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philip42h

Winter Wheels For A 4.4

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I picked-up my new RAV4.4 (Icon Auto) this morning so must update avatar and details shortly but I've a couple of questions on winter wheels if anyone can help ...

The standard tyres are [again] 235/55 R18 on a 18 x 7.5J wheel. Does anyone know the offset or how to find out? [Not being the adventurous type I'd like my winter wheels to match the standard ones as closely as possible.]

TPMS: I never quite got round to getting winter wheels for the SR180 because of the BSR run-flat system, TPMS valves and an aversion to actually snipping that pink wire. Does anyone know the situation on the 4.4?

  • When I first switch the ignition on the tyre pressure warning light comes on - suggesting that such a system may well be fitted.
  • The manual (pages 553-559) has a whole load of stuff about valves, transmitters, unique Id codes [that need to be registered by a dealer], and a section on how to initialise the tyre pressure warning system using a reset switch [that doesn't seem to be present on my car].

Has anyone got this bit sorted out yet? :)

Oh, and there's a space saver spare in the boot ... I wasn't expecting that! :D

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Hi Philip, We have a 4.4 arriving later next week, I'm thinking about buying a set of Toyota Pitlane anthracite machined alloys and then deciding which set of wheels to fit winter tyres to. I will read up on the TPMS when our Rav arrives, my understanding is that TPMS is fitted on all models in the 4.4 range. Will watch out for your new avatar. Hope you're loving the new Rav.

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I've been doing a little more research ...

It seems we have a TPMS as before using tyre valve based sensors. The unique id of each sensor (5 including the spare) is programmed into the ECU so that the car knows which sensors to monitor. And then a system that simply illuminates a warning light if any one of those sensors indicates low pressure. [in the UK we don't seem to get the touch screen function to read out the actual tyre pressures though at the end of the day I'm not really that bothered about that.]

So, once again, if we simply swap to winter wheels the TPMS warning will show ... :(

I found this interesting thread on Tacoma World that seems relevant. Options seem to vary from "ignore the light", through "snip the pink wire" to "get the dealer to reprogram the ECU twice a year" and various options for doing that yourself.

The quest continues ...

Disclaimer: Please note that I'm not entirely sure of any of my 'facts' :)

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Keep 'Digging' Philip.

Thanks for this, it's interesting, I like the disclaimer......

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Quite surprised if the spare also has a TPMS sensor, Philip, considering they were part of a woeful logistics boz up, in that the tyres or the wheels were a procurement afterthought ffs.....

Good point aboot the swapment to wintry wheels though........fit or get fitted yer own switch, coz sure as eggs are not apples, they will want daft cash to do the disable and re-arm at dealers. And when you switch your OWN switch off, will it not require dealer enable and re-programme anyway.....? A field of mines yet again with TPMS.........I have invented a system known as EPGI.........Eyes -Pressure Gauge -Inflate. Unless the system has been radically changed, it didn't register gradual deflation until a week the following Tuesday anyway.

Set of stonking T180 alloys on ye bay would be ideal wintreez. Good tyres on them which you can sell on here.......in the appropriate section of course............

Editation........don't ever drive away having left spare wheel behind if it does indeed have a sensor.......light comes on.....dealer reset......kerreffingching again.

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I would imagine fitting a switch to you car would be as simple as on the earlier cars... That way you can re arm the TPMS when you return to the original set...

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I would imagine fitting a switch to you car would be as simple as on the earlier cars... That way you can re arm the TPMS when you return to the original set...

Sumfink tells me, Charlie, after it being disabled for protracted periods (long times, Gus), it requires a dealer re-prog.........hopefully I am wrong, but as you know that would be a rare occasion.

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Quite surprised if the spare also has a TPMS sensor, Philip, considering they were part of a woeful logistics boz up, in that the tyres or the wheels were a procurement afterthought ffs.....

...

I'll pull the spare owt the boot and give it a good hard stare later to see whether it looks like a TPMS valve ... :)

The eyes test will probably work here, though I really don't care whether it has or not ...

Edit: oh, and that ebay ad answered the first part of my question ... the original RAV 18" alloys had an offset of 45 - it's stamped on the inside face of the wheel. The 4.4 has a different spoke pattern so could be different but at least I now know how to check ...

