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subzali
04-13-2011, 09:22 AM
Backstory:
My wife's 2009 Corolla S.

I got tired of paying to have the tires dismounted and remounted every spring/fall when I switched from summer tires to studded winter tires. But I really dislike aftermarket wheels, so I decided that I wanted OEM wheels. Well apparently the 16"x6 1/2" steel wheels that came with her car are very hard to find, especially with the TPMS sensors still attached. Much wallet bleeding ensued. I found 1 in Colorado and had to have 3 shipped from Texas. I finally got them mounted up on Monday morning, drove a couple miles to work, then drove home in the afternoon.

Tuesday morning my wife is driving to work and gives me a call, saying the tire pressure warning light is on. A friend of ours at her work checked the tire pressure for her and said the pressure was fine, it must be the TPMS sensor is toast. I checked the tires this morning and sure enough they are all at 35 psi.

So my questions are:
1. Assuming it is the TPMS sensor, how do I go about finding out which one it is?
2. Is there any fix, or what exactly is the failure mode for these suckers?
3. If I have to get a replacement, I guess they're like $90 apiece. Wondering if there are other options. The wallet hemorrhaging needs to stop.

DaveInDenver
04-13-2011, 09:48 AM
I'm sure you'll get the right answer, but I have guessed that the tire sensors have some way to tell they are on your car and not the guy in traffic next to you. Maybe there's a procedure to link them with your computer? Just thinking out loud.

Jacket
04-13-2011, 09:49 AM
Couple things.

Did you check the spare and make sure it was also ~ 35 PSI and/or in close proximity to the other 4 tires?

Are you sure all Toyota TPMS sensors are equal? Meaning that if you bought 4 new rims with their own sensors, do the 4 new tires send the same signal as the spare tire so that the indicator detects harmony among the 5 wheels?

Edit: Specifically to your question, as I recall I think the alert is triggered if any one of the tires falls below ~ 28 psi, and also if 1 of the 5 tires is X % different than the others (not sure what X is - maybe 15-20%?).

subzali
04-13-2011, 09:55 AM
I just did a little reading, and yes there are two types of sensors. The ones on the wheels I bought are the same manufacturer (http://www.toyotatpms.com/) as the ones on the original set of wheels.

Supposedly there may be a reset button (http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/showthread.php?t=241127) (that I have never noticed) under the dash that will reset the sensors (http://www.corolland.com/forums/index.php?/topic/22929-tire-pressure-monitoring-system-tpms/) - we've never had to use it before when swapping out tires, but maybe the sensor locations/signals never changed before. I guess I will give that a try tonight and see if the reset button is there. That would be good, because I am really not interested in paying for more hardware at the moment.

Jacket
04-13-2011, 09:59 AM
Yea - my Tacoma had a reset button well-hidden below the steering column. I think you had to press and hold for a few seconds to trigger a reset.

AxleIke
04-13-2011, 10:01 AM
Are these the RF sensors? If so, its likely the battery. They wear out. Unfortunately, that means dismounting the tire to check, as I don't think there is any way to get to the battery without at least unseating the bead.

However, if you can, mark the tire, and rim, so everything is lined up correctly. Dismount the bead (highlift can work pretty well under the bumper of your 40, with the base carefully placed on the sidewall of the tire, assuming you don't have low profile tires).

Once you get the bead dismounted, carefully pry/hold the tire away from the stem area, get the stem/TPMS removed, and check the battery.

use a ratchet strap and some compressed air at 100+ psi to reseat the tire. Assuming you haven't moved the tire on the rim, and your marks line up, the tire should be still balanced.

Sadly, you'll have to check all the tires likely, unless you find a dead battery right off the bat.

Other than the battery, I can't think of much else.

If you have the sensors that monitor speed, I have no idea. could check that the place didn't mess up and give you one tire that was a different size than the others.

Hope you find the issue man. I hate when repairs hit the wallet that hard.

AxleIke
04-13-2011, 10:03 AM
Well, never mind. Looks like a ton of posts showed up while I was typing.

