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2003 BMW M3 and 2011 Outback 2.5i Premium
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Discussion Starter #1
Called Americas Tire today to get my winter wheels/tires mounted. I first ask how much its going to cost, and its free.99 (which I am all for).

Then he goes: "Do the wheels/tires have TPMS sensors in them"

and I tell him "no".

He goes, "well you are going to need to buy sensors for them, and then we will need to install them".

To that I reply "WTF?! Why do I need to do buy sensors? I am fine just seeing the little orange light for the winter. I dont want to pay for sensors, and I sure dont want to pay 50 bucks each season to have the sensors reprogrammed"

He tells me that it is law (oregon or fed not sure) that they cannot install a set of wheels and tires w/o TPMS sensors on a car that originally came with them. He tells me they are 60 a pop. So I make the appointment, but tell him I am going to look into the sensor thing.

I call the other major tire outfit in town Les Schwab Tires. I pretty much get the same schpeal; they wont install the wheels/tires unless I buy new sensors to go with. Says its Law. Said it went into effect on Jan 1 2012.

I would do it myself, but its raining and cold and I am quite frankly lazy. But its what I'll do if I cant get anyone to install them w/o the sensors. Going to make a call to the dealer tomorrow to see if they will do it.

Has anyone else heard of this? Is it complete Bull S*** and just a way for the tire stores to try to get MORE money from you?
 

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Called Americas Tire today to get my winter wheels/tires mounted. I first ask how much its going to cost, and its free.99 (which I am all for).

Then he goes: "Do the wheels/tires have TPMS sensors in them"

and I tell him "no".

He goes, "well you are going to need to buy sensors for them, and then we will need to install them".

To that I reply "WTF?! Why do I need to do buy sensors? I am fine just seeing the little orange light for the winter. I dont want to pay for sensors, and I sure dont want to pay 50 bucks each season to have the sensors reprogrammed"

He tells me that it is law (oregon or fed not sure) that they cannot install a set of wheels and tires w/o TPMS sensors on a car that originally came with them. He tells me they are 60 a pop. So I make the appointment, but tell him I am going to look into the sensor thing.

I call the other major tire outfit in town Les Schwab Tires. I pretty much get the same schpeal; they wont install the wheels/tires unless I buy new sensors to go with. Says its Law. Said it went into effect on Jan 1 2012.

I would do it myself, but its raining and cold and I am quite frankly lazy. But its what I'll do if I cant get anyone to install them w/o the sensors. Going to make a call to the dealer tomorrow to see if they will do it.

Has anyone else heard of this? Is it complete Bull S*** and just a way for the tire stores to try to get MORE money from you?
There is a legal issue with run-flats as well as TPMS with respect to the big tire chains. Liability.

Case in point - I picked up a nail in my RFT and it had a slow leak. Since I didn't want to buy a new tire (waiting to replace all four with non -RFT), I found an excellent identical OEM tire that had been taken off because the owner upgraded to larger wheels. Perfect, I thought, get the tire mounted and I'm in business.

Wrong! The tire chains wouldn't touch it. The logic is that one doesn't know the history of the tire and so if something goes wrong, they would be liable. I can understand that, given our litigious society but it is frustrating. The guy behind the counter told me to go to a nearby place, an independent garage with the same high-quality tire machines and Hunter balancer.

I see TPMS as being the same issue. Also, if you take the wheels to them instead of the whole car, there is apparerently a different set of rules. My suggestion is to find an independent garage and see if they will do it.
 

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2012 Outback 2.5i Premium 6MT Built: 01/12, 2014 Forester CVT Limited
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So I a have question now, since I have a nearly brand new set of 2013 Outback alloys sitting in my living room waiting for the right buyer ;). Where are the sensors located? Is it the square things i'm seeing stuck to the inner wall of each wheel? I thought those where just wheel balance weights.
 

