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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This topic should provide detailed information on TPMS as installed on the 9th gen Civic, and is meant as a reference.


What is TPMS?

TPMS stands for Tire Pressure Monitoring System. When your tire pressure falls below a threshold, either due to a slow leak or just atmospheric changes (1 psi drop for every 10 degrees F less), then the TPMS pressure warning light will activate. When TPMS detects this condition, you will NOT be able to shut off VSA (Vehicle Stability Assist). Altering the TPMS system either by pulling the TPMS fuse, or having no TPMS sensors, will cause TPMS to detect a system fault, display a warning light, and you will NOT be able to shut off VSA either (this has been tested/verified on our cars by nateg20).

TPMS is mandated in the US today (TREAD Act) as of 2008, and was a result of the NHTSA investigations into Ford Explorer rollovers. It will be mandatory in the EU by the end of 2012.


Can I ignore the TPMS light/warnings?

You can do this but you will NOT be able to disable VSA. This will mean that the car will constantly cut power if the tires slip, thus in slippery wet/ice/snow conditions, your car will get stuck. Also if you are driving on a track, you cannot disable the stability assist, which will start to interfere with performance driving. So like it or not, TPMS is something we have to deal with.


How To Reprogram TPMS Sensor IDs

In order to reprogram your TPMS sensor IDs, you will need a tool that can connect to the OBDII port in your car. You will need to know the TPMS sensor IDs to do this. Normally this is done by a dealer using the HDS (Honda Diagnostic System), but some tools are available for DIY.

ATEQ TPMS QuickSet - relatively, only can re-program sensor IDs via OBDII port.
ATEQ VT55 OBDII - pricey, full featured TPMS tool, sensor activation, ID learning and OBDII re-program.

Note, online vendors such as Tire Rack offer OEM equivalent TPMS sensors, but due to activation issues by people attempting DIY, they ship them "un-activated" now. The TPMS sensor will need an activation signal to wake it up from sleep, which is something the QuickSet tool can't do. Also even if they give you the new sensor IDs, it is possible that they might mistype/misrecord this information. So if you have new sensors, unless you have the pricey VT55, you will also need...

ATEQ VT15 - sensor activation/triggering only.
ATEQ VT30 - sensor activation/triggering, and sensor ID decoding.

For the price, I would go for the VT30 with the QuickSet if you intend to DIY the whole process. You could possibly sell off the VT30, since all you will need is the QuickSet to swap between two sets of activated sensors on two different sets of wheels (eg. summer/winter). The other vendor of TPMS tools is Bartec...

TPMS Tool Comparison Chart for TECH400SD, TECH300SD & ODB


Can I clone the original sensor IDs?

Bartec also offers programmable sensors that can "clone" your current sensor IDs, which is more flexible, but it requires access to the right tools. You can get it from Discount Tire, but they cannot learn/re-program sensors for online orders, you have to take your car into a shop with the right tools to program those sensors, to make them work right.


Can the dealer re-progam TPMS for me?

Re-programming at the Honda dealer is done via the combination of the HDS to hook up to the OBDII, and the VT55 tool (you can see this in the PDF directions for installation of HFP wheels which come with new TPMS sensors). Costs vary - mine wants $110 to do this! And if you are swapping tires out each season, that's 2x a year you'll be paying for that.

http://www.collegehillshonda.com/instructions/civic/2012/4dr/18inchwheel.pdf

There is one additional thing your dealer can do with the HDS... they can re-program the TPMS threshold (ie. when TPMS gets triggered). Not sure how many dealers are willing to do this, but if you need to run low pressures intentionally ie. track, then this is the only option you have to get the threshold lower than the usual setting (somewhere about 5 psi below recommended should trigger TPMS).


Additional Notes

Note - the deflation/inflation to trigger a sensor won't work on new, previously un-activated sensors. These need the trigger radio signal to be sent to them at least once, to wake them up from the factory sleep mode (done to conserve the battery in new sensors). And yes - someday the battery will die and sensors have to be replaced, this could be in 8-10 years.

Updates

It looks like deflating/reinflating can be used to activate new TPMS sensors as reported by some others. I haven't tried this myself but its definitely worth a try especially if you know the sensor IDs and just want to use the Quickset by itself.

Also 2014 Civics and various other Hondas are don't use sensors anymore, they use ABS sensors which require calibration, but this can be done pretty easily now. I'm not sure if 2013s have this, but us with 2012s are stuck with the TPMS sensors.

Note - I haven't been active much here for a while so haven't kept this fully updated, so be sure to check out what others are reporting as well on the topic.
 

