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Question about using a second set of tires

2919 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  100713
Hey everyone. Proud owner of a 2017 LE AWD just purchased about two weeks ago. Really happy with it so far, but as we get into winter I had a question about switching to a set of snow tires.

My last car was a 2007 Saturn with no TPMS, and I owned a set of snow tires on steel wheels. In the winter, I'd install them. In the spring I'd put the all-season tires back on. Dead simple. I planned to do the same with the Sienna, but forgot about the TPMS and now I'm not sure the best way to proceed.

Right now I have a second set of wheels with snow tires mounted and balanced, and I purchased a set of TPMS sensors to go with them (all from Tirerack). If I install the new snow tire set, can I have a dealer program the new TPMS into the car and just swap the tires back and forth each season, or will I have to have a dealer reprogram the TPMS computer each time I switch back and forth between tires?

If it needs to be reprogrammed each time, it looks like I can buy an ATEQ Quickset and program the tires myself. How complicated is that to do? Is this the product I need to get?
. Am I voiding my warrantee or otherwise damaging my car if I do this?

Thanks for your help everyone. I don't mind getting my hands dirty and spending a few hours doing all this myself if it means saving a few hundred every year, but it's a new car and I'm nervous about screwing around with something I don't fully understand.
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Welcome, and congrats on your 2017 purchase!

I'm also going to congratulate you for having the good sense to A) get dedicated winter tires, and B) for not defeating a safety system.

While I'll agree that the current iteration of TPMS was haphazardly implement, it no doubt saves lives. I wish this were easier to live with, but truth is it's a bit of a hassle until you get used to it. Unfortunately, Toyota's system is not self learning, nor can it hold anything more than a single set of 4 codes in memory. You or a dealer will have to swap out the 4 summer / winter tire codes each time you change tire sets. There are no restrictions on doing this yourself!

I've had my ATEQ Quickset since 2011. The early software sucked. Now it just simply annoying. A decent improvement! It's still not intuitive for new users, but functionally, it does work very well. I use (used...) it on my 2008 Sienna (sold in favor of a 2015 Sienna), 2014 Subaru Outback & 2013 Honda CRV.

Common price is around $149, but I've seen it on special for as low as $109.

Basic procedure: Install the software on your computer. Create a '2017 Toyota Sienna' file. If they don't have 2017 listed yet, select 2016. They are often slow to update their models, but it should work fine. Connect the unit to your computer via USB to initialize the tool and make sure it has the latest operating software. Right now you'll have a blank page with spots to input your 'summer' and 'winter' tire set. It will instruct you to connect it to your vehicle (plugs into the OBD Port) and download a copy of what's currently there (as SUMMER). That's a great way of capturing the codes of the OEM wheelset. Runflats, I assume?

Reconnect it to the computer, and it will populate the Summer set with 4 codes. Keep is simple and select (H) for hex, as that's what the OEM sensors made by TRW will have inked on each body. Always print out a copy for your files, as I've had the codes disappear periodically when it does software updates!

Now comes the tricky part..... When I built up my own winter set and ordered sensors, I could read & record the numbers before installation. When I ordered from TireRack for my Subaru, I had to ask them to record them, and I got scribble on a scrap of paper taped to a tire! It's definitely not S.O.P. for them. If you don't have them, you are going to have to follow one of two coursed of action.

1) Take it to a dealer and have them install the tires, read out and upload the codes. That will overwrite the summer set that was there, so be sure you download a copy of them first! You can then download a copy of the winter set to complete your computer file for next year's use.

2) Roll them into a friendly tire shop, slip the kid $10 for him to wave a VT-30 or similar query tool near each stem to read them out, and show you the display with the 4 captured codes. Write them down, type them in, and upload them.

Drive the van, and the blinking light should go off in less than a mile.

Did you go conventional snows or run flats?
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I should add that TireRack tends to use Schrader brand sensors that are compatible with the TRW system used on the van. TRW sensors wake up easily (accelerometer section came alive on the first drive). I couldn't get the Schrader unit in the Subaru winter tire package to wake up, and had to have then low frequency RF 'jolted' awake with a VT-30. So.... you might have to get some help on the first installation even if they did record the codes for you.
Thanks! This is really helpful and thorough. I found out from a Toyota dealer today that I'd have to pay them (or a tire shop) to reprogram the tires each time I swap them out. Getting one of these reset tools makes a lot more sense.

The tires that came with the car are runflats. The new ones I ordered are Yokohama iceguard tires, and I don't believe they are runflats. From what I could tell, none of the tires on Tirerack that fit the Sienna are runflats, so I'm just going to have to cross my fingers and rely on AAA to get me through any flats I pick up.
There are a number of threads here about people that have ditched their runflats. A plug type patch kit and a Slime kit with an electric pump are good to carry for emergency use, in addition to roadside assistance. I have these in each of our cars.

Feel free to ask questions as you go along!
Just wondering can you program an extra set of sensors in the ECU with techstream?
I don't have a copy of Techstream, so I don't have first hand knowledge. But googling Techstream TPMS Programming gets quite a few hits with claims that it can be done. It makes sense that as a comprehensive diagnostic tool all systems on the car should be accessible to the shop for repair without having to resort to another gizmo.
If I understand correctly, one can't store two sets of TPMS codes for summer/winter in a 2017? can someone confirm please.
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