2009+ TPMS disable

Technical info on the Pontiac Vibe and Toyota Matrix including do-it-yourself info
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j42.snyder
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2009+ TPMS disable

Postby j42.snyder » Fri Nov 23, 2012 6:46 pm

I don't believe anyone else on here has posted a way to keep the TPMS light "OFF" other than simply putting a piece of tape over it.

I did some searching on a RAV4 forum, and found a solution. All it requires is a 3.3 kOhm resistor. 1/4 watt or 1/2 watt will work fine.

The TPMS "computer" is located in the dash, directly below the HVAC controls. To access it, simply remove the trim from around the HVAC and radio (pull out at the bottom, as it hinges upwards at the top, then remove the trim around the shifter. Be sure to remove the complete grey plastic piece that also surrounds the A/C 115V switch - not just the silver trim for the shifter. If it's an automatic, you'll need to take it out of park and unscrew the shift knob. There will also be a plug for the light for the shift indicator. On a manual car, you can leave the shifter intact, and just rotate the trim to get it temporarily out of the way.

Now that things are opened up, the module is under the right hand side of the HVAC controls. A 1/4" drive ratchet and 10mm socket will remove the screw attaching it, and you can pull it out. Unplug the connector, and remove the module. On the connector, at one end there is a dark blue wire - this supplies 12V from the ignition. Plug one end of the resistor into this terminal, and then look for a pink wire on the other side of the connector. Connect the other side of the resistor to this terminal. Use some electrical tape to cover the resistor and ensure it stays attached to the connector. I then tied off the connector to the bottom of the HVAC controls to keep it from rattling on something below. Now you can put the computer back if you want, or keep it out, as it's no longer going to be used.

Now just reassemble the dash in the opposite order you took it apart. Turn on the ignition, and enjoy the lack of the tire warning light flashing at you!

This is of course a semi-permanent solution. To go back, you'd just have to go back in there, remove the resistor and plug the module back in.

For next year, I'll probably devise a switch for this, as my "summer" wheels still have operational sensors. It would need to be a 2 position switch. You would need to tap into the 12V wire, and add another feed off of it to go to one side of the switch. The resistor would be installed in series between this wire and one side of the switch.

You would then need to cut the pink wire, and attach the side going into the harness (goes to the instrument cluster) to the center terminal on the switch, and the pink wire going to the computer would attach to the opposite side of the switch from where the 12V and resistor line is connected.

With this setup, the TPMS computer would remain connected. With the switch in one position, operation of the light would remain "normal", still being connected to the computer. In the other, it will have a reduced voltage supplied to the cluster, instructing it to keep the light "off".

That's how the cluster works the light - it's looking for a low voltage signal (approx 5-7V) to be applied through the pink wire to turn "off" the light. If the circuit is open, the light will remain on. The resistor drops the 12V supplied by the ignition to a proper level for this to work without damage. I didn't calculate it - somebody on one of the Toyota forums did - I just took advantage of it! :D

I installed the resistor on both mine and my brother's cars today. His has some internal fault code set in the TPMS computer ( I don't know the details), but we'll probably leave it like this rather than spend money trying to fix the system. He knows how to use a tire gauge...

My winter rims don't have sensors, so I'll keep the resistor in for the winter, and take it back out next spring. I will eventually install a switch somewhere - the only issue is that the wiring is pretty tight to work on in there without further disassembly - so for the couple of minutes it takes me to pop the trim off, I may just do that again - it's pretty easy.

Hopefully this helps someone else that's tired of seeing the light all season - or just wants to forget the system overall if they have issues with it. Myself I always do a walk around before driving, and check the pressures regularly. If it was a more sophisticated system that actually told me pressures and locations I'd be more keen on keeping it active - but the simple light I really don't care about. One day I'm sure the batteries will die in the sensors anyway, and the resistor can just stay where it is now.

John

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tpollauf
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Re: 2009+ TPMS disable

Postby tpollauf » Sat Nov 24, 2012 8:03 am

Nice review John. I too swap winter/summer tires but the sensor light rarely comes on because the tires are stored in the garage where the Vibe is always parked AND it only gets driven short distances so it sometimes never reaches the 10 mile limit to where the light comes on. Once back in the garage it sees the original tires and all is back to normal. :D
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vibenvy
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Re: 2009+ TPMS disable

Postby vibenvy » Sat Nov 24, 2012 3:05 pm

Awesome write up! This is much easier and less complicated than the "pipe" idea that someone came up with on Matrix Owners.

