TPMS A Not So Simple Fix


TPMS A Not so Simple Fix

The day began as I started my vehicle and that annoying flashing yellow light indicated I had low air pressure in my tire, but which one? Surely someone could make it show which one is low?

Anyway I backed out of the driveway and headed to the nearest tire place so they could check each tire and fill as needed. The technician who serviced my vehicle said none of the tires were low. He went back inside and came out with this handheld device slightly bigger than an iPad and went around to check each tire. He said the TPMS device in two tires was not sending out a signal and it was probably the batteries which last approximately 10 years (my vehicle is 15 years old).

I went to the parts department of my local dealership and found the TPMS unit was $110 each and then there was installation. From the looks on the faces of the customers sitting in the waiting room I didn’t want to be there, at least not all day, and I had no idea what the installation costs would be. I spoke to a service representative who said I could place black electrical tape over the light (Not kosher coming from a dealership).

Not knowing what I was going to do I ended up stopping at a tire place and asked if they did TPMS replacements? The service guy said yes and they could get me in right away (it was almost 9 am) at a cost of $90 per tire installed. I gave him the go ahead and even told him the two defective units and waited for them to finish.

I even got a Krispy Cream donut and a cup of coffee for FREE! WOW!

I watched as they pulled my vehicle outside, ready to go. Then the manager went out with his handheld device to make sure everything was okay – it wasn’t!

He said after changing 2 units there was still 1 TPMS unit not working. He recommended changing out the other 2 units and I agreed.

Back inside there were on more donuts, but coffee was still free.

I watched as they finished up, or so I thought. The manager came to me and said that there was also one unit inside the spare tire and it wasn’t working either. So I told him to change that one as well.

I began watching as the mechanics went over my vehicle with a fine tooth comb looking for something. They checked under the back seat, every compartment and were unable to find what they were looking for. Here comes the manager again. He informed me they couldn’t find the unique spare tire jack handle that was needed to lower the spare from under the bed (yup I had a pickup). I went out there and checked myself and sure enough this bag with this unique handle was definitely not there.

I said I’d order one from Amazon and have it in a day or two, then I’d come back in and they could change out the spare tire unit.

Now I’m waiting on Amazon, and the package arrives 2 days later. I open it and yes it’s all there.

The next morning I’m back at the tire place at 8 am. I tell them what I’m there for and they get to work. Then they tell me to drive it around and it should reset itself so the light goes off. So I do some driving around town, have lunch with some friends and almost go to the North Pole (there is one over by the entrance to Pikes Peak).

The light is still on so back to the tire place I go. This time the manager is there and I explain that all 5 units have been changed and I’ve driven around but the yellow TPMS light is still on. He brings that handheld device and the connector cable to the vehicle. He checks each tire (including the spare), plugs in the unit and then has to go outside and check each tire unit again (including the spare) before it resets and the yellow light goes out.

According to the service manager at the dealership I could have saved a lot of money, time and stress by using a strip of black electrical tape & at least I wasn’t sitting in the dealership waiting area all day…..! –


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