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Got any TPMS tricks?

beatle

Active Member
Aug 31, 2019
1,251
686
Springfield, VA
After deducing that all 433mhz sensors are the same (maybe?) I picked up a set on ebay for a new set of wheels:

Set of 4 433MHz TPMS Tire Pressure Sensor For Tesla Model 3 S X 1034602-00-B USA | eBay

I had the sensors and tires installed at Costco, though they did not have pads to jack the car up, so I mounted the wheel/tire combo myself. I reset the TPMS sensors in the setting and went for a drive. Nothing. Went for another drive and got a message that the car recognized a new set of wheels, so I switched wheels to a different set in the wheel configurator. I drove for a while longer and finally got a sensor to respond, though now I have a TPMS error in the IC. I reset the sensors again and later reset the wheels again. About 15 miles later I now see a second sensor, but the error still persists and the other two sensors do not read.

I'm thinking these sensors might be bunk, though I found it strange that another sensor was picked up after driving another 40 miles. Are there any other tricks to try?
 

TMeister

Gearhead
Oct 6, 2016
273
378
Boise, ID
Looking at the listing it would appear that these are generic TPMS that are unprogrammed. That means you have to find a tire shop that has a programmer and would be willing to program them. Or they were programmed by the vendor (it's not clear from the listing) and it didn't "take" so needs to be done again. Sometimes this can be done from outside the wheel.

Selecting a wheel config is different from TPMS. When I do my winter switchover I just drive away and within the first mile, the new TPMS units are discovered. Then the car alerts that it has seen a new wheel size and I reset to the new diameter which causes a reboot of the MCU. Then the car re-finds the TPMS again after a mile of driving.

There are vendors around that add the programming service before delivery to you and give you a printout of the programming. Those can be simply installed and they will work. I was successful with a purchase of these:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07N763Y3T/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
 

beatle

Active Member
Aug 31, 2019
1,251
686
Springfield, VA
Ah, that's interesting on the programming, as I thought these were self-programming. I had heard of sensors needing to be "woken up" by a tool (magnet?) during the install.

I mentioned to the tech that these might need to be woken up, but didn't know about programming. We'll see if they take care of me if I take the car back to them.

I sent an email to the seller on ebay mentioning that 2 of the 4 are not functioning, but all I got back so far was a form response asking for info on my year/make/model (which I provided in my initial email).

In my case with the wheel selection, I am on 20" wheels now. I've just picked the 19" sizes so far as the new tires match the same diameter of the old tires.
 

beatle

Active Member
Aug 31, 2019
1,251
686
Springfield, VA
Drove the car last night, not for a great distance, only 6 miles each way. None of the sensors showed up in the IC this time. I found this strange, as I previously would see at least the previously detected one appear. The seller's cryptic email is not helping.

The two TPMS that couldn't be read maybe run out of the battery.
Before we send you a replacement, could you pls describe the error persisted of the two TPMS that could be read?
Since you said that the other two also have some problem even if they could be read.
HAve you tried to use the tire pressure monitor to activate the tire pressure ID and then match the vehicle ECU?
I then asked if these were pre-programmed for a Model S / X. In my "Are all 433MHz sensors the same?" thread, I didn't hear any mention about sensors being programmed.
 

TMeister

Gearhead
Oct 6, 2016
273
378
Boise, ID
Scroll down the listing on ebay and see the "program requirement". If you didn't have that done, you need to find a shop with a programmer.
 

random155

Member
Mar 18, 2019
876
453
NJ
So i just had an issue with my TPMS. Apparently not all 433hz sensors are the same. There are 433hz sensors that dont send out PSI to your continental computer. Also, they need to be pre-programed for the model s. Im not sure who can do it, but I bought a set from amazon that were advertised as being pre-programed and they worked fine. Advice - dont take it to Tesla because if they try to force the sensors they may change a setting (internally) that wont automatically accept sensors later on. I also had this issue. Took me a month to get everything squared away. My advice - take to a tire shop and see if they can program them for Tesla Model S. If not, get a new set of sensors specifically programed and have them installed. Within a few miles they will kick on and work fine. Also, dont mess around with changing the tire settings in the MCU until the car tells you to do it. It causes confusion if you do it before the car recognizes the change. Here is my thread:

TPMS Fault Help
 

beatle

Active Member
Aug 31, 2019
1,251
686
Springfield, VA
That's good to know. Wish I'd known about the programming before ordering. Kind of dumb that they would be advertised as being specific to the S/X but then were not programmed. On my truck there was no programming necessary, and I know those were generic sensors.