I may have to give this a try as we don't have TPMSs in our winter wheels and our Vibes do sometimes get driven long enough that the light will come on. It's not a big deal, just more annoying than anything else.

My only suggestion would be to post some pictures to show exactly where the TPMS "computer" is, which wires you need to work with, the resistor you used, etc. You did a great job of explaining everything really well, but pictures always make things even easier. Thanks for posting this ;)!
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Jack99
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Re: 2009+ TPMS disable

Postby Jack99 » Mon May 20, 2013 10:46 pm

Nice write up....

If one doesn't like removing dash panels and taping resisters into factory wiring (like me), there's another "work around" to disabling the factory TPMS. Actually, it does disabled it. One simply fools it by ensuring all 4 x sensors are within normal pressure range.

Steps:

A - Remove the spare tire and drill 3 x more holes in the steel rim. Each hole is within each quarter section of the tire. And the hole size is the existing ID size of its existing valve stem hole (after its valve stem is removed). Thus, creating 4 x valve stem holes in the rim and the spare rim remains near balanced.
B - Remove the TPMS valve stem from the vehicle's production tires. May need a tire machine to perform this task. And be very gentle with it. They are expensive to replace.
C - Install normal valve stems (same length) in the vehicle's production tires (where the TPMS valves stem was removed). Thus, converting the tire back to normal rim/tire - like the old days. For best results, get the reassembled tire rebalanced as well.
D - Install the 4 x TPMS valve stems in the spare tire (into the 4 x holes created in above step A). Yes. Into the spare tire and "air it up".

Finished results? The usage tires are converted to normal valve stem tires. One can have 4 x Summer tires on their own rims. And, one can have Winter tires on different set of rims. They are normal tires. And since all 4 x Sensors are now installed in the Spare Tire (and pressurized as well), the vehicle's TPMS system shows each is within normal air pressure. And, TPMS light on dash is normal OFF (regardless of using Summer or Winter tires on the vehicle). As long as the spare is within the trunk and its aired up to say 35 lbs, all is good. The vehicle's TPMS computer thinks all is good as well. And, no wire taping or resistors had to be installed.

Hope this helps....

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Rayven01
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Re: 2009+ TPMS disable

Postby Rayven01 » Tue May 21, 2013 4:16 am

The spare is supposed to be filled to 60 psi to actually be used as a spare. I'd be kinda worried that would damage the TPMS sensors since they're designed for 2/3 of that at most.
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Jack99
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Re: 2009+ TPMS disable

Postby Jack99 » Tue May 21, 2013 4:17 pm

Rayven01 wrote:The spare is supposed to be filled to 60 psi to actually be used as a spare. I'd be kinda worried that would damage the TPMS sensors since they're designed for 2/3 of that at most.


Opppssss. My Bad. I forgot the spare is a small donut on the Vibe. On my previous vehicle, its spare was a real tire. Good catch on this one...

When I get snows put on our Vibe this fall, I'll probably use a ABS can (instead of spare tire mod) like many others do. As you can tell, I hate TPMS systems as well. Especially paying the GM dealer large chunks of dollars to re-configure the TPMS - which takes very little time....

Tommychu
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Re: 2009+ TPMS disable

Postby Tommychu » Wed Sep 04, 2013 4:36 pm

Rayven01 wrote:The spare is supposed to be filled to 60 psi to actually be used as a spare. I'd be kinda worried that would damage the TPMS sensors since they're designed for 2/3 of that at most.

These sensors can take a LOT of pressure. I used to work at a tire shop that sold Nokians, and the old WR needed to be aired really high to seat the beads properly (or else the tire would have a low spot and vibrate like a 5 year old on red bull even if balanced properly), and then back down to operating pressure. Anything 50 series or lower took close to our shop's line pressure (120 PSI) for this to happen. One set I had to use my service truck (160 PSI, I messed with the regulator a bit).
But the concern here is that the sensors also tell the ECU that all 4 are running at 65 PSI, and I'm not sure if the Toyota ECU still throws a light for over-pressure.
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Re: 2009+ TPMS disable

Postby BaseWhiteVibe » Mon Sep 23, 2013 4:17 pm

WORKED LIKE A CHARM! I didn't even bother pulling the module out, I was able to snake my hand and pop the harness out. Getting the resistor to go into the connector was a bit of a struggle but I was able to get it in there. The light doesn't even come on when I key on now! I am not planning on putting the sensors in the Celica wheels, SO RUBBER STEMS IT IS!

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
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j42.snyder
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Re: 2009+ TPMS disable

Postby j42.snyder » Fri Oct 11, 2013 7:23 pm

BaseWhiteVibe wrote:WORKED LIKE A CHARM! I didn't even bother pulling the module out, I was able to snake my hand and pop the harness out. Getting the resistor to go into the connector was a bit of a struggle but I was able to get it in there. The light doesn't even come on when I key on now! I am not planning on putting the sensors in the Celica wheels, SO RUBBER STEMS IT IS!

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!


You're very welcome! Always nice to see someone else benefit from figuring out something like this. When I mentioned it at a local tire shop, they were "all ears", as I'm sure it's a problem they have to deal with daily with customers.

I haven't bothered with the switch idea yet - the plug/unplug thing is so quick and simple I'll probably just do that until the batteries die in my sensors, at which time the resistor will just stay in permanently. My brother's Vibe was having trouble with the TPMS system setting error codes, so rather than try to fix it, we just went with the resistor as a permanent solution. No computer, no problem!

Not related to Vibes, but I've noticed that some manufacturers are now starting to get away from the sensors, and go back to the ABS method of sensing differences in tire pressure again. My brother replaced his Vibe with a Mazda CX-5 earlier this year, and that's what it does. Nice, as now when he puts on winter rims there's nothing extra to buy/program or an irritating light to deal with. Obviously the system has limitations (like not being able to tell if all tires are equally low), but for most situations where just one tire may have picked up a slow leak, it works just fine. Oddly, some other manufacturers simply eliminate the system all together on Canadian sold vehicles as it's not mandatory here. My dad has a 2014 Subaru which does not have any type of TPMS at all. Too bad they didn't incorporate the same system that Mazda did - the components are all there already!

I took some photos (admittedly poor quality from my phone) of the process and the resistor installation - but from what I've read on here lately, I don't think there's any room left for posting new attachments. I should probably look into one of the web hosted photo sharing sites one of these days for such things. If anyone really would like to see photos of this mod, let me know and I'll see what I can do. Although I don't tend to post often, typically I read through the active topics daily on here.

John

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Caretaker
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Re: 2009+ TPMS disable

Postby Caretaker » Sat Oct 12, 2013 3:56 am

forgive me, but I'll stick to the black electrical tape. My TPMS light has been on in my Hyundai for over 2 years. Two of the tires have been converted back to rubber stems. I made an attempt recently to repair/replace the two broken aluminum stems, but that turned into a nut roll. After having the wrong TPM stems put on and then being lied to about their computer being able to reprogram the new stems, I had them rip them back out and put rubber back in (all at their cost). I'm looking forward to the day when the TPMS light on my dashboard burns out due to it being on for so many years. :lol:
Live it up: There will be plenty of time to be old when you die.
** 2009 Vibe: 1.8 liter automatic **
** 2010 Hyundai Elantra Touring **
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Re: 2009+ TPMS disable

Postby vibenvy » Sat Oct 12, 2013 5:55 am

j42.snyder wrote:I took some photos (admittedly poor quality from my phone) of the process and the resistor installation - but from what I've read on here lately, I don't think there's any room left for posting new attachments. I should probably look into one of the web hosted photo sharing sites one of these days for such things. If anyone really would like to see photos of this mod, let me know and I'll see what I can do. Although I don't tend to post often, typically I read through the active topics daily on here.

I would appreciate some pictures! Both our Vibes will be getting new tires mounted on the 18s before next spring and I am seriously thinking I may just go ahead and have the tire shop replace the TPMSs with rubber valve stems to avoid hassles in the future and get rid of the light during the winter months.
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Re: 2009+ TPMS disable

Postby kumquat » Sat Oct 12, 2013 5:57 am

This is a great idea. I'll probably install the resistor with a switch in a month or so when the winter tires go on.

