TPMS syncing

How will the vehicle 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. The central data measuring unit will be activated every time a sensor generates a new code or changes 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:

1- 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 Mercedes, Volkswagen, Ford, Mazda and Hyundai, etc.

2- Manual relearning / Stopped relearning

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 in brands like Audi, Mercedes, BMW and Porsche.

3- Activated diagnostic interface / Programmed relearning

As explained here, some cars, like Toyota, Lexus Nissan and Honda, will require a specific tool to communicate with the sensors.

Each car manufacturer has a detailed learning process for TPMS that must be followed correctly to get a fully working system. If 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

The purpose of the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) in your vehicle is to warn you that at least one or more tires are significantly under-inflated, possibly creating unsafe driving conditions. The low tire pressure warning light is easy to recognize. It is a yellow symbol that lights up on the dashboard in the shape of a tire section with an exclamation point.

If the light turns on and stays on when you are driving:

You have at least 1 tire with incorrect air pressure in it. Ensure that all 4 tires are inflated correctly, and the light will turn off.

If the TPMS light blinks:

This means your tires are approaching their lowest limit (20% less inflated than recommended pressure). The variations of ambient temperature usually cause this situation.

If the light blinks when starting the car and remains turned on when you drive:

You have one or many defective sensors. Ensure 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 bad, look at your tire pressure manually before driving by precaution.

TPMS will not tell you

Please note that TPMS sensors are only helpful 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.

  • The car performs badly due to a lack of grip on the tires.