TPMS (tire pressure monitoring system) is a great asset to monitor the air pressure of tires on the go. The system works with the help of sensors installed on the rim/valve stem of vehicle tires. But what happens when you replace the tires? Do new tires come with TPMS sensors by default?
Is it necessary to replace or re-align the TPMS sensors when you replace tires? All these questions and many others will be answered in this post. So, continue reading!
Do new tires come with TPMS sensors?
No. New tires do not come with TPMS sensors. It is only the tire that you can buy as a new object.
However, TPMS sensors can be installed on the new tire as an additional option by paying some extra fee to the tire dealer.
Vehicle owners can also swap the existing TPMS sensors from the old tires to the new ones which is another alternative.
If the TPMS is really necessary from a requirement and regulation perspective it is best to contact your local tire dealer for getting the job done.
Is it necessary to have TPMS sensors?
The necessity of TPMS sensors depends on personal preference and local vehicle regulations.
You don’t have any choice but to have the TPMS sensors installed on your vehicle if it is mandated by the vehicle rules and regulations of your residing country.
As a personal preference, you can drive your vehicle with or without TPMS sensors.
Having said that, there are more cons than pros to not having TPMS sensors on a vehicle.
TPMS sensors are valuable components that help in alerting the driver when the tire pressure is low.
Low tire pressure or in other words underinflation is a major cause of increased tire wear, tire blowouts, decreased fuel economy, and many other tire-related issues leading to unsafe driving conditions.
Modern vehicles are therefore equipped with TPMS sensors and systems to counter the low-inflation tire scenarios.
If you want your vehicle tires to remain well-maintained, well-balanced, properly inflated, and long-lasting then TPMS sensors are necessary. So…
Do you need to replace TPMS sensors when getting new tires?
Yes and no. A lot of things depend on the type of new tires, type of the TPMS model you have, and the method you want to apply for replacing tires.
New type of tires –
If you are getting a completely new set of tires from a different brand than the existing ones chances of replacing TPMS sensors increases.
This is because no new tire size, shape, and style remain the same. For example, tires with a larger diameter, wider width, different styles of the rim, etc. from the existing one may not suit the operational requirements of pre-installed TPMS sensors.
In such scenarios, tire shops/dealers will by default recommend replacing the TPMS sensors with the ones that showcase better compatibility with the new set of tires.
To get accurate and reliable pressure readings, it is important to ensure and replace the TPMS sensors according to the size and style of new tires.
Swapping of tires –
Under swapping, you don’t need to replace the TPMS sensors since the process involves only exchanging the tires (old with new ones).
Here the dimensions and structure of the tires do not change and assuming there is no impact or damage done while changing tires, the sensors will work fine.
More than replacement a small servicing effort on TPMS sensors could be enough which is normally recommended by tire servicing shops when swapping tires.
The servicing mainly covers inspection and replacement (if necessary) on valve stem and core, retaining nuts, seal, cap, and grommets.
Again, there is no guarantee of TPMS sensors work accurately after swapping tires and therefore it is important to ensure proper servicing or replacement is carried out to run your vehicle on correct tire pressure.
Type of TPMS sensors –
TPMS works on two types of sensors/systems. There is dTPMS which is the direct TPMS method that works on sensors directly installed on the tire rims/valves.
dTPMS method normally remains unaffected with respect to the change of tires. Whether you replace or swap tires such instruments reset themselves by responding to their automatic readjusting feature.
Drivers can start to visualize the pressure readings on their electronic dashboards after running their vehicles a few miles on the new tires.
In case the sensors are damaged while changing tires ignorantly, the system may not operate correctly. As a result, a replacement of TPMS sensors will be necessary.
The second method is iTPMS. This is an indirect TPMS method that is linked with the anti-lock braking (ABS) system/sensor of a vehicle.
Again, there is no need to replace the TPMS sensors if your vehicle is equipped with iTPMS unless you find abnormalities in the pressure reading.
If the ABS is untouched while changing the tires TPMS will work uninterrupted. The problem arises when the connection/linkage of ABS is loosened or damaged during the process which fails the detection of tire pressure by the TPMS.
iTPMS works on manual settings which means resetting the instrument with the help of a technician or the tire dealer. So, get it done immediately after changing the tires.
How much does it cost to install TPMS sensors?
Installation of TPMS sensors may cost up to or more than $100. The installation charge varies according to the type and size of the sensors.
Another factor taken into consideration is the type of tire. If it is a TPMS-equipped tire you are looking to replace or change it could end up costing more owing to the additional tools and labor charges.
Secondly, tire swapping can be another expensive process. There is a possibility of sensors getting damaged or broken while removing and installing them to new tires.
The whole process i.e. removal and installation are charged individually for each tire which can go into a couple of 100 dollars.
Here is a small video that talks about TPMS sensor replacement and tire changes:
Can I replace just one TPMS sensor?
Yes, you can replace just one TPMS sensor or as required. What matters is compatibility and similarity.
You cannot buy a new TPMS sensor that is different than other ones because the sensor needs to be programmed with the ECU for identification and connection.
The specifications and dimensions of a new sensor must be in-line with the other sensors so that you get the correct pressure reading on all the tires.
However, it is important to note that the replacement of sensors is a tricky process and is better performed under the guidance of professional technicians irrespective of the cost.
What causes a TPMS sensor replacement?
The most common causes for a TPMS sensor replacement include:
- Damages to the sensors during the installation or replacement of tires,
- Lack of service to the sensor components especially after tire replacements
- Out-of-power battery (more than 5-6 years old)
- Rusting and corrosion of TPMS sensors due to atmospheric conditions
Any one or all of the above factors are an indication that the TPMS sensor needs replacement.
Related Read: Causes of a car tire explosion
New tires are completely raw in terms of material, size, and shape. None of them are equipped with TPMS sensors unless opted for as a paid service installation.
Ensure the accuracy and operational aspects of new TPMS sensors by running your vehicle a few miles.
It is not necessary to replace the sensors after every tire replacement however, do not hesitate to service the sensor components if recommended by the tire shop.
If you are completely adopting a new set of tires ensure the compatibility of TPMS sensors. In case of a mismatch, it is better to replace them with new ones.
As a precaution, keep the tires properly inflated, avoid speeding, and drive slowly through the potholes, debris, or any other challenges on the road so that the tires and sensors remain in good shape and protected.
I hope you have understood the concept of changing tires and TPMS sensors associated with them by reading this post and are now in a better position to make the right decisions.