Terrible TPM implementation
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    1. #1
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      Terrible TPM implementation

      I cannot understand how Volvo selling $40K to $60K plus cars can get away with the most rudimentary tire monitor system I ever saw. Even cars like Honda Civics and others in its price point display instantly the actual tire pressure in psi.
      Using just a green indicator if the tire pressure is within acceptable standard was appropriate in the 80s. To make matters worse, you cannot check the status until the car is driven for a few minutes. Who thinks of such things?
      Also, if their pressure accuracy tolerance is a standard 10%, that means that a tire can be at 30 psi, while another one is at 36 psi and we would simply see all green...Terrible!

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    3. #2
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      It is odd they don't show the reading... probably didn't want to use more expensive TPMS components, but cheaper cars use them... so no excuse. And every car I've driven requires a few miles of driving to update the sensors, nothing new there.

    4. #3
      Junior Member MJEWETT's Avatar
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      I worked at Volvo for a while and it was explained to us as well as the Service Departments that it would save some money for everyone; owners, dealers, etc. The sensor creates the need to have additional wheel weights installed from the factory, on top of the additional cost of the sensors. This saves money, if even only a few pennies on each car.

      TPMS are also notorious for only lasting a few years. I had a car where, like clock work, the batteries would die in the sensors every two years. Decreased sidewalls increase road vibrations and impacts to the rims, which translates into more vibration and internal damage to the sensors, thus damaging the cells of the TPMS Batteries. Being that the trend is to have as big of rims and thin of tires as possible, even across Volvo's lineup, you can see where this would get frustrating for owners.

      Lastly, it was determined it was better overall from a safety standpoint to utilize the ABS system and sensors to read tire pressure as opposed to going off of actual psi readings without the use of the TPMS sensors. First off, being that typically replacing a failed TPMS sensor is about $125 or more, studies have shown that owners would put off repairing/replacing failed sensors and *ignore* the constant warning light. If one or more tires were low or blew out, an owner would not know until it was too late, as the light was already on and they were accustomed to already seeing it illuminated. Some would even remove them altogether and have the system deactivated. GM dealers constantly do this when selling used cars instead of replacing the sensors as it saves them some cash and labor costs since no one will ever notice the difference. Utilizing the system implemented for the TPM system in our Volvo's guarantee uninterrupted functionality of the system for life, and, also guarantee that an owner will always know if a tire is low, blows out, etc, and can never be unaware. Apparently, though I don't know how true, this system is more accurate from a safety standpoint than the sensors which read based on actual psi. Even though you cant see the current pressures within the system, you know it is within acceptable range if green.

      Since the system doesn't function off psi readings alone, you also will never get the "low tire pressure" warnings just from temperature swings. Other cars I had would always illuminate the light in the early mornings, and shut it off once it warmed up outside!

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    6. #4
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      I prefer Volvo's approach rather than having to deal with individual sensors on the wheel, which in the past has made for a greater expense when getting a winter wheel and tire set, a pain in the butt to reset the onboard ECU to recognize those new sensors, and false signals from temperature fluctuations (as previously mentioned).

      Volvo's approach is simple and serves the purpose. I don't necessarily need to know the exact pressure readings, as I'm not off-roading the car where I need to constantly adjust pressures.

    7. #5
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      It has nothing to do with wheel weights. They are needed to balance a wheel no matter what.

      It does eliminate the need to replace sensors for damage or dead batteries, as mentioned.

    8. #6
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      Checking the pressure, tread, and overall state of the tire should be part of your individual maintenance plan. I wouldn’t leave it to some Joe Blow (sorry Tech) at the dealer or the sensors.

      It only takes a few minutes to check.



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    9. #7
      Junior Member BigBang's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Lalin View Post
      I cannot understand how Volvo selling $40K to $60K plus cars can get away with the most rudimentary tire monitor system I ever saw. Even cars like Honda Civics and others in its price point display instantly the actual tire pressure in psi.
      Using just a green indicator if the tire pressure is within acceptable standard was appropriate in the 80s. To make matters worse, you cannot check the status until the car is driven for a few minutes. Who thinks of such things?
      Also, if their pressure accuracy tolerance is a standard 10%, that means that a tire can be at 30 psi, while another one is at 36 psi and we would simply see all green...Terrible!
      The same system has been used by Audi for a long time and works well. The only thing that's unusual for me to drive a car at Volvo for 5-8 minutes to reset tire pressure

      Audi has an excellent website with technical support and explanations for many car systems. The same principle applies to Volvo
      https://www.audi-technology-portal.d...itoring-system
      Last edited by BigBang; 11-20-2019 at 08:19 AM.
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    10. #8
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      my 2006 BMW uses same system- pretty common.
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    11. #9
      Junior Member MJEWETT's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Tech View Post
      It has nothing to do with wheel weights. They are needed to balance a wheel no matter what.

      It does eliminate the need to replace sensors for damage or dead batteries, as mentioned.
      Did not intend for it to come off as a way of getting rid of balancing weights altogether, rather, less of them overall. Additional mass in a central location creates a high point of specific mass within the rim. This in turn requires additional weights to counteract this point of heavily increased mass from a rotational standpoint. Again, this was from corporate, not my idea behind it.

      Example used: Utilizing the exact same Rim and Tire, with and without a TPMS installed within the rim, the rim will require more balance weights to be installed with the presence of the TPMS as opposed to without.
      Last edited by MJEWETT; 07-23-2019 at 02:12 PM.

    12. #10
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      That is simply not true. Who at corporate told you that?

    13. #11
      Junior Member Ventura CA's Avatar
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      The original SPA cars in 2016 and some in 2017 used the more advanced system with individual readings. Frankly, the first system was nice in terms of the specific information, but slow to reset and was prone to failure because of the reasons stated above. By 2018, I believe all SPA cars were fitted with the same system that most of the other competitors use.
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    14. #12
      Junior Member MJEWETT's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Tech View Post
      It has nothing to do with wheel weights. They are needed to balance a wheel no matter what.

      It does eliminate the need to replace sensors for damage or dead batteries, as mentioned.
      Volvo's Northeast Dealer Rep when reviewing midyear revisions and 2017 model year changes to the XC90.

    15. #13
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      When the aluminum sensors go bad, you are looking at $110 EACH plus labor and programming.

      This is why Volvo went to a basic alert system.

      Want to know your actually pressure? CHECK IT!!!!! Otherwise just drive the car.

      Quote Originally Posted by MJEWETT View Post
      The sensor creates the need to have additional wheel weights installed from the factory.
      Jesus I hope the idiot who told you this no longer works at Volvo.
      Last edited by gunshow; 07-23-2019 at 07:35 PM.
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    16. #14
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      Most Auto Manufactures are switching to this system.

    17. #15
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      Quote Originally Posted by MJEWETT View Post
      Did not intend for it to come off as a way of getting rid of balancing weights altogether, rather, less of them overall. Additional mass in a central location creates a high point of specific mass within the rim. This in turn requires additional weights to counteract this point of heavily increased mass from a rotational standpoint. Again, this was from corporate, not my idea behind it.

      Example used: Utilizing the exact same Rim and Tire, with and without a TPMS installed within the rim, the rim will require more balance weights to be installed with the presence of the TPMS as opposed to without.
      Not trying to start a war, Nomex suit donned anyway, how can this not be true? At a guess I would say that the sensor is a different weight than the material removed from the rim (and perhaps added for sensor screw threads). Wouldn’t that require “additional” balancing unless the sensor was at the center of rotation?

      And BtW I also have experienced the different temps over the day setting off the TPMS in my Acura.


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    18. #16
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      Having an in-wheel sensor most certainly could require a higher amount of mass to adjust the CG of the wheel...

      Not a significant amount, but definitely a non-zero amount.


      Yah, there could be a special situation where the wheel just happens to be out of balance enough without the sensor that the TPMS sensor adequately balances it, but the likelihood of that is very low.

    19. #17
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      I'm sure this post will drag on for 7 pages about sensors and wheel weights. Wheel weights were not a factor in using iTPMS.

      Not every wheel needs the same amount of weight to balance it, whether there is a sensor or not.

    20. #18
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      Quote Originally Posted by 392DCGC View Post
      It is odd they don't show the reading... probably didn't want to use more expensive TPMS components, but cheaper cars use them... so no excuse. And every car I've driven requires a few miles of driving to update the sensors, nothing new there.
      On my 2013 MDX the psi reading was instant and dead accurate (compared with tre shop pressure gauges a couple of times).
      In the the 7 years that I owned it, it never failed or needed battery replacement.

    21. #19
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      Quote Originally Posted by Lalin View Post
      On my 2013 MDX the psi reading was instant and dead accurate (compared with tre shop pressure gauges a couple of times).
      In the the 7 years that I owned it, it never failed or needed battery replacement.
      You should buy a new 2013 MDX then.
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    22. #20
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      Quote Originally Posted by Tech View Post
      I'm sure this post will drag on for 7 pages about sensors and wheel weights. Wheel weights were not a factor in using iTPMS.

      Not every wheel needs the same amount of weight to balance it, whether there is a sensor or not.
      I completely agree that having to add wheel weights would be a silly reason to decide one way or another vs the cost savings which were surely the actual driver.

    23. #21
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      I personally prefer the iTPMS, it lets me know if there is an issue, and I don't need to buy and program sensors for spare tires. I don't need to know the pressure of the tires if it hasn't changed from the last time I checked.

      If you're worried about it, measure it, write it down, reset the system. If for some reason you need to know the pressure at a later date: check for error, if no error refer to the note you took before resetting it. It should be within a couple PSI of that.

    24. #22
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      It used to bug me that I couldn't see the exact PSI with the iTPM system but after reading this thread it kind of makes sense. I'll just keep doing my regular checks manually every couple months, and also before long road trips.

    25. #23
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      I had a horrible time with my 2017 XC90 T8 in NY. This system just does not like cold weather. Pressure drops in all wheels, and you will never know it. But I have posted about it in the past.

