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Discussion Starter #1
$300 at the dealer for 2 sensors (front).......YIKES!:surprise....feel taken, but oh well.

Scenario:
Checked all 5 tires pressures before 500 mile road trip in October....set all 5 @ 35psi. (tires replaced a year ago so no new/recent tire replacements). I check tires on a regular basis and have seen the TPMS blinking light come on twice in 4 years of ownership (spare tire 4-5 lbs low both times). Any how, 20-25 miles out from starting our road trip the TPMS light blinks for a few seconds then stays on solid. Pull over, tires look fine, check all 5 again with gauge and all 5 are fine. Checked all 5 tires several times during our trip and all were within 1-2 lbs psi and the TPMS light stayed on the entire trip.

'09 owners manual says if you have a solid TPMS light, take it to the dealer. After looking at a solid light for 6 weeks and checking tire pressures numerous times, I decided to do just that. Dealer calls today and says 2 sensors are bad.....that will be $300, thank you. Sure seems odd that 2 sensors would go out and both be on the front tires.:shrug:

Anyone else have this TPMS experience and get charged that much by their dealer? Ouch!

Thanks.
 

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The sensors can be had online starting @ $35 each and that's retail. The wheel & tire must be broken down for the new sensor and there may be some programming involved. Still sounds mighty steep to me.
 

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$300 at the dealer for 2 sensors (front).......YIKES!:surprise....feel taken, but oh well. Scenario:
Checked all 5 tires pressures before 500 mile road trip in October....set all 5 @ 35psi. (tires replaced a year ago so no new/recent tire replacements). I check tires on a regular basis and have seen the TPMS blinking light come on twice in 4 years of ownership (spare tire 4-5 lbs low both times). Any how, 20-25 miles out from starting our road trip the TPMS light blinks for a few seconds then stays on solid. Pull over, tires look fine, check all 5 again with gauge and all 5 are fine. Checked all 5 tires several times during our trip and all were within 1-2 lbs psi and the TPMS light stayed on the entire trip.
'09 owners manual says if you have a solid TPMS light, take it to the dealer. After looking at a solid light for 6 weeks and checking tire pressures numerous times, I decided to do just that. Dealer calls today and says 2 sensors are bad.....that will be $300, thank you. Sure seems odd that 2 sensors would go out and both be on the front tires.:shrug:
Anyone else have this TPMS experience and get charged that much by their dealer? Ouch!
Thanks.
Lucky I haven't had to deal with TPMS yet on my 2010, but I would never go to a dealer for something like that. And I have what I consider a pretty good dealer. I wouldn't go to a chain tire place either, unless you've used them before. I go to an indy tire shop next town over and have always had good experiences with him.
For what it's worth, make sure you have rubber or plastic valve caps on your tires. I read on here somewhere that metal caps can cause corrosion problems with TPMS sensors.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
So tire shops have TPMS programming equipment???? My local Goodyear store accidentally broke a sensor installing a new set of tires on my Tundra a few years back. They told me to take it to the local Toyota dealer to have the sensor replaced/programmed at no charge. The Goodyear store had an open account at the Toyota dealer.

I guess us less savvy folks are forced to use the dealer once in a while.......there was a bunch of us (32 cars) in line when I got there yesterday morning at 7:15......and I had an appointment.:smile
 

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...So tire shops have TPMS programming equipment?...
Discount Tires (aka America's Tire) said they replace single TPMS sensors all the time, using an OBD2 port program tool and do a lot of Toyotas. I've used this shop several times and have trust in them and their service.

I'm getting some dedicated winter snows on my stock RAV steelies. DT quoted me $240 for a set of four sensors, installed and programmed (and some kind of discount since I'm getting tires there). This includes the spare, which would not be replaced, just re-programmed. So the $300 you mentioned for two sensors is a pretty high price--but might be typical of the premium a lot of dealers charge for their services.
 

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Yeah I would not go to a dealer for that most any tire shop can handle sensors these days and have replacements on hand.

Heck I wouldn't even bother with the repair at all until it was time to put new tires on that way you save on labor.
 

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This quote is from the Costco web site. So far I haven't had to deal with tire replacement or TPMS situations but my wife's car will need its tires replaced soon. Don't know whether this from Costco covers all of the bases, apart from total TPMS sensor replacement:

"Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), notifies you via a warning light on the dash when one or more of your tires has low air pressure. If your vehicle is equipped with this system, an additional fee of $2.99 per wheel will be charged at the time your tires are installed. This fee is for a TPMS service pack that is required to maintain the integrity of the Tire Pressure Sensor located inside each of your wheels. If the warning light is flashing, a new Tire Pressure Sensor may be necessary, at an additional charge, to ensure functionality of the system."
 

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Yeah I would not go to a dealer for that most any tire shop can handle sensors these days and have replacements on hand.

Heck I wouldn't even bother with the repair at all until it was time to put new tires on that way you save on labor.
I'm with you on this one. As someone who has always checked tire pressure/condition, I would have no need for TPMS. Fix it with a piece of tape!
 

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I'm with you on this one. As someone who has always checked tire pressure/condition, I would have no need for TPMS. Fix it with a piece of tape!
Good idea! If I have my tires replaced at Costco and sensor maintenance costs more than $15 total (as in my prior post) I will do the same since I check our tire pressures regularly myself. Owners have posted methods for defeating the TPMS system but they would have to be undone when trading in the vehicle. Tape - easy peel off when/if needed!
 

