Make Your Own TPMS Canister
A cheap fix to annoying warning lights when you purposely lower tire pressures
by Bruce W. Smith
Switching tires or running lower-than-normal tire pressures off-road that keep setting off the TPMS warning light?
Here’s a tip: Put the sensors in a pressurized container.
We don’t recommend running pickup tire pressures below what the factory door placard says for normal highway driving or towing because doing so creates a serious safety issue.
However, there are some off-road/off-pavement situations contractors face where lower-than-normal tire pressures are needed, such as running in soft sand or driving over boulders where floatation and sidewall flex provide the best traction.
Dropping a tire’s pressure more than 25 percent of the factory recommended pressure will trip the Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) sensors and flash a low-tire warning on the dash.
The TPMS warning will also come on if you switch tires/wheels and don’t put TPMS sensors in them, which is often the case with some contractors running winter treads then switching to summer tires or vise versa. (There are many aftermarket TPMS sensors available.)
That said, if the warning light is annoying there’s one trick I’ve seen used to make it go away: Put the TPMS sensors in a pressurized container that is then kept in the truck.
Making a pressurized TPMS cansiter is easy and cheap–probably less than 20 minutes in time and $10 in parts.
Take a six-inch piece of 2-1/2″ Schedule 40 PVC pipe and glue a cap on one end.Then slide in all four of your pickup’s TPMS valve stems/sensors into the pipe.
Install a short valve stem in the end of a second cap and glue it in place to make a sealed container.
Pressurize the TPMS container torecommended cold inflation psi on your truck’s door placard a (Schedule 40 PVC has an operating pressure of 180psi) and slide the container in the pickup’s glovebox or under a seat. That’s it.
The truck’s computer doesn’t know what the sensors are in—just that they are under pressure. So it “sees” the pressure is satisfactory and no warning lights go off until the container’s pressure drops below that preset factory threshold.
NOTE: Neither ProPickup nor it’s staff endorse the tampering with any safety devices/equipment on a vehicle. Doing the above means the vehicle’s owner assume all associated risks and liabilities.