How does the vehicle will get linked to the new TPMS sensors?
How will the vehicle relearn the new sensors? Once your tires are equipped with new TPMS valves, your car must recognize the sensors and establish communication between the sensors and the reading device of the computer. This will ensure that the central unit measuring data is activated every time there is a new code generated by a sensor or when there is a change in the positioning of a tire.
Depending on the brand of the car, there are three different ways to make the vehicle recognize the new sensors:
- Autoformation / Autolearning - When the car is driven for at least 10 minutes between 35 and 100 km/h, it recognizes the new valves automatically. The TPMS light in the dash shuts off by itself once all the sensors are read correctly. We find this process in brands like Mercedes, Volkswagen, Ford, Mazda and Hyundai.
- Manual relearning / Stopped relearning - This is when a fixed procedure with an activation tool that does not require the car to be driven to see the TPMS valves; it is a specific combination of moves (may involve the ignition, the clutch, even the horn). The procedure is usually detailed in the owner's manual. We find this process on brands like Audi, Mercedes, BMW and Porsche.
- Activated diagnostic interface (OBD II) / Programmed relearning - As explained here, some cars, like Toyota, Lexus Nissan and Honda, will require a specific tool the establish a communication with the sensors. Note the OBD II can also be used to diagnose the reasons why the TPMS light is on.
Each car manufacturer has a detailed learning process for TPMS that must be followed properly to get a fully working system. If ever the programming is not being completed for whatever reasons or simply not made at all, it can lead to incorrect indications of tire pressures and system failures.
Please note that for some manufacturers, not having TPMS or having defective TPMS can not only indicate a wrong tire pressure, but it can have an impact on the activation of your ABS or traction control system.
TPMS dash light
If the light turns on and stays on when you are driving:
You have at least 1 tire with incorrect air pressure in it. Make sure that all 4 tires are inflated correctly, the light will turn off.
If the TPMS light blinks:
This means your tires are approaching the of their lowest limit (20% less inflated than recommended pressure). This situation is usually caused by the variations of ambient temperature.
If the light blinks when starting the car and remains turned on when you drive:
You have one or many defective sensors. Make sure to unmount the tires and rim, pull-out the defective TPMS and bring it to a specialist to correct the problem. If the sensor is defective, look at your tire pressure manually before driving by precaution.
TPMS will not tell you
Please note that TPMS sensors are only useful to warn you about the deflation of your tires, not the opposite. Here are the effects of having an over-inflated tire:
- Bumps and potholes seem more noticeable.
- The tread wears faster, especially in its center.
- Car performs badly due to a lack of grip of the tires.