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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
The E9X is the 4th evolution of the BMW 3 series including a highly tuned twin turbo 335i variant pushing out 300hp and 300 ft. lbs. of torque. BMW continues to show that it sets the bar for true driving performance! -- View the E9X Wiki

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  #1  
Old 09-20-2013, 05:35 AM
mossman35 mossman35 is offline
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Does TPMS work like we think it works??

Let me know if I am confused, but I thought this is how our TPMS works.

Set tire pressure manually, hit reset. The car now learns tire pressure of X. Tire pressure drops by some amount and you get a low tire pressure warning. Correct?

I have a left rear tire that is now losing about 2-3 psi a week (was losing 1 psi a week). My rear tire pressure was reset at 39 psi weeks ago (certain about this). I measured the tire on a number of occasions and found the tire pressure was 35 psi and once it was even 34 psi. I never got a low tire warning. Actually I have never gotten a low tire warning with the BMW sensors during the 3 years I have owned the car.. Seems strange to me.

I am thinking perhaps the reset does next to nothing (other than to learn the sensor) and the car simply alarms at a hard coded 30 psi or something.

So.. has anyone reset the system at 39 and found it actually gave an alarm higher than it would if it was set at 35 psi?? If anyone can confirm it would be appreciated.


On a related note, I dropped off the suspect tire this morning at a tire shop. I have on a full size 17" spare with no sensor. I drove 5 miles and started the car 3 times. No warning yet I know some have said it can take many miles to signal a missing sensor though.
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  #2  
Old 09-20-2013, 06:22 AM
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Zeichen311 Zeichen311 is offline
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The system alerts when a tire is 25% below the set point. A 25% drop from 39 psig is ~29 psig. You haven't let the tire leak down enough to trip the alert.
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  #3  
Old 09-20-2013, 06:41 AM
hondo402000 hondo402000 is offline
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well you can test it by letting the air out of a tire, one at a time and see if the light comes on

that way you can test all 4, best to have a compressor to do this test
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Old 09-20-2013, 06:48 AM
mossman35 mossman35 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeichen311 View Post
The system alerts when a tire is 25% below the set point. A 25% drop from 39 psig is ~29 psig. You haven't let the tire leak down enough to trip the alert.
25%.. Wow seems like a lot!! Thanks for the info.
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  #5  
Old 09-20-2013, 08:47 AM
ctuna ctuna is online now
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Yeah 10llbs when is when mine went off.

Yeah 10llbs low is when is when mine went off.
But I only have the rotational sensors.

For as expensive as the sensors in the tires are I don't see why they don't give you
direct readout accurate to the same error as a digital pressure gauge.
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  #6  
Old 09-20-2013, 08:56 AM
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Zeichen311 Zeichen311 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctuna View Post
For as expensive as the sensors in the tires are I don't see why they don't give you
direct readout accurate to the same error as a digital pressure gauge.
They can and do transmit that information to the car. BMW has decided we don't want to see it.
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  #7  
Old 09-20-2013, 04:47 PM
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DSXMachina DSXMachina is offline
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Originally Posted by Zeichen311 View Post
They can and do transmit that information to the car. BMW has decided we don't want to see it.
That's right, each transmitter reads pressure to the tenth of a pound, and temperature within 1F degree. With the right tool you can trigger each sensor and read the output in seconds. At my shop we no longer use tire pressure gauges, they're so last millenium. We read pressure by asking each sensor to tell us the pressure.
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Old 09-20-2013, 06:06 PM
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Nordic_Kat Nordic_Kat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSXMachina View Post
That's right, each transmitter reads pressure to the tenth of a pound, and temperature within 1F degree. With the right tool you can trigger each sensor and read the output in seconds. At my shop we no longer use tire pressure gauges, they're so last millenium. We read pressure by asking each sensor to tell us the pressure.
Just curious, is there a way to recode the On Board Computer to display this info via the dash readout and left stalk?
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  #9  
Old 09-20-2013, 07:02 PM
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pointandgo pointandgo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mossman35 View Post
25%.. Wow seems like a lot!! Thanks for the info.
During the TPMS rulemaking procedure and comment period (prior to the final rule), the tire industry and U.S. tire standards organization; The Tire and Rim Assn., thought it was "a lot" also and protested to the NHTSA that it was a dangerously low "alarm" level...but our government beaurocrats knew better (trust us, we're from the government). It got nasty between the feds and the industry.

For this reason (IMO) a TPMS "alarm" shouldn't be ignored and the tire pressure should be re-set as soon as possible.
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  #10  
Old 09-21-2013, 02:40 AM
hondo402000 hondo402000 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeichen311 View Post
They can and do transmit that information to the car. BMW has decided we don't want to see it.
just like they decided that we dont want a dip stick in the engine to check oil
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  #11  
Old 09-21-2013, 08:28 AM
ctuna ctuna is online now
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It would be nice to see it as

It would be nice to see it as you could recognize a trend in a leaker.
Plus all the times the tell you to keep your tires topped of because of
fuel economy.

