Author Topic: Toyota TPMS Sensor Replacement?  (Read 599 times)

jeromedawg

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4402
  • Location: Orange County, CA
Toyota TPMS Sensor Replacement?
« on: May 18, 2020, 05:23:18 PM »
Hey all,

My wife brought our Rav4 in for a balancing/rotation on tires we got from Americas Tire. The other day the TPMS sensor was blinking and then lit up, which is what prompted this as well as coming up on the 5k-6k mileage mark. She just called and said they found 4/5 (including the spare tire) sensors are bad and were recommending replacing all of them. They are $60 EACH plus $19 installation fee (Not sure if that's the total install cost or that's the per tire cost but will have to look at the quote). Apparently these things are powered by lithium batteries and are integrated as part of the actual valve stem....smh. (EDIT: total cost would be $300 + $75 for labor so $375 total just to change these sensors out.... seems extraneous and unnecessary)
The guy was also recommending that we replace the original factory spare (Yokohama that came with car from the original purchase) since it's so old (10+ yrs). He put a quote in for the spare at $67 but for a different brand tire (Sentury Crossover). Is it better to get a matching tire though to put through the rotation (Cooper CS5)?

Do you guys think we should just eat the cost and do it all? I was looking up DIY videos on the TPMS and you basically need to remove the tires in order to do this. Considering I'm hardly a DIY auto/car guy and don't have any tools for that like jack stands, etc and it just seems like it would be a PITA and one of those things that *looks* easy but ends up taking me hours upon hours to complete (while putting the car out of commission for who knows how long).


Anyway, just wondering if any of you have run into this situation and what you did or would recommend doing.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2020, 06:20:50 PM by jeromedawg »

jeromedawg

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4402
  • Location: Orange County, CA
Re: Toyota TPMS Sensor Replacement?
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2020, 06:44:36 PM »
I suppose I could also look for the lowest price on 5 after-market TPMS sensors, order them and then have my mechanic install them to save some $$$. For the spare tire I can probably just look for a deal on a single (possibly even pre-owned/used) and either bring it to Americas Tire to swap out on the wheel or have my mechanic do that as well.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2020, 06:46:46 PM by jeromedawg »

WSUCoug1994

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 496
  • Location: Bay Area, California
Re: Toyota TPMS Sensor Replacement?
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2020, 08:58:45 AM »
I wouldn't replace the TPMS sensor until you needed to change the tires - if you can live with the annoying alert and you know how to keep your tires at the right pressure.  That $19 charge is to pull the old tire off and put it back on so they can replace the sensor.  I would suspect you could get less expensive sensors, although America's Tires have always been good on price for most things for me.  Tirerack.com has them for $48 for a 2010 Rav4 4WD - just guessing on the 10 year old tire.

I don't know if the Rav4 has a full-size spare - I suspect it doesn't as most cars don't anymore.  You could replace a 10 year old spare and I would be fine with a discount/off-brand tire as a spare but to be honest unless it is losing air I wouldn't change it.  Yes tires get old but unless it is exposed to the outside elements you should be fine having an old spare to limp you to the right location if you have a blow out.   I don't think rotating your spare is really going to save you much money over time especially for the hassle. 

This is absolutely not something you should DIY - unless you have a tire machine and a balancer which you don't ;)

jeromedawg

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4402
  • Location: Orange County, CA
Re: Toyota TPMS Sensor Replacement?
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2020, 09:08:53 AM »
I wouldn't replace the TPMS sensor until you needed to change the tires - if you can live with the annoying alert and you know how to keep your tires at the right pressure.  That $19 charge is to pull the old tire off and put it back on so they can replace the sensor.  I would suspect you could get less expensive sensors, although America's Tires have always been good on price for most things for me.  Tirerack.com has them for $48 for a 2010 Rav4 4WD - just guessing on the 10 year old tire.

I don't know if the Rav4 has a full-size spare - I suspect it doesn't as most cars don't anymore.  You could replace a 10 year old spare and I would be fine with a discount/off-brand tire as a spare but to be honest unless it is losing air I wouldn't change it.  Yes tires get old but unless it is exposed to the outside elements you should be fine having an old spare to limp you to the right location if you have a blow out.   I don't think rotating your spare is really going to save you much money over time especially for the hassle. 

This is absolutely not something you should DIY - unless you have a tire machine and a balancer which you don't ;)

Yea, we just had the tires changed a few years back on this car - I find it strange that they didn't see that the batteries were low or out back then. My wife said the service guy was saying that usually these things don't last more than 5-6 years so I have a feeling a couple of sensors were already dead the last time we had the tires changed. If not, the batteries should have been low and I would have thought they would have scanned for that and let me know. I don't recall them ever mentioning this. I don't mind the alert being there though, especially since we don't drive around all that much especially nowadays.

Our 2009 Rav4 definitely has a full-sized spare - it's hanging off the back door. Do you think we should just keep the Yokohama tire on it and not bother? Or should we just get the cheapest spare possible and be done with it?

WSUCoug1994

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 496
  • Location: Bay Area, California
Re: Toyota TPMS Sensor Replacement?
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2020, 09:18:08 AM »
If the tire is exposed to the weather/sun - without a cover on it - I would replace it with an inexpensive tire especially if you can see physical cracking in the tire.  If it has a cover on it, I would keep the current tire and check on it a couple times a year to make sure it is holding air - as you should with any tire.

This is obviously a personal choice - but my 2004 and 2009 vehicles both have their original spares - both over them have over 130,000 miles on them.  I just used my 2009 spare last year (although it is in the trunk) and it was still in great condition.  If you were making long road trips on the regular I would likely switch it out - if not - keep it for now and maybe switch it out when you get your next set of tires.

JLee

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6806
Re: Toyota TPMS Sensor Replacement?
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2020, 09:24:25 AM »
Tires do age out -- is your spare a full size / matching wheel style to the other four?  If not, it'd look weird to rotate it and I'd probably just throw a cheap tire on there for emergencies. In the event you actually have to use your spare, a 10-12yo tire is likely to be unsafe. You can inspect it for dry rotting / cracks and maybe stretch it out a bit longer, but I do prefer to err on the side of caution with tires.

I don't think there's a way to check battery life on TPMS sensors. It is definitely not a DIY job, as you have to dismount the tire, install the sensor, remount the tire, and then re-balance the wheel/tire assembly.  I would not go cheap with the sensors (I use Denso myself), just because I'd rather not risk having them die years earlier than they should (I have been buying Denso for my Lexus/Toyota vehicle).  I also replace them when I get new tires, unless I already know the age and they likely have several years left.

If you're due for an overall tire replacement soon, I would just replace them then and check your tire pressures every time you put gas in the car.  TPMS is superior than checking manually, but if you're close you can usually get them installed at minimal / no extra labor charge during a tire replacement.

jeromedawg

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4402
  • Location: Orange County, CA
Re: Toyota TPMS Sensor Replacement?
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2020, 09:27:38 AM »
If the tire is exposed to the weather/sun - without a cover on it - I would replace it with an inexpensive tire especially if you can see physical cracking in the tire.  If it has a cover on it, I would keep the current tire and check on it a couple times a year to make sure it is holding air - as you should with any tire.

This is obviously a personal choice - but my 2004 and 2009 vehicles both have their original spares - both over them have over 130,000 miles on them.  I just used my 2009 spare last year (although it is in the trunk) and it was still in great condition.  If you were making long road trips on the regular I would likely switch it out - if not - keep it for now and maybe switch it out when you get your next set of tires.

The cover has been on it more or less the whole time we've had the car. It seems as though it has held air fine, and recently we got a nail in a tire and had to swap the spare on and it was fine for probably at least several days before we took it in to get a new tire changed on.

Good call though - we'll probably just have everything taken care of the next time we get our tires changed, which is going to be a while.

I wonder if I were to buy the TPMS sensors and bring them to the shop next time we are scheduled to go in or when we just have our tires changed, if America's Tire would install them and just charge for the labor per tire.  Either way, I think it makes more sense just to get the sensors changed at the next tire change, like you suggest, especially to avoid someone damaging a sensor during installation (though I'd think with a place that specializes in tire installs that this shouldn't be an issue in most cases hahaha)

jeromedawg

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4402
  • Location: Orange County, CA
Re: Toyota TPMS Sensor Replacement?
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2020, 09:31:08 AM »
Tires do age out -- is your spare a full size / matching wheel style to the other four?  If not, it'd look weird to rotate it and I'd probably just throw a cheap tire on there for emergencies. In the event you actually have to use your spare, a 10-12yo tire is likely to be unsafe. You can inspect it for dry rotting / cracks and maybe stretch it out a bit longer, but I do prefer to err on the side of caution with tires.

I don't think there's a way to check battery life on TPMS sensors. It is definitely not a DIY job, as you have to dismount the tire, install the sensor, remount the tire, and then re-balance the wheel/tire assembly.  I would not go cheap with the sensors (I use Denso myself), just because I'd rather not risk having them die years earlier than they should (I have been buying Denso for my Lexus/Toyota vehicle).  I also replace them when I get new tires, unless I already know the age and they likely have several years left.

If you're due for an overall tire replacement soon, I would just replace them then and check your tire pressures every time you put gas in the car.  TPMS is superior than checking manually, but if you're close you can usually get them installed at minimal / no extra labor charge during a tire replacement.

Makes sense - I think we will probably just do everything at the next tire change. Although the spare does concern me a little.

The sensors I found that were under $40 were Denso I think - it seems ordering them direct from a supplier you definitely save. I'm wondering if I should just shop for and buy them *now* and just save them for when we get the tires changed and have them put them in at that point in time... (dunno if the batteries will go bad from the units just sitting around though).

JLee

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6806
Re: Toyota TPMS Sensor Replacement?
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2020, 09:50:53 AM »
Tires do age out -- is your spare a full size / matching wheel style to the other four?  If not, it'd look weird to rotate it and I'd probably just throw a cheap tire on there for emergencies. In the event you actually have to use your spare, a 10-12yo tire is likely to be unsafe. You can inspect it for dry rotting / cracks and maybe stretch it out a bit longer, but I do prefer to err on the side of caution with tires.

I don't think there's a way to check battery life on TPMS sensors. It is definitely not a DIY job, as you have to dismount the tire, install the sensor, remount the tire, and then re-balance the wheel/tire assembly.  I would not go cheap with the sensors (I use Denso myself), just because I'd rather not risk having them die years earlier than they should (I have been buying Denso for my Lexus/Toyota vehicle).  I also replace them when I get new tires, unless I already know the age and they likely have several years left.

If you're due for an overall tire replacement soon, I would just replace them then and check your tire pressures every time you put gas in the car.  TPMS is superior than checking manually, but if you're close you can usually get them installed at minimal / no extra labor charge during a tire replacement.

Makes sense - I think we will probably just do everything at the next tire change. Although the spare does concern me a little.

The sensors I found that were under $40 were Denso I think - it seems ordering them direct from a supplier you definitely save. I'm wondering if I should just shop for and buy them *now* and just save them for when we get the tires changed and have them put them in at that point in time... (dunno if the batteries will go bad from the units just sitting around though).

I would just buy them when you need them - no sense in having parts sit around in the interim.