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Old 06-06-2021, 07:12 PM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Sylvania, Ga.
Posts: 28
TPMS sensor replacement

Hello all. Today I replaced the drivers front wheel TPMS sensor and thought I might share my experience for those that have not done this before.

My rig is a 2011 Newmar King Aire and uses the Bendix Smartire TPMS system.
Sometime over the winter the driver's side front sensor battery went dead and stopped reporting pressure. I acquired a replacement sensor off of ebay for $65.00 and free shipping.
Since the dead sensor was on the front I decided to attempt to change it out without dismounting the tire. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that not only is this possible but quite easy as well requiring only basic tools that the average Joe probably already possesses.
To begin with I raised the coach with the leveling jacks so that the tire was off the ground. Next removed the valve core and deflated the tire. Once the tire was deflated a quick whack with a rubber mallet broke the bead from the wheel. Rotated the wheel until the valve stem is at the top. All of the sensors I've replaced have been aligned with the stem.
With the tire positioned with stem at top use a tire iron or pry bar to push the bead up and away from the wheel far enough to insert a small block of wood between bead and wheel. Do this in 3 locations to give enough room to work as shown below. The blocks I cut were about 2 1/2 inches long.
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Reach in and loosen worm gear clamp using a screwdriver or preferably an 8mm flex socket and extension. I needed an assistant to hang on to the free end of the clamp while I removed and replaced the sensor. Once I threaded the old one off and new one on I reconnected and tightened the clamp. It is worth mentioning that while doing this whole procedure you want to work as gently as possible to prevent the inside bead from breaking off the wheel. The wheels have a very gentle slope on the bead area that makes them very easy to break apart.
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After getting clamp tight I used tire iron to remove the blocks of wood. Tire laid out against wheel snugly enough that I had no problem getting it to inflate. Replace core and inflate to 125 and the hard part is done, now just to program new sensor.
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Old 06-06-2021, 07:58 PM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Sylvania, Ga.
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Programming the new sensor into the system is easy once you figure out the menus. I bought my coach second hand and it included no information whatsoever concerning the TPMS. Not sure if that info got lost or was never included from the factory. The procedure I've discovered is as follows:
Turn ignition to acc and screen will power up to the "Check List" screen.
Select "Screen Selection".
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Now select "Configure Tire".
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Next select "Reset Swap Region".
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Then press "view" right. This will clear the clipboard and swap region of any sensors that are not currently assigned to a wheel on the coach. This will include the sensor you just installed so you will have to wait for it to update again before the system catches it and displays it in the swap region. The sensors update and send out a signal once every few minutes. If your new sensor does not appear in the swap region give it a few minutes.
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Press "view" left to return to the "Configure Tire" screen. Select "Add/Edit Vehicle Configuration".
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Select the coach "primary vehicle".
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Select the layout of the wheels on the coach.
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Use the up and down buttons to scroll through the sensors in the swap area. There should only be your new sensor there since you just erased everything else. The number from the label on the sensor will be displayed in the swap area. Highlight new sensor and move it to the clipboard. Follow the instructions on the screen to move it from the clipboard to the position you want it on the coach. Press the "view" right button to save your configuration.
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Sounds a lot harder than it is. Total time to replace sensor and program was about 45 minutes. Not sure how much a tire shop charges for this as I've always done them myself. Hopefully this will save some of you some time and money.

Cheers,
Pete
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Old 06-10-2021, 08:43 AM   #3
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One thing to keep in mind is that the SmarTire system, which was sold to Bendix, typically uses a dedicated control head/display. However, it can be used with a bridge to interface to a coach networked system, such as your King Aire has. In that case the coach system has all the programming built into it, rather than Smartire. So other coach owners may not have the same software interface as yours. It would be nice though because yours look pretty easy to program. In my case I have the Smartire system with 2" round in-dash display. I was fortunate enough to be able to pick up a dealer programming tool and sensor initiator right before they disappeared once Bendix bought them out.

The wood blocks idea saves time and I'll have top remember that. In the past I've always gotten out the tire irons to dismount when changing sensors.
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