View Full Version : TPMS on spare wheel ?

05-28-2016, 09:20 PM
2015 NCV3 2500 144WB

Greetings from Ottawa, ON
Have just removed spare wheel and noticed it is not equipped with TPMS sensor :thinking:
Should it be ? I cannot find anything in my manual or with search here.

Last fall when van was new I had COSTCO install LTX M/S on all FIVE wheels
Wondering if something happened to the spare's TPMS there ???


Walter Clark
05-28-2016, 10:06 PM
Mine came with none on the spare.

05-28-2016, 10:12 PM
None on mine.

05-28-2016, 11:15 PM
Since the government doesn't require it, I'm sure MB saved a few bucks and didn't install a sensor on the spare.

05-29-2016, 11:43 PM
If a TPMS sensor was installed on the spare, could the system handle 5 transmitters without throwing a code?

08-04-2016, 05:07 PM
If a TPMS sensor was installed on the spare, could the system handle 5 transmitters without throwing a code?

I'm bumping this thread because I have the same question and can't see any answer.

For the last year I've been driving with 4 BFG 265/75-16 tires on alloy rims, but an OEM steel rim and tire in the spare caddy. I have just invested in a 5th BFG 265 tire and MB Alloy rim to complete the set and would like to put this 5th tire into rotation. However, today when at the tire shop it was noticed my steel wheel spare had no TPMS (odd, because I'm *almost* certain I had a 5 tire rotation going during the first set of factory tires).

So... if I invest in a VDO SE58003 TPMS, does the MB computer automatically understand that there are now 5 tires with TPMS?

Or should I simply put the new into rotation without a TPMS and put one with a TPMS in the spare caddy and keep things ok?

I really, really, really don't want a constant light on the dash.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

-Kenny C

08-04-2016, 07:35 PM
Since the government doesn't require it, I'm sure MB saved a few bucks and didn't install a sensor on the spare.

Along with the money MB saves using plastic, prone to heat distortion, engine components. CHEAP!

08-05-2016, 12:57 AM
So we know the TPMS are cheap. Thanks for that info.

My van only came with 4, but I want to put the new spare into rotation and will purchase a 5th. But again I ask, before I do, can someone who knows verify if the system will handle 5 TPMS?

Walter Clark
08-06-2016, 09:40 PM
I installed a TPMS on my spare and have had no issues with the system. I think somehow the sensors arent active unless the tire is rotating

08-06-2016, 11:26 PM
If the sensor isn't active without rotation, then what good is it on the spare?

I did buy another set of 4 TPMS sensors for the snow tires and rims, and the TPMS light was illuminated for a little while. I'm assuming that each sensor is slightly different and the computer had to relearn the sensors. The part inside the rim swivels a bit, so that may turn it on and off to conserve the battery.

I don't have a 5th sensor for the spare yet.

08-07-2016, 12:08 PM
Working for an OEM on tires/wheels, we typically don't offer the TPM on the spare wheel. I'm not the TPM guy, only the tire/wheel guy but I know enough to be dangerous. Usually the spare does not match the road wheel so a cluster light is reminder to fix the road tire or get a new one. Granted the Sprinters are commercial vehicles it might be a good idea for Daimler/Chrysler to have the TPM always with the spare. This is always a topic that is considered, but at the end it's basically a $5-$10 cost save for the OEM. Also the spare tire is a slight cost save and not as perfect as the road tires. OEM's get the best of the best tires (best balance, harmonics, conicity, etc.) and the tire suppliers ship everything else as spares or to the aftermarket. Again slight cost benefit.

Every TPM system is a little different, but the high end TPM modules (brains) can get confused when trying to determine which corner has the low pressure. The module pings the corner (rotating or not) depending on the module/programing.

I hope this helps.

Walter Clark
08-07-2016, 12:19 PM
This is how Sprintguy described the system in 2009: http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5919&page=4

It would make sense for a TPMS sensor to not activate unless rotating to extend battery life since these things transmit an RF signal. From a safety perspective, one doesnt really need tire pressure monitoring when the vehicle is stationary.

The NHTSA rule making TMPS a requirement for all vehicles under 10,000 pounds says that the system must notify the driver of an under inflation within 20 minutes of additional driving. This requirement would allow systems that are completely deactivated when the vehicle has parked.

The point of having a TPMS in the spare is to allow it to substitute for a flat or to do the 5 tire rotation and still have the system work for the 4 tires on the road.

08-07-2016, 05:41 PM
The point of having a TPMS in the spare is to allow it to substitute for a flat or to do the 5 tire rotation and still have the system work for the 4 tires on the road. :thumbup:

Exactly. Thank you, Walter.

I want my spare to be part of a regular 5-tire rotation, and therefore would like to have the 4 wheels on the ground have working TPMS at any time. This means 5 TPMS in total that the system needs to recognize.

It seems now that a stationary tire won't be triggering signals, and the other 4 will, and the system will adapt. This is the answer to the question I had, and I like this answer!

