The Tire Pressure Monitor System (TPMS) sensor is a computerised tire inflation valve (in most cases) that reads the air pressure for the specific tire and sends that information to the computer of the vehicle. When a tire goes below the programmed inflation for the sensor, it triggers a light to inform the driver that he has a tire or tires with low tire pressure. These sensors need to be carefully removed and reinstalled when replacing or changing tires over. Sometimes normal corrosion can damage the sensors, but sometimes a careless tire technician can also damage the sensors by not removing them properly. Follow these helpful guidelines.
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Things you need
- Valve core remover
- 1/4-inch drive ratchet and socket set
- Tire machine
- 1/4-inch drive adjustable torque wrench in inch pounds
- Replacement TPMS sensor
- Replacement TPMS sensor rebuild kit (if not supplied with the new sensor)
- Updated TPMS manual for all vehicles
Remove the valve core from the TPMS sensor using the valve core remover. Allow the tire to deflate.
Remove the TPMS sensor grommet using the ratchet and a socket. In some cases, there may be a washer under the grommet.
Poke the valve of the TPMS sensor into the rim of the tire. The sensor will automatically drop down to the bottom of the tire as you break the bead down normally at the tire machine.
Break the bead of the tire on both sides of the rim as you would with a normal tire using the tire machine.
Place the tire on the turntable of the tire machine and lock the rim to the adjustable claws.
Lift the top bead of the tire off of the rim. Reach inside the tire and extract the TPMS sensor. If you're replacing the tire, you can remove the bottom bead from the rim, otherwise, place the top bead of the tire back onto the rim.
Place the rubber gasket (supplied in the TPMS sensor rebuild kit) onto the valve stem of the new TPMS sensor.
Press down on the sidewall of the tire in front of the valve stem hole in the rim and manipulate the sensor valve stem down and then up into the hole. While holding it there with one hand, add the washer (if applicable) and the grommet and thread on hand tight.
Look up the specific type of car in the TPMS manual and it will give you the recommended inch pounds to tighten the grommet of the TPMS sensor. Adjust the torque wrench to the recommended inch pound setting and tighten the grommet to specification.
Inflate the tire as usual to the recommended pounds per square inch.
Tips and warnings
- In some applications, the new TPMS sensor may need to be programmed for the vehicle. In other applications, the particular sensor may have to be programmed by a dealership only which can get costly. Some can be reprogrammed by reading the TPMS manual and following the instructions. There are different types of TPMS sensors for different makes and models. Most follow this procedure for replacement. There are other (older) and rarer types of sensors that are clamped to the interior circumference of the rim. Replacing these may have to be performed at the dealership. Most all passenger vehicles or light trucks manufactured in the year 2007 or newer are coming standard with TPMS sensors in the tires.