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2003 Toyota Highlander Base 4dr 4-Cyl (GS)

2003 Toyota Highlander
Trim Info:
Front Wheel Drive, 4 Door, Sport Utility Vehicle
22 mpg city / 27 mpg hwy
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September 2, 2012, 9:54 am

Al F

Question: Can a TPMS sensor become fully dislodged months after a tire was dismounted and repaired?

2008 Toyota Highlander, TPMS issue. Tire repaired because of nail found in tire. (Tire not flat, just nail was visible.) Tire shop dismounted tire for repair. Since that time, vehicle driven minimal miles for about 5 months (4,500 miles only locally; no high speed driving or long distance). The first time that the vehicle was driven on interstate at highway speed for approximately 60 minutes, the TPMS sensor light came on. Returned to tire shop. Shop inspected vehicle visually but not on rack, checked tire pressure, and could not identify problem. Recommended that vehicle be taken to dealership. Dealership inspected, heard clanking sound inside the tire, and found TPMS sensor dislodged and loose in tire cavity. Dealer replaced sensor and indicated that the damage to the sensor was caused by the tire shop at the time it dismounted and remounted the tire. (None of the other sensors failed, only the one associated with the tire that was repaired.) The tire in question is not damaged, the rim is not damaged, and the vehicle has not been in any accident. This was not a TPMS battery or electronic failure according to the dealer but rather TPMS dislodgement due to faulty tire dismount and remount process. The shop with which I have been doing business for over 25 years is refusing to take responsibility for the damage. Three questions: 1. Why did the TPMS sensor light not come on until the vehicle was driven at highway speed for an extended time months after the tire repair? 2. Do you agree with the dealership that the damage was caused by the dismounting and remounting process at the tire shop? 3. In your professional opinion, is there any other reason that this dislodgment of the TPMS sensor could have occurred?

September 16, 2012, 5:44 pm

Tyler O

It's hard to say for sure. The sensor may have been damaged and finally broken free after a number of miles. The TPMS take a while to respond to changes in the system or throw a code for a missing sensor input. Also the sensor could have actually been working for a while even though it was loose in the wheel.

I've seen plenty of sensors fail on their own, but never come loose without some "help"

Good luck.

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