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2008 Grand Caravan winter wheels & TPMS problems.

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  #1  
Old 10-23-2008, 12:10 AM
Timbit Timbit is offline
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Question 2008 Grand Caravan winter wheels & TPMS problems.

Hey folks. Was I the only one in for a nasty surprise when purchasing a set of steel wheels & winter tires for the 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan?
I've learned the '08 models have a new 16" wheel with a 5 on 5 bolt pattern, and a new uncommon tire size (225/65 R16). I'm told they used the same wheel & tire size for the last 20 years, but for some reason they felt compelled to change it on the '08 model, which means:
- It cost me a fortune for the wheels as no knock offs are available yet.
- Michelin isn't delivering any of their X-ice II tires in that size into Canada this year.
- My best local option was to go with a set of 235/60 R16 Nokian RSI tires.
(No great winter tires available in the 225/65 R16 size here).
- The local tire dealers insist on installing tire pressure monitor sensors (TPMS) on the wheels. These are not cheap either.

Got them all mounted up and installed on the van, and now the TPMS isn't working properly. The tire shop said the vehicle would pick up the new sensors & re-program after driving it over 25km/hr for up to 10 minutes.

I adjusted the cold tire pressures, and I drove the vehicle continuously at highway speeds for about 15 minutes and the system still isn't working. I'm continuing to get the chime and the TPMS warning light.

I'm taking it in to the tire shop tomorrow to give them a chance to sort it out. If they can't do it, I guess I'll be calling the dealer.

By next year there should be several good options for winter tires in the stock size. Had to get something good to get the family safely through this winter though.

Anyone else had problems with new wheels & TPM sensors? Any suggestions?

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 10-23-2008, 05:11 PM
rabbler rabbler is offline
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I'm pretty sure you need to retrain the vehicle for new TPM sensors.
Check your owners manual. We used to do it with a round magnet that fit over the valve stem. There should be a magnet included with your jack.
Unless they changed the system on Chrysler's. It's been a few years...
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  #3  
Old 10-24-2008, 12:16 AM
Timbit Timbit is offline
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Default Off to the dealer it is.

The tire shop couldn't sort out the problem.
The owners manual says nothing about retraining the TPM System for new sensors. It only covers off what to do if you have a fault with the original equipment.
Made an appointment with the dealer for Monday, and the tire shop is going to cover the cost.
Will post what the outcome of that is.
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  #4  
Old 10-24-2008, 09:53 AM
rabbler rabbler is offline
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Does your owners manual mention the TPM sensors in tire rotation procedure?
It's pretty much the same procedure.
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  #5  
Old 10-24-2008, 07:26 PM
eaglestorm eaglestorm is offline
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they probley installed the wrong freq sensor you need to get them from your dealer for your car. the dealer has a tool to tell you what freq is in your stock tires and can test your new sensors also they have to be the same

Last edited by eaglestorm; 10-25-2008 at 12:04 AM..
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  #6  
Old 10-24-2008, 07:46 PM
1980blackfiveoh 1980blackfiveoh is offline
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Do you mean 225/65/17? That is what my wife 08 STX has anyway. Fortunatly, the stock tires are just fine for when we live.
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  #7  
Old 10-24-2008, 07:55 PM
Timbit Timbit is offline
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Default 2008 Grand Caravan winter wheels & TPMS problems.

Nope. The owners manual does not mention the TPM sensors in the rotation procedure. I read the thing from cover to cover. It mentions nothing about retraining the sensors. There is no magnet included with the vehicle jack.

There are several pages devoted to the TPM System (there are a couple different kinds on the '08 model year), with the summary being:

If you get a fault, adjust the cold tire pressures to that which is specified (36 psi), and the system will automatically update and the TPMS warning light will extinguish once the updated tire pressures have been received. The vehicle may need to be driven for up to 10 minutes above 25 km/hr to receive this information.

It says "the system has been optimized for original equipment tires & wheels, and that the TPMS pressures have been established for the tire size equipped, and that undesirable system operation or sensor damage may result when using replacement equipment that is not of the same size, type, and/or style. Aftermarket wheels can cause sensor damage. Do not use aftermarket sealants or balance beads as damage to the sensors may result." - I sure hope this isn't the case. I figured this was one of those general disclaimers they have to give, and unless doing something bizarre in the way of wheel/ tire size then there was likely no basis for it.

I'm obviously not really up to speed on exactly how these sensors work, but I'd be very surprised if the sensor sends out a different signal in conjunction with a 235/60 R16 tire at 36 psi than with a 225/65 R16 tire at 36 psi when installed on the same wheel.

I guess we'll see what the dealer says in a few days time. Can't wait.

I was willing to go without the sensors installed and to put up with the warning light in the first place. I better not have to see that warning light after spending $350 on the sensors insisted upon by the tire shops.
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  #8  
Old 10-24-2008, 08:06 PM
Timbit Timbit is offline
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Default Sensor Frequency

1980blackfiveoh - Nope. They're 16" aluminum mags on our model, so we went with a 16" steel wheel. I believe the 17" mags were another available option. Lucky guy living where it's warm. Jealous. Meantime I'm tuning up my snowblower and trying to prepare for another freakin winter.

eaglestorm - What you're saying about the sensor frequency would certainly make sense. The tire shop tested each one of the installed sensors and found them to be working properly, but they certainly wouldn't be picked up by the receiver if they're transmitting on a different frequency. I don't know how many different frequencies these systems use. I'm hoping the dealer will be able to get to the bottom of it as you say.

Otherwise I'll just pull the things off & return them to the tire shop. I don't mind regularly checking my own tire pressures. Been doing so for many years.
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  #9  
Old 10-25-2008, 12:10 AM
eaglestorm eaglestorm is offline
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there are 2 freq for sensors on the minivan take on of your take off tires with you so they can ck the freq is they dont have a reader they can break dowm the tire and read it off the sensor. They should be able to give you the coreect sensor just from parts. We never have to tell the parts guy what freq we need. but there reader can tell them what freq is in your take off and what is on the car now. My guess is wrong sensor
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  #10  
Old 10-25-2008, 06:50 PM
Timbit Timbit is offline
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Default Sensor Frequency

Thanks for the input eaglestorm. I'll definitely take one of my original wheels/tires with me to the dealer.
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  #11  
Old 10-27-2008, 09:42 PM
canadawrx canadawrx is offline
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I started looking for wheels and winter tires as well for our 2008 Grand Caravan SXT. Our van came with the optional 225/65/17 tires. I figured I would try to put 16" wheels on for the winter with 215/65/16 or 225/65/16. I know the speedo will be off but only by about 5%. If you do not go with sensors on the new wheel, is it just the indication light you have to worry about or is there a chime as well? Anyone else decide how to avoid spending major $$ for a winter set-up.
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  #12  
Old 10-27-2008, 11:13 PM
Timbit Timbit is offline
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Default Fixed....then not working again.

Canadawrx - After all the trouble I've had, I would definitely go without the sensors. If you don't install sensors you'll just get one chime after start up, the TPMS warning lamp will flash several times and then it will stay lit up continuously for the duration of your drive. I'm sure I could easily ignore the warning light on this vehicle - It is small and dim. I've heard of some people putting a small piece of tape over it if it bothered them.

So my continuing saga with my vehicle goes as follows:
Took the van in to the dealer today. They reportedly had to use a reader to determine the part numbers of the new sensors on each new winter wheel. Then they had to program the new sensors into the WCM (Wireless Control Module). They reportedly "cleared the codes" then road-tested the vehicle & had no warning lights come on. They told me they would have to re-program the WCM when I put the original summer tires back on and that there was no way around that. Needless to say I was not happy about that. I want to be able to do my own wheel/tire changeovers without having to see the dealer.

So I drove the van home. While making the second to last corner, the friggin TPMS warning light came on again.

I checked the tire pressures (hot) and found they varied a bit between 38 and 41 psi. (I had just set them cold to 36 psi a couple days ago). Figured these pressure/ temperature variations may be normal after the drive.

I'll check the cold tire pressures again in the morning, but I expect they'll be very close to the specified 36 psi.

I think I'll be contacting the tire shop and kindly requesting they remove the sensors from the wheels and refunding the $. Don't know how successful that will be - Wish me luck. The tire shop and dealer will probably point fingers at each other.

I'd rather put up with the TPMS warning light for the winter months, and not have to see the dealer to re-program the system at each changeover. I've spent way too much time & energy on a simple winter tire installation as it is.

For some reason I had no problems at all with the TPMS on my 2006 Toyota Matrix when I installed steel wheels and winter tires, and they've functioned flawlessly for a couple changeovers now.

My opinion - These systems are a royal pain. They add little in the way of safety, primarily to those who neglect to properly maintain their vehicles.
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  #13  
Old 10-28-2008, 07:51 AM
V8MANual V8MANual is offline
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I like the sensor info in my '05 Town & Country because I drive 40k miles per year and don't check the psi as often as I should. But I ran into the same problem when I upgraded my tires. I wanted to go from the stock 215/65x16 to a 17" wheel. Tire Rack told me they could install sensors in the wheels for almost $100 each and I would have to take it to the dealer for reprogramming. Or I could use my stock sensors/valve stems by breaking down the old tires and mounting the new tires myself. (Tire Rack sends them mounted and balanced for free) I decided to go with a 225/60x16 tire on the OE rims and avoid the hassle. Size doesn't matter with the sensors, only psi.
NOW for the really scary news. I was told that the spare has a tpm sensor also. So if your new sensors are on a different frequency than your spare and the dealer changes your receivers frequency...........
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  #14  
Old 10-28-2008, 09:36 AM
vwomein vwomein is offline
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I have an 07 T&C. It only has TPMS on the 4 wheels, not the spare.
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  #15  
Old 10-28-2008, 03:42 PM
Timbit Timbit is offline
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Default Tpms

So after the warning light coming on again yesterday, I checked the cold tire pressures this morning and found they varied from 37 psi to 41 psi. Real nice considering they were obviously adjusted by the dealer who was supposed to be addressing the issue with the TPM System.

