Subaru Outback Forums banner

1 - 20 of 32 Posts

·
Registered
2008 LL Bean 3.0R, 2009 Forester 2.5 X LTD
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
One of my wheels is very corroded. Odd on a 2008 Outback LL Bean 3.0R. My wife's 09 Forester with same mileage (and many other cars I have owned) does not exhibit this. Yes I do live in the salt belt, but I clean off the salt as often a I can. Anyway, I found a online source (Actual Subaru dealer) with the wheel for $219 + $15 to ship. Reconditioned wheels or wheel refinishing services want $190+, and $130+ respectively. Not enough of a difference for me. So I get the wheel from the online dealer and I bring it to local tire dealer (where I recently bought tires) and ask them to swap out tire and TPMS sensor. No problem, $16.00. Well, yeah, problem. They call me to tell me sensor has hairline crack and it cannot be reused. It was probably cracked by them now, or when they put on new tires in summer. Probably. But I cannot prove that. So they tell me they can put on a new sensor, $62.00. I ask "does that include programming the TPMS module" (keep in mind I only left the tire/wheels with them; they did not have the car). They tell me there is no need to program module. Huh? So I then asked if they would read the current sensor id and program the new sensor with that ID, another alternative possible with some sensors. The tire tech told me "we do these all the time an that's not how it works." Now, from what I've read this is how it works: new sensor, new id, TPMS needs to be programmed.

I ask if the TPMS light comes on when I get the tire mounted, if they'll program the TPMS module in the car. They verbally acknowledged they will. Well I get home, mount the wheel/tire and drive around (up to 50 mph) for about 20 minutes. No light.

Will the light eventually come on? Am I confused? Is the tire store confused? Is this going to turn into a trip to the dealer to get it done right and more $$ making this much more expensive then I originally envisioned. Of course, barring any state inspection issues (I don't think my state will fail a car for a TPMS light on) I could do what others have suggest and just cover up the **** indicator with electrical tape.

Also, I looked at the old TPMS, I cannot find any hair-line crack. And they also replaced my metal stem TPMS with rubber stem TPMS. This does not bother me as long as it works.

I guess **** is naughty word because **** gets the **** treatment, personally I think TPMS should get the same. I may start using TPMS as one of my regular curse words, though it does not flow off the tongue as nicely as some others.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,155 Posts
There would be a lot of happy folks here if it was that simple. But my understanding is the same as yours; any replacement sensor has to be registered/programmed with the tire pressure control module.

Your question about the new sensor itself having being programmed to use the old sensor's registration number/code might be the answer, especially if the shop used a "universal" sensor, which might be why it has rubber, rather than metal, stem. Perhaps the shop didn't want to reveal its "secret" to replacing sensors.

The TPMS transmitters become active when the car reaches the 7-20 mph range. It might take a bit longer for the control module to realize one of the registered sensors' signals is missing or incorrect. But in the time you drove, the warning light should have come on if there was a problem. In this regard, the light will flash for a technical problem such as a missing/incorrect sensor, but come on steady for a low pressure situation.

But I have a question: When the ignition key is set to ON, but the engine isn't started, the warning lights in the instrument panel should come on to show they are working. Some stay on until the engine is started; others go out after a few seconds. Does the TPMS light come on as well? i believe it should come on for about 2 seconds and then go out.
 

·
Registered
2008 LL Bean 3.0R, 2009 Forester 2.5 X LTD
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Yes, the TPMS light comes with rest of indicators and then shuts off after a few seconds. We are going out for a longer drive, but I guess I am going with "new sensor was programmed with old id" answer.
 

·
Registered
2008 LL Bean 3.0R, 2009 Forester 2.5 X LTD
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Yeah, I was right. Why wouldn't I be with tall the good information I found here on these forums! I read them looking for answers, and I also RTFM.

Town Fair tire of course, had no idea what they were talking about. The TPMS indicator light came on blinking, then steady after x amount of distance/time travelled. Of course, the TPMS module has no idea about the new sensor ID, and needs to be programmed with that info. Another trip back to the tire place. They were adamant this was not the case, referring to my OP.

So often I get told "sir, that's not how it works, we do this all the time we know how it works" Yeah, right. Idiots.
 

·
Premium Member
2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
Joined
·
14,317 Posts
Its not a chevy and they are not going to be able to program it. It has to be done with a scan tool and the monitor tool. The scan tool needs to be able to talk specifically with the TPMS/Keyless module to initiate the "learning". You are going to end up at the dealer service department. Maybe, based on their own stupidity you could get them to pay for it. They told you at the sale that they could program it, so make them program it via a dealer visit. The monitors don't crack unless impacted and your tire didn't go flat? They broke it dismounting the tire.

