What is TPMS on car?
Tire Pressure Monitoring Sensors (TPMS) is a system in modern vehicles that monitors the air pressure in each tire and alerts the driver if the pressure falls below a certain level. It helps improve safety by warning of underinflated tires, which can lead to reduced fuel efficiency and handling issues, as well as increased risk of blowouts.
Types of TPMS sensor
Direct TPMS: This system uses pressure sensors inside each tire to directly measure the tire's air pressure. If the pressure drops below a predefined threshold, it sends a signal to the vehicle's onboard computer, which then alerts the driver through a warning light on the dashboard.
Indirect TPMS: This system doesn't use pressure sensors but relies on the vehicle's anti-lock braking system (ABS) to indirectly monitor tire pressure. It detects changes in tire circumference, which can vary with tire pressure. If it detects a significant difference in wheel speed, it assumes there's a pressure issue and triggers a warning.
How to replace a TPMS sensor?
Before you decide to replace the TPMS sensor by yourself, make sure you have gathered all the tools and materials you will need. Refer to the following list:
- New TPMS sensor (make sure it is compatible with your car)
- Jack and jack stands or a vehicle lift
- Lug wrench or socket set
- Torque wrench
- TPMS reset tool (if required by your car)
- Valve core removal tool
- Rubber valve stem grommet (if needed)
- Tire pressure gauge
Specific steps to replace:
- Safety First: Park safely, engage the parking brake, and turn off the engine.
- Remove the Wheel: Use the lug wrench to take off the wheel.
- Locate the TPMS Sensor: Find the sensor inside the rim, secured by a nut or screw.
- Remove the TPMS Sensor: Carefully take out the sensor.
- Install the New Sensor: Attach it to the valve stem or replace the entire valve stem if necessary.
- Secure the Sensor: Use a torque wrench to tighten it properly.
- Reattach the Wheel: Place the wheel back on, hand-tighten lug nuts, and torque them correctly.
- Lower the Vehicle: If you use a jack, lower the vehicle.
- Check and Adjust Tire Pressure: Verify and adjust tire pressure as per your vehicle's specifications.
- Reset TPMS: If needed, reset the TPMS system using the appropriate tool.
- Test the TPMS: Drive briefly to ensure the system is functioning, with the warning light off.