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Tpms "check System" Light Is On...


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#1 cduluk

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 01:34 AM

Hey guys.

Today while driving, i got the red "!" and "TPMS light" ON, with the LCD reading "check system".

This is different from the "low tire" readout which comes on when the tires are actually at low pressure. The error i am getting is something else according to the manual. It states if i get this code, to go to the dealer. That doesn't help me! :angry:


Here's what i think happened...

I've been working on a couple gauge cluster projects, so i've been switching between my factory cluster and a spare.

For the past 3 weeks or so, i've had the spare cluster in. Everything has been working fine. Then the other day for some reason, i thought the "TPMS SET" button under the steering column was the "AFS OFF" button, and i pressed it and it didn't turn ON or OFF the AFS (duhh...) so i kept pressing it and holding it down and everything, because at that time i really thought it was the AFS button and i thought it could be broken... Then i realized it was the wrong button :o But everything seemed to be OK...

Well, it's been a few days, and today i switched back to my factory cluster. After 20mins of driving, the TPMS light came on in the dash and read "check system".

I thought it had something to do with me switching the clusters, so i switched to my spare again. After 20mins of driving, i didn't get the error code!

So i switched back to my factory cluster again. After 20mins, the error lights came back on...

I tried unplugging the car's battery for a half hour, but no such luck. After 20mins of driving, my factory cluster still reads the error code.

So what the heck could be wrong?? I didn't do anything to the clusters that involve and electrical, so i don't think i damaged anything.

When i accidentally played around with the TPMS SET button the other day, i had the spare cluster in. And i didn't get any error codes. But when i plugged in my factory cluster today, i get the error lights.

What do you think could be wrong? Is there something else i can try to reset the factory cluster? Do you think the TPMS memory and ecu is in the cluster?

Thanks :D

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#2 RX400h

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 02:19 PM

Wow, this scenario reminds me of what happens to my son with his computer. He loves to experiment with different operating systems running in virtual environments and when something weird happens, we all get a headache, trying to figure it out! :lol:

#3 lemon

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 03:30 PM

Without knowing how the system works precisely, I would guess that the tire pressure is sent wirelessley (is that a word?) from the wheels to the vehicle somewhere. Maybe the 'receiver' is in the gauge cluster or somehow related to it and the warning light and you now have the old gauge somehow connected to the sensors? I would think each vehicle/sensor combo would have it's own 'signature' so you aren't picking up the tire pressure of the guy parked beside you?? Maybe when you put the original gauges back in, it's not picking up the sensors because they are now sync'd to the replacement gauge.

Anyway, I'm just thinking out loud.

Did you try putting the original gauge cluster back in and THEN pressing the TPMS reset switch like you did with the replacement gauge before it all went wrong? Maybe this will sync the sensors back to your original gauge?

#4 lemon

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 03:36 PM

Wow, this scenario reminds me of what happens to my son with his computer. He loves to experiment with different operating systems running in virtual environments and when something weird happens, we all get a headache, trying to figure it out! :lol:


Bahahahaha......been there, done that, but usually it's me fooling around, not my kids.

#5 RX400h

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 10:21 PM

Well, my son is 19 and has approx 4 different operating systems on his HTC Touch Pro phone, as well. He now has a backup computer; I told him he can use that for his experiments. I rely too much on my computer, so I tend to be conservative when it comes to trying out "uncommon" things.

#6 cduluk

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 11:05 PM

So i tried to reset the system using the button under the dash, with the original cluster in- but it didn't work :(

I really can't for the life of me understand what's going on...
This summer i took the car to Lexus to have them program my summer set of tires. At that time, i had the original cluster installed and the summer tires on- everything was A-OK.

Here's a chart of the tire/cluster combo.

MONTH......CLUSTER...........................TIRES
June..........factory..............................winter
July...........factory..............................added summer set, got the error code, had lexus program them, no error code
August.......factory..............................summer
Sept..........factory..............................summer
Oct............factory..............................summer
Nov...........switched to spare cluster....summer (no codes or problems)
Dec...........spare...............................switched to winter set (still no codes or problems)
Jan............factory.............................winter (now getting error code)

So this is the first time that the factory cluster has been installed since i switched back over to the winter set of tires.

So i moved my summer set of tires near the car tonight. Still got the error code!!

I'm going to take the car to Lexus tomorrow to have them check it out... I don't know why i'm getting an error code now (never got it from June till Oct) but i'm sure they'll find the problem whatever it is.

I'm thinking the cluster doesn't hold any tpms memory because when i installed the spare cluster in Nov, i didn't get any errors- even though neither of my tire sets had been programmed when the spare was installed.

My guess is that i did something when playing with the reset button. But i'll find out tomorrow <_<

#7 lemon

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 09:45 AM

Good thing it wasn't the driver eject button you were fooling with...

#8 lemon

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 10:08 AM

Have a look at this, it may shed some light, or at least you can impress the dealer with your knowledge of the TPMS system.

Attached File  PG001_07.pdf   755.24KB   342 downloads

Do you have the 'main/second' switch in your glovebox?

