Myth: There’s no rush to find a TPMS solution because TPMS batteries are good for ten years.
TPMS battery life has received some well deserved attention in auto and tire industry press recently. It's been a longstanding general expectation that original equipment TPMS batteries would fail after five years or 50,000 miles in the field. Some even forecast a ten year or 100,000 mile life span, seemingly affording many a shop owner the leeway to put off commitment to a TPMS solution until later. The truth of the matter is that TPMS is here by government mandate so it’s here to stay and tire repair shops are already seeing some increase in number of vehicles brandishing telltale TPMS warning lights. Shops without a TPMS solution typically end up referring customers out of their shop doors to the new car dealer, giving away revenue and an opportunity to earn the customer’s repeat business.
Will TPMS batteries all run dead in the same year? No one really knows. Harsh weather conditions in fall and winter may accelerate sensor battery failure rate but waiting to see the numbers increase before getting a TPMS solution in place is a gamble that has just as much likelihood to disappoint as it does to favor. One thing is for sure, TPMS issues are not like the Y2K scares almost a decade ago. We know the batteries will expire because it’s already happening. So the clock is ticking, we just don't know at exactly for what hour the alarm is set.
While battery failure is a good reason to replace OE TPMS sensors and it's not the only one. Replacing aging TPMS sensors at the appropriate time can save the customer money in the long run. And saving the customer money translates into customer loyalty when you make the customer aware of their options and service their needs in house.
The best opportunities to replace TPMS sensors:
- When replacing tires - If the vehicle is over 5 years old or has over 50,000 miles, recommend replacing sensors too. This will save the customer money by not having to pay for an additional mount in balance in a year when there TPMS sensors fail
- Broken/Corroded sensors
- Wheel & Tire Packages - Cost of new sensors is equal to or less than the labor to swap OE sensors and reset
- Seasonal or purpose tire sets - A dedicated set of sensors in a new set of tires costs less swapping sensors and resetting twice annually. It may save the customer time too.