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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Wheels and Tires Forum Sponsored by The Tire Rack > Any way to determine which TPMS sensor is bad?



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      03-17-2013, 11:36 AM   #1
N8N
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Any way to determine which TPMS sensor is bad?

Hi all,

in an attempt to make my car look good for the summer, over the winter I sent my summer wheels to Ye Olde Wheel Shop to have them refinished, which has turned into a TPMS debacle. Apparently they had to cut off the old valve stems, then the ones from Tire Rack didn't fit, so I stopped at the dealership (Sterling BMW) who told me that the only way to ensure that I got the right ones was to bring the old ones in and match them up (and of course they'd been destroyed in removal) and also that at least two of my TPMS sensors were damaged by previous improper tire dismounting, that is, the cases were cracked. Now that makes me mad as the PO of the car apparently bought his tires at the BMW dealership! So anyway I was all ready to order four new sensors but the guy said "well, just try them - if they were working before they are probably OK I just wanted to bring this to your attention." So I just finally took a chance and ordered the valve stems from Tischer based on the part numbers on realoem - and they worked.

Fast forward to today; I had dropped the wheels off to Raja to put some opti-seal on them, picked them up, installed. Checked tire pressure; the LF was rather low and that concerns me, and even worse, when I reset the TPMS and went for a spin around the block, instead of the triangle eventually going away, I got a "TPMS malfunction" message!

So now that you've read all that, that brings me to the question. I know for certain that one or more of my TPMS sensors must be bad, because last night I was running on my winter tires with new TPMS sensors from Tire Rack and no errors. I have done nothing since then to the car other than switching to the freshly refinished summer wheels/tires. Is there any way that I can tell *which* TPMS sensor has failed? I do have a Cobb and also a ScanGauge II. I really don't want to have to have all four tires dismounted, remounted, and rebalanced to fix this, and also since my summer set are still RFTs (for now) I would like to have functional TPMS.

Thanks!
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      03-17-2013, 01:57 PM   #2
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I would also like to know. Thought some shops have diagnostic tools to confirm TPMS function?
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      03-17-2013, 02:46 PM   #3
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they do... you can get a tool that will read the signals from the sensors to confirm operation. After I thought about it I just went up to the Goodyear up the street because my buddy's shop is closed today. they told me my LR sensor is bad. I would have paid them to fix it on the spot because I hate warning lights but they would have had to order one so I will order from Tire Rack tomorrow (why can't I order individual TPMS online?) and borrow my buddy's tire machine whenever it comes in.

I guess I'll just have to check my tire pressure every morning until I get it fixed; wheels are freshly refinished and I have no way of telling if anything is leaking now.

I'd still like to know if there's any way I could have told without the tool... I just ASSumed since there is a little diagram of the car on the iDrive TPMS screen it would have showed me which wheel had a problem, but I guess it is not that sophisticated. Kinda cheezy if you ask me.
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