#9 cduluk

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 01:03 PM

Have a look at this, it may shed some light, or at least you can impress the dealer with your knowledge of the TPMS system.

Attached File  PG001_07.pdf   755.24KB   342 downloads

Do you have the 'main/second' switch in your glovebox?


OOOH!!! That's AWESOME info... I'm gonna print it out and take it to the dealer now lol :D Thanks!

#10 cduluk

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 09:52 PM

Well i took the car to Lexus today to fix the problem <_<

I printed out the TSB packet from lemon and on the back of the last page i wrote down the issues for the tech in case it could help. :D

When i first went in, the service rep i spoke to said that the TPMS code "check system" could mean a LOT of things, anywhere from the ecu not being able to find the sensors, to a wire being unpluged, to someone steeling the sensors out of my tires. So that made me feel better :)

About an hour later, the car was fixed! The rep told me that the factory/winter set of sensors weren't programmed. They just programmed them to position 2 (position 1, aka "main" being the summer set) and everything's A-OK now. I've been driving it all day, and the error code hasn't come back :)

So back in July when i had them program my summer set, i guess the factory set got deleted or something.
I just hope that when i install my summer set again, and press the button to MAIN, i don't get the same problem... <_<

But they didn't charge me anything, and i got a free car wash :D which i desperately needed... did a good job too! :rolleyes: so i am happy!

But while the car was being fixed i walked around the showroom for a while to look at the new models. I was sitting in a new GS when one of the salesmen came over to me and told me to get out of the car! Apparently i'm too "young".... He said unless i'm 21 i can't sit in the showroom cars??? But after i told him who i was and listed the numerous family members who have Lexus' he said it was "OK" but to "make it quick"... jeesh the nerve of some people!

So i guess all is well for now... lol <_< Thanks for all your help guys!

#11 lemon

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 07:31 PM

Well i took the car to Lexus today to fix the problem <_<

I printed out the TSB packet from lemon and on the back of the last page i wrote down the issues for the tech in case it could help. :D

When i first went in, the service rep i spoke to said that the TPMS code "check system" could mean a LOT of things, anywhere from the ecu not being able to find the sensors, to a wire being unpluged, to someone steeling the sensors out of my tires. So that made me feel better :)

About an hour later, the car was fixed! The rep told me that the factory/winter set of sensors weren't programmed. They just programmed them to position 2 (position 1, aka "main" being the summer set) and everything's A-OK now. I've been driving it all day, and the error code hasn't come back :)

So back in July when i had them program my summer set, i guess the factory set got deleted or something.
I just hope that when i install my summer set again, and press the button to MAIN, i don't get the same problem... <_<

But they didn't charge me anything, and i got a free car wash :D which i desperately needed... did a good job too! :rolleyes: so i am happy!

But while the car was being fixed i walked around the showroom for a while to look at the new models. I was sitting in a new GS when one of the salesmen came over to me and told me to get out of the car! Apparently i'm too "young".... He said unless i'm 21 i can't sit in the showroom cars??? But after i told him who i was and listed the numerous family members who have Lexus' he said it was "OK" but to "make it quick"... jeesh the nerve of some people!

So i guess all is well for now... lol <_< Thanks for all your help guys!


What a doofus. Should have just said 'your' Lexus was in for service, but you'd be happy to tell the service manager to stop the work so you could take it to another dealership.

#12 cduluk

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 11:30 PM

Well i took the car to Lexus today to fix the problem <_<

I printed out the TSB packet from lemon and on the back of the last page i wrote down the issues for the tech in case it could help. :D

When i first went in, the service rep i spoke to said that the TPMS code "check system" could mean a LOT of things, anywhere from the ecu not being able to find the sensors, to a wire being unpluged, to someone steeling the sensors out of my tires. So that made me feel better :)

About an hour later, the car was fixed! The rep told me that the factory/winter set of sensors weren't programmed. They just programmed them to position 2 (position 1, aka "main" being the summer set) and everything's A-OK now. I've been driving it all day, and the error code hasn't come back :)

So back in July when i had them program my summer set, i guess the factory set got deleted or something.
I just hope that when i install my summer set again, and press the button to MAIN, i don't get the same problem... <_<

But they didn't charge me anything, and i got a free car wash :D which i desperately needed... did a good job too! :rolleyes: so i am happy!

But while the car was being fixed i walked around the showroom for a while to look at the new models. I was sitting in a new GS when one of the salesmen came over to me and told me to get out of the car! Apparently i'm too "young".... He said unless i'm 21 i can't sit in the showroom cars??? But after i told him who i was and listed the numerous family members who have Lexus' he said it was "OK" but to "make it quick"... jeesh the nerve of some people!

So i guess all is well for now... lol <_< Thanks for all your help guys!


What a doofus. Should have just said 'your' Lexus was in for service, but you'd be happy to tell the service manager to stop the work so you could take it to another dealership.



haha yeah that would have been a funny one lol... dammit why didn't i think of that? GRR...

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