Be Prepared for Failing Wheel Sensors

Be Prepared for Failing Wheel Sensors

Over the past couple of months, it has come to my attention that auto repair professionals are seeing a rise in the failure rate of the wheel sensors that supply the signal to Tire Pressure Management Systems (TPMS). Most of these failures are due to dead batteries, as each of the four sensors has a non-replaceable battery built into them.

By Jim Piraino

Over the past couple of months, it has come to my attention that auto repair professionals are seeing a rise in the failure rate of the wheel sensors that supply the signal to Tire Pressure Management Systems (TPMS). Most of these failures are due to dead batteries, as each of the four sensors has a non-replaceable battery built into them. In most cases, these batteries have a life expectancy of 5 to 6 years. Although some upscale vehicles, such as BMW, have sophisticated systems that allow the technicians to monitor battery life as a percentage (using a scan tool), most will give no warning of pending failure. For the millions of vehicles rapidly approaching this 5 to 6 year age bracket, it’s not a question of if the sensor will fail, but rather when it will fail.

As an auto repair professional, you need to be prepared to capture this surging market by assuring that you have the proper tools and equipment needed to reset the system. You should identify suppliers and make sure that they will have the necessary inventory available (some common sensors are available through aftermarket suppliers).

Prepare a policy and procedure for dealing with this issue. It would be wise to replace all four sensors at one time, so creating a package that offers all four sensors, installation and wheel balancing makes the most sense. An extended warranty of 5 years on a no cost replacement is perfect for this service, and offering such a warranty will elevate your shop well above the competition.

Wheel sensor costs are estimated to be between $50 and $75 per wheel. When marked up properly, and coupled with labor, the ARO for a four wheel service could easily be $500 to $700.  As you can see, this is a very worthwhile service to offer from a profitability standpoint.

Lastly, I’d recommend creating a handout that informs your customers what to expect if they fall into this category.  For example, let them know that if a light or message comes on, the first thing they should do is check the tires to be certain there is no loss of air pressure, then make an appointment at the shop, etc. Some customers may choose to ignore the light, and if so, you need to be ready to properly explain why this is a bad idea.

This article was contributed by Jim Piraino, one of the 1-on-1 coaches who helps shop owners through the Elite Coaching Program.

You May Also Like

MEYLE Expands Electronics, Sensor Product Portfolio

The focus is on assistance systems and engine and transmission management, with more than 300 new part numbers.

Hamburg-based manufacturer MEYLE announced it is expanding its portfolio of electronic and sensor spare parts by more than 300 references "to meet the demand from independent repair shops for high-quality and precisely fitting parts." The focus is on assistance systems and engine and transmission management, with more than 300 new part numbers in the pipeline, as well as the expansion of its product range specifically for electric vehicles, the company said.

FCS Introduces 42 New Numbers in May

Complete strut assemblies, shock absorbers, shock absorber assembly kits and suspension struts for popular VIO applications are included.

Philips Ultinon Drive 5000 LED Lightbar Line Expands

Lumileds has expanded the Philips Ultinon Drive 5000 series to include eight models.

DMA Adds New BrakeMaster Coverage

New coverage for Ford and Chevy includes popular pickup trucks and SUVs.

Akebono Expands Severe Duty Disc Brake Pad Kits

Akebono said it expanded its severe-duty ultra-premium disc brake pad line by 14 new part numbers.

Other Posts
GSP Releases New CV Axle Part Numbers

GSP said 14 new CV axle part numbers are in stock and ready to ship.

BCA Bearings Unveils 2024 Endless Summer Promotion

The Endless Summer promotion runs from May 1 through June 30, 2024.

PRT Launches 30 New Complete Strut Assemblies

The new items represent more than 10 million vehicles in new coverage, PRT said.

RNR Tire Express Hosts Mother’s Day Giveaway

The eighth-annual event promises $100,000 in prizes, as well as a brand new 2024 Buick Encore for one select nominee.