
  4. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    17,018
    10,002
    90
    Location:
    Western Washington
    Vehicle:
    Other Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    The sensor is built into the wheel's air valve assembly, on the portion inside the wheel. Changing it is a DIY project only if you have the tools to dismount and re-mount the rubber tires from the metal wheel rim. Very few home shop mechanics are so equipped. For everyone else, this is a job for a tire shop.
     
  5. Carolyn M Delvalle

    Carolyn M Delvalle New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2023
    24
    4
    0
    Location:
    Tonawanda New York
    Vehicle:
    2014 Prius c
    Model:
    ----USA----

    Yes this is a job for a shop. LOL no i do not have a wheel shop assembly. That would be nice. lol Jokes aside thank you for the information. I appreciate it. Have a wonderful day on purpose.
     
  6. Pri3C

    Pri3C Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2020
    171
    122
    0
    Location:
    Midwest
    Vehicle:
    2014 Prius c
    Model:
    Two
    I had a sensor go off at the tire shop last year when they were mounting my winter wheels. I remember they couldn’t figure out which of the two front sensors was the problem and replaced both - no extra charge. They told me the sensors can go bad as the car ages, and mentioned the batteries as well. Seems like this should be a fairly quick and affordable fix for you.
     
    Carolyn M Delvalle likes this.
  7. rjparker

    rjparker Tu Humilde Sirviente

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2008
    7,397
    4,321
    7
    Location:
    Texas Hill Country
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Three
    Sensors usually go bad one after another over a six month period. So it’s considered best practice to change all four at once.

    There can be quite a price difference between dealers, major tire shops and independent tire shops. A dealer may charge $100-$200 installed per sensor, a major tire shop like Costco is $60 per, while it is possible for a small tire shop to do it for $20 labor per tire with Amazon sensors you buy for $15 each.

    Any shop needs to configure the car for the new sensors which is no issue for the dealer or the big tire outlets but not all small shops have the configuration ability for a Toyota. So verify a small shop can do the configuration if you select that option, assuming you don’t have access to Toyota’s Techstream scanner.

    The Costco/Discount Tire tier may be the easiest and still give good value.

    Amazon set
     
    #7 rjparker, Oct 19, 2023
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2023
  8. PriusII&C

    PriusII&C Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2013
    370
    127
    0
    Location:
    San Jose, California
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius
    Model:
    II
    Your TPMS sensors' batteries probably has/have died. Toyota dealer can charge up to $1000 to replace all 4. Costco will charge around $200 to $260 to replace 4, depending on whether you will purchase and install new tires from them.

    On the other hand, you can purchase 4 new batteries for $10 - 20 and replace them yourself. You don't need special tools, just the scissor jacket in your car, but you do need to break the tire bead to do it.
     
  9. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    22,840
    14,836
    0
    Location:
    Indiana, USA
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    IV
    This is just one data point, but my 2010 had its first tire sensor need replacement in spring 2022, a year and a half ago, at age 12 for the car. I'm still waiting for any of the other three to fail.

    When I brought a sensor to the place I usually get tires, they charged me $0 to demount the tire and remount with the new sensor. So the only cost to me the price of a sensor. (Probably the $0 labor only happened because I'm in their system as a regular customer who buys tires there. Anyway, it's worth going to wherever you get your tires, and asking.)

    I've had the same kind of experiences with wheel bearings, another of those things where it's often said if one has worn out, the rest are just around the corner. In my last car I replaced one at 160,000 miles, and the next one three years and 50,000 miles later. After that, things happened and I never had that car long enough to need any attention to the other two.

    It's absolutely true that these parts get designed to have the same mean-time-to-failure expectation. But it's also true that how long the things really last will fall on a curve and MTTF just tells you where the peak spot in the center of that curve is. In real-world use, the curve can be really wide. Things happen, and you might not still own the car by the time the next sensor or bearing conks out.
     
  10. Carolyn M Delvalle

    Carolyn M Delvalle New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2023
    24
    4
    0
    Location:
    Tonawanda New York
    Vehicle:
    2014 Prius c
    Model:
    ----USA----

    Thank you so much for the education. Have an awesome day on purpose.
     
    Pri3C likes this.
  11. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    54,186
    37,961
    80
    Location:
    Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
    If you don't have annual inspections that'll fail you with a sensor light showing on the dash, and you're ok with the situation, I'd at least wait till you're replacing tires. Maybe longer...
     
  12. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    54,186
    37,961
    80
    Location:
    Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
  13. Carolyn M Delvalle

    Carolyn M Delvalle New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2023
    24
    4
    0
    Location:
    Tonawanda New York
    Vehicle:
    2014 Prius c
    Model:
    ----USA----
    Yes we have to get yearly inspections so it will have to be fixed with our wheel alignment. I am going to get a second opinion to see if we even need a wheel alignment. After a CV boot repair can that affect the wheel alignment? Do they take the tie rod off? Because that is what determined the wheel alignment in my old car. Although that was 20 years ago and an American car and not a hybrid so maybe it is different?
     
  14. rjparker

    rjparker Tu Humilde Sirviente

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2008
    7,397
    4,321
    7
    Location:
    Texas Hill Country
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Three
    There is nothing different in TPMS, suspension or alignments. The cv boot is on the drive axle. They remove quite a bit to pull the axle. If it’s been worked on the alignment is likely to be off and may take life off your tires. There are high, medium and low dollar options. Call and get a deal for both at an independent.
     
  15. Carolyn M Delvalle

    Carolyn M Delvalle New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2023
    24
    4
    0
    Location:
    Tonawanda New York
    Vehicle:
    2014 Prius c
    Model:
    ----USA----
    What is the definition of TPMS please? Thank you and we will get the alignment asap. The insurance has to come first then we can work on more repairs.
     
  16. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    17,018
    10,002
    90
    Location:
    Western Washington
    Vehicle:
    Other Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    TPMS is the tire pressure monitoring system, which turns on the low tire pressure light on the dash.
     
  17. Carolyn M Delvalle

    Carolyn M Delvalle New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2023
    24
    4
    0
    Location:
    Tonawanda New York
    Vehicle:
    2014 Prius c
    Model:
    ----USA----