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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
TL;DR version:

  1. Order wheels and tires from Tire Rack. Tell them you have a 201X Outback (2018 or 2019).
  2. Also buy an Autel TS508 TPMS tool.
  3. Use the TS508 to wake and read the sensors. Then follow the OBD Position Relearn procedure for a 2018 Outback on the Advanced menu of the TS508 to program the new sensor IDs into the ECU via the OBD2 port.
  4. Drive the car for a few minutes and a few miles above 30 KPH (~19 MPH).
  5. Profit!
Background:
For the 2018 model year, Subaru changed the TPMS sensors on several models including the Outback. The main difference was a switch from sensors operating on the 315 MHz frequency band to ones operating on the 433 MHz band. The practical change was also a move from an "overall pressure" display that showed an error if any wheel was below the pressure threshold to showing pressure for each individual wheel. @Brucey recently started a thread to document this here.

This move seemed to take the industry by surprise and the old do-it-yourself tools that worked to manage previous TPMS systems on Gen 5 Outbacks no longer worked. Even worse, some of the aftermarket sensors no longer worked either, so many owners who change their wheels seasonally and others like me who prefer do-it-yourself maintenance were left out in the cold for a good 18 months with no way to update our systems. Lots of people including @Jimusoke, @Fibber2, and many others helped sort this out while documenting the problems in this (currently 25 page) thread: https://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/138-gen-5-2015-2019/441977-need-info-2018-tpms-sensors.html. Up until now however, no one was sure if a complete do-it-yourself process would work for the sensors that Tire Rack used. The main solutions discovered this far were to move stock sensors onto new wheels or to buy clonable sensors and clone the stock sensor IDs onto the new sensors. But these solutions required at least one visit to a tire shop and often resulted in problems as documented in the thread. Many tire shops had trouble programming the ECU to recognize new sensors and dealers were charging up to $150 to do the programming. This was all unacceptable to me. I wanted to buy new wheels, bolt them on, and fix the TPMS myself. Here's how I did it.

Tools & Parts:
  • Wheels from Tire Rack with TPMS sensors installed for a 2018 or 2019 Outback. The invoice lists the sensors as, P/N S202 320602 "SCHRDR 433 MHZ G2 RBR V. SENSOR RUBBER VALVE PRE-INSTALLED"
  • Autel MaxiTPMS TS508 tool.
  • Various hand tools and sockets. Including a torque wrench.
Procedure:
Believe it or not, everything went smoothly, at least as far as TPMS is concerned.

Step 1: I bought a new TS508 from Tire Rack. I confirmed that it could read the stock sensors on the car to ensure it had a chance to work, then updated all the software on the tool using the Autel Maxi PC Suite software I downloaded from their site. (Side note, this software worked much better than the old software for my TS 401 tool which always had a COM port conflict on my PC requiring me to monkey around in Device Manager to disable an existing device on COM4 before it could recognize the 401 was connected. I had no such problems with the 508 and new software.)

The values updated were:

  • Sys from V1.19 --> V1.70
  • HW V1.00
  • Sens from V5.42 --> V5.53
  • Vehicle from V1.41 --> V1.53
Step 2: Swap the old wheels for the new ones. I installed the lugs by hand and torqued them appropriately with a torque wrench.

Step 3: Just to check, I selected 2018 Outback from the Basic menu and read the values of the new sensors to ensure they worked.






Step 4: Using the advanced menu, I selected Position Relearn and OBD Relearn, again for a 2018 Outback. Following the instructions on the screen I elected to delete previous readings. The tool had me rescan the four wheels in order, then connect to the OBD 2 port, then turn on the ignition (2 button presses on keyless without foot on the brake).

I was a bit nervous but the system never even blinked.











Step 5: I turned off the ignition and disconnected the OBD cable. Started the car and no errors. TPMS screen showed no values, but there was no error. Following the instructions, I just drove the car. About 6 minutes and 2 miles later - boom, the 4 TPMS values appeared.