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2003 BMW M3 and 2011 Outback 2.5i Premium
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Discussion Starter #4
They should be part of the stem on these cars I think. Should be a small rectangle attached to the stem on the inside.
 

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2011 Outback 3.6 premium, rear sway bar, and way too many accessories. Anything that can make Boston winters more tolerable (e.g. remote start, molded wintertech snow mats etc).
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Billbobbovine:

My experience was very similar in Massachusetts. After calling around alot, I can say that some tire dealers will install winter tires without TPMS sensors, some - as per corporate policy to reduce liability - will only install winter tires on wheels if you purchase the TPMS sensors as well. Word on the street is that Massachusetts will/could soon make it illegal for businesses to "degrade" your car performance by installing tires/wheels without TPMS sensors. Obviously this only applies to newer cars with such on-board systems and older cars would be grandfathered in.

So I bit the bullet and bought wheels and sensors and tires. Very, very, very $$$$. A bit annoying at first, but there is an additional safety benefit, albeit small. And now I no longer have to check my tire pressure everytime I fill up the tank, which is no fun in slushy dirty snow! :)

Christopher
 

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2014 Outback Limited - 2.5 CVT - Graphite ---- 'Rehomed' 2012 Outback Limited - 2.5 CVT - Deep Indigo Pearl - Could be a Black Bumper Masonite car ---- "RIP" 2010 Outback - 2.5 CVT - Silver - So's m
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From the Tire rack web site.

Wheel Tech - State TPMS Regulations

In some states, vehicle inspection regulations require operating tire pressure monitoring sensors (TPMS) on every vehicle that came with TPMS as Original Equipment.
If your state is not listed below, please check with local law enforcement officials to confirm restrictions in your area. We will continue to add to the list below as information is available to us.
<TABLE class=techrows border=0 cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=2 width=515><TBODY><TR style="TEXT-ALIGN: left"><TH class=titleleft>State


</TH><TH class=titleleft>Does TPMS have to be functional in order to pass inspection?</TH></TR><TR><TD width=115>Delaware</TD><TD>No. Confirmed by the DMV.</TD></TR><TR class=grey><TD width=115>Hawaii</TD><TD>Yes. TPMS needs to be functioning properly in order to pass inspection.</TD></TR><TR><TD width=115>Louisiana</TD><TD>No. Confirmed by the DMV.</TD></TR><TR class=grey><TD width=115>Maine</TD><TD>No. Confirmed by the DMV.</TD></TR><TR><TD width=115>Massachusetts</TD><TD>No. Confirmed by the DMV.</TD></TR><TR class=grey><TD width=115>Mississippi</TD><TD>No. Confirmed by the DMV.</TD></TR><TR><TD width=115>Missouri</TD><TD>No. Confirmed by the DMV.</TD></TR><TR class=grey><TD width=115>New Hampshire</TD><TD>No. Confirmed by the DMV.</TD></TR><TR><TD width=115>New Jersey</TD><TD>No. Confirmed by the DMV.</TD></TR><TR class=grey><TD width=115>New York</TD><TD>No. TPMS is inspected but it is not grounds for inspection failure.</TD></TR><TR><TD width=115>North Carolina</TD><TD>No. Confirmed by the DMV.</TD></TR><TR class=grey><TD width=115>Pennsylvania</TD><TD>No. Confirmed by the DMV.</TD></TR><TR><TD width=115>Rhode Island</TD><TD>Yes. TPMS needs to be functioning properly in order to pass inspection.</TD></TR><TR class=grey><TD width=115>Texas</TD><TD>No. Confirmed by the DMV.</TD></TR><TR><TD width=115>Utah</TD><TD>No. Confirmed by the DMV.</TD></TR><TR class=grey><TD width=115>Vermont</TD><TD>Yes. TPMS needs to be functioning properly in order to pass inspection.</TD></TR><TR><TD width=115>Virginia</TD><TD>No. Confirmed by the DMV.</TD></TR><TR class=grey><TD width=115>West Virginia</TD><TD>Yes. TPMS needs to be functioning properly in order to pass inspection.</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>


This was the list on 19 Dec 2012. Laws may change.

