TPMS sensor setup for winter tires

whobodymwhobodym Posts: 190
edited December 2016 in Subaru
I have a brand-new '17 Forester XT Touring EyeSight with four new steel wheels, Michelin XIce winter tires, and new pressure sensors that I all bought from Tire Rack. (The OEM TPMS sensors are still mounted on the 18" standard wheels now stored in my basement.)
I have gotten five different stories as to how the new sensors can be made to work: 1) Subaru dealer #1 says, "you must return every 6 months, forever, to get your TPMS calibration redone, $60 each time please" 2) Subaru dealer #2 says "this is a one-time job, your car will learn all 8 sensors from the two sets of wheels/tires and remember them all permanently" 3) Discount Tire says "we will do this for free even if you didn't buy anything from us" (!!) 4) Costco says "some new Subarus but not all, have a switch in the glovebox for the TPMS" 5) Subaru of America Customer Support says "We do not know, we'll have to research and call you back later". Does anyone out there know for sure the specific answer for my particular Subaru? And does Subaru realize how incredibly lame this all is for a car specifically marketed to winter-driving localities? And how easy the analogous procedure is on an Audi?? (a 5 second visit DIY to the MMI page which says "are tire pressures correct? press Yes".

Best Answers


  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 185,645
    I don't know the answer, but I do like choices #2 or #3.

    I leased an Impreza once that had the worst all-season tires known to man. Seemed criminal to put those on a Subaru, but there you go.

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  • whobodymwhobodym Posts: 190
    The car's OEM tires are 18" Bridgestone Dueler HL all-season, and a day in level Bozeman MT with one inch of new snow was enough to convince me winter tires are a good idea.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    edited December 2016
    I think #1 is correct, at least as far as I've researched. Some people just don't buy the new sensors and then blank out the TPMS light with tape and save the $$$ (for the sensors + the dealer fees) , and check their tire pressure every couple of weeks. I mean, cars ran for 100 years without TPMS.

    I'm not recommending that BTW, just passing along with some folks do to save a substantial sum.

    But if I were you, I'd just go to Discount tires and have it done in a few minutes. I've been reading that some Forester owners found that to be the easiest solution. A few bought the quick-set tool but that's not so cheap either.

  • whobodymwhobodym Posts: 190
    Mr_Shiftright, I agree that's likely. I get all the black tape jokes, and I did that myself back with a 2010 Mazda3, which had no winter tire sensors at all. I just got really steamed this time, after spending almost $200 on new separate TPMS sensors for the winter tires (plus the tire and wheel cost), that Subaru was so stupid and costly about supporting the fancy hardware I just bought. I'm good for now with my Discount Tire $0 two-minute TPMS reset -- don't know for sure if another Discount trip will be necessary in the spring, but it won't be too much of a hassle if it is.
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