('19+) Sporadic TPMS Light (flashing, on shortly, off) - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-23-2019, 01:59 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: May 2019
Location: St. Louis, MO
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Unhappy Sporadic TPMS Light (flashing, on shortly, off)

Looking for any advice. I am having some difficulty getting my local dealership to address a TPMS light that sporadically (every 100 miles or so) flashes, stays on for a few minutes (at the most), and then goes away.

Actual tire pressure, weather, driving conditions, and time all seem to not have an impact. From research it sounds like it is likely a bad sensor or TPMS module. While not hindering my ability to drive the vehicle, the light has become a real annoyance and bummer to see pop up in the dash of my brand new car (3,000ish miles so far) every other drive.

Main concern - I have not had much luck with my local Subaru dealership that I bought the car from. It is difficult for them to diagnose as the light does not stay on for long and (of course my luck) I have not been able to show up with it on still as of yet (I live and work 1 hour away). In my two scheduled visits, they have twice now driven the car for about 20 miles, reset the system, and aired/adjusted up my tires. I am being told now that my only option is to leave the car at the dealership (loaner provided) and letting them drive the car until the light comes on so that they can read the code being thrown. I am not a fan at all of leaving my car overnight, having them drive it for potentially 100+ miles (last time was returned smelling horrible inside).

Any suggestions/thoughts on options? Guessing it would be unreasonable for them to start replacing parts without being able to read codes? I have contacted SOA and they told me to go to a different dealership, not the response I was hoping for, but might pursue.

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-23-2019, 03:18 PM
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Sorry to hear of your problem.

If the TPMS fault generates a DTC, wouldn't that code be saved in the computer and readable over OBDII?

'17 Impreza HB
previous car: '06 Forester X
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-23-2019, 03:40 PM
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Sounds like a sensor is failing. These things seldom fix themselves. Eventually it will go bad. Then the dealer can see the problem and fix it.
Could you fill out your user info in your control panel. That makes it easier for us to give you helpfully information.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-23-2019, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
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@ILuvMySubaru2 - Thanks. Apparently, TPMS codes are not saved and readable over OBDII on these (according to dealer and a few posts I saw here). Sure wish they were saved right about now though!

@SuperRu - Appreciate the response. I think you are right on letting it die a slow death, just hoping it is not the module or takes too long to die. Still have plenty of the bumper - bumper warranty left, so no rush I suppose. And, I just filled in some of the control panel details. Sorry about that - new round these parts.

Will keep everyone updated.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 11:29 PM
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The dealer should be able to read the sensor battery life level with their TPMS programmer. That is the most common caouse of sensor failure, but being new, it seems unlikely that it is a battery. Nonetheless, I would ask them to tell you the batt life in each sensor. It's a good place to start. The programmer should also detect sensor failure, but likely won't detect the intermittent failure.

Have you set your dash to teh tire pressure screen and tried to correlate tire pressure with the flashing. Often times road temps and driving behavior will cause changes in tire pressure and your TPMS light may be flashing as a result of the pressure changes jumping out of the acceptable range.

Good luck, curious to learn what is causing these problems.

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