The best way to correct action based on ignorance and stupidity is to initiate a learning experience into the equation. In this case, class began when they broke the sensor, then tried to shaft you for it. What happens now depends on how you handle it.
 

·
Registered
'14 Subi OBW, '18 Subi Forester
Joined
·
1,760 Posts
I am actually quite surprised that it took your car so long to respond to the lack of data coming from the registered sensor that was no long present. For the system to be worth anything as a safety device, it has to respond quite rapidly to a pressure loss as might happen out on the road. Something isn't right all around.

That said, a few comments:

1) There are universal, programmable replacement TPMS sender now available, that make life far easier for tire shops that used to have to stock or have easy access to 50 different part numbers. Some can be updated with your sensors ESN, most have a unique pre-programmed ESN that has to be taught to the cars TPMS computer.

2) Metal schrader valves that require external screw mounting kits, attached at a fixed angle to the sensor bodies are being replaced by lower cost rubber 'pop-in' valves with a flex link to the body.

3) Some cars can learn a new TPMS ESN and update themselves, but most Japanese makes cannot. There are a number of professional grade kits from companies like ATEQ that have ESN remote readers (no need to dismount the tire to learn the ESN), activators (some sensors are in battery saving sleep mode and have to be woken up), as well as car computer ESN update tools.

4) Go back and raise Kane. You have become part of their education process, and it will help the next customer greatly!
 

·
Registered
13 Outback 2.5 Premium CVT
Joined
·
340 Posts
I am actually quite surprised that it took your car so long to respond to the lack of data coming from the registered sensor that was no long present. For the system to be worth anything as a safety device, it has to respond quite rapidly to a pressure loss as might happen out on the road. Something isn't right all around.
The TMPS systems are pretty much a joke and nothing more then to make the Gov happy.

On the Tacoma Boards we used to laugh about the TMPS systems all the time, when you swapped out wheels and tires all you had to do was park next to the pile of tires sitting in your garage with the TMPS sensors and the next day you could drive for hours before the light came on.

Several guys even took a wheel barrow tire and tossed the sensors inside the tire and then inflating the tire and carried it in the back of the truck to trick the TMPS system into thinking all four sensors were working and happy about the psi they were set at.
 

·
Registered
2008 LL Bean 3.0R, 2009 Forester 2.5 X LTD
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Yeah, I've learned a lot about TPMS from this forum, and from other forums on other vehicles I've owned. From READING literature, manuals etc. What really gets me is this very large tire retailer has no clue. I should have been more assertive, rather than just accept comments like "sir, we know what we are talking about we do this all the time." Not the first time I've heard that, and in my experience, never true.

Also, upon further inspection of the TPMS sensor - still attached to old wheel - they could not get it off. The nut would not come off. I can see exactly what happened. When they tried to force it, they cracked it.


I'm sure this will not go well, or in my favor. I probably will not do business with this place any more, but they are all the same. Equally incompetent - depending on the staff. That leaves the dealer? Premium prices. No thanks.

TPMS light on is not a TPMS failure in Massachusetts - yet. It is in RI, I can only imagine it will be a matter of time. I'll probably just live with the light.

I'll be sure to post the outcome of this yet to be finished story.
 

·
Registered
13 Outback 2.5 Premium CVT
Joined
·
340 Posts
I think you need to speak to the manager, explain to him you came in with 4 working sensors, accepted their price of $16 to move your working sensor which somehow became a non working sensor during that time, you not only didn't argue that it was probably their fault but paid for a replacement and you still do not have 4 working sensors like you did when you walked in the door.

I personally wouldn't drop it until I was made whole and that would be I had 4 working sensors and a refund for the 5th one
 

·
Registered
'14 Subi OBW, '18 Subi Forester
Joined
·
1,760 Posts
The TMPS systems are pretty much a joke and nothing more then to make the Gov happy.

On the Tacoma Boards we used to laugh about the TMPS systems all the time, when you swapped out wheels and tires all you had to do was park next to the pile of tires sitting in your garage with the TMPS sensors and the next day you could drive for hours before the light came on.
I just don't understand this, considering how fast the system on our Sienna responds. I know that Toyota has two different system suppliers (TRW & Pacific), so perhaps one is inherently better than the other?

