2010 Cobalt TPMS Issue


2010 Chev. Cobalt with 68k miles. Rotated the tires front to back last night, then reset the TPMS. This morning my daughter started it up and a “Low Tire Pressure” appeared on the Driver Information Center (DIC). The TPMS malfunction light did not appear and the Left Front tire reading was “0 psi”. I reset the TPMS again and the Left Front reading was normal.

My daughter drove about a mile and the message appeared again with the Left Front reading 0 psi again. Still no TPMS malfunction light. The owner’s manual only states that the malf. light will only appear when there is a fault in the system, it doesn’t address a 0 psi reading.

Is this an indication that the sensor battery is low (8 years old) or the sensor is failing? Or that I’m not doing the TPMS reset procedure correctly?

Ed B.

I would suspect that the sensors are good if you weren’t experiencing any problems previously. Are you doing the full relearn utilizing the turn signals and the pressure increase/decrease at the corresponding wheel? I have previously had good luck utilizing Discount Tire with TPMS issues.

The Discount Tire suggestion is good. They used a hand held reset tool when I had a TPMS light that would clear.


Yes, I’d say batteries are very likely the issue. I don’t think the batteries are replaceable. They weren’t on my Ford. I had to replace the sensor itself. Cost about $40 each.

I’m guessing it’s the tire pressure sensor battery too. The sensor transmits a radio signal to the controller, and the signal strength depends on where the tire is located in relation to the controller. So when you changed the location of the wheels as part of the rotation, a wheel with a weak sensor must be now located in a place where the signal strength gets diminished more than it did in its prior location.

Before replacing the sensor, try fully deflating, then re-inflating the tire with an issue maybe. Worth a shot anyway. You cold try disconnecting the battery for 2-3 hours too, to effect a full computer system reset. Could cause other problems however. 8 year old sensors, I expect you’ll end up replacing all of them pretty soon in any event. Probably the smart money would be on just replacing all of the sensors at this point.

Thanks for the ideas. My daughter was going away for the weekend so I didn’t have too much time to play with the TPMS. I wanted to make sure the tire was okay before she left.

It took a couple of tries to get through the TPMS relearn procedure. Hopefully I’ll have another go on Sunday when I have more time to play with it. I’ll update when I have a chance.

Ed B.

Provided when you checked the actual pressure and it was ok, I’d guess the sensor needs to be replaced-battery weak. When mine went I just got a dash and no reading but at any rate the thing is defective. Cost me about $80 for one. You just do one at a time.

Finally had a chance to have another look at the Cobalt. The read out was normal (~34 psi). I took it for a drive, after a few miles the readout started fluctuating between 20 to 34 psi then went to 0 psi and TPMS malf. light came on. Before I got home the readout went back to 35 psi.

With a reading from the tire I was able to complete the relearn process, now the dash display is consistent with the tire location. I’m pretty sure it’s just the tire sensor, so I’ll get it replaced.

Ed B.