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TPMS light flashes then solid - Dealer suggests new car battery

For the past ~2 weeks, my car has gone from bad to worse in the TPMS department. At first, I was driving the maximum speed limit for ~45 minutes, when

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Old 01-10-2012, 09:07 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default TPMS light flashes then solid - Dealer suggests new car battery

For the past ~2 weeks, my car has gone from bad to worse in the TPMS department. At first, I was driving the maximum speed limit for ~45 minutes, when the TPMS light started flashing. After a minute of flashing, the light came on solid. I checked the tire pressure and everything measured good. I went to the dealer where they reset all the monitors and told me the system was A-OK. After another day or so, the light flashed and went solid again. Sometimes the solid light disapears for a little bit, but then flashes/solid not so long after.

I did a search already, and seems a lot of people have this issue with this and other Nissan vehicles, but no real solution to the problem. I was of course hesitant, but since I had to get some warantee work done anyways, I asked the dealership if they could research the TPMS problem.

The dealer came back to me with the following diagnosis: a main battery on its way out. Not to be confused with the LiON batteries in the TPMS sensors - the dealership said those were absolutely not the problem. They diagnosed the main battery to only have ~300CA, where the battery should be rated for ~750CA. Trust had me at the dealer, as they recommended not a Nissan replacement, but an Optima Red/Yellow aftermarket battery.

Let me also say that I love accessories. I have an audio system capable of pulling about 125A, and an additional cooling fan on a thermostat (185 Degrees) for my oil cooler capable of about 5~10A.

I'm thinking I should guy an Optima battery now before my charging system starts to really strain, but wanted to post this first for any suggestions. Any?

Last edited by Unclemeaty; 01-10-2012 at 09:10 AM.
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Old 01-10-2012, 12:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I would have nissan replace all of the tire sensors on your car. My gf's altima has the same problem but is a 09 with 100k on it. If that doesn't solve it then keep parking it in their garage until it gets fixed. Do you have a cap kit on your audio system?
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Old 01-10-2012, 01:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
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auto zone can check battery for free
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Old 01-10-2012, 02:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have the same issue with my TPMS light, it starts flashing after about 15 minutes of driving. Very annoying but the closest dealer is over 2 hours away so i have not done anything about it. I don't know why it would be the battery, my G37 is a 2010, never had any issues with the stock battery. Probably just a bad sensor.

As far as the Optima Batteries, I bought one (yellow top) about 8 years ago, worked awesome. It even survived an accident where it was pushed out of the hood (jeep). I used it for about 3 more years after that. It finally died. I replaced it with another yellow top, it died within a month. Replaced again. That one lasted a few weeks. They have a 1 year replacement warranty so i swapped it again and it's still doing ok. But if I don't drive the car (spec v) for a week it will be dead. They don't make them like they use to. I don't think I would get another one.

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Old 01-10-2012, 02:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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aren't red dots better than yellow?
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Old 01-10-2012, 02:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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IMO, a battery has gone dead inside one of your tire pressure sensors. The blinking light followed by solid indicates a failure of the ECU to find one or more sensors.

The dealer has a tool to program them and should be able to tell you which one isn't sending a reading to the ECU. They can then dismount that tire and change out the TPS- not sure if they have replaceable batteries.
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Old 01-10-2012, 02:55 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I've had my complete set of TMPS replaced twice and it still doesn't work. I had them synced at the shop, and synced by a dealer. 5 minutes down the road, blinks then solid.

The only reasonable answer I've gotten is the difference between aftermarket sensors and the OEM sensors for your particular year model. Something about the codings being just different enough in the signals that your TPMS doesn't pick up the signal of others that makes it do that.

My only thought is Id have to order a set of 2010 OEM Sensors and try that, if they work with aftermarket wheels...

Other then that, I don't understand why the battery would have anything to do with it?
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Old 01-10-2012, 02:58 PM   #8 (permalink)
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well after looking at the optima site, there is like 6 different models of each color, red and yellow. Maybe my original was a better model. Damn batteries.
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Old 01-10-2012, 03:07 PM   #9 (permalink)
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From Optima's website:

Quote:
RedTop: High-CCA starting battery. Provides engine cranking power for vehicles with stock or average electrical loads.

