Model Y & Refreshed Model 3 uses Bluetooth TPMS
Starting with the Model Y, Tesla switched to using a proprietary Bluetooth Low Energy Tire Pressure Monitoring System. This change has also taken effect in 2021+ Model 3s. A quick and easy way to identify this on the Model 3 is by the color of the window trim.
Model 3 with chrome window trim uses conventional 433mhz TPMS.
Model 3 with factory black window trim uses new Bluetooth LE TPMS.
Because the current valuation of TSLA is based on the sales of these exclusive tire pressure sensors… Duh! Jokes aside, as of now, there are no real benefits of using Bluetooth LE TPMS. Bluetooth is a universal standard, which offers higher bandwidth transmission. In the future we may see more possibilities such as OTA updates and direct communication with other sensors on the car.
I want new wheels, what do I do?
As of right now, if your car is fitted with Bluetooth TPMS and you plan to have a secondary set of wheels, here are your options:
Semi-expensive - Have a tire shop unmount the sensors from your stock wheels and tires to swap them over to your new set. The labor of this may cost about half the price of buying the sensors from Tesla.
Expensive - Suck it up and buy from Tesla Service Center @ $75 each ($300 for a set of 4). There are currently no aftermarket offerings that are compatible with Model 3 or Model Y using Bluetooth LE sensors. It has been confirmed that once you get these OEM Tesla sensors there is no further programming necessary, just drive your car a few miles and the car will auto-learn the new sensors.
No cost - Don’t use TPMS on your new wheels and be treated with this lovely message every time you drive. This option is not ideal because this message banner essentially blocks the visual of cars coming up on your blindspots.
This is a bummer for those of us who like to keep our stock wheel set aside and bolt on a new set of wheels including new tires and tire pressure sensors. I’m positive we will see reasonably priced aftermarket alternatives once Bluetooth LE TPMS becomes more commonplace.
Once again this does not affect 2020 and older Model 3s. I predict Tesla will switch to Bluetooth sensors for Model S and Model X on their next respective redesign cycle.