Welcome to the first (and possibly last, if everyone thinks it sucks) installment of the Corvette Online Reader Mailbag! Today’s question has to do with the Tire Pressure Monitoring System sensors integral to the valve stems on all C5 and C6 Corvettes. These sensors are powered by batteries with very long service lives, but when they die, the usual fix is to simply replace the whole shebang. Reader Michael B. writes:
Some research reveals that while the batteries TPMS sensors aren’t exactly easy to get to, it is possible to successfully replace them yourself if you are handy with a soldering iron and not afraid of a little digging around. Check out this series of videos we found on YouTube:
For those without the patience to sit through all 4 parts of the video, in a nutshell the process involves digging out the potting compound that seals the battery in, removing the old one, soldering in the new one, and sealing it all back up with silicone.
After replying to Michael, he indicated that he had found a new sensor for a little over $100, and since he wasn’t equipped to remove and remount the tire himself, he was going to do the replacement instead and try this technique on the old sensor to see for himself whether it worked or not. Michael also went the extra mile and located a source for the appropriate replacement battery!
I found the battery at Digi-Key battery. Model # P 030-ND, Panasonic. 3V Lithium. Model BR2477A. Hope this will help others with the same issue.
Keep in mind that once the sensor is replaced, you will have to go through the retraining sequence for all four tires, because there isn’t a way to select just one. Fortunately, as we mentioned before, the process is pretty easy.
Thanks for your question, Michael, and for letting us share it with the Corvette Online community. Have a question of your own? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and you might get a vague answer culled from an internet search from us just like Michael did!