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How Long do TPMS Last?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by d.c.palmer, Feb 12, 2019.

?

When did your first tyre pressure sensor fail?

  1. < 1 year

    1 vote(s)
    7.1%
  2. 1 year

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. 2 years

    1 vote(s)
    7.1%
  4. 3 years

    2 vote(s)
    14.3%
  5. 4 years

    4 vote(s)
    28.6%
  6. 5 years

    1 vote(s)
    7.1%
  7. > 5 years

    5 vote(s)
    35.7%
  1. d.c.palmer

    d.c.palmer 8 years of EV driving

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    Location:
    Oxford, England
    My wife's 2014 Model S is now giving "TMPS Needs Service" warnings. Tesla say that we need to replace one of the four sensors and have quoted us the grand total of £182.20 (that's about US $240) to have it replaced - which seems a bit steep, especially since it failed just out of warranty.

    We're also disappointed that the sensor should have failed so early: this is one of our Winter wheels, which only gets used for 3 months of the year - so basically, after the equivalent of 1 year of driving, the sensor has failed (or rather, I suspect its glued-in battery has died).

    I asked Tesla how long they expected these sensors to last and they refused to comment. So I'd be curious to know how long Tesla customers are finding their sensors last. I can see this becoming a major issue, now that all new cars have to have TPMS installed...
     
  2. dark cloud

    dark cloud Member

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    They are reported to last an average of 7 years from research I have gathered. I have always hated TPMS, I think it is a money grab; like an extra "tax" on tires. I really appreciate a manufacturer that uses the indirect system like Honda. It is not as accurate, but it is one less item to pay for and service.

     
  3. d.c.palmer

    d.c.palmer 8 years of EV driving

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    Thanks - that's what I thought - hence our disappointment at this early failure.

    I'd be curious to hear of any other TPMS failure - please take part in the poll.

    (Aside: does anyone know if it is possible to rename a thread, once created?)
     
  4. David.85D

    David.85D Member

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    Location:
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    The manufacturers usually warranty the TPMS sensors for 5 years since they have a sealed-in battery.

    I preemptively replaced the TPMS in our minivan when it needed new tires at the 7 year point. It saves quite a bit of labor to get them replaced during a tire change.

    They serve a real purpose - the systems that compare wheel rotations can’t detect when all the tires are equally deflated (often due to cold weather) or equally overinflated.

    With good tires costing $200-$300, getting some more tire life is worth it economically, without trying to put a price on the value of the safety.
     
    • Like x 1
  5. Tam

    Tam Active Member

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    I too suspect it's a battery problem but it's designed to be discarded as whole unit, and not replaceable.

    Some are Lithium but others are Nickel but they claim lasting 5 to 12 years and as long as 100,000 miles.

    But just like any battery, it's up to your luck or bad luck as some would not last that long!
     
  6. Don85D

    Don85D Member

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    Location:
    Markham, Ontario
    TPMS makes sense with run flat tires where you will not know that a tire has lost air. Most other situations like finding a nail in a flat tire one morning or having the car steer hard left after hitting a pot hole and pinching the side wall.

    I would prefer not to have TPMS and its warnings. Perhaps a high roll over risk vehicle like a pick up truck needs TPMS which is how I think the safety mandate originated. The old BMW method of counting rotation using the ABS ring is much better and sufficient, in my opinion.
     
  7. maximizese

    maximizese Member

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    Location:
    California
    I can't speak for the TPMS in the Tesla, but we had one sensor battery deplete after 10 years on our Rx400h (the other 4 sensors are still going strong). The tire shop was surprised to see how old they were because most batteries go bad after 3-7 years. I believe the Lexus dealership wanted $1,180 to replace all 5. America's Tire charged $84 for just the one.
     
  8. Oldschool496

    Oldschool496 Member

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    Florida
    #8 Oldschool496, Feb 12, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
    Here is my story,

    Traveling back home from a 3000 mile journey to visit colleges, all along our first long trip checking between maps on dash and tire inflation on occasion.
    350 miles from home, I feel a slight shutter in the rear of what has been a really smooth trip for 2700 miles give or take. I call up the TPMS on the dash and sure enough moving along at 77-80 mph one tire is 5 lbs light. One right rear tire.