I've told this before, and it's what made me a true believer in TPMS. My wife got the warning light while doing 65+ mph a minute or two after hitting some highway debris that must have sliced her tire. She immediately pulled onto the shoulder, and watched the tire finish deflating. The tire was trash, but the rim was fine. Those few seconds of warning might have been the difference between only losing a $150 tire, and, who knows what else. Perhaps a serious accident?

We don't know exactly how fast the system responded, but it was apparently fast enough to avert disaster.
 

·
Registered
2008 LL Bean 3.0R, 2009 Forester 2.5 X LTD
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Others have noted similar situations "it takes x amount of time before TPMS module reports missing sensors" I've found this to be a reported occurrence here, and on legacygt.com. It comes to light most often when folks swap on wheels with snow-tires and no sensors. The light does not come on for some amount of time. I can find nothing in the service manual to indicate how the system actually operates. Maybe I'll write to SOA.

I hear what you all are saying, I should be made whole. I just know what I'm in for. They'll say it was broke to begin with, they did not do it, they are not responsible, blah, blah, blah. I, like everyone else, have a million things to do, especially this time of year, don't need to be bothered with this additional nonsense.

And then with tragedies like last week, this seems so petty in the grand scheme of things.
 

·
Registered
2008 LL Bean 3.0R, 2009 Forester 2.5 X LTD
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Conclusion:

I returned to the tire store. I calmly explained my situation without attitude. To which, the response was "we are not idiots, we know what we are doing". I'm not an idiot either!! Of course, this tech new exactly how the Subaru system needed to be programmed. As did I.

Bottom line, they did not charge for the sensor they broke, and programmed the TPMS to accept the new sensor.

You know, so often at car repair shops, dealerships, whatever, the customer is always treated as some blithering dope who could not possibly know what he or she is talking about.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
441 Posts
I think if i ever have to take my dash apart, i am going to pull the TPMS light. The system is useless.
IMO the TPMS system is not useless when new and functional. Replacement sensors can be expensive when the batteries are depleted or when they are broken after routine tire service. My TPMS light is on 24/7 on my Tundra because I refuse to pay 99/sensor when I upgraded the wheels and tires. Local DMV ignored the TPMS light and gave my wheels a seal of approval LOL.
If I ever take apart my dash my goal would be to silence the annoying relentless Subie seat belt chime so it would be silent/lighted just like my Toyota/Nissan as I casually click the belt.
 

·
Registered
2004 Outback Wagon, 2.5, 4EAT, All weather package.
Joined
·
1,040 Posts
Conclusion:

I returned to the tire store. I calmly explained my situation without attitude. To which, the response was "we are not idiots, we know what we are doing". I'm not an idiot either!! Of course, this tech new exactly how the Subaru system needed to be programmed. As did I.

Bottom line, they did not charge for the sensor they broke, and programmed the TPMS to accept the new sensor.

You know, so often at car repair shops, dealerships, whatever, the customer is always treated as some blithering dope who could not possibly know what he or she is talking about.
Honestly your sensor was probably broken when you came into the shop. Thanks to these lovely metal stemmed sensor valves they like to corrode, and things that corrode and are made out of cheap pot metal tend to crack and break. It wasn't your fault, but it probably wasn't their fault either. We see this all the time at work (especially on Chrysler products, but I digress). Vehicle comes in with sensor valve that is barely holding on by a thread, amazingly it isn't losing air. The second you touch the valve (not even remove the valve... just removing the valve core), it snaps and starts spewing air. Before you say "but the car is only a 2008", consider this: In spring of this year a customer of mine had to replace a TPMS sensor on his 2009 Nissan Altima (to the tune of $125) because the seal had failed and was seeping air around the base of the stem. On that particular sensor, that little piece of rubber wasn't serviceable.

Every car is different on how TPMS systems work. A lot of them automatically reset once you drive it for a certain period of time. Some of them you have to plug a proper TPMS scanner into the OBD2 port and perform a system relearn. Some require you to go into the Driver Information Center and select tire size, type of tire, weather, etc before it will allow you to even begin the relearn process (FUUU Porsche!). A lot of GM vehicles require you to enter a programming mode via your keyless entry remote, then go around to each tire until the horn chirps signifying each wheel has been recognized. And still some vehicles have a button the dash that simply says "TPMS RESET" and fixes everything. My guess is that the tech took the path of least resistance and what honestly most vehicles require. No, that doesn't mean he was right in doing that, but I wanted you to realize the amount of work that this can sometimes take. In my shop we have spent 2 hours plus on ONE car just trying to get the system to relearn (again FUUUU Porsche).

