Focus Fanatics Forum banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,174 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Background
On Sunday I got a set of 17" OEM rims that still had the TPMS sensors (band-style) on the rims. I'm fairly certain there was a sticker on one of the sensors that said it was made in 2008. I went to NTB and got some tires put on the rims the same day. I asked them to keep the TPMS sensors on, and to calibrate them so that the car recognizes the new sensors. When they were all set, they said the sensors were calibrated (they charged me $10 for it), and that I was good to go.


The Problem
About 15 miles down the road, the TPMS light starts blinking and I get a "TIRE PRESSURE MONITOR FAULT" (or was it "TIRE PRESSURE SENSOR FAULT?"). I hit reset, which clears the message, but the light continues to blink for about 30 seconds before staying on until I got home. When I got home, I checked the air pressure in all four tires, and none were above or far below 36 psi (I had just driven about 20ish miles going 50-65 mph). I turned the car back on, and the same error message pops up with the blinking TPMS light. At this point I think it's important to note that (per my name), I drive a 2011 SE, and these sensors must have come from a 2008 or 2009.


The Failed Solution
I get up really early the next day so that I can bring the car back to NTB before I head to work. When I get in the car and start it up, however, the TPMS light doesn't activate. I wait a few seconds thinking the car is messing with me, but it doesn't light up. I check the air pressure, and they're all around 30-32 psi (it was about 20 degrees cooler than yesterday). So I say...screw it, they can't fix something if I can't prove it's happening. Instead I just head into work early. However, about 15 miles into my commute (who would have guessed), the light starts blinking again, along with the chime and error. So now I know something's wrong. Same thing happens when I leave work...so I head to NTB. The guy at the desk admits that they never reset the sensors because the light didn't come on (THEN WHY DID YOU CHARGE ME $10 FOR IT?). He tells me they're booked for the rest of the night, but that I should head to another NTB and they'll fix it for free. He claims all I need is a reset.


The Most Recent Failed Solution
I head to the next closest NTB, and explain what happened. The tech suggests removing the other tires and spare from the car (they were still in there) and then driving for 15 miles to see if it would reset on its own. Their manual says 2008-2009 Foci reset by themselves under normal driving conditions. Nothing is noted for 2010 or above. I drive for 15 miles, and who would have guessed, the light (which was still on), chime, and error display again. So the guy tells me that he doesn't have the tool to calibrate it, since the manual says it will calibrate itself, but a Ford dealer would. Regardless, he tells me he'll get on the horn with Ford on Wednesday to get to the bottom of this and that barring new sensors, he'll make this right on his own free time...no charge.


Where I Need Your Help
I assumed that because the 2008-2011 body style is nearly exactly the same, that nearly all parts would be interchangeable between the model years. Fearing that I may just have broken sensors, I emailed Tousley Ford to see if their sensors came with the bands. Surprisingly, however, I was told that the 2011 sensors don't require bands. That answer surprised me. So I looked at the picture on their website for a 2011 Focus TPMS Sensor, and it's COMPLETELY different. Here is what is pictured for 2008-2009 versus 2010-2011...

2008-2009:



2010-2011:



So clearly the sensor must have changed, and I feel like a jerk for telling NTB that they're the exact same sensor and reset the same way. Now that you know WAY too much about my predicament, here are my questions:

  • Can anyone confirm whether or not the sensor style changed for the Focus from the 2008-2009 band-style to a new valve stem version in 2010-2011?
  • Even if they're different sensors, can the band sensor still be used on my 2011, or do I have to buy new sensors?
  • If they are interchangeable, do I just need to use the dealer-style reset tool to get them to be recognized by my car, or can I use the powerful magnet technique?
  • Will my car pass inspection in Massachusetts with that light on since it isn't a check engine light (I need an inspection in the next couple weeks)? NOTE: I know it will pass in NH, but I'm looking for MA specifically.

If you've read this far, thank you. I apologize for boring you to death. Any help people can give me is greatly appreciated. I just want to get rid of that stupid light!!! [dunno]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,474 Posts
2008-2009 use sensors with bands, 2010-2011 use the style built into the valve stem. I beleive they are on different frequencys too. I know that the two systems are not compatible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,174 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Well I ordered a new set of TPMS sensors for my 2011 from Tousley Ford. They were about 25% less expensive than the band-style. Do they not last as long, or are they just cheaper to manufacture? Or both?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,474 Posts
They should last just as long as the other ones, but are cheaper because they don't require the bands, which are really expensive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,174 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
My new sensors showed up, and as an FYI, they operate at the same frequency as the band-sensors, which is 315 MHz. Unfortunately, it doesn't make them any more compatible :(

The calibration tool also showed up, and no luck getting the band-type to be recognized by the car. But then again, I'm not even 100% sure how I SHOULD be doing using the tool. Everywhere I look tells you to use it differently. I've tried:

1) Using the tool when the key is in the ON position
2) Using the tool while in TEST MODE
3) Using the tool after switching the key from OFF to ON 8 times

Regardless of the fact that the TPMS sensors aren't compatible, do any of those sound like the method for getting a 2011 to recognize new sensors? I'll need to know once I get the new ones installed...and I feel a little bit like an idiot for trying that ON/OFF method. Sounds like an old Nintendo cheat code.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,174 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Alright, I finally got this fixed. Took lots of phone calls and run-arounds, but I no longer have a TPMS fault error. I'll post a "How To" in the 2008-2011 forum within the next couple days.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,174 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top