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Guidance on fixing low tire pressure indicator

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I have a 2008 Rav 4. Here is the sequence of events that took place:

Day 1: The low tire pressure indicator (LTPI) came on while driving. The LTPI did not blink and came on solid. The outside temperature had dropped about 20 degrees in the past 24 hours. Thinking the weather may have something to do with this, I took it to a garage. All tire pressures except the spare were OK. The spare was low at 20 psi. The mechanic added air and raised the pressure on all tires to 35 psi. The LTPI soon turned itself off. I drove about 2 miles after the LPTI turned off and parked the car.

Day 2: I drive the car about 20 miles. The LTPI started to blink and then turned solid. I took it to another garage. They used a meter for diagnosis and said the battery on three of the five tire pressure sensors was low. They recommend replacing all five sensors for a total cost of $630 (including installation).

I have several questions ranging from "Am I being duped?" and "Should I not bother fixing this?" to "What is the most cost-effective way to fix this?" and "Can the batteries be replaced alone?"

When I asked the garage on day 2 if they could replace the batteries alone, they said no. They said the only way they would get involved was to replace the sensor. The reason they offered is that it takes about the same amount of time to replace the battery as the sensor.

I am seeking guidance on what I should do.
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When low pressure light start blinking and after a minute goes solid, replace sensor. In theory it is possible to replace the batteries, You need to pull the sensors, break out thin plastic covers. Standard coin battery inside is spot-welded to electrode. Re-weld new battery in place and glue back plastic cover. I lately purchased 5 OEM sensors $35 per piece from amazon and $25 per tire to replace.
 

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I have a 2008 Rav 4. Here is the sequence of events that took place:

Day 1: The low tire pressure indicator (LTPI) came on while driving. The LTPI did not blink and came on solid. The outside temperature had dropped about 20 degrees in the past 24 hours. Thinking the weather may have something to do with this, I took it to a garage. All tire pressures except the spare were OK. The spare was low at 20 psi. The mechanic added air and raised the pressure on all tires to 35 psi. The LTPI soon turned itself off. I drove about 2 miles after the LPTI turned off and parked the car.

Day 2: I drive the car about 20 miles. The LTPI started to blink and then turned solid. I took it to another garage. They used a meter for diagnosis and said the battery on three of the five tire pressure sensors was low. They recommend replacing all five sensors for a total cost of $630 (including installation).

I have several questions ranging from "Am I being duped?" and "Should I not bother fixing this?" to "What is the most cost-effective way to fix this?" and "Can the batteries be replaced alone?"

When I asked the garage on day 2 if they could replace the batteries alone, they said no. They said the only way they would get involved was to replace the sensor. The reason they offered is that it takes about the same amount of time to replace the battery as the sensor.

I am seeking guidance on what I should do.
What you can do is buy your TPMS at Rockauto and get a tire shop with lowest price to install and program them. Rockauto sell the DENSO 5500103 for $35 each. ($35 x 5 = $175). The Denso is the same manufacturer that Toyota TPMS uses.

As for the batteries these are not replaceable. There is no cost saving trying to hack the battery out and trying to find some hard to find battery.
 

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How soon before you need new tires?
If tires are in your near future, sounds like a good time to fast forward the purchase and have the new sensors installed at the same time, for hopefully cost of parts and a little labor for R&R of the sensors. Unless your local shop waives the little bit of labor due to the cost you paid for tires.

I do not know what programming is required for the 2008 sensors, you should learn that just in case the shop wants to add a charge for programming.

Previous years in my experience they would normally wave the magic wand at each tire which in my opinion should not be a charge. Newer years, they are self learning once the vehicle is driven. I need to be corrected though if that is not true for new sensor installation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all the replies and suggestions. The tires are relatively new. I do not believe the tire pressure sensors have been replaced on this vehicle. What would be the consequence of not fixing the tire pressure sensors?
 

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Thanks for all the replies and suggestions. The tires are relatively new. I do not believe the tire pressure sensors have been replaced on this vehicle. What would be the consequence of not fixing the tire pressure sensors?
Other than the light staying on, nothing.
Aside from you not having a warning if you do have a low tire of course. If you pay attention to your tires like people did in the old days of pre-2000 or so then no big deal.
 

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A lot of info on this thread, in particular the route I took for a $200 fix at Town Fair tire:
 
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Thanks for all the replies and suggestions. The tires are relatively new. I do not believe the tire pressure sensors have been replaced on this vehicle. What would be the consequence of not fixing the tire pressure sensors?
Like others have said on here....nothing, other than the TPMS light. I had a bad one on my RAV a few years ago and I just put a piece of black tape over the light for a year or so, when I then needed new tires and had all 5 sensors replaced. Don't need the tape anymore!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
A lot of info on this thread, in particular the route I took for a $200 fix at Town Fair tire:
Thanks for the suggestion!
 
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