Q: My tire pressure sensors are useless

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I thought the tire pressure sensors in my 2009 Nissan Versa were pretty neat until they started breaking every 10,000 miles. I have replaced them twice now at 101,000 miles. I want to stop this, but I don’t even know what the problem could be. What am I dealing with that is breaking these sensors?

The pressure sensors inside the tire are part of the fill valve. The sensor has a battery in it that is similar to a watch battery or a vehicle remote battery. The sensor is supposed to be totally sealed to keep moisture out, but some older sensors fail because they were not completely sealed and the circuits got corroded. The new replacements have better seals but only have a limited battery life span of 3 to 5 years. These batteries are not replaceable. You cannot mix old and new style parts since the system will not recognize a mix of sensors. Be careful using aftermarket or used sensors. Before making a purchase, verify that aftermarket sensors are guaranteed to work. It is not recommended to use any type of tire sealer to seal leaks in tires. These sealers have corrosive properties that could corrode the sensors and cause failures. When you get tires changed, make sure you verify with the installer that system is working before and after new tires are installed. A lot of sensor replacements are due to improperly trained tire installers or substandard equipment that damages sensors during tire replacement.

A certified mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, can inspect your pressure sensors and help you find the right solution to the repetitive failures.

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