Sam's screwed up my TPMS sensor/tires

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by Dread_Pirate_Westley, Sep 21, 2020.

  1. Dread_Pirate_Westley

    Jan 2, 2020
    New Orleans
    2013 Prius
    REALLY long rant/seeking advice. I'm typing this out so I can easily refer back to it in the morning when I get to Sam's. I plan on being there when they open.
    I got a new set of tires today (I got Goodyear assurance maxlife tires. I know they aren't LRR tires but I feel like the LRR tires have kind of "slippery" handling at best so I want something that handles a bit better).

    I drove home from Sam's (19 miles) and as I was getting off the interstate a mile from my house the TPMS light started flashing. I immediately pulled onto the shoulder and got out with my portable compressor and my tire gauge. 3 of the 4 tires were under inflated (around 31psi) and one on the driver rear was at 38.4 psi which was 5.4 pounds over what Toyota has on the door.

    The tires were warm from the drive so had they been properly inflated to begin with they should have been a couple of pounds OVER instead of still being under despite being warm. Warm tires average 4psi over "cold" pressure. I inflated the front tires to 35psi and set the rears at 33 bleeding off the 38 pound tire in the process.

    My TPMS light stayed on despite having the correct pressure. I got home, and checked the tires again and they were still at 35/33. I went online and found how to reset the tpms and attempted to follow the steps and pushing the tpms reset button by the obd port and it refused to behave like it should.

    I plan on taking the psi in the morning when they're "cold" and inflating them to the correct psi and being at Sam's when they open.
    I paid for the "premium" install including road hazard etc. They state on the warranty that if the tires were under inflated the warranty was void. THEY voided the warranty at the time of installation.

    I have written down the dot serial numbers on the tires. I want them to replace the tires that THEY voided the warranty on AND pay Toyota to find/replace the sensor(s) they damaged.

    Has anyone ever had an experience like this with Sam's? Anyone had any experiences like this or have any advice? I am so irritated I can't even think straight.

    I probably shouldn't have gone to Sam's but they had a REALLY good deal on the tires. If I would have known the ineptitude/incompetence I would have paid more somewhere else.

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

    Aug 12, 2016
    Columbia, SC
    2007 Prius
    When under inflated for long periods of time, (10-20 psi) the tire tread wears very unevenly, with the outer edges grinding down, while the center wears very little. Under inflation can also cause damage to the sidewalls, but we're not talking 4 or 5 psi low, we're talking 4 or 5 psi total in the tire :).That is what they are referring to. Driving a tire at 30+ psi in no way, shape or form has voided your warranty. Maybe they can help you get the TPMS sorted out, but other than that, you're ok, really.

    Typical TPMS setting procedure:

    1. Begin by parking the vehicle in a safe place, setting the parking brake and switching the ignition off.
    2. Make sure all tire pressures are correct according to the owner’s manual.
    3. Put your foot on the brake and press the power button to turn the system on.
    4. Press and hold the TPMS reset button located below the steering wheel until the TPMS indicator light flashes slowly three times.
    5. Wait for a few minutes and then turn the vehicle off. (I've also heard 20 minutes to allow calibration)
    6. If the light comes on, blinks for one minute, then stays on, it indicates the system isn’t working properly and needs to be serviced by a trained Toyota technician.
    #2 TMR-JWAP, Sep 21, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2020
  3. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

    Nov 8, 2015
    New England
    2021 Prius Prime
    Humm, one tire was at 31psi and you want a new tire because that low psi set by the tire installer voided the warranty? I really don't think there was any damage or ill effect on tire or car at that psi for such a short ride you had on it. You can ask, but I doubt they will give you a new tire.

    As for the TPMS sensor, if it is lit solid after short blinks, then most likely one or more sensor is not communicating with the ECU. This does often happen soon after tire service. Not at Sam's, but I have had similar experience when I bought and installed a new set of tires. The question is how old is the sensors? If they are original sensors in 2013 model, yeah it is just about time the sensors battery dies. It might have been on the last leg right before you drove into Sam's and their manipulation to check or reset or relearn the sensors on a new set of tires might have drained just enough juice from whatever remained in the battery, and after you drove a few miles, it finally died. Yap, that can happen.

    You can ask nicely to them if they would replace the sensor(s) free... But sorry, be prepared to be denied.