Tag Archives: TPMS

Costco and Honda aggravating snafu

I recently had a TPMS sensor warning come on in my Honda Insight. I dutifully took it to the Honda dealership  to have a look over. They said it could be a malfunction with the entire TPMS system and they needed to diagnose, the diagnosis cost was $99.- and that doesn’t include “repairing” anything found at fault.

I had had enough of nonsensical incompetent Honda technicians and sales at my Honda dealership (please avoid Bellevue Honda if you are in the Bellevue, WA neighborhood). They had previously charged about $160.- to replace engine and cabin filters ($99.- for labor, the rest for parts). The next time they tried to pull the wool on me, I found a Youtube video describing how to do it myself. It was a 15 minute job with $20 for the engine and $20 for the cabin filters, total of $40.- with free labor. Now Honda wanted to rip me off performing a simple 5 minute TPMS diagnosis. There, I vented.

Back to the TPMS sensor, I took the car to Discount tire, which promptly diagnosed the problem as a faulty TPMS sensor in one of the tires. So I got that replaced. I also asked them to build a full size spare tire, complete with a TPMS sensor. The purpose is so next time I have a problem with a tire, I can just replace it with a good full size tire, get the TMPS sensor programmed and keep on going.

As it was there was one tire that had the white cord showing, thus had to be replaced. I had purchased Costco’s road hazard warranty with the tire, so I went to Costco. Costco balked at working on the tire, saying the rim was too bent. I had to go to Discount Tire to buy a new rim and a TPMS sensor to go with it.

All set right? Went back to Costco, checked in at 12pm, was called at 2pm that they started working on it, was called at 4pm that they finished it. I came by to pick my car up at 5.

5 minutes away from Costco, I noticed, how come I only have 4 tires? I came in with 4 rolling tires, a new steel wheel, and purchased a new tire from Costco. I should have 5 rolling tires. On top of that the TPMS sensor still showed a system malfunction (not a tire underpressure warning, but a system malfunction warning).

I went back and “Oh there was a misunderstanding, we’ll fix it for you free of charge”. I was internally livid but held my tongue in check, my misdemeanor was all over the place. My thought was it was your f**king misunderstanding and incompetence to begin with.

It turned out that incompetent Costco technicians:

  1. Completely missed their own requirement to have a new rim (this idiot should never again be on Costco premises)
  2. Tore apart my brand new $200.- full sized spare tire when the brand new rim was provided in a nice white box
  3. Reused the old rim (instead of the brand new rim) and mounted the new tire on it
  4. Failed to program the TPMS sensors. I had to point out to them the rim they reused was never programmed, it has to be programmed in.

Costco programmed all 4 TPMS sensors and the TMPS warning light went away. I now have my 5th rolling tire.

Costco recommends to come back in a week to check the torque, and back in 40K miles for a tire rotation. No thank you, I have my own torque wrench (on my Honda it is spec’ed for 100 foot-lbs of torque), I’ll check it myself. Tire rotations are done at every service, I don’t need stupid Costco technicians messing around with it.

They’re probably good with replacing old tires with new and balancing and that’s about it. Don’t even think or try to have them do something with even the slightest variance. You’ll regret it.