So I adjusted all 4 tires to 36 psi again. After driving it non-stop for 15 minutes out of town, then back in the fault/ warning light is still present.

So I called the tire shop. They are going to take off the winter wheels tires & remove the TPM sensors, and put my mag wheels & summer tires back on. Then I'll have to go to the dealer to get them to re-program the TPM System again. Then I'll put the winter wheels & tires back on myself and put up with the TMPS Warning Light, like I wanted to do in the first place. What a waste of time.
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  #16  
Old 10-28-2008, 07:48 PM
canadawrx canadawrx is offline
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Timbit - Sorry to hear about your hassle but if it is any consolation; you have probably helped many people avoid the same issue. I really appreciate you sharing this experience and pointing me in the best direction. I now have to find a good tire (X-ice or Blizzak) in a 16" size. The dealer also wants to sell me 16" steel wheels for $150 Cdn each! Need to find another place to get wheels.
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  #17  
Old 10-28-2008, 11:39 PM
smiley458 smiley458 is offline
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I ran into this thread while researching winter wheels for my 2008 sxt.
I'll have to try them but it appears that my wheels and snow tires from my 03 Kia Sedona have the same bolt pattern, spacing and offset as the sxt.
Discount tire direct lists steel and alloy wheels that for both the 03 Kia and 07 Caravan
and have the following specs. ( See their site for how to read the specs)
15" steel 15 x 6.5 5 4.25/4.5(100/114) 41 $53
16" alloy 16 x 7.5 5 100/114 38 $ 75 and up

Detroit wheel and tire lists OEM wheels for the 2008 Caravan and gives the following specs;
16" alloy !6 x 6.5 5 114 40 $185
Same specs shown for the 2007 but different price.
As you can see the main difference is 1 inch narrower than the aftermarket ones.
I'll give it a try and post if they fit.
If any tire men or Dodge mechanics have better info, please post it.
Thanks,
Don
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  #18  
Old 11-02-2008, 11:24 AM
canadawrx canadawrx is offline
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Does anyone have the correct information for the 2008 caravan wheel size? I am getting conflicting information on the wheel size from various web sites; especially on the bolt circle (114mm or 127mm). Thanks
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Old 11-02-2008, 06:01 PM
vwomein vwomein is offline
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I can only tell you that the 07 and 08 Caravan(and T&C), do NOT have the same bolt pattern. Be carefull before you spend money & time.
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  #20  
Old 11-03-2008, 01:52 PM
Timbit Timbit is offline
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Default Wheel size

canadawrx - I can tell you that my 2008 Grand Caravan SXT came with the following:

Wheel Size: 16 x 6.5, with a 5 on 5 bolt pattern, which is equivalent to a 5 on 127 bolt pattern. (Stock aluminum mag wheel. Also available 16" steel wheels, and optional 17" mag wheel).

Tire Size: 225/65 R 16 (Crappy all-season tires. They suck on wet roads).

I got a lot of conflicting information on the wheel size/bolt pattern when I started shopping for winter wheels. The first time I called the dealer they even told me the '08's were equipped with the more common 5 on 4.5 bolt pattern. The 2007 and earlier models were equipped with a 5 on 4.5 bolt pattern.... Not the 2008. (You can find information on the web about how to properly measure the 5 bolt pattern, but the easiest thing to do is to get a tire shop to measure with a special gauge they have. Simple procedure - free of charge).

This is not a common size/bolt pattern, nor is the stock tire size, and thus all the problems I had in equipping my van with winter wheels this year.

I ended up with basically a factory steel wheel. Shopping around locally I found I could get the wheels for between $110/each to $144 each. The most expensive being from the dealer of course.

And, I ended up with a 235/65 R 16 studless winter tire - the Nokian RSI.

Running without tire pressure sensors & ignoring the TPMS warning light.

I've been running this setup for several days on dry pavement now. Expecting snow any day. These tires seem pretty nice. I don't think I'll get a lot of mileage out of them as they have a very soft compound.... but they'll probably rock on the snow & ice. Nice deep tread with lots of deep siping.

I would have preferred the Michelin X-ice 2's but was told they aren't available in Canada in my required size this year.
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Old 11-03-2008, 01:52 PM
 
 
 
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