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TPMS Valve Stem - replace or not?
#1
My Multispace is approaching its second birthday and now needs all new tyres.  It has factory-fitted TPMS, the variety that has silly little transmitters in each tyre.

In the good-old-fashioned past, new tyres always meant new valves, as they cost almost nothing so you might as well.  But what do you do about TPMS valves?

I've seen service kits like these...

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/262447992430

It looks like they just need to be pushed in/out from the inside.  I've seen other websites talk about unscrewing and replacing the valve itself only, leaving the stem in place.  Then there are issues with brass and other metals reacting together and turning into grey fuzzy corrosion if you fit the wrong type.  Plus this doesn't solve the issues of perishing seals between the valve stem and wheel, which is the main problem to address.

There are no signs of damage or perishing on the outside of the existing ones.

What's the normal thing to do for these?  Or are they too new for there to be a "normal thing"?  Can I expect the valve stems to last as long as the battery, or do they need replacement more often?  I'm wondering whether this TPMS servicing thing is more of a money-spinner for the tyre shops than anything else.

Some have aluminium stems, which do corrode quite badly.  But these are rubber-cased, as shown in the ebay item above.

All thoughts welcome!
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#2
I've had tyres on cars for 5+ years with the same valve and never had any problems, so if your valves are the rubber type like you linked to I personally would just leave them.

If you do ever have to replace one it's not the end of the world, you can get to it quite easily by deflating the tyre and breaking the bead, the tyre doesn't have to come right off the rim.
My vehicle .... 2006 Berlingo Multispace Desire 1.6 HDI 92.
[+] 1 user says Thank You to jj9 for this post
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#3
Thanks - that's pretty much what I was concluding from some further googling.

I might think again at 4 years, but the problem then is that the sensor batteries might be nearing their end anyway - should you replace them before they fail after x years to save fitting costs or not? That's another year's problem though.
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#4
Not sure what the life span of the batteries are so no idea.
I don't know if the sensors would need reprogramming to the vehicle if their battery's did go flat.

I have DIY removed the sensors from the wheels on a Renault, it was just a case of braking the tyre bead from the rim and then you could press the tyre down to get a hand in to remove the sensor.

As the tyre didn't have to be removed fully off the rim and it didn't move on the rim there was no for rebalancing.
My vehicle .... 2006 Berlingo Multispace Desire 1.6 HDI 92.
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#5
The batteries are sealed into the unit, and the typical stated lifetime seems to be 5-10 years. When the battery goes flat you have to replace the entire unit, including the valve stem, for about £30-ish+ each.

As the replacement unit would be very unlikely to weigh exactly the same as the old one or be in the same place, balancing would be required.

So we just need a crystal ball to see whether the sensors will outlive the tyres we're having fitted, then replace them if they're about to fail before the tyres are worn out.

The official way to change one is to install a new one, then program its code number into the car using the computer that only a Citroen dealer has. The alternative way is to use a programmable sensor, and program the old sensor's code into it. So the car doesn't know it's been changed.
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#6
There's videos on you tube showing how to change the batteries on some sensors, a bit of ingenuity is needed but if you're saving £30 a corner it's worth it.

Regarding balancing, any weight difference between the new and old sensor isn't going to make any difference, believe me.
My vehicle .... 2006 Berlingo Multispace Desire 1.6 HDI 92.
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#7
I'll disagree - balancing weights can be just a few grams, so a difference in sensors could easily be as much, especially if you start digging out lumps of potting solution to get to the batteries.

The problem with changing the batteries is that I, for one, wouldn't be able to pull it out myself. I've seen videos involving leaning a plank of wood on it and driving over it, but that could get expensive when I knock off the Airdream's plastic side skirts or dent my tarmac driveway.

I'll leave the valve stems this time round, might change them next time which should be about 4 years. Hopefully they'll run for 8 years so this will be half-time for them. I'll just buy some online and hand them to the fitters.
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#8
I know balancing weights can differ by just a few grams and if you put a a weight on 2 grams heavier you would never know.

Anyway, yes, you're probably better off getting the man to do your job.
My vehicle .... 2006 Berlingo Multispace Desire 1.6 HDI 92.
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