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Thread: TPMS Malfunction

  1. #1
    Poco183 poco183's Avatar
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    TPMS Malfunction

    I just did the 12 K service on my 16 RT. It happened to be time to change front and rear tires. I bought new tires online and brought the wheels to the local BMW dealership to have them mounted. Prior to the tire change, the TPMS system was working perfectly. The pressures were about 2 pounds off but accurate enought for me. I only use the system to warn me of a tire problem.

    I installed the newly mounted tires on Saturday and went out for a ride. Within a mile or two, the TPMS warning appeared on the dash. TPMS showed 53 psi in the fornt and 56 in the rear. I stopped and double cheked the pressure in both tires. My gauge showed 40 PSI front and 42 PSI in the rear. I rode for about 30 miles but the warning didn't disappear.

    I called the dealership and was told both of my sensors must have gone bad at the exact same moment. They suggested I replace them at a cost of $466!

    My GS-911 didn't show any fault codes.

    I decided to let all of the air out of both tires and reinflate them. After doing so, I went out for a ride and, BINGO, the system worked fine.

    Has anybody else expirenced this?
    Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond to it.

  2. #2
    Registered User stooie's Avatar
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    Holy smokes! Thanks for sharing this. Glad to hear that there was a simple fix. Should I ever experience this phenomenon I'll now know to try cycling the tire pressure before forking over the dough for new sensors.

    I wonder if this is an early warning that your sensors' batteries are reaching the end of their life. From other posts I see it looks like the batteries can last from about 4 up to 8 or 10 years.

    Thanks again!
    Bob Stewart
    Salem, OR

    2018 RT

  3. #3
    Registered User dlong's Avatar
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    I wonder if the problem could have arisen from over-inflation of the tires after mounting to get the beads seated. I've seen pressures as high as 90 psi after getting the bead properly seated. Doesn't explain why the high pressure readings would persist after correcting to normal riding pressure. Maybe the sensor gets "stuck" after overinflation for a time, but more in an electrical than mechanical fashion.

  4. #4
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    Early warning

    Hi,
    I know it's not a BMW but I had the sensors on my Concours 14. As they aged the first sign of the battery wearing out was that when cold they would not give a read out. If I remember correctly you would just get dashes across the screen. Once you had been out riding for awhile the readouts would go back to normal. The length of time for the readouts to appear would depend greatly on the outside air temp. One year I had the issue during the spring, disappeared during the summer just to reappear in the fall.
    Later,
    Norm

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by gloucesterman View Post
    Hi,
    I know it's not a BMW but I had the sensors on my Concours 14. As they aged the first sign of the battery wearing out was that when cold they would not give a read out. If I remember correctly you would just get dashes across the screen. Once you had been out riding for awhile the readouts would go back to normal. The length of time for the readouts to appear would depend greatly on the outside air temp. One year I had the issue during the spring, disappeared during the summer just to reappear in the fall.
    Later,
    Norm
    This may be contrarian but I am not a fan of OEM TPMS. Too many gotchas. I have a $50 set - I forget the brand. Sensors are on the stems. No damage from tire changes. Sensor batteries are about $4 for a pair and easy to replace. The receiver unit is rechargeable by USB Mini and the charge lasts for a couple of months and recharges in an hour or so.. The readout matches my tire gauge tested cold to hot within 1 psi. And it is a one minute task to switch the system from one bike to another.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  6. #6
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    Perhaps the biggest problem with BMW tire pressure sensors is their price. The sensors are made by Schrader, which has a significant share of the automotive TPMS sensor market. You can get Schrader automotive sensors for less than $40 each. But you can't buy the motorcycle sensors from Schrader. BMW apparently has an exclusive marketing agreement, and you can only get them from BMW at BMW's prices.
    Karl
    2007 R1200ST

  7. #7
    Registered User jandhumphreyme's Avatar
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    kthutchinson are you sure they are "motorcycle" specific sensors?
    So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains
    And we never even know we have the key

  8. #8
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    [QUOTE=PGlaves;1172986]This may be contrarian but I am not a fan of OEM TPMS. /QUOTE]

    I'm a super fan of the OEM TPMS. Many people appreciate that they are temperature-compensated, but some may not be aware they sense internal tire air temperature when doing the compensation calculation. That is a very useful asset, and despite potential liability, in the rider manual you will read they tell you when you use a 3rd party gauge (they use a filling station gauge as the example) you should in effect adjust pressures so the TPMS displayed is what you're aiming for, not adjust to match the external gauge. The acid test that made me a believer happened when I left Bishop CA over that magic carpet ride, 168 out of Big Pine towards Beatty NV, when in the morning at maybe 55F or so I forget now TPMS consistently displayed my dialed in pressures despite riding hours thru NV at 110-112.9 OTW to St George Utah w/ elevation changes, and never varied. As a result, I adjust pressures to always display my preferred pressures, which means over time when pressures start to decline I will pump up a little over using my compressor which has an accurate gauge on it, then let out a little air after riding awhile at the next stop to dial in the exact pressures I'm after. I've checked pressures manually before I got on to this w/ a Flaig gauge touted to be +/- 1% and found pressures were in total alignment w/ TPMS pressure when at ambient temp, provided you allow TPMS to fully adjust which is typically about a mile or less of riding. For reasons I don't appreciate always the initial temp displayed is always 2psi below what it becomes when the tire road-warms. Unless you're having your $20-$100 manual gauge checked for accuracy you have no more assurance that pressure is any more valid than what TPMS produces. Clearly there is also a range of psi for street riding that falls within an acceptable range. After all, those PR4GT tires are just fine to pump up 10% higher than recommended, right? Yep. So you're going to quibble now over being 1psi of, or 2psi off of accurate if that's indeed the case, yet to offset that front tire's propensity to cup at stock pressure you'll happily change from 36 to 40psi? Oh, ok.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by poco183 View Post
    I decided to let all of the air out of both tires and reinflate them. After doing so, I went out for a ride and, BINGO, the system worked fine.

