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Tire Pressure Sensor Failure Problem And Solution

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Hi Everyone,

I just wanted to post something about my latest adventure with the TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) which I encountered after I bought my wife a 2nd hand RX350 with 20K miles from a used Lexus cars dealership.

In a nutshell, this firm I bought my car from buys their cars from auctions. They pick 1 owner cars with great condition. This car I bought, was purchased from a Lexus dealership in CT, I live in MA.

So after 1 week from picking up my wife's car, the TPMS sensor went off. The indicator was blinking and then going solid, according to the user guide that means I have a faulty sensor. I called the car dealership I got the car from they told me I have to reset it, so I inflated the Michelin Energy tires which were the originals to 35PSI (also the spare tire) and tried to reset it by pressing the TPMS reset button on the driver side underneath the dashboard. I saw the indicator blink 3 times and then instead of going away it was still on solid, I tried this a few times but that did not work.

Note that the RX350 has another switch on the passanger side , underneath the golves compartment which is used for (set-A and set-B ) , mine was set to set-A so I did not mess around with that. The switch is for having another set of tires/rims which you might use for a different season, it usually needs another set of pressure sensors, which the Lexus dealership needs to program it for set B of that switch.

Just to emphasize the fact that yes you need to make sure the spare tire has the right pressure in it too because my car's problem was exactly that altough I have put 40PSI in it just for the sake of seeing if that will solve the problem.

Ok, so now I have the 4 tires with 35 PSI and the spare time 40PSI but I can't manage to reset the TPMS indicator, I think to myself the car has alot of warranty time left so let me bring it to the Lexus dealerhip. I go to the one in Northboro, MA which is the closest to me and they have impacible service. After dishing 118$ for diagnostic fees, the Lexus technician came to me with this analysis...

Aparently whoever sold the car swaped the spare tire/wheel with another one, this one is not registered in the car's ECU and we need to reprogram the car's ECU to recognize it. It's less than an hour's work and your initial fee will cover it... So after waiting less than an hour and eating a few cookies and a drinking a coke (since i paid for them :) ) I got my car back , washed and vacuumed and no indicator lights on.

The technician said since it's winter, they put 35PSI in all of the tires, and he said that's good for winter time driving in NE.

So I went back to the place where I got the car from, explained to them the situation, but I did not expect my money back... I just told them about the few solutions online where they can invest in buying the TPMS configuration device and run their cars through the test before selling them since they do have a small 1 car garage to do basic services to the car...

My IS300 which I bought it first year it came out, does not have any TPMS stuff and it runs just fine, I talked with with people who have their TPMS light on for ages and do not pay attention to it, so it's a matter of personal preference I guess.

That my fellow Lexus Owners, is my story with the TPMS inidicator light , I hope you won't have to deal with it ever :)

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