Monday, October 20, 2008

TPMS and You

When we swapped on the new wheels, we also installed the factory-issued Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) sensors, which would allow the car to keep track of tire pressures on our new wheels. Unfortunately, we broke a couple of them in the process, so we had to buy some new ones. And the car was not familiar with the digital code of the new sensors, so the dash cluster tire pressure warning light was always on. Some cars have an option to reset the tire pressure sensors right from the dashboard controls, but not this one. The only choice is to use a dedicated tool that can tell the car it's got new sensors on it. We'll eventually have one of these in our shop, but for now none of the aftermarket systems can work with the Subaru sensors.

So, down to our local Subaru dealership we went -- that's Dulles Motorcars in Lessburg, VA. A quick session with their factory scan tool laptop, and everything was working as it should. In fact, the next time the light went on, the outside temperature had droped about 40 degrees, and I found the right rear tire to be about 5 psi low. Hey, the TPMS actually works!

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