How much does the tire sensor replacement cost for my car? Many drivers have this same question about their car, as tire pressure sensors will differ depending on the manufacturer. It is very important to know about the tire health of your car as it can be a serious hazard.
You are on a happy drive to a vacation destination, and suddenly the message ‘Tire Pressure Sensor Fault’ or the low-pressure warning light shows up on the dashboard. Even for experienced drivers, this can be tricky, so it is advised that a technician is the best person to deal with tire sensor replacement.
Back in the old days, one needed to use a tire gauge to measure tire pressure. But now, monitoring technology is used to ensure the tire pressure values are ideal. In this blog, you can learn more about tire pressure management, how the sensors work, the symptoms, and how to fix them.
What is a tire pressure sensor?
Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) is in charge of measuring and estimating tire pressure at any moment. The tire pressure sensors are fitted in the tire valve systems, measure the actual values, and communicate with the onboard computer.
TPMS can be one of the following, depending on how pressure is measured.
- Indirect TPMS: Makes use of wheel speed sensors which are part of the anti-lock braking system. It uses the idea that underinflated tires have less diameter than others. This system measures the tire rotations, and the onboard computer interprets whether the tire is inflated properly or not. If not, the low tire pressure light on the dashboard will become active.
- Direct TPMS: As the name suggests, this system uses tire pressure sensors that measure and send the value to the computer. These battery-operated sensors measure each tire’s pressure and send it to a central control unit. Some of these sensors also measure the tire temperature.
What are the symptoms of low tire pressure?
You must wonder, ‘How do I know that the tire pressure sensor is faulty?’. Your car may show different symptoms during a drive, but it is important to figure out the specific signs that it is time to get a tire sensor replacement.
- Low tire pressure light
- Check Engine Light On
- Increased tire wear
- Poor fuel economy
- Uneven driving experience
- Poor traction
What are the causes of a faulty tire pressure sensor?
The lifetime of a tire pressure sensor depends mainly on how long the batteries will run. In general, the batteries will run for around 5 to 7 years. But the sensor’s life will also depend on how many miles the car was driven. The more the car has been driven, the faster the batteries will drain.
Here are a few reasons for a faulty tire pressure sensor:
- Service life expired: As you read above, a sensor lasts as long as the battery functions. So, generally, change the sensors when the vehicle covers 80,000 miles or after 5 to 7 years.
- Corrosion: Dirt, dust, and other contaminants can corrode the inner part of the valve stem. Wear and tear and corrosion are responsible for faults in both rubber and aluminum tire pressure sensors.
- New Tires: Each time you add a new tire to the car, the system has to be reset after adding the wheels.
- Weather: The tire pressure sensors will see different values for summer and winter. This is because the air temperature influences the tire pressure.
How long do tire pressure sensors last?
As you read above, tire pressure sensors have a different service life, and it will depend on a few other factors. But the average life is between 5 to 10 years. This is because the sensor needs battery power to send signals to the onboard computer. This transmission only occurs when the vehicle is moving; continuous transmission does not occur.
In most cases, the batteries are incorporated into the sensor. So, replacing them is impossible once they run out of juice. The tire sensor replacement cost will depend on the type of sensor and the labor charges.
How to solve tire pressure sensor faults?
When the low-pressure light stays on the dashboard, use a tire pressure gauge to measure the current pressure. After obtaining the value, find the optimal tire pressure from the car’s user manual. If the pressure is less than the ideal value, pump air into the underinflated tire.
Once you have done this, check whether the pressure light is still on. You will have to reset the low tire pressure light if it is on. Usually, driving the car for a short distance will automatically reset the light. There are three steps to reset the light:
- Turn the key ‘on’ but do not start the car. Press and hold the TPMS reset button until the pressure light blinks three times, then release it.
Can you keep driving with a tire pressure sensor light?
No. Unless you want your car tires to explode and leave you stranded in the middle of the road, do not drive if the low tire pressure light is active. If the tire is underinflated or overinflated, there is a chance for the tire to blow out, which is bad for your car and you.
Driving long distances with low tire pressure will increase and accelerate the wear and tear on the rubber. Besides, you will not be able to control the car due to complete tire failure.
How much does it cost to replace a tire pressure sensor?
As you read earlier, the cost of tire sensor replacement will depend on labor costs. Therefore, it is always the best choice to get help from a technician to replace the sensor, so it fits perfectly. On average, you will have to spend between $30 to $75 for a sensor and around $10 to $35 in labor costs. Thus, the average cost of replacing a tire sensor can cost between $40 and $100.
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