Frequently Asked Questions About Tire Pressure Sensors

Thursday, May 16, 2013 by Doc Horvath

Starting with 2008 model year cars and light trucks, a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) has been required for all new vehicles sold in the United States. While some vehicles (Audi and BMW most recently) use the ABS system (or indirect system) to keep watch for a deflating tire, most use a battery powered sensor (based in the base of the valve stem assembly) to give the most accurate read of your tire pressure. When replacing tires or wheels and tires as a complete package, the presence of these remote sensors can require a few extra steps in the purchase and/or installation process.

Why does my installer charge a "TPMS" service fee for installing new tires?

Many of our Recommended Installers will charge a TPMS service fee as part of new tire installation. When the old tire is being removed from your existing wheel, it's best to remove the TPMS sensor (and the attached valve stem). This avoids any damage caused by breaking the tire bead loose from the wheel as well as seating the new tire onto the wheel. Once the sensor has been removed, it will require a new "O" ring and/or compression ring to seal the sensor properly.

What happens if I do not add new TPMS sensors to my Tire & Wheel Package?

When we sell a set of wheel and tires, we're happy to mount and Road Force balance the tires to the wheels at no cost prior to shipment. Given the TPMS sensors are located inside the wheel (opposite the valve stem hole), the sensors (if requested) need to go in the wheel before the tires are installed. Without the sensors installed, most vehicles will display a warning light and chime upon engine start up (the light will continue to blink as long as the engine is running). Some vehicles may also limit your ability to turn off traction control if you need to "rock" out of a snow drift in winter or even limit engine output. In many states, an active TPMS system is required as part of the state's safety inspection, and any illuminated warning lights may cause the vehicle to fail its annual safety inspection. With your purchase, you can elect to add the correct sensor (at an additional cost) or choose to have your existing sensors removed from your old wheels and installed on the new wheel. If run-flat tires are being purchased with new wheels, new sensors are required.

If I purchase new sensors as part of my Tire & Wheel Package, what else needs to be done before use?

Many vehicles require new TPMS sensors be activated or initialized at an authorized repair facility or dealership. This process normally involves connecting the vehicle to a service computer (via the ODB port under your dashboard) and having a technician load the new sensor's ID codes into the car's computer. Most cars will need to have this activation service performed each time wheels and tires are changed out (like when changing from dedicated winter wheels and tires back to your summer/all-season set). As always, consult your owner's manual or contact your dealer for more information. 

Comments on Frequently Asked Questions About Tire Pressure Sensors

Tuesday, July 9, 2013 by Tam:
If I got a set of enkei raijins for my Scion FR-S, what kind of replacement valve stems would be compatible with the TPMS?
Wednesday, July 10, 2013 by doc:
Both the OE sensor and valve stem can be reused in the Enkei wheel if need be (you would need the service kit for the sensor to get new "O" rings needed for a proper seal).

We buy the sensor and the stem as one complete until, so we would not be able to sell just the stems themselves. We do have the service kits for approximately $ 3 each for reference.
Tuesday, August 27, 2013 by Kirk:
New at this. Delivery of a 2014d 328 (no xdrive). Liking the anzio wheels and Dunlop 4D tires. Living in Germany so wheels are changed from winter to all season every Oct and April. What do you recommend I order to minimize dealer installation costs? Sounds like the tpms in BMW is less issue than other car brands.
Thursday, August 29, 2013 by Doc:
While the car will not recognize the new TPMS sensors automatically, there is a reset procedure that you can follow to reset the sensors yourself (that way you do not have to visit the dealership). By ordering winter tires mounted on wheels with the sensors included, you can make the switch in your driveway yourself.
Monday, November 11, 2013 by Manuel:
Hi I installed new set of winter tires on my 09 chrysler300.But i used the 06 model rims and the factory tpms on.the lights are on. Do i really add on codes or automatically car computer program can pick up.please advise me
Thursday, November 14, 2013 by Doc:
Not all of the 2006 Chrysler 300 models used sensors (mostly the Touring and 300C models used sensors) so your 2006 wheels may not have a sensor in them, and if they do they are wrong for the newer 2009 TPMS receiver. Assuming the wheel will accept a sensor (check with the parts department at the dealer), you're still going to buy the correct sensor for the 2009 model year
Friday, November 15, 2013 by George:
How much is the tpms for a 2011 BMW 328i with x-drive?
Wednesday, December 4, 2013 by doc:
Blog posts last forever, pricing does not, so please call in for current pricing. At the moment, sensors are hovering around $ 50 each (plus the required stem)
Wednesday, January 1, 2014 by Ambarish:
I recently purchased Bridgestone Blizzak preferred package with rims and TPMS sensors for a 2011 Honda Odyssey from Instead of going to a dealer, is it possible for me to activate the new TPMS sensors using a tool such as ATEQ-VT15? Also, can this tool be used every time I switch between the winter and summer tires? Thanks.
Monday, January 20, 2014 by Doc:
VT15 works on General Motors applications (almost) exclusively. Unfortunately, we have not been able to find a tool we can resell that will work for Honda. Since the vehicle can only remember one set of sensor ID codes at a time, you will have to have the reset procedure done each time you change wheels. Sorry I did not have better news.
Tuesday, May 6, 2014 by Marshall:
Hi, I bought a complete package (rims, tires, tpms sensors) for my Nissan Leaf. I put these new winter tires on the Leaf, no problem. Now, I just switched back to the factory tires and the TPMS light goes on when I start the car. All tires are at recommended pressure. It should recognize the factory sensors. Any ideas?
Friday, May 9, 2014 by Doc:
Unfortunately the Leaf can only remember one set of sensor ID numbers, so you will need to have the dealership (or other garage that has the training tool) reprogram the car to recognize your (original) sensor set
Thursday, May 15, 2014 by Marshall:
Thanks for the reply. That was not a problem when I put on the new tires, rims (w/ new TPMS sensors ordered with the rims). I just put them on, the Nissan Leaf picked it up and no problems with the TPMS coming on. I do not understand what you said, (not arguing), but if what you said was true, putting on winter tires, new rims and tpms, the TPMS light should have come on, but it didn't. One would figure that the same would be true with the opposite, putting back on the factory rims....
Monday, May 19, 2014 by Kerry:
Hi, I am going to buy a complete package(new wheels with new tires and new TPMS mounted together). I wonder if the TPMS sold by Tire Rack is compatible with Honda Civic 2012? If so, the only thing I need to do after I receive the shipment is just to find a Honda dealer and let them reprogram the TPMS correct?