    I'm not far from the supercharger so we make it to there. I have various means of fixing this onboard myself Plugs etc. I decide removing the screw with a very needle tip and sure enough a very small leak is present. So I decide to do the the easiest thing, add air to 48PSI from customary 45. WE made it all the way home and it did not budge from 50 after heating up a bit. I was lucky again.

    My point is I would have stopped at the supercharger, charged and left without any knowledge of this issue and had to replace a tire or worse on the highway, not only that I was able to monitor that one tire all the way home. We could have had a blow out at 77 MPH.

    These TPMS on my Model S are invaluable to me and my families safety.
    I'm not sure what your going to do, but in my opinion, I'd replace them and move along with life. Your a Tesla veteran, you know how this works better then anyone.

    Good luck, safe travels.

    Flipside delivered my daughters Volkswagen to her dorm last weekend and her TPMS was telling my wife who was driving that something was wrong with one or all the tires or the system. I could not tell what was wrong so I had my wife pull alongside me to have a look at speed and then I passed her to look at the other side. Long story short, the system (Indirect System)I guess needed recalibrating which we did, as I was never able to tell what or which tire was causing the issue after checking the pressures manually later, safely parked.
    Another great car with lots of German Tech, but not as good as my Tesla. Also about three times less expensive.
     
    • Like x 3
  9. BridgeMojo

    BridgeMojo Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2018
    Messages:
    58
    Location:
    Monrovia, CA
    My only complaint about TPMS is that when a tire is low I have to go into a gas station for air. :)

    (Thought about getting a compressor at home so I could avoid that too.)
     
  10. Tam

    Tam Active Member

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    Location:
    Visalia, CA
    Charging stations, including Tesla, are getting off easy currently as they are not faithfully following California law that a "fuel/service" station must provide air for tires, water, and if 660 feet of major highways, restrooms for customers.
     
    • Like x 1
  11. d.c.palmer

    d.c.palmer 8 years of EV driving

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2017
    Messages:
    91
    Location:
    Oxford, England
    Absolutely - and thanks for your story. It sounds as if your car has the more-modern TPMS which tells you which wheel is at fault; my wife has the older system which just issues a vague warning, so it's then up to Tesla to tell us which wheel needs looking at (aside: if they know, why can't a software update be released which would tell the driver?).

    Anyway, I have no problem with the concept of TPMS; it's the execution which worries me: all those sensors failing in the next few years - and what happens with second- or third-hand cars? - will their owners be prepared to pay $100-$200 to replace a sensor?

    Ideally we'd have sensors that didn't require batteries (some kind of inductive charging?) - but if we have to have "sealed for life" batteries, it would be nice if they lasted longer - and probably for the life of the wheel (10+ years?). I can't really think it would cost that much more to increase the battery capacity…

    Back to my wife's car: I've arranged for a local tyre dealer to replace the sensor this afternoon; they're charging about half what Tesla quoted - although I still think it's too high (I probably made the mistake of telling the dealer it was a Tesla; his price of £99.99 sounds a little too contrived; still if you take out tax at 20%, the cost is £80 or about US $105).
     
  12. dark cloud

    dark cloud Member

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    Location:
    BC
    Until the Tesla I never put TPMS on our winter sets of wheels. I just lived with the dummy light in the dash glowing for 5-6 months of the year in the 3 Honda's and the Infiniti. I can feel if the tire is low; don't need no stinking TPMS. Put the OEM wheels back on in the spring and the light disappears.

    As much as it still irks me I now have them in both sets of wheels, but being a bit of a data geek I do like observing how the pressures change due to temperatures and driving speed.

    If it were me, considering you only use them for 3 months a year, I wouldn't bother. I would wait until the tire needs to be replaced and do it then; then again maybe not and save the hundred pounds. Some people can't handle driving around with dummy lights, or warnings, flashing in their dash though.
     
    • Like x 1
  13. Don85D

    Don85D Member

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    Mar 25, 2016
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Markham, Ontario
    Using the ABS ring to count revolutions requires no batteries and any wheel will work. I like the concept but it was replaced by in the wheel sensors for some reason. I think that the safety of TPMS is also over rated as low tire pressure generates a lead or rumble while a blow out is a blow out and a very rare occurrence with tubeless tires. TPMS was mandated to solve a roll over problem with early SUVs that tripped when sliding off the road. For a proper balanced car TPMS with read out for each tire probably not necessary.
     
