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Is there a LAW mandating working tire pressure sensors?

Do you, or have you ever worked fleet?

Like I said, there are a lot of peculiarities and things that just don’t make sense

Yes, where I work, it actually is easier to order that set of pads or the alternator, versus the tpms sensor cloned to serial number #12345678

Right now if I’m doing a service on a vehicle and run into a bad sensor, I grab one off the shelf. Then I bring the tire over to the machine, let out the air, break the bead, replace the sensor, air it up, remount it on the vehicle, reinitialize tpms, and I’m done. And it takes only a few minutes.

What you’re proprosing would entail filling out a paper parts requisition form, which alone takes longer than actually replacing the sensor. Then I submit it to my boss. Then it gets handed over to our parts guy, who FAXES . . . yes, faxes, that was no typo . . . it to an approved vendor.

The quickest turnaround time when requisitioning parts or services is when a vehicle gets picked up for a steering alignment. It’s a matter of a few hours before they even show up to pick up the vehicle . . .

Part of the problem is that only certain businesses are on the “approved list of vendors” . . . and it’s pretty difficult to get another business on the list. And many businesses don’t even want to apply to be on the list. Yes, they have to jump through some hoops to even apply.

I believe the fact that I’m fleet AND work for a city, makes my situation even more peculiar, versus a fleet mechanic working for UPS, Penske, etc. I’ve got pencil pushers in city hall, and even politicians withholding money, that complicate things to take in account.

It may not sound like there’s a lot of problems with my job. It certainly has its quirks, but the benefits are quite good, relative job stability is a big plus, and the pay is quite fair. Yes, I could earn more on the outside, but I could also earn less, or the shop owner could sell and I’m out of a job, or business could dry up, because the shop owner doesn’t know how to run his business efficiently.

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A fax huh? In this day and age? I think it was back in 2010 or so that I threw away my fax machine. I couldn’t remember the last time I had used it, and I decided that if I couldn’t conduct business with you web-based or by email, I didn’t need you. But I understand your situation. Everything needs to have a trail and be accounted for and approved by someone. And I understand that government bureaucracy can get in the way of just doing your job. Sometimes the best way to get the right part the first time is for the tech to click his mouse and order it himself.

A year ago we decided to relocate, so I needed to find a job. As luck would have it, there was an opening as fleet maintenance supervisor for a government fleet in this city. I went through all the interviews and vetting until I was one of 2 candidates and withdrew. The more I learned about the job the more I realized that a job like that wasn’t for me. I decided to stay on the outside, and took a job flagging hours, just another flat-rate mechanic with an 8-5 job.

The shop I’m at now used to keep TPMS sensors in stock, but I was able to talk the owner into not tying up that money in inventory.

I’ll make some comments, and they’re not meant to be critical in any way

Without even seeing what that fleet maintenance supervisor job paid, I’m quite confident that whoever did finally take the job is probably quite satisfied

you realized the job wasn’t for you, but somebody else probably saw it differently

another interesting comment . . . my city wouldn’t have let an outsider apply for that job

Again . . . my comments are not meant to be critical in any way. They’re just my observations and/or opinions

Nahh, why would I think them critical? We’re all just here to exchange ideas and observations, right?

There were no internal candidates that met the criteria. They wanted an experienced tech, ASE Master, college degree, with prior experience as a fleet manager or retail shop manager, with experience scheduling and supervising 6-10 people. The pay they offered was less than a talented mechanic could make on the open market. Decent money I guess, but not enough for a guy who’s hungry to make hours. They touted the great medical, vacation, retirement, 7:30-4:30 workday, etc. But those things aren’t important to me. I don’t care if my lunch is only 20 minutes long or if Dec. 26 is a paid holiday. I go to work to fix cars and make money and get better and better at my job.

Nobody gets rich being a mechanic, you’ve got to enjoy the work, and I honestly love an independent retail shop. A guy who used to work for me found a job doing fleet service, and he loves it. And from what he told me, I’d hate it. Some of it for the reasons you stated above.

So I took a job as a lead tech, flat-rating again which I hadn’t done in 12 years. No more headaches of being manager or owner. Walk in at 8, walk out at 5. Simple, just fix cars all day long. Lasted about 8 months. Then the owner tells me he’s looking for my replacement. Not to fire me, but to make me shop manager. Back to putting out fires and keeping everyone pointed in the right direction again.


That is funny that they didn’t have any internal candidates, who met the criteria

Right now, I’m working with a guy who meets all of the criteria, except he’s not college educated. But he ran a successful shop for decades. He had severe cancer, overcame it, and is primarily concentrated on getting strong and healthy again.

I can also think of a few mechanics in my fleet right now who have college degrees, but have no experience running a shop

The school district for which I worked only began buying fax machines in 2002, and–to the best of my knowledge–they are still using them. Those now-archaic machines are often the only way to obtain student records rapidly when a student transfers from one district to another.

While it’s true you can delete the tpms if you choose,I’ll bet walmart won’t mount the tires without the sensors working.
I’ve got some extended family that is a dept mngr at walmart tle. They won’t rotate tires if there’s any sign of cupping or alignment issues. They won’t install a tire unless it’s what the sticker on the door calls for. (Can’t put on a 205 instead of a 195 for instance). Lots of rules in place to protect them I guess.
I drive a truck for an ltl company and we deliver Goodyear and pirelli tires to Walmart and Sam’s club. We also deliver goodyears to Goodyear stores. When you pick one up you can tell a walmart Goodyear from a goodyear Goodyear if you know what I mean.
I was getting a young man to sign for a WM delivery once and I asked his first name so I could enter it in my handheld. He said “Dallas, like the state” as I typed I said well Dallas is a city not a state. He replied " oh yeah I never was good at geometry".