YellowTop: Dual-purpose starting and deep cycle battery. Provides engine starting power plus deep cycle capacity to support multiple accessories , demanding electrical systems , and vehicles without alternators.


2 Parts Found
Group # Description
35 (8020-164) RedTop®; Battery;
D35 (8040-218) YellowTop®; Deep Cycle Battery;
I would go with the yellow-top if you have any sort of upgraded audio. Since I do, that's the one I'll be getting eventually. However I still don't see what the battery has to do with your TPMS since after the engine is running, it's powering your electrical system itself, not the battery.
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Old 01-10-2012, 03:25 PM   #10 (permalink)
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It's not the battery... I've had this happen after one of my TPMS were damaged... it is either a bad battery in the TPMS or the unit is damaged (any tire mounting or bad potholes recently?). It also could be your ECU not correctly communicating with the sensor but that would be less likely to go bad.
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Old 01-10-2012, 03:27 PM   #11 (permalink)
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All I know is I got a new set of wheels, which I'll be getting a new set of sensors for. If I drive away from the shop and the light comes on, I'm turning around and coming back until I either get them replaced with ones that work, or a whole new TPMS computer...
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Old 01-10-2012, 07:25 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Wow lots of negative responses to my dealer suspecting the main car battery. I'm not sure what I should do now.

While I was there, the dealer did the full reprogramming of the TPMS sensors but the car only went about 10 minutes before the lights flashed/solid once again. Supposedly the dealership can tell if one of the TPMS sensor batteries is low, or otherwise a defetive sensor. The dealer claimed neither to be the case.

I wish I had a spare battery just sitting around for a proper test... but I did try something. While cruising this evening, I noted carefully the voltage gauge. While first running, its 14.2v. After about 30 minutes the voltage drops to 14v. I tried something, which may not be conclusive of the problem but a possible direction. I loaded the battery down with accessories and stereo while cruising, and the voltage dropped again to about 13.8v, again while cruising. At idle, loading down the voltage is quite easy hence why I did this while cruising. A few minutes later, the TPMS started flashing. I quickly turned off all the accessories I could, shifte to a lower gear to get the alternator spinning faster, and got the voltage back up to 14.0. The TPMS stopped flashing 30 seconds later and remained off until i got home. Interesting to say the least. The dealer said my alternator is 100% perfect.

BTW, my car is an '09 with 48,000 miles on it.

For my next test, I'm going to supply a 1A trickle charge to my battery over-night. Lets see if that helps the problem tomorrow morning.

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Old 01-11-2012, 03:10 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Are your windows tinted?
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Old 01-11-2012, 08:19 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unclemeaty View Post
Wow lots of negative responses to my dealer suspecting the main car battery. I'm not sure what I should do now.

While I was there, the dealer did the full reprogramming of the TPMS sensors but the car only went about 10 minutes before the lights flashed/solid once again. Supposedly the dealership can tell if one of the TPMS sensor batteries is low, or otherwise a defetive sensor. The dealer claimed neither to be the case.

I wish I had a spare battery just sitting around for a proper test... but I did try something. While cruising this evening, I noted carefully the voltage gauge. While first running, its 14.2v. After about 30 minutes the voltage drops to 14v. I tried something, which may not be conclusive of the problem but a possible direction. I loaded the battery down with accessories and stereo while cruising, and the voltage dropped again to about 13.8v, again while cruising. At idle, loading down the voltage is quite easy hence why I did this while cruising. A few minutes later, the TPMS started flashing. I quickly turned off all the accessories I could, shifte to a lower gear to get the alternator spinning faster, and got the voltage back up to 14.0. The TPMS stopped flashing 30 seconds later and remained off until i got home. Interesting to say the least. The dealer said my alternator is 100% perfect.

BTW, my car is an '09 with 48,000 miles on it.

For my next test, I'm going to supply a 1A trickle charge to my battery over-night. Lets see if that helps the problem tomorrow morning.
That's really interesting... I would think that they should work fine as long as the voltage is over 12v which is the standard draw from what I understand but let us know what happens. At least most batteries are a cheap replacement so it isn't like it will break the bank.
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Old 01-11-2012, 08:58 AM   #15 (permalink)
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The voltage gauge while running should not drop below 14v.

Go get a battery test at Autozone. They can tell you if the battery or alternator is going bad. It's a free service.
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