Frequently Asked TPMS Tools Questions
The good condition of your vehicle’s tires is crucial for safe operation. If they are not properly inflated, the handling characteristics of the car change drastically.
Tire pressure is an immediate concern, fluctuating day by day. So it goes without saying that TPMS, or tire pressure monitoring system tool, is an integral part of your safety, comfort, and confidence. TPMS tools can be used to:
- identify the types of sensors in your tires;
- identify the information that the sensors contain;
- let you know whether the TPMS sensor is functioning or not;
rotate TPMS wheels and tires;
- check the tire pressure in a fast and “touchless” way, assuming the vehicle;
- re-train or register new sensors with the vehicle ECU;
- turn off the TPMS warning light and perform other important relearn procedures to reset the system.
It takes a lot of time and effort to manually check the tire pressure. The proper tire pressure monitor tool will make the process faster and more efficient with more accurate results. Moreover, it has a bunch of benefits.
A TPMS tool will help you prolong the lifespan of your tires. This means you won’t have to purchase plenty of replacement tires, thus saving money in the process.
Better Fuel Economy
Underinflated tires use more fuel than they should. To avoid excessive fuel usage, make sure your tires are inflated properly to help your vehicle get the most out of each gallon.
If you maintain general car safety, your insurance company may find you appealing to give you better car insurance premiums. An insurance evaluation must prove that you watch your tire pressure and practice safe driving to obtain those.
What is a TPMS Tool?
TPMS, or tire pressure monitoring system tool, is a device with the help of which a skilled repair technician can diagnose and fix vehicles with a faulty Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS).
With the TPMS tools, one can get all kinds of information about tires, including pressure, ID, and temperature. Also, the tool may interface with the vehicle’s onboard computer system, activate and detect TPMS Sensors, and control the operations of the required services.
Additionally, the tire pressure monitoring tools display the battery level. They may help one maintain tires in the greatest condition and drive safely in any weather.
Are All TPMS Tools the Same?
No. The market for TPMS tools and replacement products is constantly evolving, so more and more versatile tools are appearing.
Depending on the functionality, there are the basic TPMS tester or front-counter inspection tool and a TPMS scan tool or a combination-style TPMS tool. The last one is for more advanced services such as tire up-fitting or plus sizing and tire rotations.
While many TPMS tools are universal, some are tailored to work only on a specific manufacturer’s vehicles, such as Toyota, GM, or Toyota. That’s why it’s vital to check the compatibility of the tire pressure monitoring tool you’d like to buy with the model, make, tires, and model year of your vehicle.
Do I Need a TPMS Tool?
Yes. Though the TPMS tool won’t solve every problem, owning one is essential as, together with the seatbelt, it’s considered the most important safety system in your car.
There are many benefits of owning a tire pressure monitoring system tool. First and foremost, it provides a sense of security. As a driver, you can be confident that you will make it to your destination without any mishaps.
Also, the tool can reduce total tire-related costs by increasing fuel economy, minimizing irregular tire wear, reducing roadside breakdowns, and improving tire runout. Owning a TPMS tool will make you and your nearest and dearest confident about any distance.
Are TPMS Tools Universal?
As has already been mentioned, many tire pressure monitoring tools are universal. However, there are tools designed to work only on a specific manufacturer’s vehicles. Some tools can be used exclusively with particular car models, while others can be used with a wide selection of vehicles.
When purchasing a TPMS tool, sensor and tool compatibility are major factors one should consider, as they vary widely.
If you are looking for a universal TPMS tool, choose one that works with all vehicles and all major universal programmable sensors.
Can a Scan Tool Reset TPMS?
Yes. Moreover, a scan tool will save you money and time, as it costs nothing to reset TPMS on your own. You only need to let the resetting procedure begin.
However, only scan tools that support TPMS will allow you to reset the system. There are various OBD2 scan tools for different vehicle brands able to read and work on TPMS. Choose a tool that’s compatible with your vehicle and suits your needs.
Also, you can find versatile TPMS reset tools, including TPMS programming tools and TPMS relearn tools. These tools may have various functions, including resetting or reprogramming TPMS and reading sensors.
CAN OBD2 Read TPMS?
It depends on the system. If your OBD2 scanner is capable of reading TPMS codes and resetting its sensors, then you can do so without a specialized TPMS tool. But if your OBD2 scanner isn’t able to do so, you’ll have to purchase a separate device.
With a TPMS tool, an OBD2 scanner will give you direct access to the vehicle’s OBD system, thus allowing users to program the sensor, read live data, retrieve/clear TPMS DTCs, and perform special functions. It can help technicians detect faulty TPMS and switch off the warning light in a matter of seconds.
Can I Use a TPMS Tool to Diagnose the Fault on My Vehicle?
Yes. Whenever the warning light is on, you should take the most important measure: inflating your tires.
Use the TPMS tool that needs to be able to communicate with the vehicle to diagnose the fault. You can do this with a BT connector or an OBD cable. The newest tools’ designs also communicate with Bluetooth-enabled OBD devices.
Connect your vehicle with the tool, which should interrogate an engine control module and report the appropriate Diagnostic Trouble Code.
How Does a TPMS Tool Read the Data Transmitted by a TPMS Sensor?
A tire pressure monitoring system tool has a built-in RF antenna responsible for receiving signals transmitted by the TPMS sensor. Typically, the data is transmitted at 314.9-433.92 MHz.
A built-in RF antenna, together with the associated electronics and software, should be able to distinguish between the sensor in front of the tool and other nearby sensors.
The signal is decoded using the tool software, which then extracts data related to the sensor ID, battery condition, pressure and temperature, battery life, and other needed information displayed to the user.