TPMS Sensor Batteries

The direct tire pressure monitoring system uses radio frequency (RF) technology to transmit measured tire pressure and sometimes temperature readings to a vehicle's on-board electronic control unit (ECU). If the tire pressure in one or more tires is 25% or more below the manufacturers recommended level, then a low tire pressure warning light is turned on, warning the driver of underinflation. Tire pressure monitoring sensors are usually powered by a 3-volt lithium ion battery. Some TPMS sensors use a 1.250-volt nickel metal hydride battery. The battery is encased in the sensor's molded plastic housing. A battery that is running low on or is depleted requires the replacement of the ENTIRE TPMS sensor assembly.

How do you know when a TPMS sensor's battery has failed?

There are many types of original equipment manufacturer tire pressure monitoring sensors being factory installed in different automotive makes and models. What is common between most system is that sensors are designed to transmit tire pressure data to the vehicle ECU at regular intervals. If the ECU misses a few sensor transmissions, it can then assume that either an interference or malfunction has occurred within the tire pressure monitoring system. The TPMS light will then turn on to warn the driver of a potential TPMS malfunction. In most systems, a malfunction in the system is indicated by a blinking TPMS warning light. The light blinks for a period of about 60-90 seconds. After blinking for a brief time, the warning light will remain on.

TPMS Life Expectancy

The estimated life expectancy of an OE TPMS sensor is 5 to 12 years, with the average lifespan being 7 years. TPMS life expectancy is directly related to the number of radio frequency transmissions the sensors make. Driving habits greatly influence the number of RF transmissions a sensor makes in its lifetime. For example: sensors usually transmit when the vehicle is stopped and transmit more often when in motion. Maintaining a constant speed, such as when you're on a highway, reduces the demand on TPMS sensors and allow the sensors to transmit less often. Drivers who often find themselves driving in start-and-stop type traffic will have a greater impact on the vehicles tire pressure monitoring sensors. Weather can also have an impact on tire pressure sensor battery life. Cold conditions allow batteries to last longer. Warmer conditions take more of a toll on TPMS battery life.

TPMS Replacement

If the batteries in one or more of your TPMS sensors has malfunctioned or depleted, we recommend contacting a local TPMS service technician or dealership to scheduled a tire pressure monitoring system inspection. The technician can assess the status of the TPMS sensor by using a properly formatted TPMS scan tool. stocks original equipment tire pressure monitoring sensors for most vehicle makes and models. If one or more sensors on your vehicle has depleted or malfunctioned, you can find the OEM replacement by clicking here or going to: