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Old 11-22-2010, 11:31 AM   #1
hikeeba
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Default Seeking current, solid TPMS info as it relates to aftermarket wheels

I currently have a 2008 WRX, and I am familiar with the TPMS and how it works with the stock wheels. I have placed an order for a new Subaru, and am considering adding a 2nd set of wheels to be used with the new car. I am interested in a set of aftermarket wheels that I plan to purchase from The Tire Rack. I would like to continue utilizing the TPMS with the aftermarket wheels.

Based on my searching this technical forum, I have concluded:

-Aftermarket TMPS sensors might work
-A Subaru dealership needs to see your car and hook up an OBDII tool in order for your car to recognize the TPMS sensors each time you swap wheels. More often than not, there is a charge for this service.
-There may be a tool (Ateq QuickSet) that will allow the owner to successfully swap wheel sets at home and get the car to recognize the different TPMS sensors.


What is the most common solution these days for those who want to utilize the system for two set of wheels?

What are other people doing? My Subaru Salesguy drives an '09 WRX. He said he didn't want to pay the additional $$ for the sensor when he ordered his aftermarket wheels, and that he just ignores the dash light while his summer wheels/tires are equipped.

Does anyone have any specific info applying to wheels and/or TPMS sensors purchased through The Tire Rack?

Does anyone have more specific/detailed information regarding the Ateq QuickSet tool? I have read that success with this tool has been few and far between.



Finally, is there enough interest in the topic to sticky a TPMS info/FAQ thread? Also, is Luke with Tire rack? Is he still around here?




I thank everyone in advance for their wisdom. And I apologize for my perceived n00bness. I do not visit the General/Technical forums very often these days. I've sort of been living in a 2008 WRX-induced coma for the last three years. The prospect of a 2011 WRX has me thinking about car stuff again.
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Old 11-22-2010, 03:25 PM   #2
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I think you still have to go to the dealer and have them reprogram the car for the new sensors. IIRC, there was something about the computer's architecture that makes it hard for the aftermarket reset tools to properly reprogram the car. Yeah, it sucks.
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Old 11-22-2010, 07:18 PM   #3
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^> FALSE

The Ateq quickset tool does work, but the GUI is much to be desired. Looks like a 5 yr. old designed the program, but it does work. YOU DO HAVE to know the ID numbers of the sensors your using so you can manually input them into the program then load onto the quickset, then hook to your car and flash. Which means if you don't have the ID's, you'll need another tool to scan the sensors. Another downfall is it is VIN specific.

There is a much better tool available that is a stand-alone unit not requiring a PC nor any other tool to get the ID's of the sensors. Bartec Tech400Plus, although a little pricey, works perfect every time. It will query your sensors (scan the sensor to get ID code, PSI, Temp.... etc) and also hook to your Datalink to flash your TPM module. Another plus, it will work with ANY and ALL TPMS sensors and Automobile manufacturers as many times as you like. Probably better suited for a shop or business, but in all honesty, you get what you pay for.

Aftermarket Sensors do work, and they work well. I bought four sensors from Carquest, installed them in MY02 WRX wheels and installed them on my MY10 WRX for winter. I bought the Schrader AirAware #28203 sensor.

Last edited by ki4syr; 11-22-2010 at 08:00 PM.
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Old 11-23-2010, 11:53 AM   #4
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Thanks. you guys. And ki4syr, if the Bartec Tech400Plus is what you consider a little pricey, I'd hate to see what you think is just plain pricey!

$1400 would probably pay for me to go to the dealership to have the TPMS sensors swapped over twice per year for about 10 years. I can only hope that a more affordable, DIY solution surfaces before the year 2022, because if it doesn't, I'll be kicking myself that I didn't spend the donuts in 2011!
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Old 11-23-2010, 12:12 PM   #5
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You can't take that money with you, might as well get what you need. Heck, I got a new Snap-On Solus Pro couple months back. My old MT2500 brick was getting outdated, even though it still works. I keep it at home and the Solus Pro at work.

