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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all. First off, I have just spent the last I don't want to know how long searching for TPMS information so if I'm asking some questions already addressed, my apologies.

I'm a noob to the Sienna world (picked up a used 2017, off-lease, back at the end of June of 2020) however I've been turning wrench on vehicles (largely GM) since long before I could (legally) drive.

In the fleet I have a mix of GM, Ford, Suzuski, and (most recently) Toyota and everyone has their own separate process I go through, when rotating tires, to relearn the TPMS sensors (which I do at every oil change - call me weird but I'm picky about maintenance).

Since owning the Sienna, I have done one oil change and one rotation. When I did that one, and so far only, rotation I used the "button under the steering column" however I'm not 100% sure the wheel sensor IDs were updated in the TPMS module - maybe they were, like I said - noob :) (no TPMS lights / messages, at least). Reading through the manual, the most I could find about pairing TPMS sensors with the Sienna was "see your dealer". Wow. Thanks. :confused:

One of the vehicles I have, for example, is a Malibu where, when I perform a rotation, I put the vehicle into "TPMS learn mode" and using an activation tool, start at the driver-front wheel, activate the sensor, wait for the horn chirp, and move on to the pass-front wheel and repeat the process all the while working my way around the vehicle in a clock-wise fashion. After the last wheel has been programmed, two confirmation horn chirps tell me the senor locations have been updated in the TPMS module and the relearn process is complete and successful - unless there are unforeseen issues, the whole process takes me, literally, one to one and a half minutes. Even when I had to replace the sensors in the wheels (due to the batteries aging out), the same exact process was performed for the TPMS module to learn the new sensor IDs. In fact, each spring / fall when I switch between summer & winter wheels on the Malibu (which means switching to a totally different set of senors), I go through the exact same process as if I were doing a simple wheel rotation.

With the above said, I have a few questions:
  1. How do I put the TPMS module into learn mode (for when I perform a wheel rotation, for example)?
  2. Once the TPMS module is in "learn mode", how do I activate the wheel sensors for the IDs to be recorded by the module?
  3. When replacing the sensors (e.g., due to exhausted battery), is the process to program the new IDs to the TPMS module the same as if I were performing a simple rotation?
Asked another way, the two main things I want to learn how to do, as it relates specifically to the TPMS system, are:
  1. How to perform wheel rotations
  2. How do I pair wheel sensors
In my searching, two tools seem to be mentioned often - an Autel TS401 (or 501) and an Atec QuickSet. I have never heard of the QuickSet (until today) however I am (briefly) aware of the Autel TSxxx tools (never used them, though). What I'm not sure is in what situations I would use which tool(s). Would the Autel supersede the QuickSet such that I could do rotations AND sensor replacements with only the Autel?

Anyway, like I said, if I'm asking questions that have been discussed / explained ad nauseam, I apologize. If, however, someone is able to explain the process of rotating & replacing the sensors (simple maintenance items) and how the sensors are programmed into the TPMS module which each move / replacement, I would be very appreciative :).


Thank you!
 

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So many questions! ;-) First off, welcome!

OK, let's see if we can deconvolute this for you.

The Sienna system is made by TRW, and is pretty old and basic. One single antenna, just a light, no wheel by wheel dash display. So there is no need to do a registration update when you rotate tires. The system doesn't care about position. It only cares that there are 4 sensors reporting data.

The button under the dash is pretty basic too. It's only purpose is to establish a base pressure from which any deviation of 20% or so will be reported as a failure. You inflate all tires to whatever value you use (placard says 36, but maybe you like 38 as I do, or even 40 psi). After topping them off, you push and hold the button for 3 seconds (?), and that now sets the 20% off threshold.

The button DOES NOT put the system into a Relearn / Reregister mode, as it does on some GM or Chrysler products. In fact, I don't know of any Japanese-based vehicle that has an Auto Relearn. So if you were to buy winter tire/wheels with their own TPMS, you will need a tool such as an Autel TS508 or ATEQ Quickset in order to upload thru the OBD port the new set of 4 hex ID codes when you mount up the winter shoes.