Step 6: I went home and cleaned up my tools. When I went out later, for the first 30 seconds after starting there were no TPMS values, but within a few seconds after starting to move they appeared as normal. I compared the 4 values when I returned home to readings from the TS508 and the positions on the screen were correct.

So, as far as I can tell this was painless and everything worked perfectly. The latest version of the firmware for the Autel TS508 tool can read stock and aftermarket sensors and write the values to the ECU. So victory!

And, the TS508 is pretty reasonably priced: I got mine for $275 + tax at Tire Rack. They also make a kit that comes with 8 programmable (clonable) sensors (4 x 315 MHz, 4 x 433 MHz) for $320.

In the end, the new TS508 cost me less than the old Autel TS401 and the ATEQ Quickset I used to do this on my old 2016. So overall I'm thrilled. No tire shops or dealers for me.

Good luck if you're taking on a similar project.
 

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I'll be looking forward to trying this out. I ordered the TS508 last night from TireRack. It's scheduled to show up Tuesday. Just for the heck of it I went to Autel's site then downloaded and installed their software. Figured I was cooked if there was a problem with that, but it went fine, so I should be all ready when the unit shows up. Thanks again for doing all the grunt work and posting the details.
 

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If you can get a tire shop to activate the TPMS senders and read the four serial numbers, you can do the same thing with an ATEQ TPMS QuickSet for $120.00 (Tire Rack price). You're only ever going to do the activate and read functions once assuming you save away the old serial numbers and back it up so you don't lose them.



I presume you can also buy senders where you can clone the old four serial numbers for your winter tires. I wasn't aware that was possible when I put together my winter wheel/snow tire setup in 2015.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
If you can get a tire shop to activate the TPMS senders and read the four serial numbers, you can do the same thing with an ATEQ TPMS QuickSet for $120.00 (Tire Rack price). You're only ever going to do the activate and read functions once assuming you save away the old serial numbers and back it up so you don't lose them.

I presume you can also buy senders where you can clone the old four serial numbers for your winter tires. I wasn't aware that was possible when I put together my winter wheel/snow tire setup in 2015.
Have you actually confirmed this on a 2018 or 2019 vehicle? Because I own an ATEQ Quickset and I had no success. The ATEQ coverage chart published as recently as August also indicates that the firmware doesn't support beyond 2017. See https://www.ateq-tpms.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Quickset-Coverage-Chart-August-2018-FINAL.pdf. We all agree that the ATEQ worked on earlier Gen 5 vehicles, including my 2016, but it doesn't appear that ATEQ will update the Quickset firmware to work with the new 2018/2019 systems until at least early 2019, hence all of our frustration.
 

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In another thread, it was suggested that it might be possible to fool your programming device into working on an '18 OB by telling the device that you've got a '17 or '18 Impreza. Apparently, some of these devices have the Imprezas listed in their coverage chart but not '18 (or '19) OBs. But the Impreza setting works, for some, at least.


Alternatively, the people at my Discount Tire shop told me they'd reprogram the car twice a year for free, because I bought winter tires (with the hazard warranty) from them. Haven't tried it yet, but I'm cautiously optimistic (and, unless they've got a new device, it will test the Impreza theory.) HPH
 

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I don't think this is entirely off topic but its' an observation about the TPMS system that makes me wonder about how well it works.

I put my snow tires on yesterday afternoon, then had to make about an 8-mile round trip drive, a lot of it in the 35-45 mph range. This is typically the same drive I use to have my BMWs relearn new sensors after I make my seasonal change-over.

Anyway, when I selected the TPMS screen I could see the sensors were orange, with no data. That made perfect sense, but I never got a dash light indicating a TPMS problem. My previous Subaru's made the light come on while I was waiting to get my sensors reprogrammed.

I received my Autel 508 this morning and will be trying it later today. Initial impression is that it's a quality unit.

When I updated the unit it went flawlessly, it looks like they've made a version release since GrumpySquatch received his unit. I did notice one discrepancy and was wondering if maybe a typo "Sys from V1.19 --> V1.70" My system shows at V1.2

Just a follow-on edit, it worked and worked perfectly the first time. I ever meet you in person GrumpySquatch, the beer is on me.
 

