Tire Pressure Sensor Replacement Cost

Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff

If your TMPS light is illuminated on the dashboard, then it often means one of your tires is low on pressure (about 25% less than what it should be) and it is time to check and refill the air as necessary.  However, if a warning such as “Service Tire Monitor System” appears, then it could be more than just filling your air with tires; it could mean your sensor is dying and will need to be replaced.

Since 2007, all vehicles have been required to come equipped with a Tire Pressure Monitoring System, a battery-powered sensor which is attached to the wheel, opposite of the valve stem.

Tire Pressure Sensor Replacement Cost
0329TL” (CC BY 2.0) by Pistols Drawn

How much does a tire pressure sensor cost?

The cost to have your tire pressure sensor replaced by either a private mechanic or a dealership will depend on the vehicle you’re driving, your geographical region and the mechanic/dealership you choose.  Seeing this is a job that often takes less than one hour to perform, most professionals will charge the shop minimum plus the parts.  The parts cost, often less than $25, when added to minimum labor shop costs, greatly depend on the geographical region, can bring the grand total to about $75 to $125 per wheel to have the sensor swapped out and replaced.

According to the multiple quotes visitors received on YourMechanic.com, the costs ranged anywhere from $74 to $138, with the luxury brands such as Mercedes-Benz being the most expensive repair.

At Pep Boys, according to their official pricing list, the TPMS sensor replacement service starts at $17 per sensor, plus the cost of parts.  Reading the fine print, however, the costs would increase $15 if it’s a hybrid vehicle as servicing this type of vehicle often requires removing the trunk access in order to access the power supply.

Steve Jenkins noted that your local dealer will probably want to charge you $150 to $250 per wheel to have them replaced, meaning all four could cost more than $800.  In the end, he paid $27.29 for each tire pressure sensor and paid another $20 at his local Discount Tire.

On member on this BogleHeads.org forum thread noted his local Costco quoted him $65 per tire installed.  A rebuild, according to a few members, would be much less than this, often about $10 to $15 per tire.

What’s included in the estimates mentioned?

Inside this estimate, the mechanic should first test each of your vehicles TPMS sensor batteries to determine exactly which sensor needs to be replaced.  During this repair, the tire in question will be removed, followed by removing the old sensor and installing/programming the new part.  After the part is installed, the wheel is rebalanced and the tire pressure is set and checked to the vehicle’s exact specifications for safety.

How does the tire pressure sensor work?

As your tire rotates, the sensor will pass near a receiver inside the wheel well on every revolution, submitting the current tire pressure numbers to the vehicle’s computer.  If this sensor begins to fail, then it will no longer be able to send this data, hence the warning light.  In general, a tire pressure sensor should last up to seven years, but as with all car parts, the more you drive, the faster this part can fail.

How to save money on tire pressure sensors

Highly avoid going to your local dealer and paying for the new sensors and the install.  Instead, call a few tire centers in your area to see if they will install the new sensors for you if you were to buy the part on your own.  Using the Amazon.com link above, you may be able to buy a full set of sensors for less than $50, depending on your vehicle make/model.  From our research, you will find that many of your big-name tire centers, such as Discount Tire, Big O Tires and Belle Tire, will often install them for a small fee — about $10 to $15 per tire — but it could be even less such as the blogger we mentioned earlier who only had to pay $20 total.  Going this route can almost always save you hundreds.

Only check with your dealership to see if your vehicle is still under warranty.  If so, you may find this part will be covered as long as you meet the warranty deductible.

Check out the aftermarket suppliers that work with more than 100+ OEM parts.  Like any third-party part, these universal sensors can be much less than an OEM sensor and can easily be programmed with any vehicle application.

Facts to know

According to CounterMan.com, the lithium-ion batteries found inside of a TPMS sensor can last anywhere from five to 10 years, but five to six years is more typical for an older sensor.  These sensors will only broadcast a signal when the vehicle wheels are in motion.

What causes it to fail?  In some cases, corrosion of the nut at the base of the metal valve stem has been an issue with the original part, while exposure to salt and moisture can eventually weaken the valve stem, eventually leading to a sensor failure.  Potholes, debris and extreme weather all play a role as well  Also, if you use any sort of tire sealer/inflator product, this product has been known to damage a sensor if the product doesn’t have a “TPMS safe” label.

As of yet, it is not the law to replace a sensor, but without a properly working sensor, you will not know when you have a low tire, putting yourself in great danger while on the road.

Many professionals will recommend changing these sensors whenever you need new tires or if you’re replacing the retaining nut, seal and the cap on the valve stem, according to Cars.com.

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