Thank you
Tuesday, May 20, 2014 by Doc:
All the sensors we sell are identical to the "Original Equipment" sensors to ensure compatibility. To be sure, Honda would be require that the car be reprogrammed by a dealer (or a repair shop with the same reset tool) each time you change wheels.
Friday, August 29, 2014 by Butch:
I want to have my tires rotated. Do I have to install a sensor on one tire that doesn't have one?
Saturday, August 30, 2014 by Doc:
If you are using a spare wheel and tire as a "full timer", then you will need a sensor in that wheel
Thursday, September 4, 2014 by Dan:
Do you supply the tpms ID#s when purchased from you in a wheel/tire set?
Friday, September 5, 2014 by Doc:

We can document the ID numbers upon request, but please call in the order to make sure the request is processed. Thanks !
Wednesday, September 17, 2014 by Hui:
If I buy the rim+tire package without TPMS sensors, will the tires come with stems installed? Thanks!
Monday, October 13, 2014 by Steven:
I have a set of new 2014 OEM Acura takeoffs which have OEM TPMS installed. I am re-installing on my non-TPMS Honda. Is there a compatible third-party display/controller that I can use with these sensors?
Wednesday, October 15, 2014 by jack bent:
What would happen if I just put regular rubber valve stems in my 06 Chevy ltz when I purchase new tires.
Friday, October 17, 2014 by Doc:
I'm not confident you could find an aftermarket receiver that would accept the Honda sensor ID code range. You may have to check on some of the forums for advice. Sorry !
Friday, October 17, 2014 by Doc:
Without the TPMS sensors present, you will see the TPMS warning light blink for about a minute and then stay on for as long as the engine is running.
Friday, November 7, 2014 by Donnalee Cooke:
I just installed snow tires on my 2008 Nissan Altima Coupe. The maintenance tire light and tire pressure light is on. Is this a problem? I was told by the garage that installed them I don't have any sensors. The light will be on all winter. Is this correct?
Friday, November 7, 2014 by Doc:
Correct, light will be on while the snow tires are installed. Once you reinstall the "summer" tires, you'll probably need to drive around for about 20 min. or so for the car to "reset"
Monday, November 17, 2014 by Brian:
I have a 2011 Hyundai Elantra Limited with the stock 17' rims and currently is in the market of getting snow tires. I have been told that it could be better for me to downsize my rims for the season. It'll be cheaper to get tires and supposedly give me a better ride. That being said, how will this affect my sensors? And is that even a good idea?
Thursday, November 20, 2014 by Kev:
I have a 2014 Scion FRS. If I buy Winter tires and have it installed on Stock OEM Wheel. Do I still need to have the TPMS recalibrated?
Friday, November 21, 2014 by Doc:
In some states, you are required to have sensors in your (new) wheels. They are currently selling for under $ 25 each. (see )