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I will add an aside. A great way to lose a TPM sensor is to use a steel valve cap which can weld itself to the valve stem. I had to turn mine off with pliers and it pulled the valve core right out. :( Even if you get those steel caps free, toss them.
 

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I will add an aside. A great way to lose a TPM sensor is to use a steel valve cap which can weld itself to the valve stem. I had to turn mine off with pliers and it pulled the valve core right out. :( Even if you get those steel caps free, toss them.
I warn people about this all the time. The TPMS valve stem is aluminum, so if you put a brass or steel cap on them electrolysis will "weld" the cap on. Trying to remove a cap in that condition will break the aluminum, destroying the TPMS sensor. Stick to plastic caps.

A few years ago, Sears sold me a Craftsman garden hose with brass fittings, along with a Craftsman spray nozzle made of aluminum. Guess what happened after a year or so? Luckily, Sears took the whole mess back and replaced it.
 

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I will once again mention that I work at a tire dealer and we often run into TPMS issues that previous posters here have alluded to. We copy generic sensors to fit your model at $60 a pop.
Some people opt for the dealer and they mark up their own brand name ones considerably more. We are always cautious not to screw a valve core into a sensor stem that's not the same type of metal, otherwise your sensor may break the next time a tire technician goes to deflate your tires for changeover. Similarly, rubber caps should only be used. In a bind you can always replace with simple rubber valves and bypass the TPMS altogether, but in essence that would be disabling a safety feature.
 

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Toyota TPMS sensors are very reliable, I see many problems from cheaper aftermarket sensors. Toyota sensors are about $125 a piece plus install. You get what you pay for.


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Actually, if you buy a generic sensor and clone it, it will probably last just as long (they all have tiny batteries that run out after a few years). Additionally, generic EZ-SENSORS that are universally programmable come with a replaceable rubber valve stem that's more flexible and durable...less prone to corrosive failure than it's metal counterpart.
 

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I get what you're saying, but from my end at the dealership, we usually see someone come in with a winter tire package without Toyota tpms sensors and the customer wants to blame the malfunction on the car rather than the aftermarket sensors. Maybe yours are different, but the ones I see are clearly not a good pairing to a Toyota tpms system.


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Discussion Starter #16
Toyota TPMS sensors are very reliable, I see many problems from cheaper aftermarket sensors. Toyota sensors are about $125 a piece plus install. You get what you pay for.
Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I get what you're saying, but from my end at the dealership, we usually see someone come in with a winter tire package without Toyota tpms sensors and the customer wants to blame the malfunction on the car rather than the aftermarket sensors. Maybe yours are different, but the ones I see are clearly not a good pairing to a Toyota tpms system.
Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Thanks for the info.....sounds like I got a reasonable deal at the dealership after all.....genuine 'yota parts and a working system without black tape. Now I can save the black tape for something it was really meant for.:)
 

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...Toyota TPMS sensors are very reliable, I see many problems from cheaper aftermarket sensors. Toyota sensors are about $125 a piece plus install. You get what you pay for....
...from my end at the dealership, we usually see someone come in with a winter tire package without Toyota tpms sensors and the customer wants to blame the malfunction on the car rather than the aftermarket sensors. Maybe yours are different, but the ones I see are clearly not a good pairing to a Toyota tpms system.

I usually go with Toyota OEM products, but avoid anything installed by the dealer because of the high mark-up such as you state. So decided to go with a third party this time thru Discount Tire on my winter tire package. At $240 for a set of four, it is less than half the $600+ the dealer would charge.

Everything from DT paired up fine. And I get free swap out of winter and summer wheel sets every seasonal change for the life of my tires. This also serves as a tire rotation.

It's a good discussion to have, as a lot of gen 4.3 RAV owners will be facing this kind of decision as their TPMS sensors age. Personally, for a system that provides a modicum of (but maybe not completely necessary) safety function, I'd rather pay the $60 per unit installed rather than the $150 each the OP paid. I had considered not putting sensors on the winter wheels but that creates a headache at swap time and tire warranty issues, so I bit the bullet. And it kind of bugged me I'd be opting out of a feature that was there to use.

Since the TPMS paired up nicely, really, the only thing left is how long the battery will last. I trust my shop at DT to cover any short-term issues, but so far so good.
 

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Some shops can clone sensors. If they can get the information off the bad sensor they can write it to the new sensor and it won't need to be programmed. This still requires a tool to do it. I prefer to buy OEM DENSO and program them with our scanner.

One trick I have read is to take a foot long piece of 2" PVC pipe, cut holes in it and pop all 4 sensors in the pipe from the inside so the valve stems are poking out of the pipe and the electronics are inside the pipe and seal it shut on one end. For the other end, drill a hole in a cap and and screw in a schrader valve and glue it all together. Then pressurize it and throw it in your glovebox. This is meant more for aftermarket wheels that will not accept a TPMS sensor but it's an ingenious idea.

I have noticed when programming Toyota TPMS sensors that if the spare does not have a sensor, the code is 0000000 I've been tempted to change it to that the next time I have a bad sensor on a Toyota. Naturally I would put in a new sensor and this would be just for grins.
 
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