Remote Tire Pressure Sensors

The car in question is a 2002 Audi Allroad with 26,000 miles. In November, I was getting a warning indication that the tire sensing system had a system failure (not a low tire pressure indication). The local Audi dealership said that the two front tire sensors had low battery life and replaced them at a cost of $559. They apparently can’t just replace the batteries, but must replace the entire sensor.

Now the same indication has appeared and the Audi dealership said that the two rear tire sensors had low battery life and these also had to be replaced at a cost of $559.

I have asked the dealership and Audi customer care if this a normal maintenance item that is to be expected after say 5 or 6 years. Neither could or would answer the question as to whether is a normal expense to be expected after a certain time frame.

Can you provide insight on these tire sensors, which I understand are now mandated by Federal law? Is the Audi system particularly expense to repair, or can one expect this type of expense with any make of car today?

I’ve yet to figure the wims of the sensor light for my 4 Runner, esp when I put snows on…for that money, it’s time to tape over the light if it bothers you.

I wasn’t aware of tire pressure sensors being federally mandated. Where did you get that informaion? Can anyone else elaborate?

NHTSA did propose such a mandate that would have taken effect about now, but it was overturned by a court ruling. AFAIK, there is no such active mandate at this time. You can be sure NHTSA is working on how to sneak one through at a later time. Busy busy little fingers…

Oh yeah, I forgot to post my advice to the OP webotkin. Guy, just place some black tape over that stupid light. That’s what I would have done when the first pair died.

You can ignore them, they are only dummy lights. I could think of many better ways to spend $1100+. People made it about 80 years prior without them. Although we used to have service stations who would check this stuff.

We have a new 08 car with this feature. Going from what I know at this time is that battery replacement in each wheel’s sender requires that the tires must be removed so that a new battery can be installed. I can’t imagine why this should cost more than the time that it requires to remove each tire on one bead only to access the sender, replace the pressure sender battery and then reinstall the bead. The process should require not much more than 10 minutes per tire with a tire machine according to my uninformed opinion having changed a tire or two with tire irons and cardboard to protect aluminum rims from damage.

For $559, I would instead let the system die and go to the old fashioned method, check tire pressures once in a while. The Gummint, hungry lawyers and safety nannies can go stuff it for that much money!

I don’t care for the low tire sensing system. I was using a Ford minivan on business that belonged to the institution where I teach. We were returning from a conference and at 1:00 a.m. we found ourselves on a Interstate with road construction. The traffic was restricted to one lane in each direction and the surface of the Interstate had been milled. Apparently, the vibration set the system off. There was no place to get off the road. However, I didn’t feel any pull in the steering wheel. When we were out of the construction zone, I got off at a rest stop and checked the tires. All seemed o.k. The owner’s manual was in the glove compartment, so I found out how to turn off the light and reset the system. It didn’t come on for the rest of the trip. Maybe the system on the Audi is different, but I don’t care for false alarms like this.

Steve F. - The Audi dealership was the source of the statement that the sensors were mandated on all cars today. Taping over the light is not an option. It is not just the light. There is an extememly loud alarm that also comes on. Audi said they can not disable the system by Federal law just as they can’t tamper with emissions equipment, etc.

Also, black tape is not the answer. That area of the dashboard has other very critical indicators also.

Bill B.


Acording to Wikipedia, TPMS’s were required on all new cars starting in September, 2007 - meaning all MY2008 cars will have one.

Tire Pressure Monitoring systems are required on all new cars now.

Most use the wheel speed sensors and compare the rotational speeds, a low tire having a smaller rolling circumference than a full tire. In short, most makers have found a way to do this that does not require that cost due to simple battery failure.