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Repeated TPMS failures on a 2.0 Roadster with 44k miles

Discussion in 'Roadster: Technical' started by pkoslyn, Apr 13, 2018.

  1. pkoslyn

    pkoslyn Member

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    Bought my Roadster in Dec. 2012 with 19k miles on it. I drive it nearly every day but have only put 25k miles on it in 5+ years.

    Since I've owned it I've replaced 3 of the 4 tire pressure monitor sensors, and have even had to replace 1 of them a second time, only 1 mos. after it had just been replaced.

    And now again, all the warning lights are on --the "Fault" yellow light and the tire pressure icon on the dash, + the "tire pressure monitor service required" on the display, .

    Aren't TPMS supposed to last 5-10 years? Aren't the batteries inside them supposed to last years?
     
  2. ShawnA

    ShawnA Supporting Member

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    Hi Pkoslyn,

    I thought I might have replied here earlier but apparently not...

    It is a very bad idea to replace 3 TPMS sensors. Why because there is a 4 th one...

    You said you have replaced one of the 3 a second time...

    You now have a problem... It is most likely the 4 th sensor that was not changed with the other 3...

    The TPMS tool that Tesla has will give a readout of the battery strength of the sensors in the car.

    It should be able to tell you that number 4 has finally died...

    A good tire shop with an ATEQ VT56 TPMS setting tool should also be able to identify the dead sensor number 4....

    If you replace them in pairs or 4 at a time you are good. If not you will have a straggler...

    Another dreadful possibility is the the TPMS ECU has died. Tesla can replace it for you...

    Good luck,

    Shawn
     
    • Informative x 1
  3. pkoslyn

    pkoslyn Member

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    It's way worse than that. My details above are wrong. 6/15, driver's side front. 12/15, driver's side front again, and passenger rear. 12/16, passenger front and passenger rear again. That's 5, 2 of them twice, which is crazy for a car as old/low mileage as mine. This time a couple weeks ago, I gor all 4 replaced. 9 TMPSes, driver's side front and passenger rear 3 times each.

    My local (and only) roadster specialist tried toi explain this by telling me that the sensors were "new" in the sense of unused, but they had been sitting on a shelf for awhile, and they didn't test as old until they were installed and failed. Which means the testing tool is fallible too, and the uninstalled ones test differently that ones installed in cars. I have no idea if that's credible or not. So I asked why these 4 new ones would be any different than the previous ones. His reply was that they were really new, not just unused yet old. I guess I'll see if that's true. So now I have a 5 1/2 year old car with 44K miles on it that's had 9 TMPSes. Insane.
     
  4. ShawnA

    ShawnA Supporting Member

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    Hi Pkoslyn,

    Sorry for your trouble. It did not sound so bad earlier...
    The next question I would ask is what brand of sensor is being installed?
    My latest sensors have been the Dill 2112. It is a direct replacement for the Baolong originals.
    They are made by a good company and they have worked for me...

    Someone here referred to getting "New" sensors that would more likely be called New-old stock...
    Which means they were on a shelf forever with the batteries running down.

    I have to object to his statement that they read different in the car vs on the bench.
    We are talking about a battery voltage test which various tools are capable of measuring.
    The sensor is not "attached" to anything electrically in the car - Why would the voltage change?

    Does he have the original Tesla/Valor Smartool for properly setting the sensors?
    I have been working on finding or making a tool for nearly a year now without success...
    Many other tools can measure and identify the address, temperature, voltage, and pressure
    of the sensors but they cannot "program" the ECU in the car.

    If you continue to have the problems - remember it can be the antennas - one in the front of the car
    and one in the rear of the car - between the blowers.
    It also can be the ECU.
    My Tesla parts center quoted $91 for antennas and $161 for an ECU.
    You have to be in better territory than I am for Tesla service - Have you taken it to a Tesla service center?

    Good luck,

    Shawn
     
  5. pkoslyn

    pkoslyn Member

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    Hi Shawn,

    Yeah, I should ask what brand these TPMSes are, and ask for the old parts as well as the packaging of the "new" replacement parts so I can start monitoring this debacle more closely.

    I'm reasonably sure these guys will say anything --especially to a woman, who they assume knows little about cars-- guessing it won't be questioned. I thought the statement about the sensors testing differently when installed compared to before installation was ridiculous. I imagine the "specialist" thought that sounded better than saying "Oops, I forgot to test the replacement parts."

    And yeah, I should ask what tool they're using to test the sensors, a well as the timing and operation of the test procedure. I should just plan on becoming an expert in these Tesla TPMSes, and will certainly do that if any of these fail again, which they shouldn't, but who knows. . . I'm on nos. 6-9.

    Would you believe that there's only 1 place, and only 1 technician who services roadsters in S. CA? I've only ever had the car serviced by Tesla, though maybe next time --if there is one for these stupid TPMSes-- I'll try an indie place run by an ex-Tesla technician.