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vibenvy
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Re: 2009+ TPMS disable

Postby vibenvy » Sat Nov 30, 2013 1:22 pm

I just finished doing this on both our Vibes. It took all of 5 minutes per Vibe. I was planning on taking some pictures to post in this thread, but it is really self-explanatory, so I didn't bother. If anyone would like some pictures though, let me know and I will take some and post them.

If anyone wants/needs a resistor, let me know as I bought a 5 pack and therefore have 3 left over. Send me your address and I'll send you one for free!
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Lacassin
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Re: 2009+ TPMS disable

Postby Lacassin » Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:47 am

John,

I tried this on my 2009 Vibe and it does not work. One end of the 3.3 kOhm (1/4 watt) into the dark blue end of the connector and the other end into the pink. Should I try 1/2 watt? What about the red wire? Isn't that usually the power (hot) side?? Like everyone else, I really would like to see this TPMS light go away...
Any help with this will be greatly appreciated.

/r
Mike

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kumquat
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Re: 2009+ TPMS disable

Postby kumquat » Wed Apr 09, 2014 1:44 pm

Lacassin wrote:John,

I tried this on my 2009 Vibe and it does not work. One end of the 3.3 kOhm (1/4 watt) into the dark blue end of the connector and the other end into the pink. Should I try 1/2 watt? What about the red wire? Isn't that usually the power (hot) side?? Like everyone else, I really would like to see this TPMS light go away...
Any help with this will be greatly appreciated.

/r
Mike



You unplugged the connector right?

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j42.snyder
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Re: 2009+ TPMS disable

Postby j42.snyder » Wed Apr 16, 2014 5:27 pm

I'm very sorry I didn't respond earlier! Typically I try to read through the active topics daily, but must have missed that day! I noticed on my phone a few days ago, but I can't properly respond on there - so I had to wait until I had time on my computer to log in...

I'm not sure why it wouldn't work - but be sure to keep the computer unplugged - don't just piggy-back the resistor on the back of the connector. Actually insert the ends of the resistor, using the leads as "pins" into the correct sockets on the connector. The last time I did mine, for some reason I had some difficulty getting it to contact the first time - so I just re-installed it, and it's been working since.

I just re-installed my "summer" tires last week, but haven't bothered yet to reinstall the TPMS computer. I have some other stuff I want to get done first when I have the time before getting to that - even though I know it's only a 5-10 minute operation. I plan to drain and refill the coolant, flush the brake lines, and clean/lubricate the brake pads and shims, and slider assemblies. So far the pads look like they're only half worn at best after 163,XXXkm (just over 100k miles) - apparently I don't stop very often or something. I do coast whenever possible - an overall average of 31.8 MPG (U.S.) since new with a 2.4 and auto must mean I'm doing something right I guess... or perhaps my right foot is just very restrained on the gas pedal.

Cleaning the carpets to get the salt stains out (nasty winter) and giving it a thorough cleaning/clay bar/wax is also in the plans - now to just find the time! The wife has a car that needs some care too.

Sorry to get off topic, but as long as the resistor is correct it should work fine. If you have a meter, maybe measure it to be sure. If the resistance is too high, the cluster won't see the voltage and keep the light turned on.

Keep us posted.

John

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Re: 2009+ TPMS disable

Postby thebidman » Thu Oct 23, 2014 1:01 pm

BaseWhiteVibe wrote:WORKED LIKE A CHARM! I didn't even bother pulling the module out, I was able to snake my hand and pop the harness out. Getting the resistor to go into the connector was a bit of a struggle but I was able to get it in there. The light doesn't even come on when I key on now! I am not planning on putting the sensors in the Celica wheels, SO RUBBER STEMS IT IS!

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!


I'm over in Troy Mi. I am about to buy 4 tires to have installed at Discount Tire. Mgr says that as long as the TPMS is working when you bring the car in then they cant disable or remove the sensors. So I want TPMS not to be working so I can have them remove the sensors (ebay) and install rubber stems. I don't need a reversible solution so that I can turn TPMS back on, want it off permanently. What is the easiest way to accomplish this? Be nice if it was just a fuse to remove.