Without the sensors installed, most garages or dealers will refuse to install the wheel/tire package.
Friday, November 21, 2014 by Doc:
The sensors will not have to be initialized (again).
Monday, December 22, 2014 by Jose:
I have a 2006 BMW 325i and bought rims from a 2011 with tpms sensors. Can I remove the sensors and install regular pressure sensors since my car doesn't need them. I am looking to buy tires but want to figure this out first.
Also if I leave them on will I need to have them activated to the car?
Monday, December 22, 2014 by Mike Hudson:
I just purchased a 2012 Ford F150. The truck came with 20" tires. There was parked near by and almost identical truck. the tires on my truck were somewhat used. After the salesman talked to the "boss" a deal was made for an even swap. My truck has a factory installed TPMS. two days later I made the discovery that the tires I traded for were 18". My fault I did not notice the difference in sizes, I went back the to salesman to try to swap back, he had to talk to the boss about it. He came out after a closed door meeting, he came out walked right me and said nothing. minute later came back by I asked him yes or no. said he had a contract on the Ford with my wheels and TPSM in my rims. So far he refuses to swap back the 20" set that go mon my truck. I don't know if there are TPSM The 18" inch tires I traded for. How can I tell if there are sensors in the 18" wheel's That I seem to be stuck with
Friday, December 26, 2014 by Doc:
The 2006 model will not need sensors, as it uses the ABS system to monitor your tire pressure. You can have your tire shop install regular rubber valve stems if you want, or you can leave the sensors in the wheels. There is no receiver inside the 2006 model for the sensors to transmit to, however.
Friday, December 26, 2014 by Doc:
All the 2012 F150 have TPMS sensors (as required by law). I would assume that the dealer reprogrammed your truck for the new sensor ID codes (as it was originally coded from the factory for the sensors in the 20" wheels). If it was not, than you should have the TPMS warning light on. Assuming you have the 275/65R18 size, they are just a little taller than the original 275/55R20 size, nut not enough to cause any problems with the truck
Tuesday, December 30, 2014 by Phil:
I just put new TireRack wheels/tires on a 2015 Ford Explorer. I ordered the Ford tpms "relearning" tool, but so far haven't needed to use it. I don't get any tpms warnings with the new wheels. Does anyone know if the newer Fords automatically relearn? If so, I wonder if I can return the tool to TireRack.
Saturday, January 3, 2015 by Doc:
If you are storing your original equipment wheels in the same garage as you part the truck, the vehicle may still be pickup up your old sensors.
Friday, January 16, 2015 by Lou:
2009 ford F350. Can a banded TPMS be added to my 18" spare so I can run it in 5 way rotation and not get the dash warning.
Saturday, January 17, 2015 by Doc:
The Ford can only remember four sensor ID codes at a time, so you'll have to have the sensors initialized each time after rotation
Thursday, February 19, 2015 by javier:
I changed got new rims and tires without TPMS on 2012 chrysler 300s and then my front brakes locked up. Need help or their or issues...
Friday, February 20, 2015 by Doc:
Sounds to me like the new wheels are hitting the calipers, or there is something else going on. Any brake issues could not be tied to the TPMS system to be sure
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 by cleaveron:
i have a chevy cruze 2011 and i replaced a bad sensor with a new one but it is not the same as the other 3. my light is still on. i re-learned the tires but still got problem. are the sensor model have to be the same as the other 3 in order to work?
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 by Jerry:
I drive a 2010 jetta with stock wheels, recently bought a set of Detroit wheels without sensors, can I run them without the sensors and if I do what will happen, and if I do buy the sensors, what kind or type do I need and how much will they be? Thanks
Friday, February 27, 2015 by Doc:
Any replacement sensor needs to be the identical brand and model as OE to be compatible......Either the dealer or Tire Rack could provide the correct sensor
Friday, February 27, 2015 by Doc:
The 2010 Jetta was the last model to use direct tire pressure sensors (transmitters). If the sensors are not present, you will have the TPMS warning blink for a couple minutes and then stay on steady while the engine runs. I'd have to have you check with the wheel manufacturer to see if their wheel is TPMS compatible or not. Currently the sensors are averaging around $ 50 each (prices subject to change)
Saturday, March 7, 2015 by Amanda Seamster:
I have 2014 Nissan altima and put some 20s on my car now tire pressure light on. Wat I need to do
Monday, March 9, 2015 by Don:
One of the TPMS readings on my 06 corvette shows 0 psi although the tire actually has 30 PSI per tire guage. How can I tell if the problem is in the sensor/transmitter or receiver/computer?
Saturday, March 14, 2015 by Doc:
Sounds like the installer may have damaged a sensor when your new wheels were installed. Best to give them a call and make sure they have the time to double check their work.
Saturday, March 14, 2015 by Doc:
If the other three sensors are pretty close (within one or two PSi) of the actual PSi reading you can gauge, must be a bad sensor. Most sensors have six year expected life, so the one bad sensor may be a sign the rest are not too far behind.
Monday, March 16, 2015 by Edwin:
I have a 2011Chevy Silverado with 22" Centerline wheels and oe tpms sensors. The dashboard pressure readings seem to not respond to pressure changes when the tire pressure is adjusted. No warning lights or any other malfunction indication. The sensors are around 3 or 4 years old. Is it possible the sensors need to be replaced?
Saturday, March 21, 2015 by Doc:
The sensors will transmit after they have been spinning for a while (more than a few feet)so if you are not seeing any changes in PSi as you drive you may want to have a dealer check them out
Tuesday, March 24, 2015 by Bob:
Hi, I have a 2005 AcuraTL that is pre-TPMS. Am considering purchasing a set of wheels from a 2008 TL, that have the TPMS sensors. Should I have the sensors removed or just mount my tires(Michelin Pilot) on the "new" rims with sensors intact?

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