    The stupidest thing of all is my tires themselves are always fine, and properly inflated! It's not like any of this actually reflects a pressure problem.

    Anyway, I'm way out of warranty but am not going out of pocket for any of this, and Tesla either valets the car or sends me Lyfts and sends the technician to a facility somewhat close to my office, so other than my time and aggravation, Tesla's the one paying for these parts and this labor. My time and aggravation is more than offset by the fun driving the car when it's problem-free, which is most of the time, so it's ok.

    Thank you for your input. I appreciate the car know-how. This forum has taught me a lot, and it's very valuable to me.

    Best,
    Pamela
     
  6. ShawnA

    ShawnA Supporting Member

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    Hi Pamela,

    Glad to hear it seems OK and you are taking it in good spirits...

    I'm not good on my California geography... But here in Michigan we have a wonderful technician,
    no service center, and our assigned service center is 4 hours away... Cleveland, Ohio
    Hopefully it will change soon, but with Michigan's automotive history the changes are very slow.

    We muddle through and I still cannot believe how nice these cars are...

    Good luck,

    Shawn
     
  7. Peter.h

    Peter.h Electric Newbie

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    Location:
    Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
    Pamela -

    I'm located in Los Angeles also and have been struggling with my TPMS.

    Recently we had the car at the Torrence service center for annual service and asked them explicitly to check the TPMS and they told us it was all checked out and works - and sure enough 20 minutes later the error was back.

    For now I'm just ignoring the error - but frustrating indeed.

    Peter
     
  8. pkoslyn

    pkoslyn Member

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    Location:
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    Hi Peter,

    I'm guessing you have a 2.0. Supposedly the 2.0s are known for these TPMS issues, and the errors are largely due to old/unused parts they for some reason continue to impose on us. They should just automatically replace every single TPMS on every 2.0 they service with an actually newly-manufactured TPMS, but they adhere to this "if it ain't broke" mentality and then, sure enough, it breaks, some minutes or hours or days or weeks after we take time out to have the car "serviced" for all the other non-broken annual maintenance items that they think are justified to check. Just not this one! Would someone at Tesla please just add TPMS to the annual maintenance list, or better yet, add TPMS to the list of things they do every time they touch our cars, like doing "bleed" tests on our batteries so they can monitor how they're holding up? How about being proactive here, Tesla, and prevent these known TPMS failures, so we can all save some time and aggravation?

    Ok that's my rant on Tesla's refusal to acknowledge the 2.0 TPMS foreseeable yet ignored about-to-fail parts.

    Are you getting service from Anthony Medina? He's the SoCal roadster guy, so it must be him or one of his subordinates. Don't ignore it, check your tire pressure on all 4 tires to make sure your pressure's ok. And then, since you just paid at least $600 for annual service, make them fix this error so you don't have to keep on looking at it and wondering if this is a genuine problem, just a failed sensor, or perhaps another problem with the computer displays.

    Best,
    Pamela
     
  9. Peter.h

    Peter.h Electric Newbie

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    Location:
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    Pamela,

    Thank you for the detailed reply.

    Yes, is a 2.5 and yes, Anthony Medina is the guy. We only bought the car 6 month ago so this was our first SC visit. The car was actually in for a week because apparently Anthony was quite busy and no one else can help, of course. Oh, and yes, I check the pressure regularly, just like I do on our non-TPMS cars :)

    Both my wife when she dropped it off and myself when I spoke to them brought up the TPMS but they just didn't do anything about it - they said "it checks out fine, all good". (the error only shows up after 20 mins so I assume they just didn't bother to wait)

    They gave me also some comments around checking the pressure -- but of course the message is different from the low pressure warning ... Indeed quite annoying. I totally agree with you - the most annoying thing here for me is being treated as if I'm stupid (at least it's not against women only - I'm a 6'4 guy ....)

    Why couldn't they at least offer to replace the parts? I realize this is out of warranty and I'll pay out of pocket - but just take my money and fix it, please?

    Maybe I will have my local tire shop check it out first - they are at least competent and not as far of a drive ...

    This information on this board is super helpful btw - I have already learned a ton here. Thank you all for sharing your knowledge here!!

    Peter
     
  10. ShawnA

    ShawnA Supporting Member

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    Hi Peter,

    I will add what someone here taught me:
    There are 2 antennas one in the front and one in the back.
    Both antennas store all 4 tire addresses.
    If one antenna has all of the addresses and the other antenna has none
    the car will work fine and without warning if all of the sensors are good.

    The 20 minute time is a "magical" marker. If after 20 minutes of driving and checking every tire from
    every antenna nothing turns up - The "TPMS needs service" message is sent.

    My advice is to have someone read the addresses and battery voltages on the sensors before you do anything.
    Any tire shop can do this... They should be 433.92 Mhz. sensors.
    If they are all bad or weak you have your answer.
    I recommend replacing the sensors with a different brand. So far I have been OK with Dill 2112.

