TPMS Sensors

Discussion in 'Prime Technical Discussion' started by m8547, Sep 3, 2020.

  1. m8547

    m8547 Senior Member

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    I accidentally bought extra TPMS sensors for my Toyota 4runner. I have a used set of snow tires on wheels, and when I saw the rubber valve stems I assumed they had no sensors. I've never seen TPMS sensors with rubber stems before... Oops.

    So I have these Denso 550-0103 sensors. Will they work for my 2018 Prime? They only list compatibility with older Toyotas up to 2016. But Denso doesn't show anything for the 2018 Prius, and all the parts stores only show generic sensors as compatible. If a generic sensor works, wouldn't an older Toyota specific one? Or have they changed the protocol or something? That wouldn't make sense, because tire shops probably aren't getting all new sensors every time a new car comes out. They are all the same frequency (315MHz).
     
  2. vvillovv

    vvillovv Senior Member

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    Pacific are Prime OEM sensors. Denso's should work, but I'm can't say for sure. Probably depends on who's doing the programming.
     
  3. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    If the frequency is compatible, I can't see the reason it won't work. Yeah, all the aftermarket TPMS sensors works on any car models as long as the frequency matches, so why not Desnso's.

    Only thing is that if you are planning to use them on separate set of wheels, then you will have to do the TPMS sensor relearning (reprogramming) each time you swap.
     
  4. m8547

    m8547 Senior Member

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    I read that some of the Denso sensors are actually made by Pacific, but I'm not sure if that's true. The Denso sensors I bought are made in Japan, but both Pacific and Denso seem to be based in Japan, so that doesn't indicate much.

    I also ordered a TPMS tool and some Autel MX clonable sensors, which haven't arrived yet. The original plan was to clone the Prius sensors so I could swap without reprogramming. But if I have the tool anyway, the Denso sensors are probably higher quality, and I can return the Autel sensors. The original sensors from Toyota (probably Denso) lasted over 10 years in my 4runner. At least one seems to have failed, but the rest are still working at 13 years old.

    Autel is a sketchy company, or at least their US distribution is. A few reputable sellers sell their sensors (autozone, tire rack), but while looking for a TPMS tool I found at least 8 "competing" sellers on eBay that all happened to be based in the same town in New Jersey. I ended up buying the tool and sensors on Amazon, but that's not any better than eBay these days. I don't care about the quality of the tool as long as it works 2x a year when I need it. But the sensors will be in the tires for a while, and I don't want to replace them.
     
  5. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Which tool did you ended up getting? I have not used Autel MX sensors that came as a kit with a tool, TS508. But so far, I don't have any complaint about the tool. It is super handy to have a TPMS tool that can read the sensor data without getting tire pressure gauge out or using OBDII to read off of ECU (like Tire Assistance or Techstream). And having three different Japanese cars that requires OBDII TPMS relearn procedure (Toyota, Nissan and Honda) in a house hold, doing winter tire swap myself saved enough to pay for the kit price in a single season (~$250 for the tool and 8 dual freq TPMS sensors in a kit with very nice carrying case).
     
    #5 Salamander_King, Sep 4, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2020
  6. m8547

    m8547 Senior Member

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    I bought an Autel TS501. Looks pretty similar to the TS508, but maybe older. It sounds like you got a good deal on the kit with sensors, that's about $365 now.

    I have two Toyotas and my girlfriend has a Subaru, so I should be able to use it for all those cars.
     
  7. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Yeah, like you said. Their distribution is sketchy. I got mine from no-name eBayer. You can find a super low price bargain on their products sometimes. It is a bit risky, but hay, No Risk, No Gain. ;)

    At least when I had problem using my TS508 on my new 2020 Prime, the company help team was right on it. It corresponded quickly and answered all the questions. I am not sure if it applies to TS501 which is, as you recognized, an older model of TS508. But for TS508, currently the up to date firmware does not contain 2020 PRIME. I tried using 2019 PRIME which I thought was an obvious choice, but the tool did not work. In your case, for 2018 PRIME, I don't think you will have problem, but for anyone using TS508 on 2020 PRIME model must pick other compatible car like 2019-2020 Prius (Gen4). And using Gen4, the tool tries to test the 5th TPMS sensor, although to my knowledge, non of Gen4 has TPMS sensor in their spare tire. You have to skip the 5th tire by hitting the test and then no, otherwise the error message appears.

    upload_2020-9-4_11-11-48.png
     
  8. m8547

    m8547 Senior Member

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    I just looked at my Denso sensors, and they are in fact made by Pacific.
     
  9. m8547

    m8547 Senior Member

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    I brought the Denso sensors to the tire store, and they weren't able to get their tool to read them. I tried at home with my Autel tool, and it won't read them if it's set for 2018 Prius Prime, but it will if it's set for 2007 4Runner (which is what these sensors were intended for). But then presumably it won't be able to program them into the car, and I don't see a way to manually tell it the IDs to program.

