Ken Kipping

Tire Pressure Warning Light Fix

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Just returned from my Lexus dealer, having had a Tire Pressure Warning light come on, stating that I need to take it to the nearest dealer. The problem was that one of the pressure sensors had a battery that went bad. Total cost to replace the battery was $210 dollars. Does anyone know if there is a way for a shade tree mechanic like me to do this job? The service guy stated that it is pretty likely that the other three batteries can be expected to go out also. 2008 LS460 with 48,000 miles.

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Batteries in the sensors are not replaceable.  The Lexus dealer installed a new sensor.  I've seen threads about people buying pressure sensors on eBay for as little as $10 each but the tire has to be dismounted to install them and they have to be torqued correctly when installed on the wheel with a miniature torque wrench.  And the new sensor ID's have to be uploaded to the vehicle ECU.  I assume you don't have the equipment to remove a tire from a wheel in order to install a new sensor.

I would expect that an independent tire shop could install new pressure sensors in the other tires and upload the sensor ID's to the vehicle ECU for no more than $50 each.

11 years on a pressure sensor is pretty good.  They can fail sooner than that.    

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Don't hold me to the $50 estimate.  Prices could vary wildly depending on whether name brand or off brand sensors are used.  The pressure sensors I bought at Costco five years ago for use on winter wheels were about $45 each but they were name brand - either Pacific or Dill.  The ID codes should be printed on each new sensor.  Some tire shops "ping" each sensor after installing them to retrieve the ID codes instead of manually inputting the printed codes but that might be more efficient if they use the same tool to upload the ID's through the vehicle diagnostic port.  I upload the ID codes to vehicle ECU's myself with a cheap (about $125) electronic tool since we have multiple vehicles and winter wheels/tires for them.  Doubting that you use winter tires in Mississippi!

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