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I've been running tpms-less wheels for about 75 miles now on my 2012 si sedan. After about 20 miles I'm getting "check tpms system" on imid. Low tire light will flash, then go solid. I've tried different combinations of pressing/holding the VSA bypass button, but have had no success disabling it. So I wondered if pulling a fuse might assist. Pulling fuse 40 "tpms" didn't change the symptoms at all. Check TPMS on imid and low tire pressure light. Not able to bypass VSA. Pulling 24 "ABS/VSA" fuse did exactly what I'd read online. Most important it turned off the power steering motor. The under the hood fuse and breaker panel is kind of confusing in the labeling. I unplugged what I'm pretty sure was the ABS/VSA FSR breaker (anyone know what FSR stands for? This one was odd. No changes from the first situation. TPMS light/imid warning. I don't know what this one did. I might have had the wrong breaker.

So day one has been a failure. I'll get the bottom of this. Does anyone have the electrical drawings from the service manual?

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)

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Yeah, I've heard that works real well. Why not just take it a step further and throw them all into the spare tire? I guess you could break them if you had a flat. haha.

I've been looking at this:
Honda online store : 2012 civic control unit (cabin) (1) parts

So now I know where the receiver box is.

Unfortunately if it takes a bunch of figuring out it will be on hold for a while. I have to put my other car back together first.
 

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apparently they won't fit in a space saver spare- different rim size/shape... I'd rather have them easily available in a pipe than in the spare anyway. I'm going to try it. Someone said that they need to be rotating to work though. That may be something in the newer cars.
 

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I bought a '12 Civic EX-L last April, and decided that I wanted 15 inch wheels/snow tires for the "awful winter" they were predicting for us. Since it's now 80 degrees in March, I figured I better put the 16 inch OEM wheels back on the car. I had sensors mounted in the winter wheels (Tire Rack) and was led to believe by both them and the dealership that once I initialized the new sensors, I could switch back and forth and never have to deal with it again. Big lie. I drove about 10 miles on the OEM wheels before the TPMS system had a meltdown and I had lights all over the place flashing at me. It sounds like I'm lucky that my local dealership only charges $50 to do the TPMS reprogramming, but I don't really want to pay that twice every year, especially when I can change the wheels myself (which is one of the reasons I opted to get an entirely separate set of wheels/tires instead of just winter tires I could swap on the OEM wheels). I also hate having to make an appt and wait forever for them to do the job while I sit in the waiting room and waste time. I'm about to breakdown and order the quickset tool and VT15, but before I do, I wonder if anyone else has actually tried this and can verify that it works. If not, I might just have to be the guinea pig. :) I'm so ticked. What a huge PITA!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm about to breakdown and order the quickset tool and VT15, but before I do, I wonder if anyone else has actually tried this and can verify that it works.
You'll need the QuickSet tool and VT30 right now - since you have no idea what the sensor IDs are on your original OEM wheels. The QuickSet can read what is currently programmed into the car's ECU right now (ie. the winter wheel TPMS sensor IDs). Actually once you figure out the sensor IDs, you won't need the VT30 anymore... if you had the QuickSet sooner, you could have read the original sensor IDs before having the dealer do the re-programming.

So you could get the QuickSet, read the ECU (winter sensor IDs), then have the dealer re-program, and then read the ECU again (OEM sensor IDs). After that, you can just switch around via the QuickSet. So you could avoid the VT30, if you go this route, but it involves 1 more dealer visit, and only do it after you get your QuickSet and figure out what the winter sensor IDs are.

I have read my sensor IDs via the QuickSet but not tried writing in new sensor IDs yet. Have new wheels/TPMS coming, and not sure if they will provide me with sensor IDs and activated sensors, so I'm holding out first before getting the VT30. I might spring for it just to have the tools, if I don't get the new sensor IDs. They're coming from Discount Tire Direct... I know Tire Rack refuses to do the triggering and wants you to go to a dealer, left some instructions for DTD, we'll see if they were willing to provide me sensor IDs and activated sensors.
 

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I think, unless I misunderstood something, that the VT15 will actually work to get the ID #s. I'm about ready to order the Quickset, and as long as that works as anticipated, I was planning to order the VT15 to get the #s. I may be able to go to a local shop and get the #s, and save the money entirely. The VT15 is only $110, where the VT30 is probably quite a bit more, so no point in getting that unless I absolutely need to. Otherwise, yeah, it would make more sense to just pay the dealership $50 one more time and get the codes after they program the OEM sensors to the car again. Everyone seemed to think that once I got the sensors for the winter wheels initialized, that I could switch back and forth without having to mess with it again. Oops.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The VT15 does triggering only, it won't display the sensor ID to you. The other option is to dismount the tire enough to get the sensor IDs, but its probably easier just playing a tire shop to read the sensor IDs, then you can program it yourself with the Quickset. Yeah, the VT30 isn't cheap, but sure beats the VT55 OBDII!
 

