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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi

I know this has been dealt with a lot on this forum, but I can't seem to find a definitive answer to this changing tire question:

Les Schwab sold me some Toyo Observe winter tires, plus sensors, to put on rims that I already had for my 2010 Insight.

They said they could program them, but have tried twice now, and each time I've driven away with the car, including on the highway, the TPMS light comes on and it chimes incessantly.

Can the new sensors only be programmed at the dealership? Or can other places, such as Les Schwab, carry this out (at least theoretically)?

Thanks for your good advice!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Actually, no problem, eventually. Les Schwab were able to make it work with their equipment at the third try, but not before they had suggested taking the car to the dealer!
 

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TPMS Skinny

This is what I have leaned and may be useful to others.
1. The TPMS sensor are 315 Mhz and are made by TRW.
2. Each sensor has a uniqe ID (code) that must be entered into the vehicle's ECU.
3. If the vehicle does not recieve four TPMS signals from the four tire senor's ID that is programed into the ECU - You will get the "TMPS Error".
Of course.. the deralership can do this reset ..... but it is costly.
4. Most Major (Belle Tire) tire stores can also do this much cheaper.
The process is: They use a tool to read each tire sensor that captures it's unique ID, then they use the same tool to program those IDs into your vehicle's ECU throught the OBDII port (Honda DOES NOT have a self Learn).
Then the car has to be driven a short distance.
5. Major tire stores will test your TPMSensors for free - "Test before you touch" is what they call this.
6. TPMS battery life: depends, but 5 years is an approximent time.
7. To replace a faulty sensor - the tire has to be unmounted, sensor replaced, Tire re-mounted, re-balanced.
8. There is NO technical reason why TPMS sensor could not be externally mounted and the vehicle preform self learn (like some US vehicle do) However your option is....Comply, there is no way to "turn OFF" TPMS
 

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TPMS work around

First - Yes the TPMS sensor have to be under pressure (~35 PSI) - that is the whole idea.

What you CAN do is a "TPMS Bomb". I have not done this so I an not talking form experance but here is the over view.

You get a heavy wall PVC pipe and end caps, drill a hole a mount one TPMS sensor and throw the other three in the tube. Glue it up and inflate (pressurize) to 35PSI.

I am no recomending this but I have seen it on the internet (look it up).
You need:
Four working TPMS sensors.
You have to capture their ID (something like 15 digits each)
Get those four IDs programed into the vehicle's ECU.
Enough nerve to pressurize this thing and keep it in the vehicle.
Now you can change summer / winter wheels at will.
 

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What an expensive pain in the expense account. We have a yearly state inspection and everything on the car has to work or you don't get a sticker that says you can drive it for another year.

This is how I get around the inspection with a second set of wheels. The OE wheels have the snow tires on them. The inspection date for the car was May, but I moved it up by a month to April. So now I have the car inspected while the snow tires are on. TPMS works just fine, everything else is working, and I get my State inspection sticker.

Then I bring the car home and switch to the Summer wheels if the snow is gone and put up with the little tire symbol lit up. I do check my tires on a monthly basis and sometimes more often, especially when temperatures are taking big swings, like now.

I have a tire gauge in the car and use it. It's all about making the tires last, and getting the best fuel efficiency I can get. Tire condition plays a pretty big part in that.

Now, if like in some cars, the TPMS would report a pressure on the dash for each tire, I would be more willing to do the change and pay for the reset. It's still a pain... and can't understand why more than one sensor can be learned at a time by a car. Seems to be a pretty crude system at this time.
 

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Is it possible to program 2 sets of sensors at the same time in the Insight? I'm guessing not...

Also, how much do the discount tire shops charge for programming?

I'm about to buy new tires and wheels and am weighing my options:

(1) Pay $160 for a set of new TPMS sensors on them + programming cost, but with free installation and balance.
(2) Get wheels and tires delivered tome, and let the local shop install them and move the old sensors to the new wheels. I will pay for tire installation and balance ($120 or thereabouts, plus the possibility for the installers to damage my existing sensors).

My old sensors are about 4 years old, and I gather their batteries may be nearing the end of their lives and I'm not sure if those 3V cells are easily replaceable while the tire is off...
 
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