      I have a 2016 XC90 D5 in Italy with actual readings, and it works like a charm.

      Why would they think that compromising safety for the sake for a few hundred bucks on a car with a $80k+ list price makes sense, it is just beyond me. And it's Volvo, with a reputation for safety to uphold. It's just a bad call, all around. I wish they at least offered a choice, at extra cost. I would have paid for it.

    26. #24
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      Quote Originally Posted by gunshow View Post
      When the aluminum sensors go bad, you are looking at $110 EACH plus labor and programming.

      This is why Volvo went to a basic alert system.

      Want to know your actually pressure? CHECK IT!!!!! Otherwise just drive the car.



      Jesus I hope the idiot who told you this no longer works at Volvo.
      Maybe at dealer scam prices... plenty of TPMS sensors can be found online around $25-$50 a piece. Installation at a tire shop shouldn't be more than $20, and if these cars require programming that is a joke. Any car I've ever owned has automatically reprogrammed the TPMS on its own after a short drive. Even when my wife had a Dodge Dart, it could do this. Swedish luxury for sure!

    27. #25
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      Quote Originally Posted by 392DCGC View Post
      Maybe at dealer scam prices... plenty of TPMS sensors can be found online around $25-$50 a piece. Installation at a tire shop shouldn't be more than $20, and if these cars require programming that is a joke. Any car I've ever owned has automatically reprogrammed the TPMS on its own after a short drive. Even when my wife had a Dodge Dart, it could do this. Swedish luxury for sure!
      If I had a dollar for every car that came in with bargain "tire shop" tpms sensors that would not program or drop out.

      Pop some $40 sensors in your wheels and let me know how they program to the car automatically.... Maybe you can teach me something I never seen lol .... We (and dealerships) didnt buy a $400(+/-) handheld tool to activate, test, and program TPMS sensors for the fun of it.
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    28. #26
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      You could just leave the sensors out. The light will be on the dash, big deal.
      Check the tire pressure visually and with a gauge at certain intervals. Its weird,
      but cars have run "ON TIRES" for years upon years without these sensors.
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    29. #27
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      Quote Originally Posted by BigBang View Post
      The same system has been used by Audi for a long time and works well...
      https://www.audi-technology-portal.d...itoring-system
      Thank you for that link to the description of the system that uses no sensors inside the wheel/tire.

    30. #28
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      Quote Originally Posted by projectsmorol View Post
      You could just leave the sensors out. The light will be on the dash, big deal.
      Check the tire pressure visually and with a gauge at certain intervals. Its weird,
      but cars have run "ON TIRES" for years upon years without these sensors.
      Tech was correct- this thread could go on for pages.
      So I got a flat last week - tire place put in 45 lbs- gave me the tire. I of course checked the pressure after I put it on. Geez- what an idiot. And my wife said- how many people check the air in their tires. She was right- these systems are for the numbskulls that just drive the car_Period. You like me always check cold tires. Most people don't.
      I personally will change my sensors on the next new tire change and buy the VDO OEM equiv. for the Volvo.These batts last only about 7 years. But yes I did not know my tire was low until the light came on the dash, checked the wheel-nail. So it was a benefit-Do I need it? Nah- but it is nice to have.
      Oh and those people that complain about driving to reset the TPM- well yes it has to pair- it's bluetooth. Duh.
      Weights- The tire is balanced - again-Period. It justifies automatically for any differential of weight change on the entire wheel, TPMS included. Even a new patch the tire might have to be re-balanced. (only if your obsessive though). If there was no TPMS the balance is different. I just find this baffling why people don't see this. Just think of the word "balance".
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    31. #29
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      Simple. Remove the sensors and Check the tire pressure. Guess what? Sensors fail all of the time. To rely on them for your sole meals is idiotic. But you can keep replacing and bitching about it, that’s your right. “ I wish the people in this forum would stop bellyaching about these kind of frivolous issues and focus on more concerning issues.” Oh wait, that’s my honest opinion coming out. I need to be more sensitive, as not to offend....... I would take to the dealer and let them tell you it is imperative that these sensors be replaced as all of your tires that you drove here with are completely flat.

      My two cents.


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    32. #30
      Junior Member BigBang's Avatar
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      Today I had a problem with the right rear tire

      In Owners Manual
      Several minutes driving above 35 km/h (22 mph) may be required for the system to become active.
      After repair, I followed the instructions and tried to store new data, and after 5km of driving nothing
      The system provides information that it will automatically save new data

      After noon I tried again and after the 6.5 km ride again the same

      How long I need to drive, maybe 200km or 300km to save the new settings

      What nonsense from Volvo engineers
      Last edited by BigBang; 11-02-2019 at 05:33 PM.
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    33. #31
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      When I switch over to my snow tires\summer tires it usually only takes 3-5km for it to re calibrate the TPMS...never had an issue....

    34. #32
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      I just switched over to winter tires. It took driving about 10-12 km before the TPMS was calibrated. Also I drove at 80 kmh for 7 km and then at 115 kmh for another 3-5 km.
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