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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Since there has been, what seems to be, an influx of questions regarding this system I figured it would be good to make a sticky with as much useful info as possible. I am by no means an expert... but Ive been dealing with the system enough to heave learned a few things here or there.

I'll be updating this over the course of the next few days since I can only write a bit at a time in between work and/or other things. If you feel there is something I missed that should be added, type it up and I'll put it in the 1st post. Also, if you feel some of the info I have is misleading or erroneous... let me know and we'll see about correcting it.


First things first, there are 2 different indicator lights associated with the TPMS system. It is useful to know which light is which and know what causes each one so that if/when you see them, you know what to check for.

Indicator Lights:

Low Tire Pressure - This light is supposed ot look like a tire with a '!' over it but looks more like a horseshoe.
This indicator means one of your tires (or all) are below the allowable threshold. This light can be a faulty
sensor, but is most likely a low tire, be it from a slow leak, time, or temperature change. Fill your tires up to
the recommended 32psi (or more), and drive for 5 minutes, the light should shut itself off. If it does not,
take car to dealer, it's a faulty sensor.

Tire Pressure Monitoring System - This indicator is actually the yellow letters TPMS located in the upper-right
portion of your dash. This indicator means there is a fault in the system itself, be it a faulty sensor, a dead
module, sensors cannot be found or what have you. Take it to the dealer, they will pull an error code (or not if the module is dead),
and replace the affected item.

Onto the FAQ:

1. My Low Tire Pressure light came on but all of my tires look and feel fine. What is wrong?

Please do not be fooled by what you can 'see' and 'feel' by looking at your tires. Every tire is different...
but when it comes to stock wheels/tires, it is likely at 32-33psi. The threshold for setting off the
Low Tire Pressure light begins at 27-28psi.

The different in look/feel between 33 and 27psi would barely be noticeable to the human eye.
So please, before you assume its fine, buy yourself a tire pressure gauge at your local auto store.
They are cheap and very useful.

2. My Low Tire Pressure Light was on, I found the tire that needed air and fix it, but the light is still on when I turn the car back on.

Once the light is on, it stays on until the car can gather enough information to determine that the issue has been fixed. The TPMS system
cannot gather info while the car is not in motion.

If you are 100% sure you remedied the issue, drive your car around for a minute or two making sure you get it up to at least 20mph. After
a minute or so, the sensors should be activated and should have gathered enough info to know that there is the proper pressure inside the tire.

3. My tires dont have any leaks, why did my Low Pressure Light go on?

Most likely, the cause of this is the change in air temperatures as the seasons
change. As it gets colder, the air inside your tires will get more dense, causing
less pressure and possible setting off the indicator.

4. If I get new wheels, will my TPMS still work?

No, with new wheels, the system will not work because the sensors are not attached
to the wheels and thus, the system cannot function, resulting in a 'TPMS' light.

However, you do have a few options:
Option A - Ignore the light and just drive/check your pressure like you would before TPMS was made mandatory.
This is NOT recommended since the system is their for your safety, and should anything happen to you and/or
your car, you may end up at fault for driving with a system that is not functioning. Also, in many states you will
not pass inspection with this light on.
Option B - Buy new sensors and have them installed in your new wheels. This option will allow you to have a multiple sets of wheels
with the system intact. However, the car can only be programmed to recognize one set of sensors at a time. So, you will have to go to a
honda dealership and have the reprogram the system each time you change wheels. People have reported that the cost of this at the dealership
is roughly $100.
Option C - Have the stock TPMS sensor swapped into your new wheels. This option is sort of tricky, because not all wheels are shaped
the same on the inside. Our system has the sensors connect to the valve stem and the sensor must sit flush against the inside of the wheel.
If, due to the shape of your wheel, the sensor will not sit flush... you can create some kind of spacer that will allow the sensor to sit flush.

5. Ive heard that if my TPMS or Low Pressure light is on, I cannot turn VSA on/off. Is this true?

This seems to be the question that has caused the most confusion about the whole TPMS system.
Now, I have tested this numerous times in order to try and understand it as much as possible.

Thanks to tests by myself and other members, it seems as if the manual is NOT correct
when it describes how VSA is always enabled when either light is present.

Again... (on US models 08+), if either light (TPMS) or (!) is on... your VSA will still function as it normally does

6. I have a new set of wheels that I did not put the TPMS sensors in. But the TPMS light did not come on. What gives?

Dont fret... the light will come on eventually. Why there is a delay, I am not sure. The few times I have tested this it
will not turn on until you have driven roughly 40-50 miles.

7. I have a new set of wheels that I did not put the TPMS sensors in. I still have my stock wheels with the sensors
for the winter. Will the TPMS light go off when I put my stock wheels back on?

Yes, when you put on a set of wheels that has the registered sensors onto the vehicle, after a couple minutes of
driving the TPMS light will turn off.

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The manual is misleading... and I am 110% positive that with the TPMS light is on that you can enable/disable VSA because I did it every wednesday for 4 months at the track.

As for the (!) light... i could be wrong about that, but I couldve sworn it didnt matter what i did with the button that VSA stayed on.

