After picking up a set of winter wheels, I started to think about how to run two sets of wheels without having to take the car to the dealer to have the sensors re-registered every time I switched from summer to winter wheels and vice-versa. At $57 a pop (as quoted by a dealer near work), that wasn't going to happen. As described in a previous thread:
I came up with the idea of switching out the TPMS computer every time I changed wheels instead of having sensors re-registered. No one had an idea if it would work, so after doing some research and reading the service manual, I decided to bite the bullet and be the guinea pig. Cost for my experiment (thanks to Jeremy/FredBeansParts):
1 - UNIT TPMS AS 28103AG06A Cost: $79.94
4 - VALVE AY TPM 28103AG01B Cost: $208.52
Mount TPMS sensors on wheels Cost: $93.96
Register new TPMS sensors with new TPMS computer: Free this one time.
Running two sets of wheels with no TPMS light: Priceless? Nope. $382.42.
So, here's a step-by-step of what I did:
1. Unbolt the driver's seat to tip it back (not really necessary).
2. Lift the carpet flap to uncover the TPMS computer.
3. Unplug the harness from the existing TPMS computer.
4. Remove the mounting bracket from the new TPMS computer.
5. Plug the harness into the new TPMS computer.
6. Lay the new computer down under the carpet flap (there was just enough clearance under the power driver's seat).
7. Re-install seat.
8. Get new TPMS sensors installed on second set of rims.
9. Get new TPMS sensors registered with the new TPMS computer at dealer.
You're now done until you want to switch back to your previous wheels. At this point:
10. Mount first set of wheels.
11. Unplug harness from the new TPMS computer and plug it back into the existing one.
12. Start and drive the car. Note: The TPMS may or may not blink initially. Mine did and my heart sank because I thought my experiment failed. After driving a block though the light went out and stayed off for my four mile test drive. My theory on why it started out blinking is because that's the state the computer was in when I first unplugged it. If I had unplugged in the 'good' state, the light might have never come on.
I noted that step 1 was not really necessary because if you know where everthing is (and have small girlish hands like I do), you can just move the seat all the way up and back and reach under there. I snapped some pics while the seat was out so that might help if any of you want to try this for yourselves.
Caveats: This was done on my 2008 Spec. B. YMMV. Typically, you would try the different wheel/TPMS computer combinations to make sure that the light stays off when the sensors and computer are 'paired' correctly and comes on when they're not, but IMO the test I did as described proves to me that this works. If you decide to do this and your car burns to the ground, it's not my fault.