As of current, the TPM sensors have saved me two tires. One on my WRX @ 3k miles and just the other day my wife had a nail which was caught before it got below 25 psi. Keeping these sensors working properly and being able to switch tire/wheel combo's at my convenience is priceless. The Tech400Plus is not limited to Subaru's, it will work with any of the TPM systems. I'm actually thinking of installing an aftermarket system on my lowboy trailer. I'm always finding nails in them tires.
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Old 11-23-2010, 01:06 PM   #6
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While not on a WRX, I do have the stock wheels/tires and winter wheels/tires that I swap on my '09 OBS and have the QuickSet tool. As noted, it is not the greatest, but their tech support was helpful in getting mine working right. Once I got the right version of the software I setup my vehicle in the GUI, downloaded the stock sensor info to the tool and set that to the SUMMER setting. Then inputed the new Sensor ID's for the winter set and just go back and forth loading to the car when I do the swap. And TPMS still works fine.

EDIT: By the way, got the winter wheel/tire setup from Tire Rack with sensors from them, too. Went with the sensors they recommended and they have worked fine.
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Old 11-23-2010, 01:12 PM   #7
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Man screw tpms.

I'm going to disable that freaking light, its annoying to me that it even exists.
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Old 11-23-2010, 02:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hikeeba View Post
My Subaru Salesguy drives an '09 WRX. He said he didn't want to pay the additional $$ for the sensor when he ordered his aftermarket wheels, and that he just ignores the dash light while his summer wheels/tires are equipped.
This is what I do. My OEM wheels with subaru tmps sensors don't work anymore anyways. I did get a couple years of them working before they borked.

I like that yellow light.....it is my car telling me that it loves me.....
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Old 11-23-2010, 04:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hikeeba View Post
Thanks. you guys. And ki4syr, if the Bartec Tech400Plus is what you consider a little pricey, I'd hate to see what you think is just plain pricey!

$1400 would probably pay for me to go to the dealership to have the TPMS sensors swapped over twice per year for about 10 years. I can only hope that a more affordable, DIY solution surfaces before the year 2022, because if it doesn't, I'll be kicking myself that I didn't spend the donuts in 2011!
The sensors shown above in ki4syr's post above are shown with the valve stems for the steel wheels. I am using that exact setup in steels on my 2011 wrx. I did buy the sensors and the quickset tool from tirerack. I think that the quickset tool can probably do the job for seasonal changeover, but it is very difficult to get done correctly. I actually messed up my quickset tool and had to have it replaced. The tool and it's windows interface is strange and difficult, and requires careful following of the instructions to successfully program the sensors. I ended up getting the dealer to reprogram my TPMS since the quickset broke when I didn't follow the instructions exactly.

Another issue on sensors is that the valve stem for sensors on alloy wheels is metal, and uses a gasket. I did some searches and found complaints about the metal stems leaking and corroding in the wheels resulting in trashed stems and maybe wheels.

No easy answers, I think it just depends on your priorities.
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Old 11-23-2010, 08:03 PM   #10
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I used those sensors/valve stems in aluminum rims. '02 WRX 16" wheels to be exact. The rubber stems are more universal for non-TPMS wheels.



Actually, that is the exact valve stem that's in my OEM MY10 WRX 17" wheels.
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Old 11-23-2010, 08:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ki4syr View Post
I used those sensors/valve stems in aluminum rims. '02 WRX 16" wheels to be exact. The rubber stems are more universal for non-TPMS wheels.



Actually, that is the exact valve stem that's in my OEM MY10 WRX 17" wheels.
Thanks for the correction. I would avoid the metal stems for winter rims.
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Old 11-23-2010, 08:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daverup View Post
Another issue on sensors is that the valve stem for sensors on alloy wheels is metal, and uses a gasket. I did some searches and found complaints about the metal stems leaking and corroding in the wheels resulting in trashed stems and maybe wheels.