    There are two paths you may take to replace the sensors:
    One - replace them and have Tesla reprogram the ECU in the car....

    Two - Not yet proven by me - but should work if the antennas and ECU are good.
    Replace the sensors with a new programmable sensor.
    Have them programmed one at a time with EXACTLY THE SAME ADDRESS as the sensor being removed.
    The antennas store the addresses and if the sensors are dead they will not see those addresses.
    However, if the old addresses come back to life they should see them and work fine...
    This second path may be done at a good tire shop.

    Good luck,

    Shawn
     
  11. Peter.h

    Peter.h Electric Newbie

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    Thank you Shawn, very helpful! - I will have a tire shop read out my sensors and go from there.
     
  12. ShawnA

    ShawnA Supporting Member

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    Update,

    I got my old TPMS sensors out of my bad parts inventory and found something interesting...
    The sensors by Balong have the Model: FS1501 printed on them
    The date is also printed on them in a good computer format YYMMDD.
    Last the sensor unique address is printed on them...

    I replaced two sensors in December 2017.
    They both had dates 090908 not bad - first sensor change in a car delivered December 2009 - 8 years sensor life!

    I was jumpy and replaced the other two sensors that were previously changed with new rear tires.
    Their dates were 111020 and 111203 - October and December of 2011 - 6 year sensor life...

    See the pictures and be aware that the dates of the sensors can be checked before installation.
    TPMS-1.jpg TPMS-2.jpg TPMS-3.jpg TPMS-4.jpg

    Shawn
     
    • Informative x 1
  13. driver_EV

    driver_EV Member

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    Location:
    Charleston, South Carolina
    I am soon to do another Tesla Service visit to get another TPMS fix from them.
    Expecting the need for two wheel senders and an antenna (I think the rear antenna was replaced last time)

    Any advice on what to do or request from the techs? I plan to request keeping any "failed" parts and want to observe the repairs, special tools etc.

    I am somewhat keen to participate in any owner hack solutions that are practical. Willing to purchase and learn to use some diagnostic devices, collect data, testing solutions etc. My new OVMS is working well for me now and want to fix all the remaining frustrations with the car.
     
  14. ShawnA

    ShawnA Supporting Member

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    Hi driver_EV,

    The information that would be good for you to know are the 4 - 8 character addresses for the sensors
    in your tires and what position they are in.
    Normal reading and recording sequence is Front left, front right, rear right, and rear left.

    With a 2011 Roadster sport you have the same equipment that I do...

    Another member here Scotty2451 has done some great work.
    Once you know your addresses and have good antennae with a small piece of equipment
    you will be able to program the antennae in the future if they would "forget" the tire's addresses.

    Scotty learned that each antenna has the addresses for all 4 tires in it...
    You only "need" one antenna programmed with the 4 addresses to make the system work.

    I replaced my sensors in December and I used Scotty's "hack" to program the rear antenna
    and now my system works well...

    Good luck, Keep us posted,

    Shawn

    PS - With Markwj's help in the future I am hoping to be able to program the tires with the OVMS3.
     
    • Informative x 1
    • Like x 1
  15. driver_EV

    driver_EV Member

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    Thanks for that reply. I have an appointment pending for after the ordered parts arrive. They did remote telemetry diag. on the TPMS and seem to know what to order. Should be done next week. (Long drive to the service center)
     
  16. gregd

    gregd Active Member

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    Wait, what? I was told that the 2G network and Tesla's ability to get vehicle logs had been turned off some years ago. Surprised that they've kept this going.
     
  17. driver_EV

    driver_EV Member

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    Did Tesla issue a notice that roadster telemetry is disabled/discontinued?
    Seems like they would notify owners of such a change. I may have missed or forgotten about it if they did.

    When I made the appointment I expressed concern about needed parts being in stock, and was told they checked the car while my phone call was put on hold. It seems like this might turn out to be a support/service instance of things working well for the technology support. That would be good, though I have had issues with service before.

    Hopefully this will go well as I have near 300 mile drive to visit the SC.
     
  18. gregd

    gregd Active Member

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    No formal notification that I am aware of. It was a comment by one of the service personnel during an SC visit, probably a year or two ago.

    Not that I don't trust them, but perhaps as a cross-check, does your car actually have the remote access enabled? It was off when I purchased mine, but I'm the second owner so perhaps the original owner disabled it. It's an option accessed on the VDS Setup screen (page 3, under "GSM"). They may just have been checking their own inventory, not your car.
     
  19. driver_EV

    driver_EV Member

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    Just checked it. Yes I still have GSM configuration "On" in the car. So perhaps it is still accessible for them.
     
  20. markwj

    markwj Moderator, Asia Pacific

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    What about the GSM signal? Do you actually have a connection? I thought the roadster was 2G on AT&T in USA, and that is long gone.
     

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