TPMS Sensor defective by design?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Technical Discussion' started by psusi, Jan 22, 2020.

  1. psusi

    psusi Junior Member

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    Last fall the tire pressure light came on and wouldn't go off. I figured the battery in the tire pressure sensors was dead and needed replaced. When I was in for service at the dealership, they told me that the sensors just die usually after about 7 years ( I guess I'm lucky that I got 11 then? ) and need replaced. To the tune of $250 each. Is this for real? I asked them if they could just unplug the stupid light but they said no.
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    mine have worked perfectly in three different cars over 16 years. yours must be simply defective.

    $250. is the stealer price. the units themselves are fairly inexpensive.

    electrical tape over the dash light is the most cost effective solution
     
  3. StarCaller

    StarCaller Senior Member

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    #3 StarCaller, Jan 22, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2020
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  4. ASRDogman

    ASRDogman Senior Member

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    I doubt any place would remove the bulb. It's a "safety" thingy. If you wreck because of low
    tire pressure they could be legally responsible....
     
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  5. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Yeah, battery doesn't last forever, and most OEM TPMS sensors have non-replaceable battery including TOYOTA's sensors. Even if the batteries are replaceable, if you take the car to a dealer they will charge you $$$. I learned the lesson from my first car with TPMS sensors several years back. NEVER TAKE YOUR CAR TO A DEALER FOR TPMS REPAIR. You can get a brand new TPMS sensor replaced at any tire shop, and it will cost you much less than a dealer. My local shop typically charge ~$50 for replacement of TPMS sensor and reprogramming included. No, by law, they can not disable your TPMS, but if it is not working at the time you bring your car, many tire shop will install regular stem to replace the TPMS sensor/valve. This may depends on a shop policy though. You can also get away without having TPMS sensor in your tire, if you bring rims and tire and ask them to mount without TPMS sensors. You do have to install the tire DIY. That's what I and many others do for winter tires and wheels.

    My TPMS light has been lit since last Nov.
     
  6. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    +1

    The sensor and battery are INSIDE the rim, attached to the valve stem.
    The tire must come off the rim (at least partly) to replace.
    Call around to some tire shops.
    Might as well do all of them at the same time.
    Easier to do at the same time as new tires.
     
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  7. psusi

    psusi Junior Member

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    Wow... now I just need to find someone who isn't an a$$hole to put them in for a reasonable price.

    They don't work anyhow. I'm more likely to get into a wreak being distracted by the false warning. And how do you wreak because of a flat tire? The last time I had one I just noticed the car was pulling slightly to the side of the highway so I stopped to check and yea, the tire was flat. People lived without these sensors for many years just fine.
     
  8. ASRDogman

    ASRDogman Senior Member

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    I will remove the bulb when mine quit working, but a repair shop won't. Possible liability.
    I know when my tire(s) are low, I can feel it.
    If the tire is low, and you don't notice it, it will get hotter than normal, which could cause it to fail.
    The handling suffers, braking suffers.....

     
  9. Quattro

    Quattro Member

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    Replaced all 4 at Costco parts and labor for $250. Call ahead to make sure parts are in stock.
     
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  10. StarCaller

    StarCaller Senior Member

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  11. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Ordinary tire shops will rip you off for far less than will a stealership.
    Most people lived, yes, but hundreds still died in such wrecks. Even just 1990s Ford Explorers with defective Firestone tires blew out, rolled over, and killed hundreds. Underinflation was one of several contributors.

    Yes, you noticed a slow leak. But many other drivers don't notice, until the underinflated tire overheats and suddenly blows out, sometimes causing loss of control.

    The shop cannot unplug the light. Only you, the car owner-driver, can legally do that. But black tape is much quicker, easier, cheaper, and equally reversible.
     
    #11 fuzzy1, Jan 22, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2020
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  12. gliderman

    gliderman Active Member

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    I can't imagine what us old folks did before TPMS??? And never had a wreck from a flat tire. Or so distracted by a warning light that we couldn't maintain control of the vehicle. LOL!

    Thanks StarCaller for the good info! I will never use it but good to know.
     
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  13. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Yes. We even survived without using or even having seatbelts. And driving around in the presence of many more drunk drivers too!

    Well, most of us survived. Those of us talking about it now are beneficiaries of "selection bias", i.e. we are those who didn't get killed.

    But I can start naming some of my cohorts who didn't survive. Charles. Diane. Betty. Terry. Bill. ... :cry:
     
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  14. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    A tire blows out and you lose control of steering then slam straight into a building wall and die.

    Not sure if I can be any clearer than that.
     
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  15. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    Taping over the TPMS warning light, removing the bulb, seem like overkill. There's always a light or two showing on the dash, don't let the TPMS light stampede you: it's just a light.
     
  16. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    And some cant legally drive their car anymore until the light goes off because the car failed state visual inspection.
     
  17. Robert Holt

    Robert Holt Senior Member

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    As an old (surviving) motorcycle driver, I early on became extremely sensitive to proper tire inflation. Motorcycle handling in had cornering and braking is severely affected by improper tire pressures. Blowouts typically result in you sliding down the pavement with the motorcycle in a fairly direct line into whatever is in front of you. When the rear tire blows, you can usually “lay it down” in a semi-controlled fashion where the motorcycle is preceding you down the road and you are sliding behind it. (Hint: when you skid around so that it is oriented down the road, kick it vigorously away from you to maximize separation.) That is MUCH safer than when the front tire blows as you also immediately lose steering control and the bike will often slide suddenly off to the side so that you are kind of launched ahead of it down the road. The 400-600 pound motorcycle sliding behind you gives you two simultaneous problems—1. What am I sliding towards? And 2. Is the blasted bike sliding into me or is it on another trajectory? Curiously, you can try to control your orientation a bit while sliding on pavement and thus try to hit curbs, stop signs, or whatever feet first to minimize damage, but under NO CASE should you try to roll into a ball because if you are going anything over 50 mph when this occurs and you try to roll, you will break pretty much every bone in your extremities.
    Did not mean to hijack thread, but IMO tpms is a godsend for motorcycles.
    Does anyone have similar advice for exactly how to crash a Prius when necessary? For example, given the poof offset frontal collision performance of our 2012 hatchback, I would choose to head-on collide with a fixed object or another car and get the full advantage of the front crumple zones rather than do an offset frontal collision. But is that collision planning correct or not?
    What other collision scenarios should I be prepared for?
    Advice please?
     
  18. gliderman

    gliderman Active Member

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    Assuming nobody ever checks their tires, all those scenarios are uniquely possible. But now we rely on the vehicle to do all the checking for the driver. And Darwin will always win.
     
  19. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Those scenarios are not unique to people who never check their tires.

    Much more common? Yes. But not unique. While folks who regularly check tires, including visually before beginning a trip, will very significantly reduce their failure rate, they can't eliminate it. It is very certainly possible to fit a moderate leak rate and overheat-blowout cycle into a single trip leg, between tire checks.
     
    #19 fuzzy1, Jan 22, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2020
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  20. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Involving additional people with a head-on, increasing the victim count, is generally a rotten idea. And if vehicle weights are significantly different, one side will lose very badly.

    Careening out into an open field, or sideswiping a long section of jersey barrier or guard rail to scrub as much speed as possible before a solid impact, should be far superior. Ditches or barrow pits may be useful. Even a center hit on the energy absorbing crush bumpers in front of many piers, abutments, and some guard rails would be far preferable (providing longer deceleration distance thus lower g forces) than a head-on collision against another vehicle or unprotected pier.
     
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