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Re: 2009+ TPMS disable

Postby vibenvy » Sat Nov 01, 2014 2:31 pm

j42.snyder wrote:The TPMS "computer" is located in the dash, directly below the HVAC controls. To access it, simply remove the trim from around the HVAC and radio (pull out at the bottom, as it hinges upwards at the top, then remove the trim around the shifter. Be sure to remove the complete grey plastic piece that also surrounds the A/C 115V switch - not just the silver trim for the shifter. If it's an automatic, you'll need to take it out of park and unscrew the shift knob. There will also be a plug for the light for the shift indicator. On a manual car, you can leave the shifter intact, and just rotate the trim to get it temporarily out of the way.

Now that things are opened up, the module is under the right hand side of the HVAC controls. A 1/4" drive ratchet and 10mm socket will remove the screw attaching it, and you can pull it out. Unplug the connector, and remove the module. On the connector, at one end there is a dark blue wire - this supplies 12V from the ignition. Plug one end of the resistor into this terminal, and then look for a pink wire on the other side of the connector. Connect the other side of the resistor to this terminal. Use some electrical tape to cover the resistor and ensure it stays attached to the connector. I then tied off the connector to the bottom of the HVAC controls to keep it from rattling on something below. Now you can put the computer back if you want, or keep it out, as it's no longer going to be used.

Now just reassemble the dash in the opposite order you took it apart. Turn on the ignition, and enjoy the lack of the tire warning light flashing at you!
thebidman wrote:I'm over in Troy Mi. I am about to buy 4 tires to have installed at Discount Tire. Mgr says that as long as the TPMS is working when you bring the car in then they cant disable or remove the sensors. So I want TPMS not to be working so I can have them remove the sensors (ebay) and install rubber stems. I don't need a reversible solution so that I can turn TPMS back on, want it off permanently. What is the easiest way to accomplish this? Be nice if it was just a fuse to remove.

Just follow the instructions in the original post (also quoted above). It will take you about 5 minutes. It's not "permanent" per se, but as long as you leave the resistor in there, the TPMS will be disabled.
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JerBear
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Re: 2009+ TPMS disable

Postby JerBear » Wed Mar 22, 2017 5:08 pm

I have always been a more visual learner than written so sometimes a written set of instructions is harder for me to follow. Thank you for the information, I went to steel wheels and 16" tires on my 09GT so I have been staring at that yellow light for a while now. It's off now and your instructions were quite helpful. I will add just a few of my observations and hopefully anyone heading in the same directions will benefit.

1. Before disconnecting the Battery, lock the e-brake and shift into Neutral. Then disconnect the battery to reduce any shorting when working around electrical connections. If you disconnect the battery before shifting the car to neutral it will not come out of Park on Automatic Trans Cars.

2. Prying the upper plastic trim is easier if you start at the top and work down the lower section is easier from the bottom upwards. Take your time and wait for a warm day to help make the plastic a bit more flexible.

3. The lowest panel where the 110 Volt Plug is located does not need to be removed but the lower portion where the shifter is does need to come out.

4. The module that will be removed is located (Directly under) the temperature adjustment knob on the HVAC the Knob closest to the passenger seat. There is two similarly sized modules in the same location one is slightly to the right of the one you need to take out and says Theft Deterrent Module on it. Do not remove that one. The correct one is to the left and directly beneath the temp adjustment knob. The wrong one is also the one that is a whole lot harder to remove and even harder to reinstall, don't ask me how I know that.

5. IDK if it is necessary but I removed the entire HVAC grouping, it pulls straight out after the trim pieces are out and gives a bunch of room for my huge hands.

6. Remove the module that says "TPMS Controller" and place the resister ends directly into the white plastic connecter (Dark Blue and Pink Wire) that you removed from the module and do not reinstall the module, it is not needed after this. Tape the resister with electrical tape to insulate and I taped it entire wad to the same metal bar the screw was connected to that held the module.

7. I checked the system to see if it shut off the light by reconnecting the battery and turning the key to ACC Be forewarned The air Bag red warning light will not shut off at this point, do not be concerned it will after reconnection of the various wire that were disconnected during panel removal. The TPMS light should not illuminate at this point however.

8 Reassemble all of the wires panels and shift knobs. Every thing now as it should and the TPMS laser is not burning holes in my retinas any more.

Thank you all for your footwork, it made my job easier and if not for my right turn in the module it would be about a 15 minute job for me.


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