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DIY Tire Pressure Monitoring Sensor replacement
The idiot warning light came on in our 2010 Ford Fusion and let me know that the TPMS had failed. After putting up with the flashing message for a few months and having it block the odometer display, I quickly (sp. finally) decided to get it fixed.

Calling around for quotes gave me a range of $89.99 to $175. That caused me to do a Google search to see if there was an alternative (cheap) way. There is.

The special tool that I was told was needed, that was part of the justification for the high bids, was available from Walmart for a mere $33. The replacement sensor was available from an internet source for $11 with free shipping.

Removing the tire from the rim wasn't necessary. I only had to break the bead on the front side of the tire to access and replace the failed unit. Only one screw holds the sensor onto the valve stem. Determining which tire had the failed unit was done using the special tool and quite easy. The whole job was easy peesy and took less than an hour.

Total cost this time = $44 Total cost next time = $11 I can appreciate that the bidders have a much higher overhead burden than I do but even so, I think they are a bit high on their fees. YMMV

Besides, I just like to fix things myself and I usually have fun doing it. The definition of fun changes depending on how much you have already had. You can only imagine how much fun I had before arriving at replacing a TPMS unit for fun. Big Grin YMMV there also.

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That's interesting. I do my own tire mounting, so breaking the bead, or even removing the tire is not a problem. Just mark the the tire so it goes back on the same and doesn't affect balance. $11 sounds pretty cheap for TPMS sensors. I have seen the really inexpensive ones, and doubted they might work. Most are $60-115
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Can you PM the name of the "special tool" from walmart?

Using FlashAir W-03 SD card in machine. Access through wifi with FlashPAP or Sleep Master utilities.

I wanted to learn Binary so I enrolled in Binary 101. I seemed to have missed the first four courses. Big Grinnie

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I'm told that the item that fails is generally the internal battery that is encapsulated in the device. Rumor has it that they last approximately 7 ~ 10 years, but it can also depend on how much you drive. They enter "sleep" mode a couple of minutes after you come to a stop to conserve the battery. Too bad it isn't replaceable. Just another government mandated device that I could do without but it's so entrenched into the system that disabling it is next to impossible.

The diagnostic process starts by putting the system into "training" mode. That varies by manufacturer. On my car it is done by turning the ignition switch to the run position three times and ending up with it in the run position (engine off) while pressing the brake pedal. Then turn it off and repeat with another three key moves to the run position but this time no brake pedal action. If done properly, the horn will sound twice to indicate that the system is in the training mode and listening for signals. The ignition key must be left in the run position for the remainder of the session. Then using the reset device, go to each wheel in turn and press the button on the device to activate the sensor in the tire. You have 2 minutes to commence the process or the system will time out and end the training session.

The reset device generates a 315 Mhz unmodulated carrier which times out 10 seconds after you push the button. When you have the system in "training" mode, holding the device near the valve stem of each wheel causes the car's horn to honk a short blast if the sensor is working properly. That gives you a renewed 2 minute interval to reset the next wheel, and so on. When you finish with the fourth wheel and all have reset successfully, the error light on the dash goes off and the display says, "training completed successfully." If any wheel fails to reset, the training period will eventually time out and the car horn will honk two short blasts and the dash display will say, "training unsuccessful, try again." It doesn't matter which tire you start with since each sensor has a unique signature and the processor in the car's control box just want to hear 4 different signatures. And NO, you can't fool it by resetting the same wheel 4 times. Wink

As for the quality of the lower priced sensors, mine worked just fine. I notice that it is made in China, but isn't everything? I can't see why it would cost 60 ~ 115 bucks for a device this is basically a glorified theft tattletale device like you find on things at the store that have to be disabled to get you out the door without setting the alarm off. Those things must be practically free. I doubt anyone will pay $400 ~ $500 extra on a 10 year old car when getting new tires just to get their TPMS system put back into new condition. The government and the D.O.T., bless their hearts, they mean well but sometimes I wonder about them. I never had any trouble telling when I had a low tire without this TPMS and would disable it when it failed if it were possible.

I grew up in a trucking family so breaking tire beads down is no big deal, especially on a nice flexible auto tire. Truck tires, not so much. Wink

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AlanE, Just search the Walmart site for the following:

Item Qty Price Total

Motorcraft TPMS19 Transmitter 1 $33.43

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BTW, I ordered the TPMS sensor from an E-bay seller. DE8T-1A180-AA free shipped for 10.99.
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Some dealers will reset the TPMS transmitter/receiver pairing at no charge. Depends how busy they are, but you can call ahead and ask. I was at a dealer for something and a local repair shop guy came by with three vehicles that he'd just rotated tires on and they reset the TPMS for him. I got the impression they do this a lot.
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I am surprised that NHTSA hasn't coupled the TPMS with the ignition interlock.
Low tire... sorry, you cannot run the vehicle.

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(10-27-2016, 11:05 AM)justMongo Wrote: I am surprised that NHTSA hasn't coupled the TPMS with the ignition interlock.
Low tire... sorry, you cannot run the vehicle.

Just a matter of time. But would make it hard to limp somewhere to top off the tires.
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(10-27-2016, 11:05 AM)justMongo Wrote: I am surprised that NHTSA hasn't coupled the TPMS with the ignition interlock.
Low tire... sorry, you cannot run the vehicle.

Coupling with the ignition interlock would of course be a safety hazard, and I'm not aware of any safety device NHTSA has linked to an interlock, or if they even have that authority. Many states have safety inspections, and most will pass the car with the TPMS malfunction warning on.

Regulations seem limited to mandating that manufacturers install the devices, and that mechanics and tire shops not sell tires and rims without the devices if the car is equipped for TPMS. Those of us that can mount tires as individuals don't come under that scrutiny, and piece of electicians tape over the warning light seems to suffice.
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