Tire pressure sensor light on after return from repair shop

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by danl, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. danl

    danl New Member

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    Hi all,

    Need some info about the tire pressure sensors.

    My 2nd gen prius was recently in an accident; I got hit directly on the passenger side rear right tire. Car has been in the shop for over a month, they replaced the rim (moved the old pressure sensor over with the tire), doorshell, bumper, and rear axle beam.

    I picked up my car yesterday, and on my way home the TPS warning light comes on. I go back to the repair shop, and they said one of the sensors were asleep and they just had to re-activate it and clear the error code.

    I drive away and the light comes on again. I go back and the tech says that its the front left (as opposed to the rear right collision) sensor might be out of battery and suggests I replace it. Its a 2009 prius, so I would hardly believe the sensor lasts less than 3 years.

    Should this be covered by insurance or the repair shop?

    Thanks
    -Dan
     
  2. wick1ert

    wick1ert Senior Member

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    Did they tell you what the error code was? You don't really re-activate the sensors in the Prius once they're programmed in the ECU. It could be possible that one may have a worn battery or may have been damaged. However, once the battery goes bad, I believe you're stuck replacing the sensors for the Toyota TPMS.

    Your best bet is to ask the repair shop for the code and proof that it is that particular sensor that is causing the problem.

    It's a commonly used TPMS part, across several Toyota, Lexus, etc makes and models. IF the sensor does need replaced, you can usually find them on eBay for not too expensive. There is another company that makes TPMS modules, that you can program the ID into so that you won't have to update the ECU with the new ID. The sensor is made by Pacific, but I can't remember the model # off hand (it's in a few threads here, but I'm at work and searching is being difficult on our slower connection).

    As for getting insurance or the repair shop to cover it, you'll probably only be able to do that if it was on the rim that was replaced. Otherwise, you're probably stuck taking care of it by yourself.
     
  3. danl

    danl New Member

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    Do you mean that I need to replace them all? How much are they typically? Generally how long does the battery last in a sensor? Is it something I can replace myself or do I have to take it to the dealer to do?
     
  4. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    It's too soon for a failed battery, unless it's a fluke. Something isn't right. I assume you recalibrate the system by pressing the TPMS button? You did, didn't you?

    Tom
     
  5. Jim Porta

    Jim Porta Junior Member

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    Did you check the tire pressure? They may have set the pressure lower than you normally have it?
     
  6. danl

    danl New Member

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    Yup checked the tire pressures and pumped up the tires to exact specifications, 35psi front and 33psi rear.

    And yup I tried pressing the re-calibrate button under the steering wheel, but to no avail.
     
  7. wick1ert

    wick1ert Senior Member

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    No, you only need to replace the one that is bad. Brand new, most places retail them for around $85+ per sensor. I got a set of 4 on eBay a year ago for about $50. You could probably find them at a junk yard from a totalled vehicle as well for cheaper.

    Are you still under the 3/36 factory warranty? If so, take it to the dealer and say "the light is on and I can't get it to shut off". You could also do this if you have the extended warranty, though they may charge you a "diagnostic" fee if you're outside the factory warranty.

    I would agree with the battery being unlikely, but if it was in the rim that got damaged and replaced, it's possible the damage could have happened to the battery, no? Ultimately, I would have expected it to have damaged the sensor as well if that were the case.
     
  8. firepa63

    firepa63 Former Prius Owner

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    If the body shop replaced a TPMS sensor, it will have to be registered with the ECU. Did the body shop replace the sensor?
     
  9. danl

    danl New Member

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    The body shop said they did not replace the sensor. They replaced the rim, but moved the tire and sensor over from the damaged rim.
     
  10. danl

    danl New Member

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    One more question. I'm thinking about getting an O2DB code checker to read which sensor is the malfunctioning one. But I'm wondering, the sensors are wireless and if I've rotated tires in the past without resetting the TPMS, would it tell me the wrong sensor is malfunctioning?

    I have 40K miles on it, so I've past the factory warranty already. I have rotated my tires at least 4 times already, and I can't guarantee that I recalibrated my sensors each time.
     
  11. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    You are unfortunately in that evil penumbra that manifests when you have an accident and repair...and then shortly after experience different but related problems.

