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Charging Extra for TPMS and Servicing the TPMS Sensor?


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I was at a TECH NET meeting the other night and a discussion started on charging extra for mounting and balance new tires with TPMS. I was a little surprised to find that most shops don’t charge extra because they don’t rebuild the sensor by replacing the seal, core, retainer nut and cap. Most just let the air out, dismount and mount tire, put the core back in and that’s it. They claim that is only causes more issues and they can't charge for it becuase it adds too much more to the tire sale.

 

I stock most of the TPMS kits and remove the sensor, replace the seal, the core and the cap when we sell a set of tires. I feel it’s the right way to do the job. We explain to the customer beforehand about the TPMS and also inform them that sometimes the sensors may need to be replaced if the core or retaining cap is seized.

 

What are you doing in your shop?

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I was at a TECH NET meeting the other night and a discussion started on charging extra for mounting and balance new tires with TPMS. I was a little surprised to find that most shops don’t charge extra because they don’t rebuild the sensor by replacing the seal, core, retainer nut and cap. Most just let the air out, dismount and mount tire, put the core back in and that’s it. They claim that is only causes more issues and they can't charge for it becuase it adds too much more to the tire sale.

 

I stock most of the TPMS kits and remove the sensor, replace the seal, the core and the cap when we sell a set of tires. I feel it’s the right way to do the job. We explain to the customer beforehand about the TPMS and also inform them that sometimes the sensors may need to be replaced if the core or retaining cap is seized.

 

What are you doing in your shop?

 

We also install new seal kits. I don't charge more labor but I do charge for a new seal kit. I added a few bucks to all my tire services a few years ago to try to recover cost associated with TPMS and I try to use my hourly service tech for tire work.

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I don't do anything with tires at this time so it doesn't matter to me. When I get the machine to do tires, I will do the service to the TPMS system otherwise you may be causing more problems. We don't have the corrosion problems around here but its just good practice.

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We reuse the exisiting valve stems unless one is frozen. Then we sell replacements. Joe, your way is probably a better approach but so many tires are now so expensive it makes a tire sale really expensive. Joe, how much tire business do you do?

 

Our tire business is growing, we do about $5-$6,000 per week, which is about 10% of total sales. Margins on tires are low, as you know, but when you sell a customer tires, the rest of the work follows.

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Our tire business is growing, we do about $5-$6,000 per week, which is about 10% of total sales. Margins on tires are low, as you know, but when you sell a customer tires, the rest of the work follows.

 

 

There is good money in tires just not good margins. I wish I could do 5K - 6K a week in tire sales. I am averaging 2K - 3K right now but I am trying to grow this segment of my business. 10 - 15% of sales is a great target for a general repair center.

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We sell the kits for $5 with our tires. When we went to selling the kits we raised the price of our valve stems to match the price. We haven't had any complaints. When customers are spending at least $500 on a set of tires they aren't going to complain over $20.

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We sell the kits for $5 with our tires. When we went to selling the kits we raised the price of our valve stems to match the price. We haven't had any complaints. When customers are spending at least $500 on a set of tires they aren't going to complain over $20.

 

Great idea, great point, Dave.

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We are in a small town before you head off into the redwoods, you could say we are in a remote location. It would be amazing if we could do 4-5K per week in tires!! If I do 2k we're kickin' butt. As far as the TPMS, we do not replace anything on them, and have never had one issue of a come back. The customers quoting us are very tight fisted and so many shops in and around our town do EVERYTHING FREE, drives me crazy (IDIOTS). If I have to do something out of necessity, I show the customers the concern and explain and they're cool about it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

We are in a small town before you head off into the redwoods, you could say we are in a remote location. It would be amazing if we could do 4-5K per week in tires!! If I do 2k we're kickin' butt. As far as the TPMS, we do not replace anything on them, and have never had one issue of a come back. The customers quoting us are very tight fisted and so many shops in and around our town do EVERYTHING FREE, drives me crazy (IDIOTS). If I have to do something out of necessity, I show the customers the concern and explain and they're cool about it.

 

The reason why I posted this question was because I starting asking other shops in my area, only to find out that 9 out of 10 shops do nothing also. To me, this can be an issue. Replacing tires on a car with 100k, and not servicing the TPMS sensor? That's the same as not changing the valve stems, right? Maybe it's me, but we always explain to the customer about TPMS, we always sell the kits and don't have a problem. Plus we make an additional profit on the kits.

 

I am not trying to convince anyone to do it my way, I am just asking questions.

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Joe, how many part numbers do you carry and how many dollars would you say that you have tied up in inventory. Do you sell new TPMSs with every tire sale?

 

We purchased the rebuilt kits from CARQUEST (I think they are from Meyers Tire Company). They come in plastic cases. The investment to start off was a few hundreds bucks and the coverage is about 90%. The average cost price of the kits are $2-$4.00 and we charge $8-$10 per kit. The only time we sell sensors are when the sensor is found defective or damaged or if the core is seized inside the stem. For some models you can change just the stem part of the sensor. There are some high end cars (BMW, Mercedes, Audi, etc) that have more expensive kits, but for those customers, I never have an issue.

 

We rebuid the kits on every tire replacement and sometimes when we breakdown a tire for a repair. The only time we don't sell the kit is when a customer damages a tire on a new car, with under 10k on the clock.

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Joe, the kits you have, do they include the stems on sensors where the stem is removable? I've been looking for a kit that includes these, talked to my carquest rep about it too. I only seem to find kits that have the seals and nuts, 500pcs kits that are mostly valve cores and caps.

 

We leave the sensors alone unless there is a problem. Same with valve stems, we check them, replace cracked or rotted looking ones, thats it. Charge for them when we need to replace them.

 

On another TPMS note through, what do you charge for resetting the TPMS system if needed. On some cars it needs to be reset just for tire rotations. Most shops around here seem to charge straight labor, usualy a half hour. What's the rest of the world do?

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Joe, the kits you have, do they include the stems on sensors where the stem is removable? I've been looking for a kit that includes these, talked to my carquest rep about it too. I only seem to find kits that have the seals and nuts, 500pcs kits that are mostly valve cores and caps.

 

We leave the sensors alone unless there is a problem. Same with valve stems, we check them, replace cracked or rotted looking ones, thats it. Charge for them when we need to replace them.

 

On another TPMS note through, what do you charge for resetting the TPMS system if needed. On some cars it needs to be reset just for tire rotations. Most shops around here seem to charge straight labor, usualy a half hour. What's the rest of the world do?

 

Yes and no, there are so many kit numbers today that you have to buy different master kits. CARQUEST is our main supplier, but we are looking at different companies to keep costs down and part availability. I don't know if my CARQUEST rep is getting different kits from your rep. I am checking into Meyers and Specialty Products and a few others.

 

Our standand labor charge to reset is a half hour, UNLESS there is an issue with the system. Or, If I need to dismount the tire to verify a failed sensor. Sometimes we find a broken sensor from the last time the tires where replaced.

 

I am concerned that the industry is headed in the wrong direction if only a hand full of shops service the TPMS sensors when replacing tires. I rather not take a chance and have a leak later on. We find many leaking tires from the seals.

 

My opinion and what we do:

*Make sure the TPMS light is not on before the tires are removed from the car

*Visually inspect the sensors

*Inspect all the cores to insure that they can be removed

*Inform the customer of any concerns BEFORE the tires are dismounted

*Remove the TPMS sensor; replace the nut, core, valve cap and seal

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