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We replaced our beloved 2000 ODY with a 2015 back at the end of 2018. Since then we have replaced 6 TPMS sensors. All driving was normal on road, trips to the grocery store, hauling the dog & grandkids around, out to eat, etc. All easy trips in a moderate climate - no salt on roads or anything. All of the sensors were replaced due to the valve stems leaking, we have yet to have the battery die in one of them. So we are stuck with a safety device causing an unsafe condition - low tire pressure. Yes we have had the rims checked and even sanded the valve stem holes once even though the leaks have been on the exterior of the valve stem - duh! Just spray a little soapy water on them and they are leaking. We have had sensors changed by 3 different places now. So we don't want to continue throwing money down the drain but are not sure what to do.
Suggestion for others - next time you get a low tire pressure warning light on your van, before you take it to the dealer or tire shop, spray or dribble some soapy water over the valve stem. If you see bubbles you can save yourself some money. You can get just the valve stem replaced for much less than the sensor. It is worth checking.

So here are our questions:

Q1:We have been told that Honda in their infinite wisdom, used alloy rims that are not compatible with the good old schrader valve stems. Does anyone know if this is true? Could we just pull the TPMS sensors out and replace them with standard, reliable, schrader valve stems that just never seem to cause problems? Or do we have to buy new rims to avoid the constant tire leaks?

Q2: We live in a state that requires inspections and will not pass if any pollution or safety codes are detected. Does anyone know how the TPMS works, i.e. does it read the actual pressure in the tires or does it just throw a code/trouble light if one sensor deviates too much from the other sensors? In other words could we put all the sensors in the glove box and avoid having a code/trouble light thrown since they'd all be at the same pressure? If that's the case, we'd pull the sensors out of the tires and keep them somewhere else in the van so we'd pass inspection.

Q3. If the TPMS sensors are actually reading the tire pressure, is there another way to disable the resulting code/trouble light? If anyone else has done this please explain how for the rest of us who have a supposed "safety device" that is making their car unsafe.

Q4. Any other suggestions for how to deal with this problem?

Thank you.
 

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We replaced our beloved 2000 ODY with a 2015 back at the end of 2018. Since then we have replaced 6 TPMS sensors. All driving was normal on road, trips to the grocery store, hauling the dog & grandkids around, out to eat, etc. All easy trips in a moderate climate - no salt on roads or anything. All of the sensors were replaced due to the valve stems leaking, we have yet to have the battery die in one of them. So we are stuck with a safety device causing an unsafe condition - low tire pressure. Yes we have had the rims checked and even sanded the valve stem holes once even though the leaks have been on the exterior of the valve stem - duh! Just spray a little soapy water on them and they are leaking. We have had sensors changed by 3 different places now. So we don't want to continue throwing money down the drain but are not sure what to do.
Suggestion for others - next time you get a low tire pressure warning light on your van, before you take it to the dealer or tire shop, spray or dribble some soapy water over the valve stem. If you see bubbles you can save yourself some money. You can get just the valve stem replaced for much less than the sensor. It is worth checking.

So here are our questions:
My responses are in red.

Q1:We have been told that Honda in their infinite wisdom, used alloy rims that are not compatible with the good old schrader valve stems. Does anyone know if this is true? Could we just pull the TPMS sensors out and replace them with standard, reliable, schrader valve stems that just never seem to cause problems? Or do we have to buy new rims to avoid the constant tire leaks?

I have cloned aftermarket TPMS sensors in my winter steel wheels and factory OEM sensors in the summer factory alloys and have had precisely zero problems. Both sets use schrader valves. I would be inclined to blame crappy installation or damaged rims before faulting the valve stems themselves.

Q2: We live in a state that requires inspections and will not pass if any pollution or safety codes are detected. Does anyone know how the TPMS works, i.e. does it read the actual pressure in the tires or does it just throw a code/trouble light if one sensor deviates too much from the other sensors? In other words could we put all the sensors in the glove box and avoid having a code/trouble light thrown since they'd all be at the same pressure? If that's the case, we'd pull the sensors out of the tires and keep them somewhere else in the van so we'd pass inspection.

No because in the glove compartment your sensors would report a tire pressure of zero. If you made an airtight container you could keep the sensors in and then pressurize to ~32 psi, that would work. It would look like you're driving around with a pipe bomb in the van, but if no one notices, then no one cares.