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Quite surprised if the spare also has a TPMS sensor, Philip, considering they were part of a woeful logistics boz up, in that the tyres or the wheels were a procurement afterthought ffs.....

...

I'll pull the spare owt the boot and give it a good hard stare later to see whether it looks like a TPMS valve ... :)

The eyes test will probably work here, though I really don't care whether it has or not ...

Edit: oh, and that ebay ad answered the first part of my question ... the original RAV 18" alloys had an offset of 45 - it's stamped on the inside face of the wheel. The 4.4 has a different spoke pattern so could be different but at least I now know how to check ...

And the answers are:

  • As far as I can tell the spare has a standard "rubbery" type valve stem - it doesn't look at all TPMS-like to me.
  • A spot of mirror reading shows the following on successive spokes:
  1. TOYOTA
  2. 13/3
  3. 18 x 7 1/2 J
  4. 45 AKJ
  5. <some symbol>
  6. J DOT

The first and third lines are rather obvious. I'm tempted to interpret the second as a year and month of manufacture (seems plausible but no supporting evidence) and the fourth as an offset of 45 again (?) though I've no idea what AKJ might mean.

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I would imagine fitting a switch to you car would be as simple as on the earlier cars... That way you can re arm the TPMS when you return to the original set...

Sumfink tells me, Charlie, after it being disabled for protracted periods (long times, Gus), it requires a dealer re-prog.........hopefully I am wrong, but as you know that would be a rare occasion.

I had my original wheels off my 4.3 T180 for approx 3 years, ignoring the TPMS light all that time. When I came to sell the car, I put the original wheels back on (no idea which corner each wheel came from!) and the light went off :)

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Hi there all and Philip for the original question. Been wondering about this myself too - do you go the ignore route and fit winter wheels as there are some deals around or do you go the fit rubber and change twice a year. Like most am confused by TPMS relationship - though if it stopped working wouldn't that be covered by warranty? for five years.....

I've also seen some after market alloys but then you go down the insurance "modification" route depending on who you are insured with - a right can of worms.

One thing - not sure what the OEM Dueler rubber is going to be like if we get another cold and snowy winter. They are marked M & S for mud and snow but not sure how effective they will be..

Will watch this post with interest.

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Jonathan,

In reverse order:

  • The standard Bridgestone Duellers are pretty good all round. They give pretty decent grip in normal circumstances, mud and snow included, but it isn't a cold weather rubber compound - proper cold weather tyres will be better. [That said I've survived the last few bad winters with standard Bridgestones on my SR180 without too much problem.] A cold weather rubber compound will do a much better job of stopping your RAV - a four wheel drive toboggan is still a toboggan.
  • If we stick to the specification as originally fitted we shouldn't have any problem with our insurers but we do need to notify. If my insurer [Toyota] gives me any grief I'll find a new insurer ...
  • I don't really like the idea of keeping the same wheels and swapping just the tyres - I'd need someone to do that for me whereas I should be able to swap the wheels myself.
  • There isn't really much question of the TPMS stopping working here - it's just that if you remove the wheels it's trying to monitor it's going to report a problem by illuminating the warning light (all winter long).

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Ref TPMS and space savers ... I would guess that it is most unlikely that the space saver would have a sensor in it for a reason that the typical skinny spare has a much higher pressure* then the regular tyres, so that alone would throw up an error I would expect?

* based on the writing on my skinny space saver tyre having instructions to "INFLATE TO 60PSI"

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Ref TPMS and space savers ... I would guess that it is most unlikely that the space saver would have a sensor in it for a reason that the typical skinny spare has a much higher pressure* then the regular tyres, so that alone would throw up an error I would expect?

* based on the writing on my skinny space saver tyre having instructions to "INFLATE TO 60PSI"

That's a rather good point too! :D

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My ha'pworth.

My previous car was a T180 Avensis Estate and I had an extra set of alloys and fitted Vredestein Snotrac3s on them. They were good and gave me no trouble over the 5 winters I had this set up. The tyres were very competent in the variable winters we had and on my trips to the Alps. They coped with warm, dry Tarmac to full on snow and ice with a bit of monsoon for good measure!