    Has anybody else expirenced this?
    On a 2y/o '16 RT I had new tires installed and experienced the exact same issue. ALWAYS, pressures would display within the requisite MPH hit, and super quickly, for some 30K miles. As soon as I left the shop they didn't display for many miles, and began behaving erraticly henceforth during a 3K mile trip I put the new tires on for. The shop said no way, it wasn't anything they did. Right. I'd love to pass this on to them and I wonder if anyone else figured out trying what you did. And I've read several other reports of the exact experience of TPMS going awry after new tires went on. Mine, after about 3000m on our trip got progressively 'back to normal' despite a few genuine red warning no pressure alerts over our trip, and 1.1y later since fixing themselves, they still work perfectly fine. I never thought of the inflation pressure idea what a great discovery! Thanks! I'm assuming now w/ almost 40K and 3.4y the sensors will need to be replaced pretty soon.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jandhumphreyme View Post
    kthutchinson are you sure they are "motorcycle" specific sensors?
    Yes. The BMW TPMS sensors will not fit automobile wheels. Automotive sensors stick out of the rim at an angle. The BMW sensors either stick out perpendicular to the rim (rear sensor on my R1200ST), or the sensor is separate from the valve stem (my front sensor). I even went as far as to call Schrader a few years ago and was told to contact BMW.
    Karl
    2007 R1200ST

  11. #11
    [QUOTE=ncpbmw1953;1173001]
    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    This may be contrarian but I am not a fan of OEM TPMS. /QUOTE]

    I'm a super fan of the OEM TPMS. Many people appreciate that they are temperature-compensated, but some may not be aware they sense internal tire air temperature when doing the compensation calculation. That is a very useful asset, and despite potential liability, in the rider manual you will read they tell you when you use a 3rd party gauge (they use a filling station gauge as the example) you should in effect adjust pressures so the TPMS displayed is what you're aiming for, not adjust to match the external gauge. The acid test that made me a believer happened when I left Bishop CA over that magic carpet ride, 168 out of Big Pine towards Beatty NV, when in the morning at maybe 55F or so I forget now TPMS consistently displayed my dialed in pressures despite riding hours thru NV at 110-112.9 OTW to St George Utah w/ elevation changes, and never varied. As a result, I adjust pressures to always display my preferred pressures, which means over time when pressures start to decline I will pump up a little over using my compressor which has an accurate gauge on it, then let out a little air after riding awhile at the next stop to dial in the exact pressures I'm after. I've checked pressures manually before I got on to this w/ a Flaig gauge touted to be +/- 1% and found pressures were in total alignment w/ TPMS pressure when at ambient temp, provided you allow TPMS to fully adjust which is typically about a mile or less of riding. For reasons I don't appreciate always the initial temp displayed is always 2psi below what it becomes when the tire road-warms. Unless you're having your $20-$100 manual gauge checked for accuracy you have no more assurance that pressure is any more valid than what TPMS produces. Clearly there is also a range of psi for street riding that falls within an acceptable range. After all, those PR4GT tires are just fine to pump up 10% higher than recommended, right? Yep. So you're going to quibble now over being 1psi of, or 2psi off of accurate if that's indeed the case, yet to offset that front tire's propensity to cup at stock pressure you'll happily change from 36 to 40psi? Oh, ok.
    The Smartire system on my R1150R does exactly this. It is far from unique to OEM stuff. It also displays the interior air temperature in the tire.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by kthutchinson View Post
    Perhaps the biggest problem with BMW tire pressure sensors is their price. The sensors are made by Schrader, which has a significant share of the automotive TPMS sensor market. You can get Schrader automotive sensors for less than $40 each. But you can't buy the motorcycle sensors from Schrader. BMW apparently has an exclusive marketing agreement, and you can only get them from BMW at BMW's prices.
    But isn't the valve stem part of the sensor, and if so would they fit correctly on a wethead RT? That's way too easy so I guess the answer must be NO.

  13. #13
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    I’m running a set of six on the motorhome from Truck System Technology- https://tsttruck.com/

    Been pretty happy and Customer service is excellent. Their site doesn’t have motorcycle specific set-ups although it could be done. It’s a nice feature to have pressure, temperature and alarm functions.

    The TST site is a good read and overview of how “add on” systems work along with the warnings of what to look out for when using a “stem” mounted sensor.

    OM
    "You can do good or you can do well. Sooner or later they make you choose." MI5
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  14. #14
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    [QUOTE=PGlaves;1173004]
    Quote Originally Posted by ncpbmw1953 View Post

    The Smartire system on my R1150R does exactly this. It is far from unique to OEM stuff. It also displays the interior air temperature in the tire.
    I like having psi display where all my other data displays myself.

    SmarTire for Motorcycles
    SmarTire products are no longer available in the motorcycle market and the company has ceased support for this product category.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by ncpbmw1953 View Post

    I like having psi display where all my other data displays myself.

    SmarTire for Motorcycles
    SmarTire products are no longer available in the motorcycle market and the company has ceased support for this product category.
    That is why I bought two Smartire sets ten years ago when they announced they were going to concentrate on trucks and busses.

    I am glad you like the system with the $225 sensors. I am glad I am happy with my $50 system. I am sure yours is better, but that is OK with me. Mine does exactly what I need it to do.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

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