No easy answers, I think it just depends on your priorities.
I've not noticed any corrosion on the aluminum stems when attached to aluminum rims. Aluminum on aluminum normally won't corrode. What I have seen is where people put steel valve stem caps on the aluminum stems and they fuse together and end up breaking the stem off trying to adjust tire pressure. They include plastic caps for the aluminum stems for a reason.

Last edited by ki4syr; 11-24-2010 at 12:17 PM. Reason: i just checked, u can't change just grommets. sry
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Old 11-26-2010, 08:40 PM   #13
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So, basically, I would need to replace the valve stem on the oem tpms before swapping them to my new rims?

I was thinking of getting a new set, but if they need reprogramming, I might not do it. The thing is that I was planning on selling my oem rims, so I didn't want to do anything to them.

Any of you guys running without the sensors still have them? Anyone willing to sell them? I have an '08 WRX, but I'm guessing most Subies from that year and up should have the same sensors. I'd assume they'd have to be programed for my car, right?
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Old 11-28-2010, 01:14 PM   #14
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If you notice in the pictures, there is a little screw that you remove to release the sensor from the valve stem. So you can just swap the sensors around instead of buying a new set, and never buy a valve stem unless you destroy one.
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Old 11-28-2010, 01:42 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ki4syr View Post
If you notice in the pictures, there is a little screw that you remove to release the sensor from the valve stem. So you can just swap the sensors around instead of buying a new set, and never buy a valve stem unless you destroy one.
That's exactly what the service manual explains. What I do hear a lot is that you should get a "tpms service kit" because they tend to leak after a while. The kit runs for about $12, so I guess I'll just do that.

Any other tip?

I'm guessing I'll just have to put normal stems on the oe rims to at least sell them "ready to use".
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Old 11-28-2010, 02:48 PM   #16
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Just a heads up,

Quote:
Originally Posted by flstffxe View Post
Here is a new option. Shrader-Bridgprot has new TPMS sensors. They are of a programmable type, you program the new sensor to the same ID as your old sensor vs programing a new ID into the TPMS module.

What this allows one to do is to run as many sets of wheel as one would want as long as they all had the new Shrader EZ sensors in them. Basically the EZ TPMS sensors in each set of wheels would be a clone of the original set of TPMS sensors. So as far as the TPMS module is concerned it sees no change, it still sees the same ID codes.

Some info:
http://www.ez-sensor.com/what-is-the-ez-sensor.html

http://www.ez-sensor.com/programming-the-sensor.html

I can't believe how far behind the times NASIOCs tire crowd is
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Old 11-29-2010, 08:29 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flstffxe View Post
Just a heads up,
Just another heads up:

Quote:
Originally Posted by ki4syr
Quote:
Originally Posted by flstffxe View Post
3. You then program the EZ-Sensors with the IDs of the summer set, you clone the summer set. You now have two sets of TPMS sensors with the same IDs, one being the factory set, the second being the EZ-Sensors in the winter wheels.
Well, unless you have access to a Schrader 21230 or Bartec Tech400Plus (what I have), you can't "program" these sensors. This is the first I've heard of these sensors, even though I have the current updates to my Tech400Plus, I've not seen mention of the EZ sensor. I'll have to do a little more digging.

Great concept though, luv the idea of programmable sensors. I'm sure though these sensors are gonna be twice-three times the price of normal sensors.

OH, and this ain't so old news, they were only unveiled at the SEMA show on Nov. 2, 2010. AND, they are not readily available yet.
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Old 12-03-2010, 12:05 PM   #18
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I think I can directly address some of the OP's questions.

I recently ordered winter tires and wheels from TireRack with the TPMS sensors installed. I also ordered the QuickSet tool from them at the same time.

I received a message from TireRack indicating that the QuickSet tool was not officially supported on the 2011 WRX. I decided to take my chances and order it anyway.

I'll agree with the folks who mentioned that the software is a little hinky. Once you get over the tragic graphic design, though, the tool seems to work great.