And finally, right or wrong, I think you need to realize where the guy behind the counter is coming from. ALL DAY we get lambasted with over zealous know-it-alls who think they know everything there is to know about tires and their car. The simple fact is, most people don't know jack. The problem is that they think they do. Or a friend of a friend of a friend's cousin fixes cars on the side and said "Yeahh that there tire will be perfect for your car!". Also we run into a lot of people who think tire technology today is the same as it was in 1954. The fact is that a lot has changed and what once was true isn't necessarily still true today. We now have speed ratings, load indexes, TPMS systems, ABS systems, AWD systems, low profile tires, and people who think a 225/60/16 is wider than a 225/70/16. Unless they know you personally they have no reason to think you know any more than any of the other useless dolts that walk into a tire shop on a daily basis and think they know more than the guy behind the counter who has been selling tires all his life. No, that doesn't make it right for him to treat you rudely, I realize that, and I'm not saying that he should have treated you that way. But there's a lot here that is left untold.
 

·
Registered
2008 Outback 2.5i
Joined
·
1,148 Posts
IMO the TPMS system is not useless when new and functional. Replacement sensors can be expensive when the batteries are depleted or when they are broken after routine tire service. My TPMS light is on 24/7 on my Tundra because I refuse to pay 99/sensor when I upgraded the wheels and tires. Local DMV ignored the TPMS light and gave my wheels a seal of approval LOL.
If I ever take apart my dash my goal would be to silence the annoying relentless Subie seat belt chime so it would be silent/lighted just like my Toyota/Nissan as I casually click the belt.
I have never had a TPMS function quick enough to be anywhere near useful.

Now, if it displayed the actual tire pressure and temp, that would be one thing, but the current TPMS only flashes the little light after the driver has driven on a flat tire for hours. This is like only having the idot coolant temp lights that flash after you warped the heads.
 

·
Registered
2019 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
Joined
·
618 Posts
I have never had a TPMS function quick enough to be anywhere near useful.

Now, if it displayed the actual tire pressure and temp, that would be one thing, but the current TPMS only flashes the little light after the driver has driven on a flat tire for hours. This is like only having the idot coolant temp lights that flash after you warped the heads.
I have. Two years ago, up in NC with friends near the Dragon, I had the TPMS light come on first thing in the morning on my 08' STI. The rear driver side tire was just below 30 PSI, the other three were at 40 PSI. With the stiff sidewall tires I ran, you could not visually see the low tire. At low speeds you would not have felt it, either. The tire had a slow leak due to an embedded screw. I would have not caught it (checked tire pressures the day before in preparation), and driven like a maniac on it. The first hard right hand turn I would have felt it, but I'd rather known before that turn than during it.

My wife's 09 Impreza lights up anytime the pressure gets low, well before the tire is flat. I tend to air mine down when off-road, then back up afterward, so mine tend to never get low without me knowing about it.

The TPMS system is good, and a good idea for a passenger vehicle. Subaru's implementation of it sucks, though. Ideally, you could see pressures on the individual tires (like my cheapest possible GMC work van with manual roll-up windows can) and you would be able to reprogram new sensors without a dealer visit.
 

·
Registered
'14 Subi OBW, '18 Subi Forester
Joined
·
1,760 Posts
Good document. I see a few things from that:

1) The system should show a loss of pressure from a single tire when at highway speeds, as long as it has the 30+ seconds to measure and respond. Active reporting mode.

2) The system may not report a low pressure reading when you first start the car, as sensors are in sleep mode. You probably have to drive at least a little bit (7+ mph) for the centrifugal switch to initiate transmission. Wake-up mode.

3) Removal of sensors could result in an extended delay in reporting, if you were to drive below a certain speed, make stops, etc., as the system is programmed not to overreact to a loss of transmission due to interference. System failure - trouble reporting mode.
 

·
Registered
'18 3.6R Ltd
Joined
·
731 Posts
^ Thanks for posting that FSM. And it's consistent with the behavior of the TPMS on both our '07 and our '08, so maybe it is indeed valid for all Gen3s.

However, YMMV: I bet the Gen4 one has some new tricks.

And one of the critical points made in that pdf is that programming requires the "Subaru Select Monitor" tool. Dealers have this, of course; third-party tire shops may or may not. We had an experience with such a shop in which they were confident they could reprogram the system, but they failed miserably.

It'd be nice to have an SSM, but they're pricey; you can pay a dealer's shop to reprogram your sensors lots of times for its cost. HPH
 
1 - 20 of 32 Posts
Top