As noted in an earlier thread (I'm lazy - you can do the search.). There are 'universal replacements' that can be programed with the existing TPMS unit(s) information. That way you don't need a reprogram just to swap your tires 2x/year.
 

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2011 Outback Premium CVT, AWP, Steel Silver
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Oregon is the same state where you can't pump your own gas right?
Wouldn't surprise me I guess.
 

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2003 BMW M3 and 2011 Outback 2.5i Premium
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Discussion Starter #8
lol dont hate on getting your gas pumped for you. Pretty nice staying in your warm car!

As for the programmable sensors. Maybe next year when I will most likely need a new set of tires and have to have the current ones pulled off.
 

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2018 Outback Limited 2.5i Dark Blue Pearl/Ivory w'Eyesight
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lol dont hate on getting your gas pumped for you. Pretty nice staying in your warm car!

As for the programmable sensors. Maybe next year when I will most likely need a new set of tires and have to have the current ones pulled off.
Unless you pay cash for gas, you need to watch what happens with your gas/credit card. Sadly, not everyone is as honest as you are.
 

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2010 2.5i Outback, 2015 2.5i Legacy w/Eyesight
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Sir BillyBob, Are the tires already mounted on the wheels? If so, it is not too hard to buy a decent floor jack (or just use the jack that came with the car) to do it yourself.

Otherwise, you will be paying someone to dismount and mount your tires again as well as installing TPMS.

You could also try lying and count on them not noticing: "Oh yes, I have TPMS and I have already programmed them to go with my car, so all you have to do is install them" and put a piece of electrical tape over the light for good measure. Then they might not check or mess with it since they believe everything should be working in good order. This obviously will not work if they are mounting new tires on the rims as well. But if you only need to have tires that have been premounted on rims installed, then you're likely in business. If they notice, then you might be in the boat of paying for TPMS which it sounds like you would be doing anyways.

You could always make it a two-step in the case where you need tires mounted too and go to one place and have the tires installed on the rims while telling them it is for another older vehicle that did not come with TPMS. Then, take the tires to another place and have them mounted.

Those are some options and might be more hassle than they are worth. I'm still in favor of the do-it-yourself approach.
 

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lol dont hate on getting your gas pumped for you. Pretty nice staying in your warm car!
Except when the $8 per hr attendant doesn't hang the cap on the hook, jambs the nozzle into your paint and spills gas on the side of your car.
OP you made the mistake of going to the big box chains of Americas Tire and Les Schwab. Both have big corporate liability attorneys watching over them.
Instead check out the independent used tire stores in the low income areas of your community. No TPMS needed at those places.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Unless you pay cash for gas, you need to watch what happens with your gas/credit card. Sadly, not everyone is as honest as you are.
True, but you got the same issues with any retail or restaurant really.

Except when the $8 per hr attendant doesn't hang the cap on the hook, jambs the nozzle into your paint and spills gas on the side of your car.
Everyone out of state seems to fret about that, but I have never had a guy do that in my 25 years of living in OR. But this thread isnt about gas sooooooo yah.

Sir BillyBob, Are the tires already mounted on the wheels? If so, it is not too hard to buy a decent floor jack (or just use the jack that came with the car) to do it yourself.

Otherwise, you will be paying someone to dismount and mount your tires again as well as installing TPMS.

You could also try lying and count on them not noticing: "Oh yes, I have TPMS and I have already programmed them to go with my car, so all you have to do is install them" and put a piece of electrical tape over the light for good measure. Then they might not check or mess with it since they believe everything should be working in good order. This obviously will not work if they are mounting new tires on the rims as well. But if you only need to have tires that have been premounted on rims installed, then you're likely in business. If they notice, then you might be in the boat of paying for TPMS which it sounds like you would be doing anyways.