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I think I need this tool...
It took me 15 minutes to install the software on my PC, another 15 to update the tool to the latest software, and 15 more to do the procedure on my car. 45 minutes. Next time the car will take 5 minutes, I was being ultra-paranoid since I'd never played with a TPMS tool before.

But, this truly ticks me off for two reasons. One, the tool solves a problem Subaru could have made a built-in feature to the car's software. I could do with a couple fewer chimes if this was a software selection. Second, okay, you need to pay the dealership.....if it was $20-$25 to have the Subaru dealer do it, I could live with it. But, at $150 a whack, this tool will pay for itself in the spring when I put my 3 season wheels back on.
 

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Brucey is a Tool of the Devil !
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Had new wheels put on today and my TPMS works normal with no problems. It’s a 2019 Outback Limited.

Not sure if Discount Tire did anything or not.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
When I updated the unit it went flawlessly, it looks like they've made a version release since GrumpySquatch received his unit. I did notice one discrepancy and was wondering if maybe a typo "Sys from V1.19 --> V1.70" My system shows at V1.2

Just a follow-on edit, it worked and worked perfectly the first time. I ever meet you in person GrumpySquatch, the beer is on me.
Likely not a typo but a write-o :smile2: I noted the software changes on a Post-It next to my computer so I may very well have written them down incorrectly.

So you're saying that after programming you can now see the pressure values on the screen or is that still a problem? I didn't follow the 8-mile drive after snow tires part.
 

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Had new wheels put on today and my TPMS works normal with no problems. It’s a 2019 Outback Limited.

Not sure if Discount Tire did anything or not.
They must have. Sounds like some Discount Tire places have mastered getting the TPMS reprogrammed for their Outback customers. I'm assuming if it was a separate charge you would have seen it on the invoice. Maybe they just factor it into the cost of installing the tires? That's way better treatment than my Subaru dealer was going to offer me. All I did for them was buy a $41000 car........
 

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Discussion Starter #16

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Likely not a typo but a write-o :smile2: I noted the software changes on a Post-It next to my computer so I may very well have written them down incorrectly.

So you're saying that after programming you can now see the pressure values on the screen or is that still a problem? I didn't follow the 8-mile drive after snow tires part.
Works perfectly now.

What bothered me is that I drove for over 8 miles, a lot of it at 40+ mph with unprogrammed sensors and never got a TPMS light on the dash. Once I did the programming, I had pressure values within 2 miles.
 

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Works perfectly now.

What bothered me is that I drove for over 8 miles, a lot of it at 40+ mph with unprogrammed sensors and never got a TPMS light on the dash. Once I did the programming, I had pressure values within 2 miles.
That is pretty normal and what I have seen.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Works perfectly now.

What bothered me is that I drove for over 8 miles, a lot of it at 40+ mph with unprogrammed sensors and never got a TPMS light on the dash. Once I did the programming, I had pressure values within 2 miles.
Others have reported that the system is capable of relearning positions when tires are rotated and the sensor IDs remain the same, just in different places. So there has to be some kind of timeout window in the code where the system tries to match the IDs in new positions to the list in the ECU but doesn't throw an error. Perhaps 8 miles doesn't exceed that window. I hope that if you go long enough it would appear, but glad we can reprogram the system now and avoid the problem in the first place.
 

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Others have reported that the system is capable of relearning positions when tires are rotated and the sensor IDs remain the same, just in different places. So there has to be some kind of timeout window in the code where the system tries to match the IDs in new positions to the list in the ECU but doesn't throw an error. Perhaps 8 miles doesn't exceed that window. I hope that if you go long enough it would appear, but glad we can reprogram the system now and avoid the problem in the first place.
Can the ts508 also reprogram using the stock Subaru sensors on 2018s? I have a set of snows with rims and Oem sensors. Subaru wants an arm and a leg to reprogram and discount tire is a zoo this time of year.
 
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