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Frequently Asked TPMS Sensors Questions

A TPMS Sensor is the device attached to the valve stem which is located on the wheel. The functions of a TPMS Senor are to: 1. Hold air in the wheel/tire assembly, 2. Measure air pressure, and 3. Transmit data via RF.
Universal Sensors are Non-Original Equipment (OE) TPMS sensors used in the replacement market. Programmable Sensors and Multi-Protocol sensors are both considered Universal Sensors.
Programmable sensors must be programmed by a TPMS Tool to the specs of the vehicle they are being installed on. Once programmed most programmable sensors provide the same information that the OE sensors did. Multi-Protocol sensors have several specific protocols preloaded into the sensor. In other words, they are made to fit different make, model, and year vehicles across different manufacturers. Typically, these sensors do not require programming but also require several different part numbers to attain the coverage of the programmable sensors.
In most cases you won’t unless the warning indicator is coming on flashing for 60 to 90 seconds intermittently, but it would still require having codes pulled and sensor tested. Best to take the vehicle into an authorized service center for testing.
Bartec recommends having the sensors relearned after a tire rotation and is required after a tire/s replacement. This way the TPM System knows the accurate location of each sensor/wheel.
Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems, or TPMS provide real safety and economic benefits for motorists. By helping drivers to maintain the proper tire inflation, TPMS can help improve ride and handling, reduce stopping distances and the potential for hydroplaning. TPMS can also increase fuel efficiency and extend tire life. TPMS is designed to monitor the air pressure in a tire and send a warning to the vehicle’s on-board monitoring system when the pressure drops below a preset limit.
You cannot always tell if a tire is under inflated simply by looking at it. You cannot easily tell if a tire is under inflated by kicking or pressing on the tire. The only way to accurately check tire pressure is by using a quality tire pressure gauge. A tire can lose air pressure without appearing to be under inflated. There is very little visual difference between a properly inflated and an under inflated tire.
Some vehicle manufacturers have chosen to use an Indirect TPMS system that use algorithms utilizing the Anti-Lock brake sensors and other systems to measure the rotation of the wheels. Wheels rotating faster than others indicate a lower tire pressure and trigger the TPMS warning.
The life of a TPMS sensor will vary due to several variables including temperature (cold can reduce the life as well as extreme moisture), garage kept or not, driving distance, maintenance of the TPMS sensor and air pressure. Normally you can expect to get somewhere from 7 years up to 12 years before failure occurs under typical driving conditions.
You should stop asap to inspect and make sure you don’t have a tire rapidly losing pressure. Riding on an extremely low tire can cause an accident and or ruin a tire. If the tires look to be holding pressure, find a service center that can check your air pressure when it is possible.
No. The battery in the sensor cannot be replaced. The housing is sealed to protect the internal components including the battery in the harsh environment inside the tire.
As of model year 2008, the United States Department of Transportation (through NHTSA) requires an installation of a Tire Pressure Monitoring System to all new passenger cars, multipurpose passenger vehicles, trucks, and buses that have a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 lbs. or less (except those vehicles with dual wheels on an axle). The legislation requiring TPMS was passed in reaction to Congressional hearings on vehicle rollover deaths caused, in part, by vehicles with under inflated tires.
A flashing TPMS warning light (looks like a horseshoe) or the letters TPMS being lit, indicate a TPMS system failure. This means that the system is not working properly and needs to be diagnosed by a reputable repair facility. It could be a bad sensor/s or other component in the system or failure to properly relearn the ids for the sensors to the vehicle.
Every TPMS sensor has a unique id number (like a SS#) so the vehicle’s TPM controller can identify the location of that id and wheel. The id numbers are written via a Relearn procedure into the TPM controller. This gives a trained technician the ability to identify through testing, the location of a bad sensor/s and for the information center to show the correct air pressure by location. Most relearns require a properly formatted TPMS tool.
When Rotating wheels and tires or replacing tires, the TPMS sensors get moved to another location on the vehicle. The Repair technicians must perform a function known as a Vehicle Relearn. The technician will use a piece of equipment like a scan tool or a TPMS tool to perform this task. This task requires training, proper equipment and takes time, therefore many tire retailers and auto service providers charge for the service.
Low tire pressure is one of the leading causes for the following: Blowouts causing an accident involving death/injury, Excessive Tire Wear, Poor Handling, Diminished Fuel Economy, Reduces the effectiveness of the Vehicle Stability Control System
Typically, this indicates tire/s that have a low-pressure condition of at least 25% below the pressure listed on the placard on the driver’s door.
Replacing TPMS sensors requires a tire changer. The wheel should be rebalanced after installation. If you or your friend have access to a tire changer and balancer, along with the proper tools for installation of the sensors and the relearn procedure, you could attempt to replace a sensor. However, we recommend you have a reputable repair shop do the installation and relearn.
Several people have claimed it works but it is a wives’ tale. The reason the shop refuses to remove your sensors is that would be a federal violation of disabling the TPMS system and they could face a very hefty fine for doing so. A shop cannot take out any part of the TPMS system without replacing it with another working component.