Armed with this newfound confidence, I will purchase a 5th TPMS, install it on my new 5th wheel which will go into rotation, taking an older wheel out of rotation and put up as the spare, and hope to not get any constant dash warnings. I will report back, as it is a question I've seen asked several times in other threads and never completely answered.

-Kenny C.

01-14-2017, 01:37 AM
Just bought 5 new tires and want to rotate all. Anyone doing this with a 5th tpms sensor?

Graphite Dave
01-14-2017, 02:15 AM
I rotated all 5 tires on the sold 08 Sprinter. When the spare without a sending unit was being used you will get a TPMS error light on the dash. You will also get a single beep at each engine start after a few miles. The mileage before the beep will vary. Other than the light on, nothing else was affected.

I had been told that you can not add a 5th sending unit so never did that.

Bought a Transit that also has the spare tire without a sending unit. Did buy the black wheel option because the Transit spare wheel was black and the other four were silver. Again wanted to rotate all 5 tires. The Transit has a multifunction dash display with a lot more information than a Sprinter. Unfortunately the TPMS error display took over the dash display so the other information was not visible. Was also told by Ford that I could not add a sending unit in the spare. Decided to see if that was true so bought the $100 sending unit and had it installed in the spare. The local tire shop could not program it but the Ford dealer did.

So I do not know if you can have 5 sending units in a Sprinter but I do know you can on a Transit.

01-14-2017, 12:16 PM
I added a 5th TPMS unit to the spare, installed it on rear axle of my 2015 Sprinter and all is well.
Within 10 km driving the new unit reported for duty and presented on the display with the other three.
Had been told by MB service manger that the new TPMS would need to be introduced to the CPU in the shop........ wrong

01-14-2017, 10:43 PM
I agree with BobFur. I have TPMS on the spare tire, and recently replaced all four road wheel TPMS units. After a bit of driving, the computer recognizes the new units and the dash TPMS warning goes out (2008, no steering wheel buttons).

There is a "retrain" procedure that allows you to force the ECU to see new TPMS units, but it's much easier just to hop in and drive for a bit.

I can't say whether the ECU sees the spare wheel TPMS; I don't think it does. In any case, having a TPMS on the fifth tire does not cause problems.

As an aside, it's not strictly necessary for the wheels to be rotating for the TPMS units to transmit. If you hit them with a low-frequency ping, for example with a handheld TPMS scanner, they will wake up and chatter back. Not sure whether the vehicle system uses this same ping-and-response method, though.

01-15-2017, 02:37 AM
Sensors enter “park mode” if they detect less than 5g acceleration for 15 minutes. In this mode they measure pressure every minute, but only transmit if the pressure goes below the lower limit. After 13 hours, they switch off entirely.

Sensors enter “drive mode” if they detect more than 5g acceleration for 20 seconds. At this point, they take a pressure reading every five seconds and transmit data every 15 seconds for around 9 minutes. This is called “learn in” mode. During this time, the system is making sure that the measurements from each sensor make sense.

After this time, if the vehicle is still moving (sensor acceleration is more than 5g), the sensors start transmitting every minute, or if the tire loses pressure to the lower limit. If the vehicle stops for more than 15 minutes, the sensors return to park mode.

More on this at http://sprintervanusa.com/2016/12/12/tire-pressure-monitor-reset-procedure/

08-26-2017, 06:36 PM
An update to this thread that might be valuable to owners of newer NCV3s:

I searched and searched this forum and read all the threads I could find on whether there might be a tpms on the spare tire in my 2016 MB Sprinter 2500 170WB 4X4 cargo van. Based on what I found, I presumed the answer was -NO- tpms in the spare, so I purchased the appropriate sensor and took it and the spare to a tire shop today to have them install it (I am about to rotate in the spare and wanted to avoid having to live with the tpms warning light). Fortunately the shop allowed me to watch the procedure.

To my surprise, when the bead was broken, we found there -WAS- indeed a tpms sensor installed in the spare from the factory! Perhaps MB introduced these in 2016 and later vans??

08-27-2017, 02:45 AM
Mine has one...2015 4x4 144" cargo
And I am rotating in...no problems after driving for a while

08-27-2017, 10:44 AM
Hmmmmm, My 2015 2 WD does not. I'm doing 5 wheel rotation. Just did 2nd rotation and for a minute forgot which was original spare then seeing the rubber valve stem confirmed it. Now I know why I get that beep after I get going everyday!

Maybe just the 4X4's get the 5th sensor?

09-26-2018, 01:33 AM
Our 2016 170” 2wd cargo OM651 seems to be an oddity, the spare does have a TPMS sensor from the factory. [emoji847]

We are the original owners and just had to use the spare and within a few miles, it came up on the dash and read it’s correct PSI and ~5psi increase as the tire warmed up.

Does anyone else with a 2016 or newer find this to be the case?

When I checked the manual, it states that the spare doesn’t have a TPMS. [emoji15]