Introduction: Tire Pressure Sensor Bypass

Picture of Tire Pressure Sensor Bypass

Most new cars have those pesky tire pressure sensor monitors built into the tire. They can be a real pain with the dash lights constantly coming on letting you know that you tire pressure is low. This bypass is helpful for anyone with a bad spring in the sensor itself or with someone who changes their tires often. That way you don't have to constantly have to reset the sensors or risk breaking one of these expensive little gizmos. Especially with winter coming a lot of people are switching to snow tires. Luckily there is a cheap and innovative way to bypass this. The sensor alerts the car when the tire pressure is below a set PSI. So basically what we are going to do is make a portable pressurized container for the sensor located in a safe place within in the car.

Step 1: Parts Needed

Picture of Parts Needed

You basicly need 3 parts

1). A 6" lengh of 4" pvc pipe

2). 2 endcaps for the pvc pipe

3). The TPMS senor synced to the cars computer.

Step 2: Assembly

Picture of Assembly

Drill the appropriate size hole for the your tpms senor in one end of the PVC pipe endcap. clean the hole removing all burrs and pull the sensor through making sure it is a snug and airtight fit. Next glue the endcaps onto the end of the pvc pipe with pvc glue. making sure you have a secure airtight connection. Now all you have to do is inflate the pressure of the capsule to the recommended PSI. You have to keep the sensor in the car so it can keep in contact with the monitor. I put mine in the back of my trunk with my emergency supplies. Now I can drive around not having to have any annoying lights constantly popping up on my dash.


Lostfisher1 (author)2015-09-29

"I know with mine I only have issue as my winter tires and rims don't have the sensors. It costs more than the rims to get the sensors installed and twice that if I was to get new sensors"


rmcqcc (author)2015-09-29

TPMS is federally mandated safety equipment in the U.S. If you get into an accident, and it is determined you tampered with it, not only can your insurance company deny your claim, depending on your policy, you can possibly be held criminally liable if low tire inflation is blamed for the accident. So, bypass your TPMS at your own peril. If you want to play it smart, just keep your tires properly inflated.

DarinH7 (author)rmcqcc2017-05-30

LOL! You people crack me up.

Um, no. TPMS is federally mandated crap that is subject to faults and provides no known safety improvements. Furthermore, driving with broken TPMS sensors in your tires, and an idiot light on your dashboard, is just the same as fooling the system with a set of sensors in a location other than the wheel and will not cause you to be "criminally liable." TPMS is a direct result of a nanny state that thinks you are too stupid to check your tire's pressure.

"Federally mandated..." yes, it is Federally mandated.

"...provides no know safety..." Maybe you should check with the people who got hurt or lost loved ones because they drove on Firestone tires while underinflated (which resulted in blowouts, roll-overs, injury and death).

"...will not cause you to be criminally liable..." If you intentionally disable a safety device, which results in a crash and there are serious injuries or death, you most certainly can be held criminally AND civilly liable.

I agree that they shouldn't be mandatory, but then again, I am on top of my car PMCS. But time and again I see people driving around on underinflated (almost visibly flat) tires...and despite the idiot lights, people continue to be idiots.

maybe you should actually read the court files where firestone told ford that they can not run the tires on the explorer at the pressure that Ford recommended for maximum comfort as the tire would then be riding on its sidewall and deteriorate at an accelerated rate and resultblin catastrophic failure. furthermore, a vehicle shouldn't fall over on its side as the result of a tire blowout and Ford intentionally scapegoated Firestone to mask its involvement in the issue. Ford knew there was a stability issue with the explorer and subsequently redesigned the suspension system to compensate for known issue. I retain my statement that TPMS is a waste of time a money and provides no performance improvement.

You don't get it? Looking at your FB page I see why. IT IS AGAINST THE LAW! You know nothing of the history. I know the NHTSA person who had to deal with teh Ford issue.


LeeA67 (author)2016-12-21

the aluminum valve stems are a saftey problem. they snap off causing your tire to go flat in seconds. this is equal to a blow out condition. how is it these can be mandated. are they really helping us be more safe with a built in saftey hazzard like that. i choose to install good valve stems that are made of steel and have a proven history of reliablity.

JohnA252 (author)2016-03-31

Of note concerning TPS system....had new tires put on work truck the other day. The tire shop only put 50 psi in a load range "E" tire on a 1 ton truck not what the data sticker on the truck mandated or the tire required for the load being carried. A day later we loaded up to head out for a job and the truck felt a little squishy going down the highway or making turns. Never seen any indications from the TPS about low pressure in the tires. So I decided to lower the pressure till the light came on. It finally came on at 40 psi on my gauge. I went back thru the owner's manual to see what PSI the light should come on, there was nothing written, but I did find this interesting statement. Even with a TPS system you are REQUIRED to check your tire pressures AT LEAST MONTHLY and not depend on the TPS alone.