I now proudly own "Kev" my RAV 4.4 Invincible 2.2 D CAT Auto and thus far am delighted with it. I wish I had gone auto before but for some reason Mr T. didn't like fitting autos to his diesel cars.

The question now is what am I going to do about winter boots for Kev? I have answered my own question in part by buying a set of Michelin Latitude Alpins in the same size as the OE Bridgestone Duellers. Winter tyres would normally be on my car for the season between early December and Easter and I intend to just swap the tyres over on the existing wheels and not buy an extra set for Kev.

With experience, I feel I could do many swaps for the cost of another set of alloys. With my T180, I originally intended to keep an eye on the weather forecasts and swap boots according to conditions but found that winter tyres do what they say on the tin and cope well with winter!! And therefore kept them on seasonally.

The other factor now is TPMS. If I keep swapping tyres on the supplied alloys then I will have the warning system operative all the time or will I?

Can anybody see anything wrong with my proposal, comments will be welcome.

PS I will post about the Michelins once I have used them over a few months.

Andy

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To best of my ken, Andy, the valves are purely pressure sensitive devicicles, so when you reinstate them in ANY tyre, and return them to their saved pressures programmed on the ECU, they will just continue doing their job. Only worry I would have is the regular removal and refit, increasing greatly potential for damage to them wee expensive beasties.

Can't wait to tell ma wife you have named your new Rav after ME........she's out now with her new boyfriend, but at least I get to play with his guide dog...........

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To best of my ken, Andy, the valves are purely pressure sensitive devicicles, so when you reinstate them in ANY tyre, and return them to their saved pressures programmed on the ECU, they will just continue doing their job. Only worry I would have is the regular removal and refit, increasing greatly potential for damage to them wee expensive beasties.

Can't wait to tell ma wife you have named your new Rav after ME........she's out now with her new boyfriend, but at least I get to play with his guide dog...........

It's a wicked trick Kev, He's sighted really, he just hates leaving the dog alone. That'll stop ya answering the door to him when you're naked..... :blush:

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To best of my ken, Andy, the valves are purely pressure sensitive devicicles, so when you reinstate them in ANY tyre, and return them to their saved pressures programmed on the ECU, they will just continue doing their job. Only worry I would have is the regular removal and refit, increasing greatly potential for damage to them wee expensive beasties.

Can't wait to tell ma wife you have named your new Rav after ME........she's out now with her new boyfriend, but at least I get to play with his guide dog...........

Hi BK

Sorry to tell you but it's a way for me to remember it's registration, which is KV $ £&@. But it is a happy coincidence. Tell the wife anyway she will be impressed. Watch out for that dog, they have probably trained it to chase men in kilts.

Andy

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To best of my ken, Andy, the valves are purely pressure sensitive devicicles, so when you reinstate them in ANY tyre, and return them to their saved pressures programmed on the ECU, they will just continue doing their job. Only worry I would have is the regular removal and refit, increasing greatly potential for damage to them wee expensive beasties.

Can't wait to tell ma wife you have named your new Rav after ME........she's out now with her new boyfriend, but at least I get to play with his guide dog...........

Hi BK

Sorry to tell you but it's a way for me to remember it's registration, which is KV $ £&@. But it is a happy coincidence. Tell the wife anyway she will be impressed. Watch out for that dog, they have probably trained it to chase men in kilts.

Andy

It's more a case of "Watch ma dug..... or ye get kilt", Andy, but at least Denshaw has cleared up why he hands me the dug and calls me Wee Willie.....he isn't blind right enough....

In all seriousity though, I would go down the route of separate winter WHEELS.....you are not only risking them sensors, but also damage to your lovely alloys. Flip side.....TPMS light on permanently......that would brive me donkers, min.

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The offset info is stamped on the inside cast of the wheel which I think you have discovered. I did do a little work on the meaning of these 2 years ago but have now forgotten. Any wheel supplier of repute will help you choose a tyre and wheel combo - a bit like going to subway.

The basics are to ensure no part of the wheel clatters against the brake calipers cos thats daft. Next is to avoid rubbing the arches when on full lock. And of course keeping the circumference similar so the speedo is mildly accurate.

I use 18" wheels on both RAVs but did consider 20". However the extra cost of 20" tyres was ridiculous so keeping at 18" gave me a better choice and price.