Digest this first, then let's fill in any missing pieces.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
First off, welcome!
Thanks! Been lurking around a little before (and after) joining and there seems to be a great bunch of people here. Interestingly, I looked and looked and looked after purchasing the Sienna but I couldn't find a Haynes or Chilton repair manual for the Sienna so I'm very appreciative for this resource (if I can do a repair myself, I will versus taking a vehicle in to the dealership or a shop in general).

Prepare yourself, there's going to be a lot of "aaahhhh, ok, now I get it" happening (at least there was in my head as I was reading above) :). First off, your explanation is awesome - thank you!

One single antenna, just a light, no wheel by wheel dash display. So there is no need to do a registration update when you rotate tires. The system doesn't care about position. It only cares that there are 4 sensors reporting data.
Aahhh... ok, that makes sense. One GM vehicle I have (not the Malibu) is somewhat similar - zero antennas but it looks at the wheel speed sensor (at each wheel) to do a signal analysis - one wheel spinning too fast or too slowly, as compared to a baseline, it sets the TPMS message. In that case you don't know what wheel is over/under inflated so you just have to check all four. Same idea in the Sienna (Gen 3, at least) - TPMS message comes up, you just have to check all four to see which one (or ones) is the issue.

The button under the dash is pretty basic too. It's only purpose is to establish a base pressure from which any deviation of 20% or so will be reported as a failure. You inflate all tires to whatever value you use (placard says 36, but maybe you like 38 as I do, or even 40 psi). After topping them off, you push and hold the button for 3 seconds (?), and that now sets the 20% off threshold.
Yup, I'm with you there. With the GM vehicle I mentioned above, to reset the TPMS system (after, say, you adjust the pressure to within spec), in the information center you select "reset tire pressure" and that, just as in the Sienna, creates a "baseline" using whatever the current pressure is. The Sienna, however, is listening for an actual sensor signal from the wheel to use in it's baseline comparisons where as the GM vehicle I have uses the wheel speed sensor from each wheel to do it's baseline comparisons - same idea just carried out in different ways.

So if you were to buy winter tire/wheels with their own TPMS, you will need a tool such as an Autel TS508 or ATEQ Quickset in order to upload thru the OBD port the new set of 4 hex ID codes when you mount up the winter shoes.
Please correct if I'm off however my current understanding is the Gen 3 Sienna (possibly the same in Gen 2 - again, I'm a noob to Sienna so I don't know enough about the generations at least when it's anything beyond styling cues) is that the TPMS module does NOT know what wheel / sensor is where in relation to the vehicle but is only listening to four specific sensor IDs. When one (or more) of those very specific four IDs reports a value that's 20% above / below whatever the baseline is (that was established when the "under steering wheel button" was pressed) - boom, there's your TPMS light / message. Say I rotate (and do NOT adjust the tire pressures) the wheels all day long - that will make zero impact on the TPMS system in the end.

At this point, so long as I'm following what you're explaining (and I think I am but please correct if I'm not), I feel I understand how the Sienna TPMS system works with respect to tire rotations and baseline pressure values. Now we enter the world of wheel TPMS sensor replacement due to sensor failure or winter / summer wheel swaps. I only plan to run all-seasons on the (FWD) Sienna - no seasonal wheel swaps but, at some point, I do expect to have to replace sensors that will age out.

So, if I may, here's the scenario: I have a wheel TPMS sensor that the battery dies so the sensor needs to be replaced. I take just the wheel (or wheels) into a local shop (e.g., Discount Tire) to have them swap sensors (I would do even that myself however my wife is not, lets say, as energenic as I am about spending ~$8,000 on tire mounting and balancing equipment for the home :p - yes, I've actually priced it out 😁). I put the tire, with the new sensor in it, back on the Sienna. At this point, the TPMS module in the Sienna does not know the new ID of the new sensor(s) I just had installed. How do I go about teaching the TPMS module the new sensor ID(s)? I presume the TS508 and / or QuickSet will come into play at this point. From what I've read about the TS508, I can use that to read the ID from the TPMS sensor and then turn right around and upload it into the TPMS module via the OBD port... ? Would I need to use the QuickSet at all or can I do everything, with respect to TPMS sensor replacement, via the TS508?