This is a newer model truck. So you decide how well the systems are really working in your vehicle. I know right away when I have a low tire on a dual rear wheel truck. How folks can drive with a flat tire and not know, like the guy I followed today, is beyond me. Guessing his TPS was not working either nor was he looking in the mirror to see the smoke or my flashing lights to get him to stop.

DanijelS1 (author)2016-01-27

The sensor in my car must moving like wheel so it can keep in contact with the monitor.

jdmcpherson34 (author)2015-10-30

Another use is when you get new wheels and don't want to move the sensors or get new ones.

darkRevolution (author)2015-09-30

Many people such as those that race on weekends or swap out to winter tires do not want to pay 30 to 70 dollars to have the car reprogrammed to use the set of sensors in the different rims. The sensors are mandatory for all new vehicles to improve gas mileage. As tires low on air waste gas, increase tire wear and heat build up causing failure if low enough, and possible traction loss. This is all because people fail to check and maintain their tire pressure. I know a lot of people that swap out summer rims and tires for winter tires and just deal with the light on due to not paying for the sensors and reprogramming them. Most sensors are not smart and do not report a 10 to 20 psi drop which defeats there purpose. So it is far better to check your tire pressure and maintain it on your own. So this does serve a purpose but should have 4 sensors.

mheffner1 (author)darkRevolution2015-10-02

Walmart TLE will reprogram these at no cost.

The sensors are a federal mandate on all 2007 and newer vehicles after the firestone tire incidents. They have nothing whatsoever to do with wasting gas. They are there to let you know your tire is low. The sensors are good enough to detect a 1 pound difference in tire pressures. On higher end cars they can show you the tire pressure in each tire. Cars with the dummy light style of monitoring the light comes on if there is a 3 pound difference on the average pressure of all 4 tires so I don't know where you got a 10 to 20 pound difference. This instructible might work on very early tpms systems but it will not work on anything 2007 and up because the computer needs to see 4 sensors all with different coding numbers otherwise the light will come on. Some cars it has to be 5 sensors because the spare has one also. Wish people would get facts right before they go and give advice how to do something because all it does is promote more confusion. I could go on alot more about tpms systems but this is the easiest description I can give without being to technical

Hi Tjroberts43,

You are correct, sorry for the incorrect information about the federal mandate. I got the 10 to 20 pound number from real world experience working one a multitude of vehicles. My vehicle a 2011 that has just a dummy light. Didn't trigger an issue with tire pressure until the tires pressure dropped 15 psi from 34 psi. I noticed an issue at 10 psi and then began to play with the system to see if it would detect something. other customers have come in for various issues (2008 and a 2010) and I noted extreme wear on 1 or more of their tires and noted that the pressures were from 15 to 20 psi in the affected tires and there was no tps light on. I also have seen many times where people just have tires put on via large tire ware houses in my area and they commonly do not check the tire pressure. They just put the tires on and put in air. ( note I am not saying all places do this nor that this occurs every time) each time the car has been driven was 2007 and above and no tps light was on, yet the tire pressures were really low 15 to 25 psi on all tires. I agree that the above inscrutable would need all 4 sensors which is what many people who swap out their tires for racing do as some cars have more then a dummy light when the tires are swapped and the new rims sensors are not programmed to the car. Such as Mitsubishi there whole cluster changes to alert the driver. I have seen this done with one sensor for vehicles with constant tps issues as well. For example an 08 truck that had one wheels sensor die 4 times( I know wee bit odd 4 times one wheel). the tps light caused the owner to fail inspection and after becoming sick of the cost he made a similar device for the one sensor. So thank you for noting my error on the mandate, you are correct about promoting confusion. I hope my further explanation clears up a few things.

neo71665 (author)2015-09-29

Always that group when new tech comes out. Catalytic converters, people cut them off. Fuel injection, people ripped it out and put a carb on it. Same excuses too. They don't understand it, old cars didn't have it so they don't want it.

Way back when cars didn't have this because people got off their lazy bum and actually maintained their cars. They checked the oil, air pressure, air filter. Now people can sync their phone to the car and all kinds of other useless gimmicks but they don't even know what oil looks like.

edge2point (author)neo716652015-09-30

I prefer a carb'ed engine over FI.

gronka123 (author)neo716652015-09-29

Amen, if people didnt have the gadgets they have now they wouldnt get very far. Cars have become an appliance. I love new tech in cars but some are a hinderance and degridate the view on "dyi" car people like me. its not that tech is bad but sometimes simpler (not saying carb) is better

timmg08 (author)2015-09-29

well I don't know about Canada but in the US it is illegal to not fix a broken censor or not have one in the tire if the vehicles equipped. and I would like to point out that many many many people don't even know wat psi means. never mind the number of people that do not ever check their tire pressure. I would also like to point out many tire changing places in the US will not touch your tires with a system like this.

edge2point (author)timmg082015-09-30

That is not a Federal Law, SOME states have laws that require it to be functioning.