Q3. If the TPMS sensors are actually reading the tire pressure, is there another way to disable the resulting code/trouble light? If anyone else has done this please explain how for the rest of us who have a supposed "safety device" that is making their car unsafe.

There is no way to disable TPMS on its own - it's integrated into the stability control as a required input parameter.

Q4. Any other suggestions for how to deal with this problem?

New rims? You've tried different installers and different sensors - they can't all be bad all the time. The one thing you haven't tried is different wheels.
 

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We replaced our beloved 2000 ODY with a 2015 back at the end of 2018. Since then we have replaced 6 TPMS sensors. All driving was normal on road, trips to the grocery store, hauling the dog & grandkids around, out to eat, etc. All easy trips in a moderate climate - no salt on roads or anything. All of the sensors were replaced due to the valve stems leaking, we have yet to have the battery die in one of them. So we are stuck with a safety device causing an unsafe condition - low tire pressure. Yes we have had the rims checked and even sanded the valve stem holes once even though the leaks have been on the exterior of the valve stem - duh! Just spray a little soapy water on them and they are leaking. We have had sensors changed by 3 different places now. So we don't want to continue throwing money down the drain but are not sure what to do.
Suggestion for others - next time you get a low tire pressure warning light on your van, before you take it to the dealer or tire shop, spray or dribble some soapy water over the valve stem. If you see bubbles you can save yourself some money. You can get just the valve stem replaced for much less than the sensor. It is worth checking.

So here are our questions:

Q1:We have been told that Honda in their infinite wisdom, used alloy rims that are not compatible with the good old schrader valve stems. Does anyone know if this is true? Could we just pull the TPMS sensors out and replace them with standard, reliable, schrader valve stems that just never seem to cause problems? Or do we have to buy new rims to avoid the constant tire leaks?

Q2: We live in a state that requires inspections and will not pass if any pollution or safety codes are detected. Does anyone know how the TPMS works, i.e. does it read the actual pressure in the tires or does it just throw a code/trouble light if one sensor deviates too much from the other sensors? In other words could we put all the sensors in the glove box and avoid having a code/trouble light thrown since they'd all be at the same pressure? If that's the case, we'd pull the sensors out of the tires and keep them somewhere else in the van so we'd pass inspection.

Q3. If the TPMS sensors are actually reading the tire pressure, is there another way to disable the resulting code/trouble light? If anyone else has done this please explain how for the rest of us who have a supposed "safety device" that is making their car unsafe.

Q4. Any other suggestions for how to deal with this problem?

Thank you.
To solve your problem I would not go to a tire store or the dealer. I would find a good mechanic who knows how to clone sensors. I would be sure not to use any of the brands of sensors that leaked. They are probably just Chinese junk. The thing I found with mine was that they have to be assembled correctly with the gaskets and shim washers in the right order. Also if they are over tightened they can distort and leak. The rim hole that you sanded may have to be coated with sealer to work properly. If you live in snow country and have TPMS alert on you cannot turn off TCS traction control which is something you do not want to happen because you will get stuck In certain situations. If you have a good independent mechanic just give him the task of solving your problem and he will know which sensors to get and reliably install them. They alert at approximately 24 To 26 PSI. When the weather changes the pressure can change enough for the alerts to go off even with the pressure set at 36. There have been bad valve cores in the past so do not over look checking that function.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Q1:We have been told that Honda in their infinite wisdom, used alloy rims that are not compatible with the good old schrader valve stems. Does anyone know if this is true? Could we just pull the TPMS sensors out and replace them with standard, reliable, schrader valve stems that just never seem to cause problems? Or do we have to buy new rims to avoid the constant tire leaks?

I have cloned aftermarket TPMS sensors in my winter steel wheels and factory OEM sensors in the summer factory alloys and have had precisely zero problems. There is no way to disable TPMS on its own - it's integrated into the stability control.

Q2: We live in a state that requires inspections and will not pass if any pollution or safety codes are detected. Does anyone know how the TPMS works, i.e. does it read the actual pressure in the tires or does it just throw a code/trouble light if one sensor deviates too much from the other sensors? In other words could we put all the sensors in the glove box and avoid having a code/trouble light thrown since they'd all be at the same pressure? If that's the case, we'd pull the sensors out of the tires and keep them somewhere else in the van so we'd pass inspection.

