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How to replace TPM Sensor Batteries

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Old 03-04-2005, 02:54 PM
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12stepvette
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St. Jude Donor '03-'04-'05-'06-'07
Default How to replace TPM Sensor Batteries

I`ve had some luck with replacing the batteries in my early TPM Sensors, so I`d like to share what I`ve learned with the other members on the Forum.The sensors are designed to be "throw Away" items, and some members will consider this to be more hassle than its worth. On the other hand, I love to disassemble anything I can get my hands on, and if I can prove it can be fixed, I WIN!!!

First off, they are "Potted" with a relatively soft sealant material that can be slowly and carefully removed to expose the battery. Looking at the picture, it is always placed to the right of the valve stem. Besides it being set in sealant, there is a small strip of doublebacked tape in there also. It doesnt come out willingly!

The Battery is a common 3 volt Lithium CR2477N. The only issue here is, you can`t heat the battery with a soldering Iron, it will boil the liquid inside and ruin it. I found a place locally called "Batteries Plus" that not only supplied the batteries, they had a Tech on duty who welded the Solder straps in place for me.
When reinstalling the new battery, place it Positive side down, and the terminal furthest away from the valve stem is also positive.
I then used a standard soldering Iron to re-attach the battery straps. Once thats complete, using a Voltmeter, confirm 3 volts at the terminals. I went one step further by using my Corvette to see if the Sensor would program and be seen by the monitoring system before "re-potting".
There are probably better materials out there to repot the sensor with, but I used JB Weld. It has worked well, not been conductive enough to run the batteries down and you can be assured of a good bond. Unfortunately, the draw back when this material is used, the sensor battery can never be removed again without totally destroying the case.
Several Forum members have "Donated" their Used sensors to me as test subjects...You guys know who you are, and for that I`m grateful, Thanks!!
I`ve had a 70% success rate, and as I do more that rate should get better...But as I said earlier, I only did this as a challange and to share the knowledge with the forum.

View of the Outer Case


Started Removing Potting Material


Battery Exposed (Negative Side)


Battery Removed

Last edited by pewter99; 03-05-2008 at 09:12 AM.
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Old 03-04-2005, 04:19 PM
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Great info!

Any idea why 30% don't work out?
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Old 03-04-2005, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Dustie
Great info!

Any idea why 30% don't work out?





more info please!
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Old 03-04-2005, 04:28 PM
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Good job! I have one in the garage I planned on playing with.. I'm going to try and find a source for the "real" stuff (potting material). If I find it I'll share..
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Old 03-04-2005, 04:29 PM
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Man...is this a great forum, or what?
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Old 03-04-2005, 04:30 PM
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I need to figure out a way to attach the wires to the battery without having to weld the tabs to it. EXCELLENT WORK!!

Bill C
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Old 03-04-2005, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Dustie
Great info!

Any idea why 30% don't work out?

I`ve damaged the circuit board removing the battery on 2 of the 7 I`ve done.
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Old 03-05-2005, 09:19 AM
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ttt
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Old 03-05-2005, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill Curlee
I need to figure out a way to attach the wires to the battery without having to weld the tabs to it. EXCELLENT WORK!!

Bill C


exactly.
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Old 03-05-2005, 10:00 AM
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Digi-Key sells this one which looks very close for $3.48, they currently have 4087 of then in stock. Only $3.12 each if you buy 10+. This is a Panasonic BR2477A/VA Lithium 24.5mm 3V 1000mAh coin cell. Digi-Key part number P030-ND, find them at http://www.digikey.com. Digi-Key does charge $5 handling charge for orders under $25.



I think I would try simple silicon sealer for potting. It's water proof, soft, cheap, and sticks to almost anything. Should be easy to get out the next time, specially if you soak that corner of the sensor in gas over night. Only problem I see with silicon sealer is the silicon is kind of springy, but if it is thin between the battery and case the battery won't move much at all. I would put a little in the bottom of the sensor, set the battery in the silicon and press it down, then solder the leads, the cover the rest with silicon. This way there should be a thin layer of silicon between the battery and case basically gluing the battery to the case so it can't move.

Last edited by pewter99; 03-05-2008 at 09:13 AM.
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Old 03-05-2005, 10:23 AM
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Is that material "brittle' when you remove it?? It looks very similar to some stuff we use at work to hold and machine parts in. We take cold rolled or tool steel and machine out a basic opening around a part,then POUR this 2 part liquid to surround it and clamp it in a vise for 24 hours.
then it takes the form of the part when it is separated. Very easy to machine,I believe it is called Devcon. It is black just like the pic. I'll look into it on Mon.
Matt
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Old 03-05-2005, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by SpeedyZ
Digi-Key sells this one which looks very close for $3.48, they currently have 4087 of then in stock. Only $3.12 each if you buy 10+. This is a Panasonic BR2477A/VA Lithium 24.5mm 3V 1000mAh coin cell. Digi-Key part number P030-ND, find them at http://www.digikey.com. Digi-Key does charge $5 handling charge for orders under $25.



I think I would try simple silicon sealer for potting. It's water proof, soft, cheap, and sticks to almost anything. Should be easy to get out the next time, specially if you soak that corner of the sensor in gas over night. Only problem I see with silicon sealer is the silicon is kind of springy, but if it is thin between the battery and case the battery won't move much at all. I would put a little in the bottom of the sensor, set the battery in the silicon and press it down, then solder the leads, the cover the rest with silicon. This way there should be a thin layer of silicon between the battery and case basically gluing the battery to the case so it can't move.

Thats Great Info!!
I`ve bought quite a few things from Digikey, but didn`t even think about using them for the batteries!!!
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Old 03-05-2005, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by 6spd89
Is that material "brittle' when you remove it?? It looks very similar to some stuff we use at work to hold and machine parts in. We take cold rolled or tool steel and machine out a basic opening around a part,then POUR this 2 part liquid to surround it and clamp it in a vise for 24 hours.
then it takes the form of the part when it is separated. Very easy to machine,I believe it is called Devcon. It is black just like the pic. I'll look into it on Mon.
Matt

Nope not brittle...softer than rubber, not as soft as silicone...
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Old 03-05-2005, 11:14 AM
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How long do the factory batteries usually last? Do they throw error codes or something when they go bad or how do you know their bad?
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Old 03-05-2005, 11:25 AM
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Lithium batteries are usually good for 5-7 years, the Tire pressure sensors will be slow to report to the Monitoring system and will show either XXX in that position or will report zero pressure.
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Old 03-05-2005, 03:34 PM
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Thanks for sharing this with us. It shows how a little ingenuity and work can turn a problem for us older C5 owners into a little weekend project with little expense. I just had one go out and another is on its way so I plan on keeping a spare all the time.
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Old 03-06-2005, 06:09 AM
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Great thread Larry. Copy, Paste and saved this one.
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Old 03-06-2005, 01:06 PM
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Default Dremel?

Ever consider using a dremel tool to grind away the rubber?
Also can you show a better pic of the sensor with the bat. out? thanks and Great work.. 99 Nassau Blue
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Old 03-06-2005, 02:09 PM
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Dremel would`nt work as far as I`m concerned....way to messy, besides, the potting compound isn`t that hard at all.
Here`s a few more pictures;

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Old 03-06-2005, 03:53 PM
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Is there any way that you can completly disassemble and display the workings of one of your bad sensors that failed the repair. I'm dieing to see what is inside one of those suckers!

Thank you so much for your efforts and sharing this with us!

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