mosttire pressure monitoring systemsrely on individual air pressure sensors in each tire. These sensors do not last forever and can fail due to physical damage or if the sensor's battery runs out.
Do I need to replace the TPMS if I change tires?When changing tires, you don't need to replace the TPMS sensors. However, it may be worth servicing and saving some labor costs when the sensors are nearing the end of their battery life.
While you don't need to replace your TPMS sensors when you buy new tires, there are some good reasons to replace them when changing tires.
Let's take a closer look.
When should TPMS sensors be replaced?
If a tire pressure sensor fails, you should replace it as soon as possible to ensure you receive a warning of a flat or flat tire before a puncture or catastrophic puncture occurs.
If the TPMS light flashes for 60 to 90 seconds when the vehicle is started, the TPMS system is warning you of a problem. Most TPMS problems that cause the warning light to flash are depleted sensor batteries.
Proactively replacing the TPMS sensor is a good idea when the first sensor's battery dies. Often the other TPMS sensors will fail soon after as the battery life of the sensors is very similar.
Replacing all of the sensors in your TPMS system will ensure that your system continues to function properly and will keep you and your family safe with minimal disruption.
Bringing the entire workforce together in one tire service saves you time and money by eliminating multiple trips to your local tire shop.
Are TPMS sensors reusable?
TPMS sensors can be used with a variety of tires and will still work properly. You don't need to replace your tire pressure sensors when you buy a new set of tires.
If a sensor has a dead battery or has been damaged in any way and is no longer working properly, it should be replaced. If not, they should last at least many years.
You can buy new wheels and replace old TPMS sensors with new ones. There may be situations where the cheaper, less adjustable clip-on sensors won't fit your new wheels correctly, but that's rare.
Most adjustable clamp sensors can be positioned at different angles, making them adaptable to a wider range of wheels. Mounted sensors are easily identified by their metal valve stem.
Do I need a TPMS repair service kit when buying new tires?
Most tire shops recommend TPMS conversion kits and we recommend them too. They are inexpensive and help ensure there are no leaks around the valve stem or failure due to corrosion around the nut threads.
Prior to 2008, when TPMS became mandatory, valve stems were replaced as part of each tire's replacement process. Valve stems are designed as expendable components.
TPMS rebuild kits are essentially replacement valve stem seals and mounting hardware. This includes the gaskets and hardware that hold the bar in place. The sensor itself is not included in the scope of delivery.
It is not uncommon for the metal parts of the TPMS sensor valve stem assembly to be affected by corrosion. Corrosion around the retaining nut threads can weaken the rod and make it surprisingly easy to break. This is especially true for vehicles that are exposed to road salt in winter.
Cheaper push-in style rubber valve stems have far fewer problems, but do not offer the adjustability of push-in metal valve stems and may not fit some bikes.
How long do TPMS sensors last?
The air pressure sensors used in most tire pressure monitoring systems typically have a 7-10 year battery life, though they may only last 5 years.
If you're buying tires around 5-7 years into the life of your TPMS sensors, it might be a good time to replace them. However, there is no need to do this ahead of time.
On the other hand, if you have a faulty sensor, consider replacing the other TPMS sensors. If one sensor fails, it is very likely that the others will fail soon after. This is not a requirement, but rather a suggestion that can save you time and money.
Installing new TPMS sensors at the same time saves time and money.
If you replace them individually, they will fail at increasingly irregular intervals, forcing you to visit your local tire shop frequently.
What happens when the battery of a TPMS sensor dies?
When the TPMS sensor's battery runs out, it loses connection to the TPMS computer and the system displays the low tire pressure light on the dash. The tire pressure warning light will flash for 60 to 90 seconds each time your vehicle is started until the sensor is replaced.
It is common for this to cause a bit of confusion. Many drivers need help understanding the difference between a flashing TPMS warning light and a steady light. Also, the flashing sequence can often go unnoticed as the light only flashes for 60-90 seconds when the car or truck is started.
Before the TPMS sensor battery fails completely, the TPMS sensor may have an intermittent connection to the tire pressure monitoring system and may not measure air pressure accurately or consistently.
In addition to incorrect tire pressure, the TPMS light can also come on if you have a flat or no flat tire.
How much do TPMS sensors cost?
OEM TPMS sensors can typically cost $100 or more, while you can buy an aftermarket replacement TPMS sensor for $25-$30 per sensor. This does not include the cost of assembly and balancing that is typically required to replace TPMS sensors.
Aftermarket TPMS sensors are generally of a high quality and are easier to program into your existing tire pressure monitoring system than OEM TPMS sensor replacements. This can save you even more money by reducing the time it takes your tire technician to work on your vehicle.
Do new tires come with TPMS sensors?
New tires do not come with new sensors. The cost of tires, mounting and balancing does not include the price of the tire pressure monitoring sensors. There are separate costs for new sensors and their installation.
The new sensors are not cheap enough to include in the service. Also, there are many different types and styles of tire pressure sensors, making them impractical and cost effective to install on your tires.
Can I replace just one TPMS sensor?
Replacing individual sensors will not cause any real problems, but is not recommended. The reason is that if one sensor fails, the other TPMS sensors are likely to fail soon after.
You'll save time and money by replacing all sensors at once, consolidating labor costs and saving the time it takes to make multiple trips to your local tire shop.
Replacing only one sensor at a time will lock you into a cycle of multiple trips to the tire shop because the sensors will no longer fail at similar times. Sure, you could then replace them all at once, but you'd be shortening the battery life of at least one of the sensors.
Below are some links that may be helpful if you want to learn more about tires.
The tire pressure monitoring system alerts you when the recommended tire pressure drops 25% or more by displaying the TPMS light in the instrument cluster. Since TPMS systems are only designed to alert you to this significant loss of air pressure, you should periodically check your tire pressure yourself.
Making sure your tires are inflated to the recommended air pressure will ensure that your new tires last as long as possible, wear evenly, perform at their best, and provide the best possible fuel economy.
Good luck and happy motoring.