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I haven't looked at the price of the VT30. I know the VT15 is $110. I was reading another forum that said the VT15 would get the numbers, but when I actually looked at the VT15 on the ATEQ website, it doesn't appear to have a display, so I'm not sure if the person on the other forum was clueless, or what. Either way, it's still cheaper to go to the dealership (prolly even cheaper to go to the local shop if they can get the #s) one more time, but I'm waiting until I can get the winter wheels' #s before I do that. I'm really sick of all the idiot lights in the meantime, though! Hopefully I'll have the Quickset in the next few days.
 

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Very good thread here!! Helps you learn alot. I am tossing around the idea of getting one of these tools as I live in the Northeast and so I have winter rims/tires and my factory rims. Last winter I swapped them at the Honda dealer and it cost $40. And I am planning on doing some Autocross this year and if I get some "race" rims/tires that would mean swapping alot more often.

It would probably be cost effective to buy a tool. How much is the high end one the VT30. The only reason why I would buy that is because you could do everything. Maybe the VT15 is good enough but I guess I don't understand it alot so maybe I'm scared of not being able to do something I thought the tool could.

Anyways... Thanks for any help and once again great information!!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The VT30 is about $250, but note it cannot do the re-programming, just read sensor data. You need the Ateq QuickSet to do the programming, another $150. If you know your sensor IDs, then you can even get by without the VT30 (provided the sensors are already previously activated from factory sleep).

The other option is the VT55 OBDII which is $1,000+. Does it all incl. programming, but pricey.
 

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Wow 1000+ is rather pricey. So to get your ID's you would need to take it to Honda (or another person that could ID them) and after that as long as you had all the ID's you Ateq QuickSet to re-program it every time you swap the tires out?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
So to get your ID's you would need to take it to Honda (or another person that could ID them) and after that as long as you had all the ID's you Ateq QuickSet to re-program it every time you swap the tires out?
Yup that's how it would work. I have used the QuickSet to read the sensor IDs so far, waiting on the VT30 to be delivered so I can try the whole process by myself. Apparently the VT30 has been so popular they ran out and even Ateq didn't have any in stock. Will know in a few days.

Honda's method is to trigger the learning mode, then trigger the sensors with a tool. No DIY tool to trigger learning mode (super super stupid and shame on Honda, since all it would need is a simple option in the i-MID for this) unfortunately, you need the Honda Diagnostic computer hookup for this. So if you had the QuickSet and got Honda to re-program new sensors, you want to read your original sensor IDs before taking the car in, then read it again after they're done for the new sensor IDs... with the QuickSet you should be all set then.
 

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since my tpms light is on now I decided to pull fuse 24 says vsa/abs....well it shuts off trac control...but shuts off power steering and abs as well and has about 10 things popping up on the imid when you start it lol...good for the track when you want to switch tires and thats about it...steering is super firm with no assist on ..I wont mind the steering so much but Id like abs still for daily grind....

so if anyone wants to go this route with no tpms on winter wheels and you get yourself stuck and need traction control off pull fuse 24
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Just got my VT30 - nothing much to it really, just select car manufacturer, and you can read up to 4 sensors at a time into its memory. What I found interesting is that the TPMS sensors are reporting temperature, and PSI down to a resolution of 0.01 psi. Shows that the battery status of the TPMS sensor and sensor IDs.

Plugged those into the QuickSet, hooked it up, hit the button for summer tires (where I put the IDs), done in a few seconds, and you get an annoying chiming "Check Tire Pressure" warning instead of the "Check TPMS System" when its missing sensors. Stupidly I tried to activate the sensors with the VT30 to get the light off... should have just drove it a bit, down the block, and the light/uber annoying chime goes out, all is good again.

Unless you really want a fancy tire pressure gauge (might be useful given it reports pressure/temperature, for those who track their rides), probably cheaper/best to just get the Ateq QuickSet, and get a one time programming at your dealer or get a place that has a TPMS tool to read the sensor IDs and activate them. Just make sure you read your current set of sensor IDs first with the QuickSet, if you plan on re-programming/swapping tires each season.
 

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my question is, can i use any factory honda/acura tpms sensor on my 12 civic ? (example, a crv tpms sensor)
 

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this is a nightmare. when i bought my new rims i had no clue this was even included in the car. now when i drive i have 2 stagnent orange lights on the dash and when i change my info on the lcd i get this stupid "check tire pressure"! wow i am so frustrated.... i made an appointment at the honda dealer, show up and they check out the problem... then hand me the keys back and say " go back to where you bought the new rims and have them change the sensors!"
im in florida, so there is a 99% the roads get wet somehow, sprinklers or rain, and my car cuts off power!!!
so it sounds like its gonna cost hundreds to replace, i should just ghost ride it off a cliff hahaha
 
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