I was actually discussing this very topic with my wife tonight.
We just signed papers on my wife's new 2010 Matrix last night (taking delivery on Monday), and I'm wondering what we'll do about snow tires for the winter. I'd like to buy a blizzak/wheel set from tirerack, but apparently the TPMS sensors are another $290 in addition to the package!! Is there a way to disable TPMS when running tires that don't have the sensors, or am I just going to be messing with the computer too much? I guess the other option is to just swap out snows on the original steels, but then we're paying $50 every time they come on or off.
Advice? Anything I should know about the Matrix that might be different from my 9th gen corolla as far as maintenance is concerned?
06 Corolla (silver)
(soon) 2010 Matrix (nautical blue)
Congrats on the new purchase! I'm sure you'll be pleased with the new car, once you get used to the little quirks, including the TPMS setup. Unlike your 2006 Corolla, this 2010 Matrix uses individual sensors on each wheel. Makes it much more accurate and able to adapt to a number of tires (once the computer relearns them). Drawback is now you have 4 individual sensors that you have to account for or the system is flash the warning lamp.
There isn't a good way to "disable" the TPMS, just the way it is designed. That said, there are some tricks that can be used to not see the TPMS on all the time. One is to park the car close to the tires with the TPMS when you are on the snow tires. The TPMS communicates wirelessly to the sensors and is "good" for 20 minutes or so. If you commute is relatively short - you can drive back and forth and the computer will "think" the monitors are still there.
Other option is to just ignore the TPMS warning lamp when you have snow tires on. Needless to say, you need to stay on-top of the tire pressure.
The only other option is to take the expensive course and buy additional sensors or swap them off the other wheels.