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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Have my car (QP) in with the dealership to fix a faulty TPMS sensor.

The dealership is telling me that it looks like my rims were chromed at one point so that invalidates the warranty on the TPMS sensor.

I was also told that all 4 tires would have to be removed from the rims so that the codes off of the TPMS sensors could be retrieved and then entered into the computer before it could be reset.

Does this make sense or am I being fed a line? I didn't think that you had to code in each individual TPMS sensor.
 

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Read My Lips: Magnuson Moss Warranty Act

If you live in the United States, the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act should provide some relief in this instance. In short a dealer must prove that the aftermarket equipment (e.g., aftermarket chromed rims) caused the need for repairs before it can deny warranty coverage. A dealer can't just blame the rim without proof. At this point I would call Maserati USA, tell them your situation and then state under the Magnum Moss Act that dealership has failed to provide direct proof the TPMS failed because of the chrome rims and if you don't get satisfaction you're going to make a claim with the Federal Trade Commission.

The law was enacted to prevent unscrupulous dealers from insisting that you have to use their dealership for service. It also protects your warranty coverage if for example you decide to use an aftermarket filter, a different brand oil (e.g. Mobil 1), etc.
 

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Although I'm always criticizing my students for citing to Wikipedia as authority, below is a link to the relevant text. Also is link to the K&N Air Filter, which outlines the use of aftermarket parts on in-warranty vehicles and the FTC link.

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnuson-Moss_Warranty_Act

K&N: http://www.knfilters.com/warrantyletter.htm

Federal Trade Commission: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/buspubs/warranty.shtm#Magnuson-Moss

Dummies Book: http://www.dummies.com/WileyCDA/DummiesArticle/id-2669.html

Mustang Forum: http://www.mustangforums.com/m_1524512/tm.htm
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Vincent

I am in Canada so the law may not be useful here but I am sure that there is some equivalent.

I know that you have some experience with TPMS sensors and I thought that hitting the button to recalibrate them would then cause the system to search for the sensors automatically.

The question came up as the dealership doesn't have a tire balancer so they told me that they would have to ship my tires to another vendor. I said that I could just get my own guys to replace the faulty sensor if it wasn't covered under warranty but they then told me that without an SD3 you couldn't enter the codes into the computer so the sensors wouldn't work even if they were replaced.
 

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They don't have a tire balancer! What type of dealership is that? Generally, I get annoyed if the dealership doesn't have a roadforce balancer. However, I've never heard of a luxury dealer not having a balancer.

I purchased my winter tires from tirerack.com, the rims came from Ebay, and the TPMS sensors came from Maserati. I brought the tires, the rims, and the new TPMS sensors to my local tire shop and they assembled the components. When winter came, I swapped the tires myself and then pressed the recalibration button. Two minutes later everything was calibrated. At no time did I have to go to the dealership. In fact the dealership told me that I just need to be careful that the local tire shop installs the staggered tires on the correct rim. Assuming a Canadian specified Maserati is the same as a US specified version, the process should be the same.

Are all four sensors not transmitting? If so, it sounds like the master ECU that controls the TPMS is broken and not the sensors. It appears that TireRack sells TPMS sensors that are compatible with the Maserati that are half the cost; however, I didn't get a definitive answer on this listserv on whether if they are truly compatible.
 

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I'm not familar with Canadian law; however, it seems there is a Canadian Motor Vehicle Arbitration Plan that consumers can go through to resolve automobile warranty disputes. http://www.camvap.ca/eng/consumers_guide.htm

However, it seems that neither Maserati nor Fiat participate.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
At one point I had 3 out of the 4 tires providing a reading but that was only for a short period. Now all 4 tires show a ---. Makes sense that it could be a receiver problem with the ECU. Obviously all 4 tires didn't go bad at the same time.

They also told me that they needed to order in a tool to detect the TPMS sensor signals (apparently they didn't have one) but they suspected that the tool was bad since they didn't detect a signal from any of the sensors. (I wonder if they tried walking over the another car!)

Granted I only ever speak to the service advisor and not the tech working on the car, but they have me wondering how much expertise there really is at that shop.

They don't have a tire balancer! What type of dealership is that? Generally, I get annoyed if the dealership doesn't have a roadforce balancer. However, I've never heard of a luxury dealer not having a balancer.

I purchased my winter tires from tirerack.com, the rims came from Ebay, and the TPMS sensors came from Maserati. I brought the tires, the rims, and the new TPMS sensors to my local tire shop and they assembled the components. When winter came, I swapped the tires myself and then pressed the recalibration button. Two minutes later everything was calibrated. At no time did I have to go to the dealership. In fact the dealership told me that I just need to be careful that the local tire shop installs the staggered tires on the correct rim. Assuming a Canadian specified Maserati is the same as a US specified version, the process should be the same.

Are all four sensors not transmitting? If so, it sounds like the master ECU that controls the TPMS is broken and not the sensors. It appears that TireRack sells TPMS sensors that are compatible with the Maserati that are half the cost; however, I didn't get a definitive answer on this listserv on whether if they are truly compatible.
 

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There's a quick way for to find out if the sensor is still working by mounting the wheel to another car. Any local friends or a Maserati club you can tap into?

The TPMS sensors are probably too new to be out of battery power. All four could fail if you got zapped by an EMP (including your entire car). However, what are the chances of that!

This dealer sounds under equipped to work on luxury performance cars.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Very good idea. I would have thought that it would have been easier for the dealership to try that then send 4 tires out to a tire shop. unmount the tires, read the codes, mount them again, and then send the tires back.



There's a quick way for to find out if the sensor is still working by mounting the wheel to another car. Any local friends or a Maserati club you can tap into?

The TPMS sensors are probably too new to be out of battery power. All four could fail if you got zapped by an EMP (including your entire car). However, what are the chances of that!

This dealer sounds under equipped to work on luxury performance cars.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
So apparently the dealership says that the TPMS sensors were mounted on the wrong spot on the rim and that even though 1 was bad, it was not the cause of the TPMS failure message.

I thought that the sensors were attached to the value?
 

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I'm not sure how the sensors could be mounted on the wrong spot - the tire stem is directly connected to the sensor. Sounds like nonsense talk to me.

I assume after the one bad sensor was replaced everything is fine now?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'm not sure how the sensors could be mounted on the wrong spot - the tire stem is directly connected to the sensor. Sounds like nonsense talk to me.

I assume after the one bad sensor was replaced everything is fine now?
Correct. Works like a charm. The $800 bill is the only issue left to resolve!

At first I was told it was my chrome rims that were causing the problems. Then it was that the sensors were moved. Now it sounds like my tires were put on the wrong rims and the codes weren't entered into the computer properly! I asked how 3 out of 4 tires could be working properly if they were all on the wrong rims! 16 days at the dealership.

I am sure that once I have a chance to talk with the service manager they will cover it under warranty. If the sensor is bad it is bad and it should be a warranty item. Not my problem that it took them so long to sort it out.

Thanks Vincent for the help on figuring out how the system actually worked so I could be armed with a little knowledge.
 
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