It's been about 5 months since I wrote the original post regarding TPMS sensors and last week I finally got some new summer wheels that needed tires. I ordered tires from Discount Tire Direct, which is about an hour from my house, specifically because I was told they can "clone" sensors. (I was told this by one of their online reps.) Unfortunately, that isn't the case... at least not for the store I visited in Waukesha, WI.
To make a long store short, neither the manager nor the two technicians that installed my tires knew what cloning is. Although everyone was very nice, they seemed to treat me like I was just another customer that read something on the Internet and didn't know what I was talking about.
Instead of the Schrader EZ-Sensors I asked for, they installed VDO Redi-Sensors. The VDO sensors are not
programmable. I didn't realize what they had done until after they had already mounted the tires and I asked the technician to show me the tool he used to clone the sensors (at which point he was clearly confused about what I was asking because he didn't understand.) Feeling like I wasn't getting through to them, I pretty much had no choice but to go home with sensors I didn't want and a sensor issue I was trying hard to avoid.
I called Discount Tire's help line a few minutes ago and they're going to have a regional manager call me to discuss the issue. Being late in the day on Saturday, it probably won't be until Monday that I hear from them.
Sensor issue aside, the rest of my experience at the Discount Tire location I went to was good. The shop was very clean, service was fast and friendly, and the prices seem competitive. I'm just miffed that now I still need to figure-out a solution for keeping my TPMS light off when I swap wheels