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If I order a winter aluminum wheel/tire package from Tire rack with teh TPMS sensors already installed, my understanding is that I still have to go to the dealer to have the vehicle programmed to read the sensors. True? Am I better off with just the tires mounted on the cheaper steel rim and have the existing TPMS senseors moved onto the steel rim? thanks
 

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If you do it that way you will have to have the system reset to the unique sensors for each set of wheels. So every spring and fall you will have to go to the dealer, or maybe an independent shop with the right too to have the system set to whatever set of wheels you are mounting.

If you swap out the OEM ones from your summers to your winter wheels you wont have to reprogram, but you will have to get a rebuild kit every time you switch them to replace the gaskets and nuts. Also you risk damaging them with all the mounts/dismounts, they are relatively delicate from what i hear.

I decided it was too much trouble and just run my winter wheel/tire set without the sensors and live with the dash indicator over the winter.
If you search for "Orange tpms" on the forums there is a big thread about tpms sensors that are able to clone existing sensors. I considered that but the company looked kind of unstable last year when I looked. Someone posted recently that the company seemed to have disappeared...
 

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Their are other manufactures of the sensors and readers and reprogrammers. They are not cheap but a local tire shop should have one and be able to do it for you.
 
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