Tire Pressure Monitoring System


#1

My wife just traded in a 2006 Toyota Solara SLE V-6 Coupe for a new 2008 Solara Convertible. We have a full set of four wheels and snow tires from the '06 that have very little mileage on them but fit on the '08 just fine. The '08 has the tire pressure monitoring system. Liability issues aside, is it absolutely imperative to have the TPMS sensors installed? I realize the light on the dash may remain on, but if I am good at keeping an eye on the pressure in the tires, are the sensors an absolute must?


#2

Functionally, I don’t think there is any problem with running without the sensors. However, make sure to run this idea past your insurance agent.


#3

All 2008 model cars are required to have tire pressure monitoring systems. I think you’ll be hard-pressed to find someone who will disable a federally required safety related system. And, if you have state safety inspections, it’s guaranteed to fail.


#4

Depends on the type of sensor. If it’s the type that sits on the valve stem, which Arkatect seems to be saying, then there is nothing to disable, you just don’t put the sensor back on after you switch tires. However, the light will be on, and as mountainbike says, it may fail state inspection.

The other type uses the ABS wheel rotation sensors to determine if a tire has low pressure due to it’s smaller diameter and thus faster rotation rate. In this case, you can swap tires all you want, the system will still operate.


#5

The Solara uses the wheel speed sensors.


#6

Well, then Arkatect has no problems, switch the tires/wheels and the TPS will still work.


#7

Excellent point.


#8

Thanks for the input everyone. I have to believe however, that this Solara has direct sensors, either in the stem or inside on the wheel (I haven’t checked the stems of the summer wheels yet). I say this because the light comes on (blinking at first) and stays on every time we drive the car. If it were the “indirect” type of system that relies on the ABS and speed sensors, the light wouldn’t be on at all, as all the tires are currently properly inflated. As for the inspection, I’m not sure if they would fail it or not, but at the time of year the inspection is up the summers will be on it anyway.

My Chrysler 300C has the direct type and the on board computer actually tells you the pressure of each individual tire. Much more useful than a single idiot light if you ask me. But, I don’t necessarily trust the accuracy of it and I check them myself regularly anyway. It does seem to be in line with what my pressure gauge tells me though, so perhaps my trust level will grow! Happy motoring!


#9

If it blinks and then stays on perhaps the system needs to be reinitialized. The light should not stay on, but only come on at initial startup during the self check. Have you checked the owner’s manual?