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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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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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.
 

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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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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.
 

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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.
 

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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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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.de/en/chassis/brakes-wheels/tire-pressure-monitoring-system
 

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my 2006 BMW uses same system- pretty common.
 

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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.
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.
 

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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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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.
 

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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.

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. :facepalm::facepalm::facepalm::facepalm::facepalm::facepalm::facepalm:
 

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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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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.
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
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.
 

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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. :thumbup:
 

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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.
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.
 
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