You could always make it a two-step in the case where you need tires mounted too and go to one place and have the tires installed on the rims while telling them it is for another older vehicle that did not come with TPMS. Then, take the tires to another place and have them mounted.

Those are some options and might be more hassle than they are worth. I'm still in favor of the do-it-yourself approach.
Tires are already mounted. My housemate has jacks, stands, tools, everything to do it, but long story short, the garage has cars in it that cant be moved outside right now, and its raining/snowing so if I can find someone to do it for me I would rather go that route.

Going to call the dealer in a few minutes to get some other service scheduled, so going to check with them. May call my mechanic for my other car too see if he would do the swap real quikc.
 

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lol dont hate on getting your gas pumped for you. Pretty nice staying in your warm car!
NJ has a gas pumping law also and cheaper gas than neighboring states to boot. I'll take it anyday over pumping my own. Been like that many years. Never had a problem. Only people that find fault with it are those who have to pump their own.
 

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2010 2.5i Outback, 2015 2.5i Legacy w/Eyesight
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If a reputable installer knows about the lack of TPMS and it's the law where you live, then the installer likely won't do it for you as your link shows. That's why you either get into the business of lying or you get an extra set of TPMS.

Also, as an FYI about most TPMS, you have to get the ECM reprogrammed every single time you change over your tires to recognize a different set of TPMS (most quotes I've heard are in the range of $50-$80 for an ECM reprogram every time you change from summer to winter tires). There are some TPMS that can "clone" id's of other TPMS so your car doesn't know the difference--but I thought I read in another thread that the company offering that solution went out of business.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The clonable sensors are still available I think. Schrader and a company "Orange Electronics" make them.
 

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The NHSTA cant see the forest for the trees. By making a stink about the super tiny safety degredation of the TPMS being disabled, they are giving up a huge safety increase of having safe tires on the car.

Good winter tires add safety 24/7, but a disabled TPMS might help be more safe once every 2 years. We've had ours for 15k miles, and with all the oil changes and sched. maitenance, the tire pressure is monitored by hand more than the system does, rendering it pointless.

I'm taking the safer, reasonable route. New tires/rims, no TPMS sensors, switch wheels at home. I'm lucky to have a good jack, compressor, impact wrench, and a torque wrench.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Yeah I see TPMS as more of a convenience tool than a safety device. If you get a blow out you are going to know it at the same time the TPMS sensor goes off and theres nothing you can do anyways at that point. If you get a nail in your tire, or a puncture, the sensor is not going to immediately go off either (unless its a REALLY bad puncture and in that case it TPMS doesnt matter anyways).
 

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If the vehicle was manufactured with TPMS (all vehicles from 2008?) then it is a federal offense for a company to install wheels/tires w/out TPMS sensors. Although, you can install them yourself to bypass this issue. Note, pretty good chance you'll void your warranty and/or insurance in the case of an issue.
 

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If the vehicle was manufactured with TPMS (all vehicles from 2008?) then it is a federal offense for a company to install wheels/tires w/out TPMS sensors. Although, you can install them yourself to bypass this issue. Note, pretty good chance you'll void your warranty and/or insurance in the case of an issue.
That's true, but it shouldn't be.

I've had 2 flats in 30 years, and I noticed both immediately. I don't know exactly what the TPMS is actually good for, besides selling TPMS sensors. I'll catch a slow leak before it does, I check the tires every 2 weeks, and visually every day.

The safety lost from not using winter tires, going on a month now, into snow and ice season is a real, everyday safety degradation.

I think they should add a winter tire exception to the rule, at least, if not throw it out entirely.

Insurance? Really? You think my insurance company would rather have me driving on summer tires on packed ice with a functioning TPMS than good Blizzaks? That's crazy on its face.

The only thing the TPMS might do is help totally clueless people, and I'm offended that I have to suffer for their idiocy.
 
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