  14. TKTNURI

    TKTNURI Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2018
    Messages:
    49
    Location:
    Sacramento
    I have brand new 21" Arachnids I just put on the car and it had the TPMS warning from the get go. I suspect the version 1 TPMS sensors don't work with the new v9 system in the car. These were a referral reward and were never used. I have been waiting three weeks to get them replaced. Its under warranty but still an issue when they came with the tires this way.
     
  15. A-Wimoweh

    A-Wimoweh Member

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    Location:
    Jungle
    Makes sense to me to have TPMS on a EV, since range is very important. The TPMS makes it very easy to see that all tires are inflated properly, and not hurting your range/efficiency.
     
    • Like x 1
  16. Oldschool496

    Oldschool496 Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Florida
    Not hurting range and efficiency and the tires also. Huge safety reasons I already mentioned.

    OP's point is he's bent why did his fail so quickly? Defective batteries, sending units, or could be other. I tend to think is not all four sending units either. ALL four are bad??

    I think its the TPMS system thats bad.
     
  17. Mike Robinson

    Mike Robinson Member

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    Feb 3, 2016
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    Location:
    Atlanta GA
    The small portable compressors work great for home or road. They operate off the 12V jack in the car. Tesla sells one in their store.
     
    • Like x 1
  18. agtdDelirium

    agtdDelirium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2017
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Colorado
    I really hate the hassle of TPMS, especially when swapping winter and summer tires. I swap out tires on 3 vehicles twice per year. I do it myself because it is more of a hassle and expense to take the vehicles to a tire shop. The Tesla is easy, as it relearns the new sensors with just a click on the screen. The other vehicles (ICE) are a pain because the computer needs to be programmed through the OBD port. I chose to take control and purchase my own TPMS tool such as below. The tools pay for themselves within a couple seasons for what you save taking the vehicles to a tire shop. You can also purchase new TPMS sensors yourself ($30-$40 a piece) and just pay a tire shop $30 to pull the tire from the wheel, screw in the new sensor, and mount and balance the tire again.

    https://www.amazon.com/Autel-Diagnostic-Condition-MX-sensors-MX-Sensor/dp/B0788GG1PZ?ref_=Oct_TopRatedC_2201766011_2&pf_rd_p=1497553e-e4c9-50cd-8c22-f62103cb91f8&pf_rd_s=merchandised-search-6&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_i=2201766011&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=R7BF3WY0FSRGBAKY3X5Q&pf_rd_r=R7BF3WY0FSRGBAKY3X5Q&pf_rd_p=1497553e-e4c9-50cd-8c22-f62103cb91f8
     
  19. dgpcolorado

    dgpcolorado high altitude member

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    I blew out a rear tire on an older car at 65 mph on I-84 in Oregon a few years ago because it didn't have TPMS and I didn't know it had been punctured. Lots of smoke and fun; the other cars saw it and let me get over to the shoulder safely.

    So, I'm a big fan of TPMS on my Tesla. I have the old system that doesn't identify specific tires but it works fine. Got a screw in a tire and saw the warning message. Checked the pressure in the tires and found the one that was leaking. I have always carried a tire pressure gauge in all my cars — seems like a basic piece of equipment for any car, to help with filling the tires to the desired pressure.

    When I bought extra wheels for snow tires I also bought a set of TPMS valves. Can't see why anyone wouldn't do that — they aren't that expensive. I've worn out and replaced tires several times but the original TPMS valves are still fine at almost five years old.
     
  20. whitex

    whitex Active Member

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    My wife's Toyota Sienna had one of those indirect systems. She got a double flat once, no warning whatsoever until she noticed the car drives a little off (it came with run-flat tires). By then the 2 tires were worn beyond repair. So, replacing 2 tires wiped out cost savings from replacing TPMS every 7 years for the next 70 years or so. Not to mention that if you drive on under-inflated tires, you use them up more too, so you replace the tires more often. If all 4 (or 2 actually) are under-inflated, you will not get any warnings from the indirect systems.
     

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