Apologies for the long post but your input, time, and all around help is much appreciated! Thank you again!
 

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No apologies needed. This stuff isn't simple. In fact, I'd call it overly complex. The number of shops that mishandle it as a result is appalling to me.

1) Correct. As long as 4 sensors worth of properly encoded valid data reaches the single antenna, it doesn't matter what corner of the vehicle the data is coming from. Rotation of tires on the van makes no difference.

Sensors transmit multiple pieces of data: A HEX ID number, tire pressure, tire temperature and battery status. There is also a Toyota TRW specific protocol code. A Toyota Sienna van is only listening for Toyota TRW-encoded sensors. If you were to install a Toyota Pacific RAV4 sensor or a Chevrolet sensor as a replacement, there is no way you'll ever get it to work.

2) How are sensors paired to the van? Written to the van's TPMS control unit (typically combined with the RKE (remote keyless entry)) are the 4 hex ID codes. So those are the ONLY 4 codes that the van will pay attention to. If one sensor dies and is replaced, the new code will have to replace the retired code, or the system will throw an error.

The code can be amended in two ways. With Toyota Techstream (dealer software), you can view the 4 stored values in a chart and overtype the single entry. Most shops and home folks use a handheld tool and the data is uploaded thru the OBD port in a single burst. So in this case, you must capture and upload all 4 currently used codes at once. You can't fix a single entry.

The same deal applies when you swap in winter tires. If your winter tires have 4 sensors with hard coded hex ID numbers, those 4 will have to be uploaded to replace the 4 summer codes. Same next summer. You'll need tools that can collect and upload that data. That's another discussion...

But, for clarity, there is another option: CLONING. You can copy and paste the data from your summer sensors to a rewriteable new sensor, creating identical clones. Then when you swap in your winter set, the van won't even notice that anything has changed! You just need to store your summer tires far enough from the van that you don't confuse the system with multiple data sets broadcasting different pressure data. Usually 10-15 ft does the job given the low power of these signals. My first adventure into cloning has been highly successful. My kid's RAV4 has not missed a beat the past 3 swaps.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you! Very helpful!

I had (and you confirmed) a sneaking suspicion about about home / DIYers, as it relates to replacing one sensor's ID in the TPMS / RKE module, having to write all four IDs into the module at once and not being able to replace just one at a time. Unless someone has the dealership-level software, they have to do a full overwrite (granted they could be overwriting one or more IDs with the same IDs but, still, a full overwrite none-the-less).

There is also a Toyota TRW specific protocol code. A Toyota Sienna van is only listening for Toyota TRW-encoded sensors. If you were to install a Toyota Pacific RAV4 sensor or a Chevrolet sensor as a replacement, there is no way you'll ever get it to work.
Thank you for sharing! While I am not surprised a TPMS wheel sensor that works on a GM product would not work on the Sienna (different protocols and broadcast frequencies), I would have thought that, so long as the model years were close enough - if not the same, a sensor that "works on one Toyota would work on another" (i.e. if it works on a 2017 Sienna, I would have thought it worked on a 2017 RAV-4, Corolla, etc.). From what I gather, even within a given model year but different model lines, Toyota used different suppliers for their TPMS sensors (e.g., TRW and Pacific). Actually, the more I think about it, the more I wonder if the other manufacturers did the same thing... hrm. I'll have to look into that. Anyway, I digress.

So, with the (basic) understanding of the module and sensors concepts cementing in place, I'm looking into / considering getting an Autel TSxxx tool (not sure if it would be a 401, 501, 508, or somewhere in the 6xx range if I feel like going for the bells and whistles - still researching).