No because in the glove compartment your sensors would report a tire pressure of zero. If you made an airtight tube you could keep the sensors in and then pressurize to ~32 psi, that would work.

Q3. If the TPMS sensors are actually reading the tire pressure, is there another way to disable the resulting code/trouble light? If anyone else has done this please explain how for the rest of us who have a supposed "safety device" that is making their car unsafe.

There is no way to disable TPMS on its own - it's integrated into the stability control.

Q4. Any other suggestions for how to deal with this problem?

Q1. [I would be inclined to blame crappy installation or damaged rims before faulting the valve stems themselves. ]
I probably wasn't clear enough. No problems with our rims, no problems with the internal sensors, just leaky valve stems. We've had 6 bad ones in a row and have used 3 different shops (the dealer, one chain, and one independent. The tires stop leaking after the valve stem replacement, but after we get some miles on them, the valve stems begin leaking again. Don't think I've jumped to any conclusions and I don't think any of the installations were "crappy".

Q2. [No because in the glove compartment your sensors would report a tire pressure of zero. If you made an airtight tube you could keep the sensors in and then pressurize to ~32 psi, that would work]
Are you sure the sensors actually read absolute pressure values and not just a differential between the sensors? Early attempts at warnings for low tire pressure just read differences in tire rotational speed due to one tire getting low. Simple but worked. seems it would be easier to design a sensor just to look for a delta in pressure. If they really look for a target pressure say 28 psi or so the idea of a pressurized container is a good one. I'll bet a trip to Home Depot could provide all the parts needed to get through an inspection. Say a piece of 4" PVC with a threaded cap, drill a hole, pop in a schrader valve, throw in the sensors, pull out the bike pump = inspection passed.

Q3. [There is no way to disable TPMS on its own - it's integrated into the stability control.]
So the TPMS and stability control are on the same fuse? Is there no way to jumper or fake good tire pressures by altering voltages at any harness points?

Q4. New rims? You've tried different installers and different sensors - they can't all be bad all the time. The one thing you haven't tried is different wheels.
We're willing to go to new rims, if it gets us to schrader valves and a way to pass inspection, until then we'll just wait for the tires to start going flat and change the valve stems again. The only thing that has been bad so far, all 6 times is the valve stem. The whole wheels have been checked for leaks in a water tank. No leaks from tire or rim, just the wonderful valve stems. Ideally we would like to go to a rim with schrader valves that have never leaked on any of our cars, vans or trucks, and a way to delete the TPMS and still get through the inspection. The TPMS is just another hassle, even if the valve stems weren't leaking the batteries would eventually go bad and we'd just have to spend money to get them fixed. Oh, plus if you have nice rims you also risk getting them messed up when they change the batteries.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
To solve your problem I would not go to a tire store or the dealer. I would find a good mechanic who knows how to clone sensors. I would be sure not to use any of the brands of sensors that leaked. They are probably just Chinese junk. The thing I found with mine was that they have to be assembled correctly with the gaskets and shim washers in the right order. Also if they are over tightened they can distort and leak. The rim hole that you sanded may have to be coated with sealer to work properly. If you live in snow country and have TPMS alert on you cannot turn off TCS traction control which is something you do not want to happen because you will get stuck In certain situations. If you have a good independent mechanic just give him the task of solving your problem and he will know which sensors to get and reliably install them. They alert at approximately 24 To 26 PSI. When the weather changes the pressure can change enough for the alerts to go off even with the pressure set at 36. There have been bad valve cores in the past so do not over look checking that function.
Thanks. It sounds like there have been a bunch of problems with these valve stems, wonder why Honda departed from schrader? All of our failures have been genuine OEM Honda valve stems. With all the issues you've mentioned it makes you wonder why they moved away from a design that has been so reliable.It is scary when a "safety" feature can induce failures in your vehicle. No problems with the valve cores so far, the leaks have all been external. There are generic TPMS sensors that do use a schrader valve and we'd jump on those in a heartbeat, but I've been told that they won't fit the Honda alloy rims.:(
 

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Wait, are you saying the valve core is leaking or the o-ring around the valve stem body?