I am not in favour of swapping tyres on wheels as each time the tyre is stretched over the rim which must weaken the steel banding.

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One benefit of not having the OEM TPMS . . I can just remove mine if I ever get a set of winter wheels . .No Worry about the pink wire.

Of course I could always get another set of sensors for the head unit . .. and fit those to the winter wheels . . .and reprogram the display unit myself.

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To best of my ken, Andy, the valves are purely pressure sensitive devicicles, so when you reinstate them in ANY tyre, and return them to their saved pressures programmed on the ECU, they will just continue doing their job. Only worry I would have is the regular removal and refit, increasing greatly potential for damage to them wee expensive beasties.

Can't wait to tell ma wife you have named your new Rav after ME........she's out now with her new boyfriend, but at least I get to play with his guide dog...........

Hi BK

Sorry to tell you but it's a way for me to remember it's registration, which is KV $ £&@. But it is a happy coincidence. Tell the wife anyway she will be impressed. Watch out for that dog, they have probably trained it to chase men in kilts.

Andy

It's more a case of "Watch ma dug..... or ye get kilt", Andy, but at least Denshaw has cleared up why he hands me the dug and calls me Wee Willie.....he isn't blind right enough....

In all seriousity though, I would go down the route of separate winter WHEELS.....you are not only risking them sensors, but also damage to your lovely alloys. Flip side.....TPMS light on permanently......that would brive me donkers, min.

And I thought you were Big Kev. If Denshaw's wee duggy is a judge then we must change your name to....any suggestions good forum folk? Keep it clean now!!

Don't fancy that little light in all the dark days to come. Can we fit sensors to the 2nd set, how can they be matched to the car, how much are they? On stretching the steel band, is there a limit on how many times a tyre can be fitted? I reckon each set will only be installed 3 or 4 times if I use one set of wheels. Mind you I do like the Pitlane Anthracites that Mr T does for this RAV.

Andy

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I intend fitting a set of pit lane alloys with winter tyres so hopefully we can resolve the issue between us in the near future, i hate unwanted warning lights and the like.

T'is a shame B.K has been found guilty of gross exaggeration, maybe Wee-Member might be appropriate as a forum name.

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Update: The more I research, the more certain I become of the facts and the more despondent I become ... :)

EU law seems to dictate that from November 2012, all newly homologated cars must have TPMS included as standard. That's one reason why all RAV4.4s must have TPMS. From November 2014, TPMS will be required as a standard fitment on all newly manufactured vehicles. And it appears that from 2015 the MOT test will include a test of the TPMS functionality.

The various manufacturers seem to have employed a whole variety of different TPMS sensors and systems but they all have the same characteristic of storing the sensor identity within the ECU so that the car can monitor it's own tyres (rather than those of passing vehicles etc.) However they don't seem too well set-up for maintaining these systems once sold and haven't really thought through the consequences for people who want to change wheels between summer and winter - that feature could have been designed into the ECU / OBC if they had wanted to.

Since the TPMS valve is integrated into the wheel rather than the tyre, sticking with the same set of wheels and swapping over the tyres would seem an option. However, I read somewhere that the valves should be removed and re-seated every time the tyre bead is broken which would increase the cost of the job and risk damaging the expensive valve. I don't know quite how true / important this is but I certainly remember tyre specialists routinely removing and replacing valves every time I had my tyres replaced. So all in all that doesn't seem a great option.

There appears to be a far better solution available - at least technically - in the form of programmable TPMS valves. Basically you clone the identities of one set of wheels onto a second set so that the system in the car isn't aware that you've actually swapped wheels. For reference see Bartec / Winter TPMS and EZ-sensor. So that's what I would like to do - get a set of compatible alloys, program a set of EZ-sensor TPMS valves to clone my existing wheels/valves, install the cloned valves into the compatible alloys and add the winter tyres - 'simples'! Unfortunately the aftermarket world doesn't seem to have caught up and I haven't yet been able to find anyone to provide that simple service ... maybe there's a business opportunity here! :)

The quest continues ...

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As the Mammy used to say, Philip, the best thing aboot banging yer head off a brick wall is when you stop.....lol.

Admirable standard of very useful research.

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