I was reviewing some posts and found some unanswered questions and even some misinformation, so I decided to try and clarify some things. To preface, I'd like to mention that our company is a major supplier of new TPMS Sensors and OE Installation Tools to the automotive industry.
Here are the main issues I'd like to mention...
1. There are two frequencies in our industry... 315 and 434 MHz
2. There are only two types of sensors, those with bands (center of rim) and those mounted to the rim via a valve stem.
3. There are only two types of valve stems, a rubber type (snap-in) and an aluminum stem and nut system (clamp-in).
4. Tire shops are required to replace the snap-in and reseal the clamp-in, every time the tire is taken off the rim. Kits are available for the professional technician, so this should be easy for any shop to offer and you should request them if shop forgets.
5. On some vehicles the TPM sensor will self program by driving after an install, but do not rely on it to work if installing more than one sensor.
6. Whenever you rotate tires you must reprogram the sensors so that their new location is sync'd in the ECU (computer). This can possibly be done by driving, but most likely needs to be done with the OE manual procedure or through the OBDII connector (under dash) using a professional tool *.
7. You can install a new set of rims/tires without sensors (put in std snap-in stems) if you don't mind the MIL (dash light) being on. The only hitch, you have to do it yourself because it's illegal for a shop to do it. (Note that some vehicles may require you to push the rest button on in-dash electronic monitors, each time you restart a vehicle when no sensors are installed.)
There are many more technical issues, but I did not want to drive everyone crazy. The bottom line is you should put sensors in your tires, not take them out. They are a safety issue and there is a federal law against disabling them. If one of your tire starts going down quickly, while doing 60 to 70 mph, you will get a few seconds notice to grab wheel, slow and pull off to the side of road. (In response to comment from wcgman)
Part of 49 USC 30122(b); known as the "make inoperative" provision of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act (TREAD ACT)...
2. If the customer has an extra set of wheels to be installed and refuses to either install the OEM sensors or purchase another set of sensors for those wheels, can the shop install the wheels?
According to NHTSA, "a service provider would violate the 'make inoperative' prohibition of 49 USC 30122(b) by installing new tires and wheels that do not have a functioning TPMS system. To avoid a "make inoperative" violation, the service provider would need to decline to install the new tires and rims, use the TPMS sensors from the original wheels (if they are compatible), or convince the motorist to purchase new TPMS sensors and ensure that the sensors are properly integrated with the vehicle's TPMS system."
"We are admittedly surprised by NHTSA's response that aftermarket tire and wheels must include TPMS sensors," said Roy Littlefield, TIA executive vice president. "Based on the language in the April 2005 Final Rule, we believed that the presence of the malfunction indicator lamp (MIL) would notify the driver that the TPMS was not operable as a result of their decision to decline new sensors or pay for the additional labor to install the original sensors in the aftermarket tire and wheel assemblies. While we have some genuine concerns regarding consumer backlash, it is clear that the Federal government is requiring retailers to make sure the TPMS continues to function following the purchase of aftermarket tires and wheels."
For any of you in need of new or replacement sensors, I made up a special set for Mustangs when I bought new wheels for my 2010 pony. They are unique in that we can "clone" the original ones from the vehicle. If you just want to add an extra set of wheels (winter, drags, etc) you can reset them to reflect the original ID number (from the OE part). When you switch the wheels, the MIL light goes out because the car thinks they are the original sensors. If you just want to move up in wheel size, clone the original information to our new sensors and you again don't have to worry about reprogramming when you put the new ones on.
Only one issue, you do need our small programming pad that hooks to your computer. It allows you to go to our website and download the OE sensor software for your specific car, in only about 30 seconds. You then click and move the info into our blank sensor, along with the original serial number from the OE sensor. You can likewise do anything you want in the future, simply by going back online for resetting, whenever the need arises.
If you are not following all of this you can contact us and we will be glad to explain in greater detail. This may not be the cheapest option on a single vehicle, unless you are going to pay retail for a shop to install new sensors and then do the resetting procedure for you. Our Clone-Able Sensors are about $55 each and the mouse pad reprogramming tool is about $150 (a one time purchase). Again, this may sound expensive but you only buy the pad once and then its free to use over and over, forever. If you have friends or belong to a club you can split the cost of tool and use the website at no additional costs, ever. Additionally, when you need new sensors on other cars because the batteries die, just purchase more blanks, download and you are ready to install.
If you might want to purchase a full blown reprogramming tool, we are the OEM and number one in the world. There are three options and the best unit does not cost $2500 as mentioned in one of the posts on this site.
Our Base Unit (Reader Only)... $250
Top End Reprograming Tool... $600 (No pad required)
Top End Full OBDII Reprogramming Tool... $1100 (No pad required)
(Note: These tools work on all vehicles, not just Mustangs)
Here are the sites, for more info on all of the above programs and products.
Gary (The Parts Man)
Best time to call tech line is 1pm to 8pm EST