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TPMS issue

12270 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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Does it actually report low (like 25 psi or something) or does it report "--"? The dashes mean it's not receiving a signal, and since you have the problem in the same place each time (one of the further away wheels), it sounds like interference. Remove all dash cams and anything plugged in or electronic that isn't stock (even just a USB adapter, HID lights, LED internal lights, etc.) and see if it goes away. If it's actually reporting 25psi when it's really 42psi, and has done this after sensor changes... well, you got me there. You don't keep a spare in the hatch with a sensor, right?
Every time a wheel is moved, a relearn has been conducted, both at the Chevrolet dealer and tire shops. Different sensors have been used and I sure have been paying for new ones. I have watched technicians change the sensor. The car has no modifications, apart from a small dash camera, which even when unplugged and sitting in the console turned off, isn't the cause of interference. The temperature has gone up and guess what, the sensors are reading again. When driving to Florida from Toronto, the system always has trouble with cold temperatures. It will operate correctly for a few hours, then suddenly act up and tell me that the RR is low on air. It does display a number, not the dashes. Once in Florida, the problem goes away. A month and 1/2 later on the trip home, as soon as it hits cold weather, it begins it's little dance. I keep a tire gauge in the car, and the tires do not loose air. In fact, due to a flat tire, the rear tires are new Goodyears with yes, new sensors again.
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Wow, that's frustrating. I'd say you can rule out the sensors at this point, so that leaves the receiver. Maybe the part is bad in some crazy way, or it has an intermittent connection or chaffing wire somewhere. I'd try replacing the receiver box and checking the wiring that it connects to.
At this point, I think I will just give up. I will just check tire pressures and fortunately have compressor access in our garages. I wish I could defeat the readout in the dash - when the rr is acting up, the center part of the screen becomes a tire display and an annoying yellow light tells me there is a problem.
Thanks for everyone's insight!
I finally bought the $34 tire relearn tool from Amazon. Have the snows on and have relearned all four wheels. We'll see if the problem persists - the cold weather is now upon us and it seems to be part of the issue.
This may have been asked and answered, but do you have any power supply plugged in to the car for a dash cam or the like? A "dirty" power brick can emit EMF that interferes with the TPMS receiver. It's happened before.
The OEM small lithium battery in the TPMS lasts between 5 to 12 yrs, with an average of 7 years, depending on how long are the sleep periods (car not running). Hopefully new technology will improve life span, and the prices of new TPMS will go down...changing 4 new tires with TPMS could be a small fortune, you could have bought a full new car for that price in the 1960's !.
Again, nothing else is plugged in. I did have a camera plugged in last summer. The system worked with no problems for months. It just happens, especially when the cold weather strikes. I do have various phones in the car - my Blackberry, my wife's iphone, but nothing that is connected in any way. It just comes and goes. I will update the story with the second set of wheels and tires. If it is the car, the problem will recur.
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