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Types of TPMS valves

Types of TPMS

There are two types of systems: the indirect TPMS and the direct TPMS. While the debate over direct and indirect TPMS technologies continues globally among regulators, consumers and manufacturers have decided. Drivers do not want the responsibility of manually resetting an indirect TPMS system.

Although the methods may be different, both systems serve the same purpose and activate the same indicator light.

Indirect TPMS

This type of pressure monitoring system is linked to the ABS of the car to evaluate an approximative pressure in the tires. This principle is based on the fact that if a tire has a flat or a leak, its overall diameter will be smaller, increasing its speed compared to the car's correctly inflated tires. Since they do not measure the pressure directly but estimate it through other data, those systems are considered indirect TPMS. The on-board computer evaluates if a tire is deflated and warns the driver. Note they cannot give accurate data in real-time and rely on one tire's pressure compared to the other.

Once a tire is re-inflated correctly after a deflation, it takes about 20 to 60 minutes of driving before the computer relearns the new parameters of the sensors.

Direct TPMS

Direct TPMS can measure the exact pressure in each tire because of individual sensors placed directly in the four tires. As opposed to the indirect TPMS, it can have a precise value on the tire pressure and the temperature inside to prevent over-heating. As soon as something is irregular, the information is transmitted to the driver through the car's computer.

Because the direct TPMS is separated from the computer or the car, it can work with batteries or by a system of electromagnetic induction, creating electricity. In addition to solving the battery's short life, the installation allows the TPMS to generate information faster and decreases the sensors' weight. This being said, since they are located outside the vehicle, the sensors are more vulnerable to be broken by a significant impact, leading to the deprogramming of the sensor if the impact is too important.

Original vs Universal Sensors

Original Sensors

Those sensors are preprogrammed with the specific parameters of the car they were made for. Since they are distinct, if garages want to provide some to their customers, they need to store many different types of TPMS for each vehicle model by sets of four for all the manufacturers. For this reason, the majority is selling aftermarket universal TPMS sensors, which can be programmed for almost any vehicle.

Universal Sensors

As mentioned above, universal sensors are all the same: the same shape, going at the same place, but they are offered in two different versions, 433 Mhz or 315 Mhz, depending on what frequency the car is using. Universal sensors TPMS are sensors connected to standard tire valves.


Before the installer gets the tire mounted on the wheel, he programs the TPMS sensors with a machine by entering the vehicle information on which they will be installed. Once the sensors are programmed, they are linked to the vehicle.


The on-board computer now needs to 'understand' the new codes generated by the TPMS newly programmed sensors but not all cars have the same relearning process for TPMS codes. Some vehicles are going to make that recognition by themselves by driving a few kilometres, some will need a manual procedure (a specific combination of ignition, clutch and even horn actions). In contrast, some other companies, such as Toyota, Lexus, or Honda, some universal TPMS need a unique programming tool to link the car and the sensors.

At PMCtire, we use ITM universal TPMS, which may require the installation tool called OBD II. When buying universal TPMS, it is important to go to a garage that is working with the proper tools to make the connection possible. Most dealers are not equipped to deal with aftermarket TPMS, so because they cannot make the computer recognize the codes, they may say to the customers that their tires do not have the right TPMS sensors or are defective.