    If your repair shop is saying this is the other tire, and the other sensor and has nothing to do with them or the work they did? Then I would think you best move would be to take your vehicle to your Toyota Service department. They will either confirm that this is unrelated, or they will come back and confirm that the problem IS related to the work done. But at this point? You only have what the repair shop is saying.

    I'm a little suspicious because I'm paranoid by nature. I'm a little more suspicious because you say you took your vehicle back once..and they said a sensor was "asleep" and only needed to be reactivated...then when the problem manifested again? They are saying it's an entirely different sensor and needs to be replaced?

    Well maybe. But you really just need another evaluation and another opinion. And unfortunately over the internet? It's tangibly impossible to offer much more advice than seek a second opinion...and maybe what you are being told is totally correct...or possibly wrong.
     
  12. wick1ert

    wick1ert Senior Member

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    AFAIK, the OBD2 reader won't tell you which sensor it is. You'll need TechStream to access that information.

    Also, the TPMS button is re-setting the tire pressure threshold, not recalibrating the sensor placement on the car. I read somewhere, that there is initially an order to ID1 = LF, ID2 = RF, etc (not sure if those are correct), but once you rotate, I don't believe the system updates automatically.
     
  13. danl

    danl New Member

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    You're right, my old odb2 reader doesn't see any code for tire pressure sensor. Arrggg. I was hoping to test it myself by checking the code, rotating tires and checking again to see if its really the front left.

    I'll look into stopping by my dealer and asking them to check which sensor is the faulty one. If its the front left, then I'll chalk it up to bad luck and dish out the cash to buy a replacement. Are the sensors something I can replace myself or do I need to take it to a tire changing place?
     
  14. wick1ert

    wick1ert Senior Member

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    I'd let the dealer do it. They'll have to update the TPMS ID in the ECU anyway. It requires breaking the tire down, removing the old TPMS, installing the new, mounting tire, balancing, mounting to car. It's not a DIY item. The dealer will probably have to break down each tire to find out which one has the failed sensor in it, too. I don't think a lot of them have a tool to read a sensor without doing it (though, I am sure they exist).

    As long as it's in a different rim than the one they replaced, I'd say it's a chalk it up to an unfortunate early failure. The dealer might swap it as a courtesy for you, but we all know that's hit or miss here.

    If you were closer to here, I'd hook it up to TechStream for you and see what the error message is.
     
  15. RobH

    RobH Senior Member

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    Techstream can read the pressure in each tire. The way to identify the ID number for a tire is to change the pressure in it and see which ID changed. Note that this is ID1/ID2/ID3/ID4, not the sensor serial number.
     
  16. wick1ert

    wick1ert Senior Member

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    That's such an obvious way to test that, I didn't even think of it. Once you figure out which tire has a sensor that isn't registering any change, then you know which one has the failed sensor in it.

    However, if you are using Techstream, it'll tell you the sensor serial # so as you change the pressures, you'll know which sensor is in which tire at that particular time. Once they rotate, unless you have some sort of physical system to ID them at that point then you'll need to repeat that.
     
  17. danl

    danl New Member

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    Turns out, I did get a new tire pressure sensor installed on the replaced rim, according to the invoice I got from the body shop. And just as wick1ert had suggested, the body shop doesn't have the right equipment to test and debug the TPMS, so they told me to go back to the dealer. I'll bring that in this week and see what they tell me. The sensor will cost me $150 according to the body shop.
     
  18. danl

    danl New Member

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    Took it to the dealer and they were able to reprogram the sensors to the car. Seems good, light hasn't come back on after driving it for an hour. The reprogramming cost $105 (which is just robbery in plain sight), but I don't intend to pay it. The body shop should cover that, if not the insurance company.
     
  19. wick1ert

    wick1ert Senior Member

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    I agree that the body shop or insurance (probably insurance, in this case) should cover the reprogramming costs for the sensor. In fact, even the sensor itself should have been covered under the insurance claim if it wasn't.

    The reprogramming costs are a ripoff. They probably charged you an hour or hour & half labor depending on what they did to locate the tire with the new TPMS in order to get the ID. But, they really should have been able to do it at half that cost, IMO.
     
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