My understanding is (and lets say for discussion purposes I went with an Autel TS501), the following is how I would program a new TPMS sensor to the van:
  1. I point the tool at each wheel's TPMS sensor, push a button (generally speaking) and the tool pings (wakes up) the sensor, captures the hex ID and stores the ID in the tool
  2. I continue step one above for all four wheels (the order I recorded the IDs in does not matter - can start with any wheel and move on to any other wheel)
  3. After capturing the ID of the fourth wheel, I connect the tool to the van's OBD port
  4. Pushing another button (generally speaking), I tell the tool to upload those four hex IDs into the TPMS / RKE module
  5. The tool tells me it's done writing the IDs to the module
  6. I disconnect the tool from the OBD port and I'm done
I realize I am being general with the above steps but, overall, does that sound correct? Researching the Autel TSxxx tool has lead me to think that the ID programming is (or at least can be) a one-tool job and the features of the tool are appealing (reading not only IDs but battery level, temperature, and pressure - I like having access to lots of data :)) - and I understand that the Autel tool could be used on not only the Sienna but also my GM and Ford vehicles that have a wireless TPMS system.

Thank you again - you have been very helpful!
 

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Your proposed 4 wheel capture and upload procedure is pretty much correct. Little nuances that vary by vehicle. It also does a functionality check and downloads DTC's if any exist. The tool offers some prompts, and there are plenty of Autel youtube videos available. Covers 100's of vehicles worldwide.

At one time Toyota had 3 suppliers of TPMS. It largely had to do with the nation doing the initial design and BOM (bill of materials). Sienna, Sequoia and one of the US designed trucks used TRW, Toyota-City (Nagoya) went Pacific, and some others went with another make.

The TS401 & 501 are discontinued models. Software updates may have limits, so I'd stay away. The 4xx does not have an OBD port, so it's just a pinging and cloning tool, but cannot communicate with the vehicle. The 508 is a dedicated full function TPMS tool. Price, features and unlimited lifetime software updates make it the sweet spot of the line. The 6xx and above are indeed nice, but beware that software is free only for the first year. Updates cost $50 or more annually.
 
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Just to clarify... the TS508 will read the ID code of any sensor in existence (more or less) and upload a set of four codes to the van through the OBD port. Is that correct?

My goal is to have the ability to do a 5 tire rotation. After each rotation, I would just read the codes of the four tires touching the ground (no matter the brand or mode of sensor) and upload those four codes to the van.

The TS508 can do that without any additional equipment, right?

Thanks,
Mike
 

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Yes Mike, 100% correct.

The only proprietary aspect comes into play if you wish to create a set of clone sensors. Autel tools will only write to (program) Autel sensors. And I don't believe that anybody else's tools can program an Autel sensor either. That one aspect makes them unique.

If you buy a Bartec tool (same features at 3x the price), it can program Alligator, VDO, Schrader or any of a half dozen other brands. Autel keeps the price dirt cheap, but they make it up by selling tons of proprietary sensors. But at $26 a sensor, there's no complaints about the price of the goods either. My local Mavis Tire shop (a NE chain) uses them exclusively now. It's a good business model!
 
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Your proposed 4 wheel capture and upload procedure is pretty much correct. Little nuances that vary by vehicle. It also does a functionality check and downloads DTC's if any exist. The tool offers some prompts, and there are plenty of Autel youtube videos available. Covers 100's of vehicles worldwide.

At one time Toyota had 3 suppliers of TPMS. It largely had to do with the nation doing the initial design and BOM (bill of materials). Sienna, Sequoia and one of the US designed trucks used TRW, Toyota-City (Nagoya) went Pacific, and some others went with another make.

The TS401 & 501 are discontinued models. Software updates may have limits, so I'd stay away. The 4xx does not have an OBD port, so it's just a pinging and cloning tool, but cannot communicate with the vehicle. The 508 is a dedicated full function TPMS tool. Price, features and unlimited lifetime software updates make it the sweet spot of the line. The 6xx and above are indeed nice, but beware that software is free only for the first year. Updates cost $50 or more annually.
Apologies for the late response (and happy new year!) but thank you none-the-less! That information is not only great but very helpful and will aid in making a final tool decision. I also appreciate the breakdown between the 401, 501, 508, and even touching on the 6xx family.

Yes Mike, 100% correct.

The only proprietary aspect comes into play if you wish to create a set of clone sensors. Autel tools will only write to (program) Autel sensors. And I don't believe that anybody else's tools can program an Autel sensor either. That one aspect makes them unique.