    Now that they are active and I have the ID numbers, I wonder if I can use Carista to program the IDs into the car? Or are they really just incompatible?

    Update: Carista didn't work. It doesn't have the TPMS menu for me. I wonder if a Techstream tool would work?
     
    #9 m8547, Sep 14, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2020
  10. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Hmm, that's interesting. Have you tried using your Autel tool to register the Denso sensors to the your Prime with a 4Runner setting? I don't know if there are internal protocol differences in different TPMS sensors and model of cars, but I have successfully used my Autel tool to register my 2020 PRIME with a Corolla Hatch setting. Now, this was with Prime OEM sensors, so I knew they are compatible.

    I also checked Carista app while I had active subscription, but as you, I did not find the TPMS setting. Techstream should be able to register the ID, but don't know that will make the ECU to talk to incompatible sensors. Worth the try if you have Techstream rigs.
     
  11. m8547

    m8547 Senior Member

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    I told the Autel the car was a 2017-2019 4runner. It was able to read the sensors, read the IDs in the car's ECU, and write the new sensor IDs into the car's ECU. But the TPMS light immediately started flashing and went solid for a few seconds, so apparently the car couldn't communicate with these sensors.

    I guess I'll take them out and try the Autel MX sensors. I'm not sure if I should have the tire shop do that (and risk them having issues because of not having the Autel tool), or do it myself. Taking all the tires off and breaking the beads sounds like a lot of work.
     
  12. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    That means OEM TPMS sensors are programmed to be vehicle specific while aftermarket sensors are made to be compatible with many different vehicles.

    After doing some search, I found this article. It does explain what is happening in your case.


    TPMS Sensors, The Truth Hertz

    Vehicle manufacturers typically require a TPMS sensor from a specific OE supplier, which can vary from model to model. Using an incorrect sensor will result in a lack of operation.

    Some aftermarket sensors are designed to contain a variety of algorithms that are compatible with multiple vehicle platforms, one example is the VDO REDI-Sensor. Other aftermarket sensors are designed to work across multiple platforms, but they must be programmed to communicate with the vehicle using a special programming tool which assigns an ID number to each sensor. Sensors such as the Dorman MULTi-FIT use this method.
     
  13. m8547

    m8547 Senior Member

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    I knew that in theory, but these are the right supplier, the right frequency, and designed for the same brand. Apparently Toyota has changed the protocol over the years.
     
  14. m8547

    m8547 Senior Member

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    I set up the Autel sensors. The car seems to be able to read them, but it's hard to tell for sure since they aren't in tires and the pressure is 0. I'm debating if I should take them back to the tire shop to install (which they would charge me $60 for), or just break the beads myself and install them. $60 is fine I guess, but I'm worried about the shop complaining they can't read the sensors, or that they don't have the tool to tighten the little torx screws on them, or that that will accidentally throw away the hardware from the Denso sensors making it so I can't return them.
     
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  15. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    What is the weight difference between Denso and Autel sensors? If the difference is substantial, you may need to re-balance the tires anyway, which is difficult to to do DIY.
     
  16. m8547

    m8547 Senior Member

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    The Autel is 23.5g, and the Denso is 35.5g. that's 12g or 0.42oz different, maybe enough to need balancing, or I could just add a weight next to the valve stem. The Densos have a much larger battery (one of the reasons I wanted to use them in the first place).
     
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  17. m8547

    m8547 Senior Member

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    Well, I wasn't able to break a tire bead myself, so I guess I'll have the shop do it. I have a floor jack, a ratchet strap, a mallet, and some 2x4s, but the tire didn't want to cooperate.

    I did learn that the sidewalls are super soft on the X-Ice "Snow". With no air they feel almost as soft and flexible as a mountain bike tire. I guess I haven't felt a lot of other tires in this size for comparison, but I'm pretty sure they are usually stiffer. I'm not sure why they made them that way, but maybe it's for noise or efficiency reasons? Obviously they need to make trade-offs with snow tires, and maybe handling is the best place to compromise because no one expects good handling from a snow tire.
     
  18. m8547

    m8547 Senior Member

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    I found a way to test the sensors. I don't have any kind of pressure vessel, but I put them in an empty garden sprayer and pumped it up. That got to 25 PSI. Not enough for the light to go off in the car, but enough to get a good reading with the Tire Assistant app. So I have a little more confidence that they will work.
     
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  19. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Did you "clone" the IDs from existing OEM sensors or programmed unique IDs onto Autel sensors? I am curious if you "clone" the IDs and your OEM sensors are still near to your car, which signal gets picked up by the car?
     
  20. m8547

    m8547 Senior Member

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    Since I have a programming tool now, I used unique IDs for the new sensors. While I had no sensors, the car would always pick up the signal from the summer wheels in the garage. I don't want conflicting signals. And I want to let the sensors in the summer wheels go to sleep while not in use, if they have the ability.
     
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