How Much Does It Cost To Replace a Tire Pressure Sensor In 2023?
One of the most annoying things to happen to a car is when the tire sensor light goes off on the dash. It lights up, and you check your tire pressure only to find that all your tires are normal. None of them seem low, and the pressures are all within a safe range. When this happens, the likely culprit isn’t the tires but the tire pressure sensor. Tire pressure sensors go bad all of the time, and it can leave people wondering if they are due for a big bill when they go to get it fixed.
How much does it cost to replace a tire pressure sensor? That is the question we will answer, including additional costs you can expect and things you can try before having to take your car in.
Are Tire Pressure Sensors Important?
Yes, tire pressure sensors are an essential part of your vehicle. The sensors are designed to let the driver know when their tires have an issue. Tires are an integral part of a safe and healthy vehicle, and ensuring everything is running smoothly is a normal part of regular car maintenance.
It might seem easy to let the tire pressure sensor be when it goes bad but leaving a busted sensor in place can cause issues down the line. If you end up having a problem with your tire pressures, you won’t know until it is too late. Driving on low tires can cause wear to the wheel assembly and lower your car’s fuel efficiency.
The Cost To Replace a Tire Pressure Sensor
The average cost to replace a tire sensor varies based on a few factors, including the make and model of the car. Some cars have cheap parts that are easily replaced, while others have more complicated systems with more expensive parts. The second factor is the labor cost. Some mechanics will charge less than others to do this type of replacement.
Going to a shop that specializes in tires and wheels could save you some money. Local shops will often charge less than dealerships and large corporate chains. However, the average cost of a tire sensor without any labor is around $60, but that number can jump as high as $100 for some vehicles. Similarly, the cost of labor per tire sensor is roughly $125, but some places will do it for much cheaper.
The only way to know for sure is to look up the numbers based on your exact make and model. Getting a single sensor replaced can be done in an afternoon and usually won’t cost too much, but if all of the sensors have to be replaced and balanced, the bill can get pricey.
Average Costs of Tire Sensor Replacement
|Single Sensor Plus Labor||$185|
|4 Sensors Plus Labor||$740|
|4 Sensors Plus Labor and Tire Balance||$800|
Source: Repair Pal
While the cost of the sensors already feels high for some, there are a couple of additional costs you need to be aware of when you take your car in to be checked out. Before you go in to see your mechanic, keep these costs in the back of your mind so you are not blindsided by a high estimate at the shop.
One of the most common costs associated with sensor replacement is tire balancing and rotation. Some shops will include this cost in their estimate upfront, but others will not. The average cost to rotate all of your tires and have them balanced is usually around $100.
Having your tires balanced and rotated is a common car maintenance job and needs to be done regularly. Balancing the tires when you are replacing the sensors is usually a good idea. Some shops will insist you do this simultaneously and usually it is a good idea. However, it is good to note the potential cost before you agree to anything extra.
Another potential cost is the cost of brand-new tires. Unfortunately, some places will require new tires before any work can be done on the vehicle. Old tires are a hazard; some shops will not release your vehicle or work on it unless dangerous tires are replaced. If you know you have old tires, remember that a shop might push for them to be replaced. In some states, it will be required.
Angie’s List says the average American should budget $637 for a full four-tire replacement. That works out to $160 per tire. That could increase the cost of a full sensor replacement from $800 to nearly $1,500.
Can I Drive With a Bad Sensor?
Yes, you can drive with a bad tire pressure sensor. If it is just the sensor that is busted and not anything more serious, your car will drive and operate just fine. However, it is unwise to put off getting the sensors looked at if they are bad. Having your car think that the tires are low all the time is not good for its computer, and there is a chance that you will start losing air in your tires and not know about it until you have a flat.
Of course, the tire pressure sensor is not an urgent fix, and many people like to drag their feet on getting it fixed. You can still drive to work and run errands with a bad sensor, but do not put off getting the system checked for too long.
What Is TPMS?
When looking around for tire pressure sensors, you will likely run into the acronym TPMS repeatedly. TPMS stands for tire pressure monitoring system. It is the official term for the whole sensor array that allows your car’s dashboard to know that a tire is low on air. A single tire pressure sensor is just one part of the entire tire pressure monitoring system, and the sensors are the most common part of the system to go bad.
Tips To Fix The Sensor Without a Repair
If the cost of getting your tire pressure sensors replaced is making you feel queasy, there are tips you can try before going all-in on a big replacement job. Most modern cars have a way to reset your TPMS system from the driver’s seat. There is often a setting in your car’s computer that you can access to reset the system.
Sometimes the sensors get confused and aren’t actually bad. They just need to be reset. Look up how to reset your TPMS and follow the instructions to see if that fixes your sensor issues. You can also fill up all four tires and drive around on them for thirty minutes before turning your car off and letting it sit overnight.
Sometimes, refilling the tires and letting your car rest will help reset the TPMS without having to go in and do it yourself. Doing these simple tasks can potentially save you hundreds of dollars. It won’t hurt to try before hauling your car to the mechanic.
Can I Fix a Tire Pressure Sensor On My Own?
Technically, you can change a tire pressure sensor on your own, but it is not an easy job for the average person. The sensor is usually installed between the tire and the wheel, meaning the tire will have to be removed from the wheel and replaced to work on the sensor.
This can be an iffy prospect for someone without mechanical experience. Tires that are not put back properly can be damaged or severely off-balance, which will affect the performance and safety of the vehicle. While it is possible to do it independently, it is not recommended.
- See Also: How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Tire?
A bad tire pressure sensor can cost as little as $75 to fix or upwards of $1,500, depending on various factors. The type of car and severity of damage to the sensors will determine how much the overall job will cost. While tire pressure sensors don’t seem like a very important thing to fix, they are vital to keeping your car on the road for as long as possible.
Featured Image Credit: Migo Photos, Shutterstock