DaveInDenver
04-13-2011, 10:05 AM
http://www.toyotatpms.com/

Apparently they can be diagnosed with seated tires.

http://www.toyotatpms.com/images/testing.jpg

Also the batteries don't seem to be replaceable on Toyota's TPMS senders, just R&R the whole sender. Beat that ain't cheap.

http://www.piloteers.org/forums/70-2009-2011-pilot/26317-tpms-batteries.html

thefatkid
04-13-2011, 10:20 AM
Only one set of 4 sensors can be registered to a Corolla at a time. The sensors ID numbers must be registered to the vehicles tire pressure monitor ECU for proper operation. So, if you want to switch from summer tire to winter tires you will need to go to a Toyota dealer each time to have the current set of codes registered to the vehicle.

wesintl
04-13-2011, 10:30 AM
Only one set of 4 sensors can be registered to a Corolla at a time. The sensors ID numbers must be registered to the vehicles tire pressure monitor ECU for proper operation. So, if you want to switch from summer tire to winter tires you will need to go to a Toyota dealer each time to have the current set of codes registered to the vehicle.

:lmao:

treerootCO
04-13-2011, 10:33 AM
The 100 series has a two position switch in the glove box for two sets of tires. I read up on it when I was riding in Gary's 100. On all the newer cars I have driven, the sensors seem like a gimic. On a dodge, they are rated at 75psi. That may be great for towing but not when driving around empty. Take the bulb out and throw a tire gauge in the glovebox :)

subzali
04-13-2011, 10:58 AM
Only one set of 4 sensors can be registered to a Corolla at a time. The sensors ID numbers must be registered to the vehicles tire pressure monitor ECU for proper operation. So, if you want to switch from summer tire to winter tires you will need to go to a Toyota dealer each time to have the current set of codes registered to the vehicle.

I suppose that ain't free either. Are you sure that's not just for earlier TPMS systems on earlier Corollas? I read there was a changeover around '07-'08, not sure what all it entails.

ianacole
04-13-2011, 10:59 AM
Can TPMS be defeated through the OBD-II connection?

DaveInDenver
04-13-2011, 11:16 AM
TPMS ... defeated
http://www.northerntool.com/images/product/images/119900_lg.jpg

Red_Chili
04-13-2011, 11:29 AM
Reminds me of ABS on a BMW R1100GS I used to ride. I thought it was cool. Until I applied the brakes on my gravel driveway and nearly went through the dumpster.

Sometimes technology is way cool, user configurable, and an able slave to one's wishes.

Sometimes technology is just a problem looking for Dave's hammer.

Air Randy
04-13-2011, 11:40 AM
On my Audi there is no limit to the number of different wheels you can put on it, as long as they have the right type of TPMS sensor in them.

Whether I change wheels or whether I want to run a different air pressure, I just press and hold the reset button for a certain period of time. That tells the system the new wheel sensors and current air pressure are OK.

I bet your system will work the same if you find the reset button and follow the recalibration procedure.

SteveH
04-13-2011, 12:00 PM
To fool the system, I have heard of folks putting all 4 TPMS sensors in a cylinder in the back of the vehicle and pressurizing the cylinder to the correct value. I'm not sure what sort of cylinder you'd make/use for this. Black iron pipe might work, but wouldn't look to good if a cop searched your truck and ran across a pipe with caps.

Kipper
04-13-2011, 02:36 PM
Take the bulb out and throw a tire gauge in the glovebox :)

That's my plan, I have this crap on my wife's Sienna. I'm not unseating a bead, or taking it to the dealer to sync it to the ecu, or spending $90 for a replacement for something as obvious as a low or flat tire. I googled ways to disable it and there aren't any. I work with a bunch of RF engineers at the NIST campus in boulder, maybe they can make me a box that will send the ecu happy thoughts.