Anyway, I followed the directions to pull the ID's for the summer tires from the car. As promised, 2011 was not given as a supported year so I selected the most recent listed year (2008 or 2009?) I put in the ID's that TireRack sent as the winter set and loaded them into the car after installing the new wheels.

The TPMS light soon illuminated and remained that way. I read out the DTCs and it looked like the car wasn't hearing from the sensors.

Of course, I had to suspect that the QuickSet tool was not able to correctly load the new ID's since it isn't officially supported. On the other hand, I also didn't know if the sensors were working correctly or whether they had been activated.

So, I took the car to a local shop and asked if they could check if the TPMS sensors were operating correctly. The tools that do that send the activation signal to wake them up first, so I figured I would be covered there too. Some patience and persistence got me to a guy at the shop that was willing to run around my car with the tool. He said everything checked out and that it must be something other than the sensors. The TPMS light went out as I hit the edge of the parking lot.

From this I concluded that the sensors were not activated.

I did drop a note to TireRack mentioning that it would be cool if they could offer an option to ship the sensors already active or stock a modestly priced activation tool.
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Old 12-04-2010, 08:22 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StuntProgrammer View Post
I think I can directly address some of the OP's questions.

I recently ordered winter tires and wheels from TireRack with the TPMS sensors installed. I also ordered the QuickSet tool from them at the same time.

I received a message from TireRack indicating that the QuickSet tool was not officially supported on the 2011 WRX. I decided to take my chances and order it anyway.

I'll agree with the folks who mentioned that the software is a little hinky. Once you get over the tragic graphic design, though, the tool seems to work great.

Anyway, I followed the directions to pull the ID's for the summer tires from the car. As promised, 2011 was not given as a supported year so I selected the most recent listed year (2008 or 2009?) I put in the ID's that TireRack sent as the winter set and loaded them into the car after installing the new wheels.

The TPMS light soon illuminated and remained that way. I read out the DTCs and it looked like the car wasn't hearing from the sensors.

Of course, I had to suspect that the QuickSet tool was not able to correctly load the new ID's since it isn't officially supported. On the other hand, I also didn't know if the sensors were working correctly or whether they had been activated.

So, I took the car to a local shop and asked if they could check if the TPMS sensors were operating correctly. The tools that do that send the activation signal to wake them up first, so I figured I would be covered there too. Some patience and persistence got me to a guy at the shop that was willing to run around my car with the tool. He said everything checked out and that it must be something other than the sensors. The TPMS light went out as I hit the edge of the parking lot.

From this I concluded that the sensors were not activated.

I did drop a note to TireRack mentioning that it would be cool if they could offer an option to ship the sensors already active or stock a modestly priced activation tool.
Thanks for the info.
I bought sensors and Quickset from Tirerack, and failed to get it all working correctly on my own.
Sensor activation was my problem too, except I think mine eventually did wake up.
I thought that the sensors were supposed to activate themselves after a few miles of driving at highway speed. I thought I had switched successfully until a day later I drove 15 or 20 miles above 50mph, then the light came on.
I then tried again with the quickset tool and it locked up on me and had to be replaced.
Visited the dealer service dept, reprogrammed there, no lights since then.
When I switch back to my summers, I think I will swap the tires, wait for the light to come on before trying to reprogram with the Quickset again.
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Old 12-04-2010, 05:28 PM   #20
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Wow, the TPMS setup Subaru has in place is really dissapointing. I should not need to go to the dealer or buy software tools to swap wheels on my car. I only have experience with one TPMS equipped car (2008 Mini) and it is easy as can be to reset the car when a different set of wheels in mounted. Has SOA stated that is expects people to go to the dealer everything they swap wheels? I mean they'yre selling WRXs and STIs with summer tires, many people will need snows.
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Old 12-05-2010, 08:08 AM   #21
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So the Subaru TPMS system has been out since 2008 (fourth model year). Are any of the companies that make ECU tuning devices (Cobb, TurboXS...) going to incorporate TPMS pairing into their devices? Seems like an easy function to add to an existing OBD2 device.
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