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TPMS issue

12229 Views 47 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  ianjay
Got my Volt a few months ago. Had to have rotors and brakes worked on as mentioned in another post, and all has been good since then. I did, though, have a recent alignment done and two new tires purchased. I had the old tires moved to the front and new tires installed in the back since I had put about 5000 miles on my car since it was purchased.

On my front driver side tire, my TPMS tells me, from time to time, there is a problem. It will last for a while (10-15 min of drive time). TPMS has been relearned by local chevy dealer (and when they looked at the tires, they could find no problems with TPMS), and pressure is ok..The sensor shows that this tire has a problem (I'm assuming with low tire pressure), but readings from gauge/digital pump shows everything is ok.

What are possible causes? I'm only familiar with cars that tell you a tire is low, but my Volt measures pressure for each tire. This has happened for about two weeks. Tire warning light goes on. I measure pressure. Tire pressure is ok. Warning light goes off after a few more minutes of driving.
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You didn't mention what year your car was, but like another poster, I'm guessing the battery in the TPMS sensor is dying. I don't think the batteries are replaceable, you might need new TPMS sensors all around (the others might go shortly).

A cheaper solution would be to ignore the warning and check your tire pressures all the time. A good tire gauge is much cheaper than having a tire shop replace TPMS sensors.

An even more expensive solution is to get a whole new set of wheels, tires, and TPMS at Discount Tire or Tire Rack, upgrading the look of the car. I got new tires and wheels, then put snow tires on the original OEM wheels.
TPMS Is a good system but never perfect. My first experience with TPMS was in a rental 2009 Chevy Impala in Orlando, Florida. (Enterprise), in January 2009. The following day after I rented the Impala, the left rear tire gave a warniing on the DIC (26 PSI), while the other three were at 31 PSI. I have no air pump, so I visited a local Walmart and bought a cheap 12VDC air pump and a mechanical tire gauge. When I measured that tire, its pressure was 29 PSI, so I used to pump to increase its PSI to 31. The gauge measured 31 PSI in all four tires. But the DIC still had the 26 PSI reading.

When I returned the Impala after the week, I reported the problem to Enterprise because the next rentee will probably have the same issue. Now I have a 2009 Chevy Equinox, and the TPMS reports all tires one or two units below the mechanical gauge PSI readings. So I don't trust the DIC readings 100%. I prefer to go "old school" (as posted above) and manually measure the tire pressures, but I do use the Equinox DIC as a warning when the TPMS PSI reading drop below 30 PSI.

I have also seen and read about the Ford system. Their TPMS PSI readings are taken by the BCM but stored, and the DIC only reports the "low pressure" warning when the TPMS reading drops below a specific level. It doesn't report the actual TPMS PSI reading, nor give you which tire! A Ford owner must carry the gauge to find which tire has the low pressure (The new Ford cars do come with air pumps in the trunk, just as new GM cars do).

So the GM TPMS is more user friendly, but I will never trust their readings completely.
After monitoring my Volt's TPMS for 3 years, the car's readings match my manual round dial tire gauge exactly
I have had problems with my right rear tire. Comes and goes. Twice I had new sensors installed (and sensors relearned) which never really solved the problem. Still comes and goes which makes me wonder if it is not the sensor. I have a good air gauge and compressors in my garages. It is a MY2012. Kind of annoying, but I don't want to risk having the rim scratched any further. I wish you better luck.
You wouldn't happen to be using a cheap Chinese dashcam or some other electronic device in your car, would you? Others have reported TPMS issues with various devices in their cars.
Had the right rear tire pressure monitor problems for 45 minutes, then two for two minutes the indicator light told me there was a problem (couldn't have been, the sensor was new!). After two minutes or so, the indicator began reading the tire pressure again. To be continued...
So when you are saying the tire has a problem, is it showing a lower pressure number on the dash, or does it just show double dashes where the tire should be showing pressure? Also curious is that in your first post you reported front driver side, and now you mention right rear. Did the problem tire get moved in a tire rotation?
Well, if you know the actual pressure is correct, either the value being sent by the TPMS is bad, or the receiving unit is having a problem receiving the signal. Since you've had the problem with two different wheels at the same RR position, I'd assume it's the receiver. If you have, or can find a TPMS device (like the Autel TS-401) that directly reads the TPMS signal, battery strength, and temp, you can verify that the sensor is sending out the correct info. Then you can take it to the dealer with proof that the receiver is the piece having the problem (broken or shielded?).
Check all 4 tires. It’s possible that the last tire change didn’t relearn the TPMS correctly and one of the other tires is actually low
Yes exactly. No matter where the supposedly bad sensor has been put on the car, no matter if the sensors are replaced, only the right rear position indicates a problem. Also, cold weather seems to trigger the condition.
That indicates to me that you have a dying TPMS battery. The batteries aren't replaceable, so you need a new one. Maybe the replacement you purchased was sitting on the shelf for a few years or a substandard Chinese one.
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