I'll take the car back to Costco and nicely ask if they'll program them. Hopefully that process can be done without removing the wheels, as my Costco apparently doesn't have pads to lift the car.
 

random155

Member
Mar 18, 2019
876
453
NJ
That's good to know. Wish I'd known about the programming before ordering. Kind of dumb that they would be advertised as being specific to the S/X but then were not programmed. On my truck there was no programming necessary, and I know those were generic sensors.

I'll take the car back to Costco and nicely ask if they'll program them. Hopefully that process can be done without removing the wheels, as my Costco apparently doesn't have pads to lift the car.

I understand your frustration. However, I did review the ebay listing you bought from and it does say that you have to program these particular TPMS sensors. This is directly from the ebay listing:

Program requirement:

To install and make these tire pressure sensor work, devices for example TPMS Sensor Tester, ATEQ or other reader or scanner is needed to read out the unique ID# of all TPMS and then upload those ID# to the computer to connect and program TPMS before installation. Please refer to your manual or ask your mechanic or auto store for help.
 

crmartin9

Member
Jul 11, 2017
65
80
New Jersey
I had an experience similar to yours. When I was building up my winter wheels, I bought what was supposedly the same OEM brand as the sensors that the Tesla MS came with from the factory (Continental, I believe) from a seller on eBay and they were DOA. Really annoying since I had paid to get them built into wheels before I found out that they were dead and then I had to file a dispute with the seller to get him to accept the return.

In the end I ended up buying a new set of ITM branded sensors from ebay seller megautoparts. No problems in the three winters and counting that I've been switching wheels back and forth (other than the fact it can take the wheels up to 10 miles of driving to wake up and make the sensor not detected message go away).

I hope that with a little troubleshooting that you are able to get them up and running. My gut tells me that you either got some bad sensors from unreputable seller or you're going to be spending a lot of time running around trying to find someone with the proper tools to reprogram. At the end of the day, it may be easier to bite the bullet and buy new TPMS units from a different vendor and get the wheels remounted.
 

beatle

Active Member
Aug 31, 2019
1,251
686
Springfield, VA
The sensors are sort of working. I drove just over 200 miles today including a trip to Costco. Most of the time I had zero or a couple sensors working, but I did finally see all 4 sensors come up, and the TPMS error cleared. Unfortunately it came back a little while later. However, it did not come back on after coming home from Costco (5 miles). I checked the pressures of the tires and found the driver's front and driver's rear pressures were flipped. Passenger tires were right on. Maybe they've fixed themselves, sort of?

Costco does not program sensors, unfortunately, but hopefully they can fix a leak I discovered in my driver's front tire. I thought they had just neglected to fill it completely, but I found it flat today and low after a drive. Fortunately I brought my hand held compressor.
 

beatle

Active Member
Aug 31, 2019
1,251
686
Springfield, VA
I've been driving the car and keeping an eye on the TPMS. It seems to be getting better. The distance I have to drive in order for the system to recognize the sensors is getting shorter. It is down from 4-5 miles to about a mile and a half, and all of the sensors have been detected in my last few drives.

I took it to my local shop and talked to one of the techs about it for a while. He said that if the car was reading the pressures at all, it was unlikely to be a programming issue as the protocols would not be established. This makes sense to me - somewhat like pairing bluetooth devices. He also said that sensors from different manufacturers (Dorman, VDO, ITM) would be programmed differently.

I am inclined to keep driving on them for now and seeing if the system continues to improve to the point that I can stop paying attention to it.
 

beatle

Active Member
Aug 31, 2019
1,251
686
Springfield, VA
Well, that's kind of the thing. The error went away but then came back, but is now coming back with less frequency (it's gone?)

I am also glad about this unexpected trend, but it doesn't feel like something I can take to the bank. I would certainly recommend anyone else buying TPMS sensors to go with a known quantity. That doesn't mean going to the SC, but at least make sure the seller guarantees they will work without doing anything but fastening them to the wheel and resetting the sensors in the menu.
 

beatle

Active Member
Aug 31, 2019
1,251
686
Springfield, VA
Though the errors had basically disappeared, they reared their ugly head again on a road trip for Thanksgiving. I took the car to a shop to have them programmed, and though they tried a few options, they could not be programmed.

I just ordered the set that random155 recommended and I'll have the shop swap them in. Live and learn, I suppose.
 

random155

Member
Mar 18, 2019
876
453
NJ
Good luck. Don’t mess with the MCU settings. Just put them in and drive. Between 5-30 minutes you should have a reading. If you don’t a reading by then there could be another issue.
 
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beatle

Active Member
Aug 31, 2019
1,251
686
Springfield, VA
Success! I had them swapped out today and they are working as they should. The drive home had the usual TPMS error as well as one about pressure being so low that I may have a flat tire, but that cleared when I took the car out again.

Mr. Tire in Burke did the swap for a reasonable $88 - much cheaper than the $200+ quoted at another shop.
 

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