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Discussion Starter · #22 · (Edited)
My TPMS light has never been on, but my (!) light was on for a few months last winter. When I went in for an oil change this spring the dealer hooked it up to diagnostics and it said my tires had 99psi! It was obviously an error so they reset it and I had no warning lights all summer until just yesterday when the temp dropped. But I know for a fact that I can still turn off my VSA while the (!) light is on. And the manual specifically states that VSA is always on if the TPMS light is on.

Anyhow, back to NITROGEN. Anyone using it? From what I've read it is less affected by temperature changes. Meaning your tire pressure should stay pretty constant year round.
So you're telling me that my 4 months of going to the track and doing burnouts with the TPMS light on is all in my head?

You may be right about being able to turn it on/off with the (!) light, but I am, again, 110% positive about the TPMS indicator and VSA.

You say:
"And the manual specifically states that VSA is always on if the TPMS light is on"
... which is true. It does say that.

But you also say this
"But I know for a fact that I can still turn off my VSA while the (!) light is on"
... now. Lets look at what the manual says.

This is straight letter for letter from the manual (page 218)...

If the low tire pressure indicator or TPMS indicator comes on, the VSA system automatically turns on even if the VSA system is turned off by pressing the VSA OFF switch (see page 217). If this happens, you cannot turn the VSA system off by pressing the VSA off switch again
So, by reading this and taking it as the absolute truth, then even what you claim (about the (!) being on and disabling VSA and doing burnouts) would go against what the manual says.

So... do you trust the manual or your own personal experience?

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
does anyone kno how the dealership gets ur car to reconize new sensors on a different set of wheels
They have a special tool that reads/sets frequencies of the sensors and matches them with your car.

You should note that the type of 'new' sensors MUST be compatible with the current 08-09 civic TPMS system. There are different kinds

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
so let me get this straight..

i have an 08 civic lx. recently i got a flat tire..it was a slash in the sidewall so the whole tire had to replaced. so this one new tire i got (still the same brand as my other 3 tires of course)..if i have a leak in this new tire, my tpms wont be able to detect it because the sensor isnt in this new tire?
the sensors are on the valve stems, so if they only replaced the tire you should be fine

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
under #4, option D. make a PVC pipe cylinder, put the sensors in there and pressurize the cylinder, place in car. I had to do this for my 07 Tacoma.
No, this does not work on our cars. The sensors are activated by the rotation of the wheels/tires. Thus, the PVC pipe method does not work.

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
hey phalanx thanx for d info...which im planning on swapping wheels and u just told me everything i needed to know

I dont know about VSA being on during the snow. That could be kind of dangerous. I know first hand trying to get up hill with snowy conditions, Your car will think its slipping and will automatically slow you down, but now how do you expect to go up the hill if your car wont let you and you could possibly slide. For that reason VSA is helpful to be turned off...First hand experience.
VSA wont kick on unless your wheels start spinning, in which case you would already be sliding. So the fact that this happened to you while you were going up a hill is irrelevant. If your tires were slipping while you were going up the hill, then the VSA did its job.

In that case (if you truly believe VSA was at fault) then you could turn it off. But in 99% of other cases (during winter driving) its a nice added feature to have. I know it helped in a couple cases last winter for me when I was still learning how to drive stick.

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
For what its worth...

I have been able to confirm what GSXRSpeed said about the (!) light and VSA. Thanks to the cold weather my (!) light as come on a few times and I was able to test it yesterday.

Yesterday, I launched my car (in an isolated, empty, parking lot) with the (!) light present and while switching VSA on/off multiple times.

When VSA was enabled, it acted normally in trying to prevent my wheels from spinning.
When VSA was disabled, my tires were allowed ot spin freely until I let off the gas to gain traction.

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
I had just put a set of Potenza G019's on my wife's '07 sedan. We decided to trade it so I though it would be a great idea to swap her wheels and tires onto my '08 coupe. I noticed the tpms light and figured I would just pull a fuse the next day. (I don't need a light to tell me about my tire pressure)

Needless to say, the night AFTER we traded my wife's car in, I tried to pull the fuse for the tpms and the light stays on! I don't know if I'll get failed during an inspection for that light, but aside from having the stealership install new sensors, is there a way to outsmart the system? Can I actually remove the entire system?
i dont believe anyone has done that yet. to my knowledge its built into the ecu so you wont be able to get rid of it

as for passing inspection? probably not. its mandatory on 08+ models so its likely mandatory to pass inspection

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Discussion Starter · #54 · (Edited)
@ wannabfast: im not sure if you read all of the original post, and im going to look at it again right now and make sure everything is accurate... but...

neither the (!) or the TPMS light will permanently enable or disable VSA.

edit: part of the original post was a little confusing regarding the function of VSA. I tried to clear it up a bit

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Discussion Starter · #69 ·
Man... so in the long run, it might be easier to use only one set of wheels, and have the tires re mounted/balanced, every season.

Does the dealership have to take your tires off, to calibrate a different set of TPMS sensors?
I dont beleive they do...

but the easiest thing to do is just ignore the light and use whatever wheels/tires you want
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