Riiight…If you can fax it, you can scan it and email it. With far less effort I might ad.

One of the last uses I had for a fax machine was for a dealer parts dept. to send me over an exploded parts diagram so we could pick out the parts we needed for a repair. But the resolution wasn’t great, so I started asking for a picture to be emailed. The quality was so much better. There were a few dealers that were slow to change formats from fax to email but they all came around.

I do remember dealing with an extended warranty company that wanted me to fax them an estimate for approval. They said the service reps didn’t have access to company emails. When I told my customer that her car repair would be delayed a day or two because I had to find time to run to Kinkos she just about went through the roof with them.

Asemaster, for future reference, there are services where you can email to a specific email address and it will result in a FAX sent. Don’t recall the details, but I used it a few years ago to send a FAX to someone staying in a small hotel in London.

IF the school in question has computers, and IF they have e-mail capability, and IF they have a scanner, then…yes…that is true.
However, in some parts of the country, the lag in technology for schools is much worse than you realize.

There remain billions of documents not stored electronically for which FAX machines are still the best way to transmit. There probably will be for another few generations at least.

Digital storage is a mixed blessing. It’s fast, convenient, easy, and if your hard drive goes down or the technology suddenly changes (as in: 8mm to VHS to Beta to VHS to DVD to thumb drives) you could lose all those wonderful photos of your kids when they were young or of your military years.

Our school records were only stored digitally beginning sometime in the late '90s. Whenever anyone who graduated prior to that time requested a transcript, the records clerk had to search for the appropriate file cabinet in the dead storage area, pull a crumbling paper copy, make a photocopy of it, and then fax the transcript.

The really old records are all on microfilm (so that the really old paper copies could be discarded), and she has to find the correct roll of microfilm, shuttle through it to find that person’s records, and then print it and fax it.

When we asked when the old records would become digitized, we were told…never…
Schools may well wind up being the last places that need to use fax machines on a regular basis.

Thank you Keith,

Mine are okay now, but when I get the car inspected, I’d like to have one, or two on hand. The idiot inspector, last year broke one of them, and didn’t replace one of the lug nut caps on a
wheel. Of course, I had to pay for a new sensor.

What were they inspecting, brake shoes? Your experience makes me glad we don’t have inspections. Of course when I see vehicles on the road that should have been scrapped many years ago I wish we did have inspections.

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FAX use is actually growing YoY.
It is MANDATED by the US government for many of our ITAR controlled documents due to the security it provides over standard email. The FAX over internet services are not the same and basically only as secure as email unless encrypted.

Some background info-

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There’s always people who would rather do without new technology like TPS because of the maintenance and you have my sympathy but I would not do without it. Yes, if you have a tire gauge and a brain you’ll adjust your tire pressure on the 1st of every month but what TPS will do for you is, it’ll warn you of a small leak so you won’t set out on a trip with a low tire that is about to become a flat tire.

Not sure where you live OP, but requirements like that vary county by county here in Calif. And such variation might include the tire pressure sensors, b/c the sensors are probably considered part of the emissions package. Emissions problems are more severe in some counties than others. Some counties here in Calif you don’t even have to pass any emissions test at all. Others the test has to be passed, and is very burdensome and strict. As you might this opens the possibility of gaming the system, and there’s a sort of black market on how to register your car in those no-test counties, even if you live in a county that requires emissions testing.

George . . . I do smog inspections in Los Angeles, probably the strictest area in the country

TPMS is not considered “part of the emissions package”

But I agree that non-functioning TPMS might prevent a car passing a safety inspection in certain areas of the country. I say might, because I don’t live in such an area

partial list by state:
Delaware No. Confirmed by the DMV.
Hawaii Yes. TPMS needs to be functioning properly in order to pass inspection.
Louisiana No. Confirmed by the DMV.
Maine No. Confirmed by the DMV.
Massachusetts No. Confirmed by the DMV.
Mississippi No. Confirmed by the DMV.
Missouri No. Confirmed by the DMV.
New Hampshire No. Confirmed by the DMV.
New Jersey No. Confirmed by the DMV.
New York No. TPMS is inspected but it is not grounds for inspection failure.
North Carolina No. Confirmed by the DMV.
Pennsylvania No. Confirmed by the DMV.
Rhode Island Yes. TPMS needs to be functioning properly in order to pass inspection.
Texas No. Confirmed by the DMV.
Utah No. Confirmed by the DMV.
Vermont Yes. TPMS needs to be functioning properly in order to pass inspection.
Virginia No. Confirmed by the DMV.
West Virginia Yes. TPMS needs to be functioning properly in order to pass inspection.


…and, perhaps even more importantly, it will notify you of sudden pressure loss while you are driving.

A couple of months ago, I was driving my friend’s Rav-4, and the TPMS warning light suddenly came on.
I pulled into a parking lot, checked the pressure in all of the tires manually, and found that the left rear was down to–IIRC–19 psi. If not for the TPMS, I most likely would have driven until the thump-thump stage, and might very likely have wiped-out the sidewall of the tire.

Luckily, the parking lot where I pulled over was adjacent to a Costco, so I had them repair the tire while I had a cheap lunch and then did some shopping. This is a departure from their earlier business practices, but Costco will now repair tires no matter where they were purchased. The only difference is that if the tires were not purchased from them, there is a charge for the repair. If you have proof of purchase from them, then the repair is free under the terms of the Road Hazard Warranty that they include in the purchase price of their tires.

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