Replacing a TPMS on existing tires.

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Love’em or hate’em, if your Tire Pressure Monitor sensors crap out you can put a bit of electrical tape on your dash light and carry on or you can replace the the sensors. My son and I forgot to have new sensors installed on his 2010 Silverado last time he bought new tires and at least one sensor crapped out with two years left on two tires and maybe a year left on the other two. We decided we wanted to rotate the tires anyway, so we decided to throw in new sensors. We have a local Indy mechanic with a full on air powered tire changing machine who said he’d change them if we brought the new sensors and the tires on rims but off the truck.

I had purchased these 315 MHz sensors from Amazon. Attached is a photo of the page. After we received them, We went to work jacking up the rear of the truck at the diff, and putting up some jack stands. We removed the rear tires, loaded them in my Ford Taurus and took them a few miles to Phil, the mechanic. Phil doesn’t like to take short cuts so he marked the air inflation valve and took the tires completely off the rims. He pulled off the old sensors and installed the new ones and put the balancing weights back on. Another part of the deal is Phil didn’t have to mess with programming them: that part was up to us.

Phil was done in no time, and we took the tires back home and installed one tire on the front. ( Recall I was rotating them). I had set the rear axle on the jack stands and moved the jack to the front. After installing the one tire, I jacked up the other side and pulled the wheel, leaving the jack and a jack stand at the corner. I then took the front tires to Phil. He worked his magic and charged us a total of $28 for all four. Then we brought them back, finished putting a rear tire on the front and placing the original fronts on the back.

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Snagglefoot

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We tried to use the normal technique to program them: Key in ignition and turned to accessory. Hold down both the lock and unlock buttons on the FOB. Listen for two beeps of the horn. Then deflate the front driver’s side tire for up to 30 seconds while listening for the beep of the horn. Well, the two beeps occurred when we pressed the lock and unlock buttons at same time but nothing else happened when we deflated the driver’s tire for 30 seconds.

We thought perhaps the sensors needed to be driven to get them out of the sleep mode. I drove the truck 18 miles into town and tried it again in the parking lot of a truck stop, but far away from any trucks. No luck. I drove over to Kal Tire and parked at their inflation bay. As the tech re-inflated the tire to spec ( 35 psi), I told him about the luck were having. He told me if I wait a minute he would being out their Schrader sensor tool and would set the sensors for free. Awesome. He brought out the tool scanned a sticker on the door, put the key in, turned it to the accesories position, held down both the lock and unlock button and the horn beeped twice. He then walked up to each tire in turn, starting with the front driver’s side and placed the tool next to the valve stem. Then like students at roll call, the horn sounded at each one, driver’s side front, passenger side front, passenger side rear and then driver’s side rear. At that one it honked twice. Done. The light in the dash turned off. Good to go. Here is a shot of the tool.

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I, like you, have had mediocre luck programming generic sensors for my Silverado. I had one existing sensor "give up" after seeing zero PSI.

OTOH the generic Toyota-fit sensors work 100%.
 
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I've had no luck on aftermarket tire sensors lasting as long as OEM ones. Half-life at best.
With TPMS sensors you get what you pay for IMO.
 

Snagglefoot

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I've had no luck on aftermarket tire sensors lasting as long as OEM ones. Half-life at best.
With TPMS sensors you get what you pay for IMO.
Yes. I just took off my summer tires off the Burb. They have 1 year left but an Amazon sourced sensor failed. I wonder if some sensors sleep and others do not,
 
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I paid $118 delivered for my Autel TS508 some years ago off eBay. New on Amazon is currently $259. Is not an $1800 task.

@Snagglefoot, is likely your new sensors needed to be "activated". New are shipped in a hibernation mode and require a special 125 kHz signal to wake from their sleep. Else the sensor might wake during storage and shorten service life once it is installed. Many sources sell "TPMS clickers" for as little as $20, the Genuine Ford clicker is about $60.

Autel MX sensors are about double the price of no-name Amazon and eBay TPMS sensors but have the advantage of being programmable/clonable. If you are a shop you only have to stock one sensor which works on 98% of everything, but requires an Autel tool such as the TS508 to tell it what to be. The really great thing is one can make a copy of existing sensors so the vehicle doesn't know anything has been changed. Makes summer/winter wheel swaps easier.