Last edited by ctuna; 09-21-2013 at 11:32 AM.
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  #12  
Old 09-21-2013, 03:54 PM
stones399 stones399 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctuna View Post
Plus all the times they tell you to keep your tires topped off because of fuel economy.
This is how we fix the economy quicker! Didn't we all hear that from the Anointed One?


On a more serious note, all my tires are inflated w/ Nitrogen. But how do I go about checking/maintaining pressures if I have a regular air inflator for emergencies?

Is there a system for Nitrogen w/o going to the dealership? I like Nitrogen's stability in varying temps (no flat spots on cold mornings).
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  #13  
Old 09-21-2013, 05:01 PM
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Zeichen311 Zeichen311 is offline
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Originally Posted by stones399 View Post
On a more serious note, all my tires are inflated w/ Nitrogen. ... I like Nitrogen's stability in varying temps (no flat spots on cold mornings).
Oh, no. You didn't just take us there, did you? Please say it ain't so....
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  #14  
Old 09-23-2013, 03:31 PM
stones399 stones399 is online now
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Originally Posted by Zeichen311 View Post
Oh, no. You didn't just take us there, did you? Please say it ain't so....
Ahhhh!!!! So that is why you didn't want to go down that road.

I come from a racing background (motorcycle road courses) and when we got into the upper echelon, our tire supplier gave us Nitrogen bottles. And yes, it was very convenient to not have to chase the pressures over the day once set.

Being this is a car thread, I didn't know better. So, I must congratulate the great Search feature on the forum, that I'm now a smarter man!
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  #15  
Old 09-24-2013, 10:18 AM
mossman35 mossman35 is offline
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I'll post an update as it's been an exciting few days.


1. Tire had a hole. It has been plugged from the inside and outside (yes, it is a run flat). It was never driven with lower than 34 PSI in it.
2. Picked up my wheel and there are scratches all around the perimeter and a huge gash that looks like the wheel was hit with a hammer!!
3. Wheel is back at the tire shop being re-finished today. They assured me they wouldn't be removing the wheel from the tire to refinish.

I didn't go the dealer because I knew more than likely a tire loosing a few PSI a week has a hole in it (if not a valve stem). From reading on this board I knew the dealer doesn't patch but would sell me a new tire. So going to the tire shop cost $25 repair, but majorly screwed up my wheel. No win situation. At least the shop is fixing the wheel.

As a side note, I have been driving around since Friday with my full size spare on the rear. This wheel doesn't have a sensor in it. No TPMS warnings whatsoever. I have driven about 70 miles total. The tire with the sensor was in the trunk during most of that time so I am wondering if it was reading correctly from the trunk. I thought the sensors only transmitted when the tire was roating.
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  #16  
Old 09-24-2013, 01:03 PM
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Zeichen311 Zeichen311 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mossman35 View Post
2. Picked up my wheel and there [is] a huge gash that looks like the wheel was hit with a hammer!!
3. Wheel is back at the tire shop being re-finished today. They assured me they wouldn't be removing the wheel from the tire to refinish.
Interpretation: They will make a putty-based repair using materials similar to this kit. Cosmetically, this will be fine but is not as durable as repairs that can be effected with the tire dismounted (i.e., weld new material into damaged areas and refinish the entire wheel). The next time you have a tire serviced on that wheel, expect to see scuffs or fresh gouges in the repaired area(s), requiring another repair.

Unfortunately, the time to insist on a welded repair of a large gouge (which must go to a wheel repair specialty shop) was before you gave the wheel back to the tire shop, so just take this under advisement in case you suffer this misfortune again someday. It's nice that they agreed to refinish it at all--tales of tire shops denying responsibility for wheel damage are not uncommon.
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Last edited by Zeichen311; 09-24-2013 at 01:05 PM.
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  #17  
Old 09-24-2013, 01:10 PM
mossman35 mossman35 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeichen311 View Post
Interpretation: They will make a putty-based repair using materials similar to this kit. Cosmetically, this will be fine but is not as durable as repairs that can be effected with the tire dismounted (i.e., weld new material into damaged areas and refinish the entire wheel). The next time you have a tire serviced on that wheel, expect to see scuffs or fresh gouges in the repaired area(s), requiring another repair.

Unfortunately, the time to insist on a welded repair of a large gouge (which must go to a wheel repair specialty shop) was before you gave the wheel back to the tire shop, so just take this under advisement in case you suffer this misfortune again someday. It's nice that they agreed to refinish it at all--tales of tire shops denying responsibility for wheel damage are not uncommon.
Thanks for the tip.

Using the word "gash" may have been a little bit too strong. It didn't look deep enough to have metal missing but rather all the paint was gone and you could see bare metal. I would doubt putty would even be needed judging my depth.

We will see. Lease ends in Feb, but I am strongly considering buying this car judging from the loaner F30 I had.
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Old 09-24-2013, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by DSXMachina View Post
That's right, each transmitter reads pressure to the tenth of a pound, and temperature within 1F degree. With the right tool you can trigger each sensor and read the output in seconds. At my shop we no longer use tire pressure gauges, they're so last millenium. We read pressure by asking each sensor to tell us the pressure.
Just curious, is this an open standard? What is it called? And what frequency do these suckers transmit on...
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Old 10-02-2013, 10:27 AM
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