OmarJ3 (author)2015-09-30

Just asking, where would I buy a sensor - car dealer or auto parts supplier, and how much do they cost, approximately? My old car dated from the late iron age :-), so this TPMS is new to me. Don't we need one sensor for each tire? And how does the car computer recognize the new sensor? BTW, nice paint job.

Recently bought a nice used car (2009 Dodge Caliber). As you say, the idiot light can be a real PITA for someone who is car aware, and regularly does visual, kick tire & gauge checks. Car was bought from an established new car dealer, so assume there is no law here in QC, requiring compliance. These unreliable systems just seem like a nice cash grab for marketers.

Being a confirmed tinkerer, I am tempted to try your 'able - Thanks!

johndavidf (author)2015-09-30

This is a safety feature and should not be bi-passed unless there is a problem with the sensor. If there is a problem with the sensor then get it repaired.

southerncharmholsters (author)2015-09-29

I don't have a problem with the sensor- it's the pos stem they use with it- had a low tire pressure warning pop up- touched the stem to take the cap off and it shot right out of my hand- then I had a flat tire- looks like if they are going to charge over $100 for a sensor that a quality stem would be included. This happened on a 2009 Town and Country.

3lectriclazer (author)2015-09-28

I'm not understanding the purpose of this... Sure it keeps that light off your dashboard, but that light only comes on if your tires are low.... So fill your tires with air is the simplest solution.

mrandle (author)3lectriclazer2015-09-29

In canada where we swap out our all seasons for winter we put good winter tires on cheap steel rims. It's not worth it to buy an extra set of sensors. Can people not feel when one tire is low/ out? I'm pretty sure a flat tire is fairly pronounced when driving I don't need a light to tell me that!

TheKirkwoods (author)2015-09-29

why not just have those installed in the tire and keep up with the air pressure? If temperature is a problem, use Nitrogen.

mrandle (author)TheKirkwoods2015-09-29

I know with mine I only have issue as my winter tires and rims don't have the sensors. It costs more than the rims to get the sensors installed and twice that if I was to get new sensors.

gravityisweak (author)2015-09-29

My car has a button tucked away inside the jam of the glove compartment that allows me to set the pressure to whatever level I want. I see this instructable being most effective if the stem breaks and you are being charged hundreds of dollars for a new sensor. Or you have multiple sets of tires you like to swap out. The comments here about it being unsafe are unwarranted. unlike a lot of sensors on your car, these won't tell you anything you can't check manually.

Falcon250six (author)2015-09-29

newer cars have smart TPMS and count wheel rotations as well as tire air pressure most common cars like Chevrolet need a reading from all four of the wheels so you might have to program 3 to go inside your tube

carlos66ba (author)2015-09-29

Some masking tape on the dashboard is simpler...

wheeljam (author)2015-09-29

Let's see here. If a tire pressure system is a much needed piece of safety equipment then why aren't they mandatory on ALL vehicles?? I drive a big truck, not required. I drive a motorcycle, not required. Notorious for being faulty. Sounds like it's just a scam so the automakers can make more money by having to constantly have service work done.

retrohunter (author)2015-09-29

I'm guessing that @Listfisher1 is from Canada where it is customary this time of year to swap your "all season" tires with winter tires (aka snow tires). To preserve expensive allow rims from harsh winter conditions, folks up here often swap the rims for cheaper steel rims, which often do not have TPMS valves; which leaves you with 5 months of alarms chiming from your dashboard. It's an interesting structable, but if you're going to buy a single TPMS sensor for it, you might as well fork a bit more cash to buy all 4 and be safer....

AlbertoP24 (author)2015-09-29

Cool if you only get a little presure variation due to temperature changes, but it doesn`t look so right in case of a real puncture. Your dash will go on saying everything is ok.

j0seph01 (author)2015-09-28

uh, the tire pressure sensor is there for a reason. If yours doesn't work right, get it checked. I as a person wouldn't recommend this for your car, because the tire pressure system serves a purpose.

MadcatTLX (author)j0seph012015-09-29

These tire pressure systems are known to be very prone to faults, often coming on when the tires are perfectly fine. I'm not sure but it may have to do with being stuck inside a car tire isn't the most hospitable place for electronics.

The tire pressure light shouldn't be neccesary anyway. You can inspect the tires manually, which I would trust far more than a faulty sensor system notorious for problems.

barn_uk (author)2015-09-28

1. Solves a specific problem - yes!
2. Creates a safety problem for anyone that replicates this (in my opinion)
3. Will lose pressure itself at some point - so problem not actually solved.

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