I worry about no-name sensors not lasting very long. With no name they have no reputation to protect by producing a quality product.

I suspect most BITOG members could swap a TPMS sensor in their driveway if they knew they could use a 2nd vehicle to "run over" a deflated tire to break the bead from the rim. Have to aim for the rim to get your vehicle on the tire, then turn away from the rim because you don't want to run over the rim laying on the ground.

With one side loose a couple of small 2x4s serve to hold the tire away from the valve stem and TPMS sensor. You have to get in there with a hex key (3mm is what I found) or torx key (forgot but is one close to 3mm), some use one, some use the other. Sensors I found on an F-150 used one, Autel replacements used the other.

Could replace the valve stem while you are in there, but the valve stem will be replaced with the next tire, so perhaps leave it alone? A $10 puller is worth a lot more than $10 to get a rubber valve stem through a rim. Metal valve stems really need a torque wrench to prevent one from crushing the vinyl grommets. So perhaps it is best to leave the valve stems alone? Be sure to use blue Loctite on the TPMS screw.

Water with a bit of cheap green dishwashing detergent to lubricate the bead. Truck tires hold a lot of air, one needs a nice big air compressor. Not going to reinflate with a hand pump or 12V inflator. The used tire bead will naturally want to go back on the rim. New tires can be nearly impossible without a ring of high volume air blowing around the perimeter of the rim. Soap and water helps.

Hey, but $28 is an excellent value for having a pro do the work.
 

Snagglefoot

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I’ve heard from several folks the cloning makes swapping winters tires because you don’t have to re-program the tires. The problem with that is I also rotate the tires when I change from summer to winter and vice versa. Rear left becomes front right. ( I chalk mark the tire’s position ). In my Suburban the system reports the actual psi of each tire and it’s location. Certainly it’s not an issue on versions that just have a light if one tire gets low. I’ll just carry on and reprogram the tire’s position.
 
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I’ve heard from several folks the cloning makes swapping winters tires because you don’t have to re-program the tires. The problem with that is I also rotate the tires when I change from summer to winter and vice versa. Rear left becomes front right. ( I chalk mark the tire’s position ). In my Suburban the system reports the actual psi of each tire and it’s location. Certainly it’s not an issue on versions that just have a light if one tire gets low. I’ll just carry on and reprogram the tires position.
Ford has a similar in-vehicle sequence involving partial deflation of one tire at a time to assign location. Some militantly post assertions that an F-150 can magically find new sensors, and old sensors in new positions on its own. Yet for some reason the procedure is printed in the owner's manual and Ford sells a clicker which bypasses the deflation step. Am guessing your Silverado might also be able to bypass the deflation step using a clicker at each wheel.

Have also seen mention of a magnet which fits around the valve stem to wake new sensors from new manufacturing hibernation.

With my Autel TS508 I can go to each wheel to read the sensor, then plug into the OBD-II port, tell the TS508 to update the truck, task complete. Have never waited to see if the truck would find the new locations on its own.

When the Tesla Mobile Tech used a TS508 on my Model S, I knew I had to have one. Saw mention new unused TS508's were being sold on eBay in 2019, I snagged it. My Model S does not display pressures but with the TS508 I can walk around the car, read the sensors and pressures without bending down on my knees to unscrew a valve cap. And do the same for my Subaru. But of all things it is my lowly Ford which which is the only one to have tire pressure display.
 
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IMO sensors are a waste!!! my $80 tire pressure gauge has done a LOT of checks!!! i just rotated girlfriends tyres on her 18 Kia Optima + ALL tyres were down 7 LB but no warning light!!! its great having a good fair priced indy + mine mounts + balances MY tires that are on my car or pickup @ $10 a pop + he gets any work i dont do as well as my girlfriends car. today its RARE especially in bigger cities to get fair pricing + FORGET the STEALERS as they have a lot of overhead aka upper management getting OVERPAID for NOTHING!!
 
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