If you buy a Bartec tool (same features at 3x the price), it can program Alligator, VDO, Schrader or any of a half dozen other brands. Autel keeps the price dirt cheap, but they make it up by selling tons of proprietary sensors. But at $26 a sensor, there's no complaints about the price of the goods either. My local Mavis Tire shop (a NE chain) uses them exclusively now. It's a good business model!
That reinforces what I'm learning through my ongoing research into the Autel TSxxx tools - the Autil tool will only encode Autel sensors. The price of the Autel sensors sounds quite reasonable coupled with the fact I am not sensor brand loyal (right now I have a set of Schrader's in both the Malibu's summer & winter wheels) - my goal is sensor reliability and not the name on the sensor - so going to an Autel sensor is certainly not outside the scope of consideration.

Again, thank you for ALL the information - it has been, and will continue to be, a great help!
 

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Stewy, in case you haven't seen this thread...I bought one and it's genuine and works great.

 

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Stewy, in case you haven't seen this thread...I bought one and it's genuine and works great.


Awesome! Thank you! 😀
 
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Stewy, in case you haven't seen this thread...I bought one and it's genuine and works great.

Agreed, I bought one as well and it works great! Used it to "re-learn" the codes for new wheels that both Town Fair Tire and my local mechanic could not reset properly. At the price, it's a no-brainer for anyone who swaps Sienna wheels and has had trouble with the TPMS warning light.

Edited:

Of course, now 2 days later and about 2 weeks since the "successful" reset, the light is back on. After noticing the light and arriving home, I used the TS508 to scan all 4 sensors. They seem fine with adequate tire pressure and batteries ok. What do you folks (Fibber2, anyone else) think?

I have had multiple occurrences over a week after a relearn is performed when the TPMS waring light illuminates and every time there is no loss of tire pressure and the sensors appear fine. Could they intermittently malfunction and trigger the warning yet appear ok upon scanning? Does the relearn reset the pressure threshold for triggering the error or should I also perform a re-initialization with the under dash button?

Thanks for ideas.
 

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Bummer I missed your question. Well, I just purchased my Autel tool last week and received it Friday afternoon. One thing I did was program a 5th sensor for the spare tire in our ‘12 Prius v. After programming I got the dash warning light blinking yellow. Engine running I tried pressing and holding the TPMS button under the dash to reset the reference tire pressures. No, that did not work. I believe you need the Ig-ON but engine-OFF to reset that. It is not clear whether any tool will reset the tire pressure reference points when programming sensor IDs.

Just a clarification, but I do believe the TS601, which adds basic OBDII diagnostic scan tool capability, also comes with lifetime updates. There are a couple of new players in the field:, Autel’s own ITS600 and ATEQ’s QuickSet X. ATEQ’s QuickSet X comes with only two years free updates as a heads up, but the ITS600 base software comes with lifetime.
 

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@bbbuzzy - sorry, I didn't see this either. Are you still having issues?

@jzchen - is the spare in your Prius a full size tire, or a high pressure space saver spare? Mixed pressure tires typically won't work in the system. Does the on-board system allow you to upload 5 sensor ID numbers (4 plus a spare?). The TRW system on the Sienna only has 4 slots. Not sure about other systems in use by Toyota.
 

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@bbbuzzy - sorry, I didn't see this either. Are you still having issues?
Yep, TPMS warning light is easily reset using the TS508 re-learn process. This works every time and is easy. However, after about a week and many drives without issue, the light comes back on. Upon scanning, all sensors are reported ok and pressure is good. So, I do it again............for a week.

Now that the weather is warmer, I'll spend more time outside trying to figure this out. I plan to do the reset and go for a drive to turn the light off. Then I'll come home and bleed 10-15 psi out and drive down the street to confirm an actual pressure drop will be detected. If this works, I can live with it for now, just need to know the system still reports correctly with a real loss of pressure. Maybe then I'll think about replacing sensors but am not sure how to figure out which one might be bad?