TIMZTOY
04-13-2011, 02:53 PM
the tpms sensors need to be programed into the ecm via TIS techstream, the corola can only have one set programed, and the spare doesnot have a sensor. some do but those are typically the full size trucks and suv. when i get back to the shop, id be willing to program the sensors for you. it only takes a few minutes. im pretty sure that your local shop canot do it for you. i know they can test the sensor, but cannot program them. there is a reset button, but it does not read and reprogram the sensors. it only removes the light on the dash board after adjusting a low tire to the correct pressure. if one tire is still low, the light will not go away.

subzali
04-13-2011, 03:38 PM
If by "your local shop will not be able to do it" you mean, "your local non-Toyota dealership repair shop will not be able to do it", I could understand why not. Does the dealership charge for this procedure? Probably silly to even ask, but this seems pretty stupid.

ianacole
04-13-2011, 06:09 PM
Do you have the reset button? A post on anther forum suggested:

to completely disable it all you have to do is hold down the TPMS button for about 15 secs while you are driving.

From http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/wheels-tires/14199-damn-toyota-tpms-2.html#post375521

A couple down from that post someone suggests removing the TPMS ECU ... not sure if this is specific to the Tacoma, or good for all Toyotas.

subzali
04-13-2011, 06:29 PM
Okay, I'm a little upset about this. The reset button is only for resetting the light after you've corrected a low air pressure problem, assuming you've kept the same wheels/TPMS sensors. On '09 and older, only 4 codes are able to be stored like was mentioned earlier. On '10 and newer, up to 8 can be stored (don't overdo yourselves Toyota :mad:).

So every time, on my wife's car, I switch wheels, if I don't want the light to go on, I would have to take it down to the dealership and have them reprogram and codes into the ECU at $55 each time (1/2 hour labor charge). Gee, that's exactly what I was trying to avoid - having to pay $$ every 6 months when swapping winter tires for summer tires and back.

By the way, the batteries in each TPMS sensor will last anywhere from 2 years to 10 years, and when it gets low the TPMS light will go on until a) a new TPMS sensor is installed at $125 apiece ($90 apiece aftermarket price) or b) the light bulb burns out.

By the way, this is a government-mandated piece of equipment due to the TREAD Act, which is conveniently lining the pockets of OEM vehicle manufacturers and companies like Bartec who happen to make the magic diagnostic tool for $2000 apiece to read and reset your TPMS sensors. As a friend of mine put it, "We're from the government and we're here to help."

:rant:

No wonder people want to disable this piece of :censored: And guess whose light is either going to be "burnt out" or otherwise bypassed at some point in the future?

corsair23
04-13-2011, 06:37 PM
In the meantime, how about a piece of electrical tape :hill:

Bummer about this all around for sure...Someone else always knows what is better for you...don't forget that :D

TIMZTOY
04-13-2011, 07:55 PM
If by "your local shop will not be able to do it" you mean, "your local non-Toyota dealership repair shop will not be able to do it", I could understand why not. Does the dealership charge for this procedure? Probably silly to even ask, but this seems pretty stupid. correct. only toyota can program the codes. yes they charge.

Do you have the reset button? A post on anther forum suggested:


they all have a reset button, but only reset the light when tire pressure is corrected.

i dont know if it works, but you might try switching out the 2010 ecm. to get the 8 codes. i know the motor are the same

Corbet
04-13-2011, 08:25 PM
Can you get winter/summer ECU's:lmao:

Gone are the days where one can be held responsible to maintain such simple things like air in tires.

Put all 4 sensors in your spare and keep it at 35psi. Problem solved

TIMZTOY
04-13-2011, 09:25 PM
Can you get winter/summer ECU's:lmao:

Gone are the days where one can be held responsible to maintain such simple things like air in tires.

Put all 4 sensors in your spare and keep it at 35psi. Problem solved

yes you could do that and be perfectlly ok, providing the sensors readers can all reach the spare tire compartment. and yes on a corola you could easilly swap out the ecm in about 5 minutes. its under the pashenger side dash, infact if you rase your feet on the pashenger side, youll hit it.. uber easy access..

subzali
04-14-2011, 08:33 AM
I thought about that Tim, but that's opening a whole other can of worms..

SteveH
04-14-2011, 09:43 AM
I wonder how out of balance your spare tire would be with 4 TPMS sensors flopping around inside it - beating themselves up at low speeds.

Can we blame Ford Explorer owners, too, who ran overloaded vehicles on Firestones with 12 psi for this, since the mandated TPMS nonsense was the direct fallout of those accidents?

wesintl
04-14-2011, 10:08 AM
sell it and get a tdi :)