Saying hello and my 1st questions (TPMS sensors)

Hi, I'm new here, we just bought a 2010 Corolla (pretty sure it's the lowest trim level). It replaced my 2001 Lexus - so I'm getting used to not having a lot of things I used to have in a car! :)

The main reason we bought it was that it's a genuine "little old lady" car with 25K miles (my Lexus had 260K, it was time)! The Corolla has a few small dings and scratches you'd expect to find from being driven by someone with poor eyesight and depth perception, otherwise it drives nicely and you can eat off the engine. Garaged it's entire life and all scheduled maintenance religiously done (however much there was in 25K of driving, anyway).

Our first issue popped up quickly - we had to replace a tire that developed a small leak, and the tire place said all four TPMS sensors need replacing, as none of them are seen. I've done some googling and see that the batteries go after 8-10 years so I'm not shocked at this, but right now is a bad time to spend what they asked for - about $70 per sensor. I figure I can do what I've done my entire driving life: manually check my tire pressure occasionally (or when I sense an issue with handling & steering, of course).

It's possible we'll be getting snow tires this winter, so I was thinking about getting aftermarket sensors and having them installed when the tires are switched. I found this brand on Amazon for $24, just one review though. The Densos are on sale for $11 more each; as I understand, they are the OEM manufacturer for a lot of Toyota parts, is that right? Maybe I should go with them. What jumped out was the $24 model's claim of not having to be programmed - just drop them in and go. And what exactly do they mean by "[OE Validated]: Direct-Fit OE replacement sensor, easy installation as OE." "OE Validated" sounds like a marketing buzzword.

I'm not sure a tire shop would install customer-supplied parts, but if there's a way to avoid spending ~$300 to get this done I would sure appreciate knowing how! Does anyone here just ignore the warning light and check tire pressure manually? TIA for any tips!
My winter wheel and tire set up do not have TPMS. Cost was 1 reason and when changing to summer set up would require reprogramming every time. As you mentioned I just ignore the light and check pressure reguarly, just like I did before TPMS.
Thanks for the reply. I wouldn't be getting new wheels when switching to snows so thought that might be an appropriate time to get the sensors installed. (Or maybe I should get wheels ? I wonder how the installation costs break down over a few seasons. Now you have me thinking!).

As I mentioned in my first post, the description of those $24 sensors says "No sensor programming Required: The programmable tire pressure sensor comes pre-programmed specifically for your make/model/year of vehicle." Really? So any place that can mount a tire can drop these guys in and I'm done? This sounds a little too good to be true.

Your last point is kinda what I was thinking – I mean, how did we survive before TPMS? :) I was just wondering if there might be other issues that come up if I leave that warning light on. If it's only about the tire pressure and doesn't affect getting my New York State inspection sticker I may just leave it alone.
Thanks but I'm still confused – I've done more research and have read about "pre-programmed" sensors, even "multi-protocol" sensors. From one website I visited: "These aftermarket sensors are pre-programmed for an entire range of vehicles and come ready-to-use out of the box. As with OE sensors, no sensor programming is required with multi-application / multi-protocol TPMS sensors."

So maybe what I'm seeing on that Amazon page for those cheapo sensors is correct? As I understand, you still have to have the car's computer "learn" the sensor once it's installed. Does this require a special tool or is that what the button under the dash near the steering wheel is for? I'm obviously still confused about that.

In any event, I certainly don't have the means to install them myself. What are the chances that a tire or mechanic shop will install user-supplied sensors? Part of their income stream comes from marking up parts so, I may wind up having to pay around $300 anyway. Live and learn I guess.