There's nothing special about the schrader valve in a TPMS unit compared to a standard rubber valve stem - the only difference is that the rubber valve stems get replaced every time new tires are put on since they (schrader valves in general) are a popular leak location, as you already found out.

-Charlie
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Wait, are you saying the valve core is leaking or the o-ring around the valve stem body?

There's nothing special about the schrader valve in a TPMS unit compared to a standard rubber valve stem - the only difference is that the rubber valve stems get replaced every time new tires are put on since they (schrader valves in general) are a popular leak location, as you already found out.

-Charlie
Your are correct, that today many tire places replace schrader valves when you buy tires, but it is my understanding that this is a relatively new phenomenon. I have been told by several retired mechanics and one previous owner of a tire outlet that this was not always the case. In the old days they would just leave the schrader valves in since a failure of one was very rare. I would dispute your assertion that schrader valves are a popular leak location. In 50 plus years of vehicle ownership I've never had a schrader valve leak. I don't recall them being swapped out during tire changes until the late 1990's but am not sure when that started and those i've talked to aren't either. What I do know for sure is that I never had a leak from a schrader valve ever including 15 years ownership of our 2000 Ody (a great vehicle), but with the 2015 Ody we've had 6 failures of the Honda valve stems from 2018 to 2021. That is very unreliable in my opinion..
 

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Wait, are you saying the valve core is leaking or the o-ring around the valve stem body?

There's nothing special about the schrader valve in a TPMS unit compared to a standard rubber valve stem - the only difference is that the rubber valve stems get replaced every time new tires are put on since they (schrader valves in general) are a popular leak location, as you already found out.

-Charlie
It should be obvious, but I forgot to mention that the Honda valve stems have more failoure points than the schraders do and as geotech mentioned the Honda valve stems are easily damaged and their reliability depends on the skill of the installer "...they have to be assembled correctly with the gaskets and shim washers in the right order. Also if they are over tightened they can distort and leak. ".
 

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I would dispute your assertion that schrader valves are a popular leak location. In 50 plus years of vehicle ownership I've never had a schrader valve leak.
I've had multiple schrader valve issues, though not all of them on car tire fill valves - and that's only been in the last ~25 years though... (auto AC system, bike tires and shocks, have all had issues).

If it is just the schrader valve core, it should be able to be replaced from the outside with a single simple tool.

-Charlie
 

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I can certainly understand the OP's frustration in having to fix this problem over and over again, but I really don't see how it could be considered the result of some kind of design flaw. My alloy wheels are OEM Honda and are having no problems with OEM sensors and my winter steelies are also OEM Honda (same part number as standard LX wheels purchased from our friendly neighbourhood Honda dealer) with Autel MaxiTPMS sensors and are having no problems. I check tire pressures every couple weeks or so but actually make adjustments only once a year (at tire swap time). All eight of the tires I use on our Ody rarely lose air.

The OP's problems are a one-off, as unsatisfying as that is. I have never heard of anyone having this level of sustained trouble with TPMS sensors or valve stems in general anywhere. There is something specific about the particular parts in his or her possession that is causing all this trouble. Have the rims ever been damaged and/or repaired (aside from sanding the valve stem hole)? Any curb shots or potholes or slides into the ditch or collisions? Any balancing problems that might indicate they might be a teensy bit out of round? If the leak is around the valve stem, are we certain that the valve stem hole is acceptably round? Do all the wheels do this or is just one or two?
 

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No because in the glove compartment your sensors would report a tire pressure of zero. If you made an airtight container you could keep the sensors in and then pressurize to ~32 psi, that would work. It would look like you're driving around with a pipe bomb in the van, but if no one notices, then no one cares.

I am wondering if you can just screw something onto the sensor to provide "mechanical pressure" instead. This is probably safer and easier to do.
 

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No because in the glove compartment your sensors would report a tire pressure of zero. If you made an airtight container you could keep the sensors in and then pressurize to ~32 psi, that would work. It would look like you're driving around with a pipe bomb in the van, but if no one notices, then no one cares.

I am wondering if you can just screw something onto the sensor to provide "mechanical pressure" instead. This is probably safer and easier to do.
No, and most sensors require the movement of the wheel to 'power up' and provide a signal (I'm not 100% sure this is the case, but you would have to test this to know one way or the other) - so often just putting them in a pressurized vessel won't work.

-Charlie
 
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