(Edited to fix the quotation placement)
 

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@fibber2 Thank you for the input! It is a temporary (small 60 PSI) spare. The Prius definitely put up a fuss at first. I also noticed when I tried to trigger the spare through the steel wheel I did not get a response. (It was face down in the storage compartment. Not sure but it might have something to do with it:. Out of the four original sensors that were on the '12 Prius that battery still reads OK per the tool). I had to move the tool to shoot the signal through the tire to get it to recognize/respond. Our Sienna is an '04 so no sensors there. I also have a '14 Scion iQ but it uses the same sensors as the Prius if I'm not mistaken. (There seems to be 5 slots on the iQ as well but there is no spare in that car). I guess adding the spare is of questionable value now that I think of it. If you get a flat, the light will be on whether the spare is programmed or not. If I get trouble I'll put it back to 0000000.

@bbbuzzy Some tools actually measure battery health. I'm not sure how accurate they are, but the ITS600 I just bought does. I used that to select one for the spare...

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Yep, TPMS warning light is easily reset using the TS508 re-learn process. This works every time and is easy. However, after about a week and many drives without issue, the light comes back on. Upon scanning, all sensors are reported ok and pressure is good. So, I do it again............for a week.

Now that the weather is warmer, I'll spend more time outside trying to figure this out. I plan to do the reset and go for a drive to turn the light off. Then I'll come home and bleed 10-15 psi out and drive down the street to confirm an actual pressure drop will be detected. If this works, I can live with it for now, just need to know the system still reports correctly with a real loss of pressure. Maybe then I'll think about replacing sensors but am not sure how to figure out which one might be bad?
6 year old sensors should still be fine, but you are at the edge of the lifespan distribution. Someone has to draw the short straw, and you might be the unlucky guy. In the beginning, it typically starts as an intermittent problem most often on cold mornings, given the way lithium coin cell batteries go into their death spiral. Once they warm up they probably output sufficient voltage and drive current to trigger a valid transmission, but may fail to do so properly when cold. Reduced voltage can also prevent a sensor from properly waking up. Try pinging the sensors with your TS508 in the early morning after a cold spell. You should get a valid response from a happy sensor within a few seconds. Take note of any that seem to take an inordinate amount of time to respond. Even if the battery indicator comes back as OK, you might be nearing the edge of acceptable. I don't know what trip point they assign on these tools as good vs bad on a 3v battery.
 

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bbuzzy, It would be helpful to know the error code(s) when the TPMS warning light starts lighting, or is it blinking? Does your tool provide codes? You can access the codes without a scanner, using the TC-CG jumper method.

Also, does your light start blinking after about 10 minutes of driving, or immediately upon start-up?
 

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Just to clarify, after adjusting tire pressure to proper setting, you are pressing the TPMS button under the dash to reset the reference pressures? After correctly doing this the light should be off prior to driving off, not during the drive. If it is during the drive then I suspect the reference pressures are too high and the light is turning off as the tires warm up and the pressures increase from the heat...

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Thanks all, I think I may have confused some of you, sorry! The problem I am having is on fairly new aftermarket wheels purchased online about 6 months ago. Due to a fitment issue, I had the tires changed by the shop doing a lift kit install, as such I can't have the wheel vendor own the TPMS issue (the one time I didn't use Tirerack, doh!).

Warning light comes on at start up (blinking for a while then stays solid). Autel tool says all are good and pressure is reported correctly, even in the morning mid winter (10°F). If I use the tool to have the van re-learn the codes, the light will go out as soon as I start to drive. It's fine for 7-10 days and many ignition on-off cycles. Then, one day, mid drive usually, warning light will come on and stay on. If I immediately pull over and check pressures, they are all ok. If I ignore it, it usually stays on for days. There have been maybe 2 times where it randomly went off, but always would come back in a day or two. Then, I start over. Use the tool to reset light and wait for it all to start again.

I did use the under the dash button to reset the reference pressure once, after turning off the warning light and ensuring the tires were set to the pressure I wanted (36 psi, cold). That seems to have made no difference. Tires have never lost pressure so I am thinking a sensor is bad but I don't know how to figure out which one.

Thanks again.
 
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