Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) Sensors
The purpose of TPMS Sensors is to alert the driver if the tire pressure in any of the tires falls outside of a specified range. This is important because improper tire pressure can lead to decreased fuel efficiency, reduced tire life, and compromised safety on the road. By monitoring tire pressure in real-time, TPMS Sensors help ensure optimal tire performance and enhance overall driving safety.
Walker Products TPMS Sensors are the ideal choice for truck owners looking to improve profitability and efficiency. These sensors offer numerous advantages that directly impact fuel mileage, tire wear, and overall performance.
With Walker TPMS sensors, you can expect more accurate readings thanks to their increased measurement frequency compared to OE sensors. This precision translates into better fuel mileage and reduced tire wear, leading to significant cost savings over time. Additionally, Walker sensors go beyond pressure monitoring by measuring tire temperature, allowing telematics systems to predict potential tire blowouts and prevent accidents.
Common causes of TPMS Sensor failure:
- Battery Exhaustion: TPMS sensors are powered by internal batteries that have a limited lifespan. Over time, the battery may become depleted, leading to sensor failure. Typically, TPMS sensor batteries last between 5 to 10 years, depending on usage and environmental conditions.
- Corrosion and Damage: TPMS sensors are exposed to harsh conditions on the road, including moisture, dirt, and road debris. Over time, this exposure can lead to corrosion and physical damage to the sensors, causing them to malfunction or fail.
- Improper Installation: Incorrect installation or improper handling during tire maintenance or replacement can damage TPMS sensors. Mishandling the sensor, damaging the valve stem, or overtightening the sensor during installation can result in sensor failure.
- Electronic Malfunction: Like any electronic device, TPMS sensors can experience internal electronic malfunctions. These malfunctions may be caused by manufacturing defects, electrical shorts, or circuitry issues, leading to sensor failure.
- System Calibration Issues: TPMS systems require proper calibration to ensure accurate readings. If the TPMS system is not calibrated correctly during installation or maintenance, it can lead to incorrect readings or sensor failure.
- Natural Wear and Tear: Over time, TPMS sensors can experience wear and tear due to the constant exposure to temperature changes, vibrations, and pressure fluctuations. This wear and tear can affect the sensor’s performance and lead to eventual failure.
Symptoms of failing TPMS Sensor may include:
- Warning Light: The TPMS warning light on the dashboard may illuminate and stay lit, indicating a problem with the tire pressure monitoring system. This light is often in the shape of a tire with an exclamation mark or the letters “TPMS.”
- Inaccurate or Fluctuating Readings: The TPMS display may show inconsistent or inaccurate tire pressure readings. The readings may fluctuate or remain static even when the actual tire pressure changes. This can make it challenging to determine the correct tire pressure.
- No Reading or No Communication: The TPMS display may fail to show any readings at all, indicating a loss of communication between the sensors and the monitoring system. This can occur when one or more sensors are not functioning properly.
- Slow or Delayed Response: The TPMS system may have a slow response time when detecting changes in tire pressure. It may take longer than usual for the system to update the readings or trigger a warning.
- Intermittent Warnings: The TPMS warning light may come on intermittently, turning on and off randomly, even when the tire pressure is within the acceptable range. This can be a sign of a sensor that is malfunctioning intermittently.
- Multiple Sensor Warnings: If the TPMS system detects issues with multiple tires simultaneously or displays warnings for different tires at different times, it could indicate a problem with the TPMS sensor or the system as a whole.
Testing a TPMS sensor can help identify if it is functioning properly or if there is an issue that needs to be addressed. Here’s a general guide on how to test a TPMS sensor:
Check the TPMS Warning Light: Start by observing the TPMS warning light on the dashboard. If the light is illuminated, it indicates that there may be a problem with the tire pressure monitoring system. Note which tire(s) the warning light is associated with.
Inspect Tire Pressure: Use a reliable tire pressure gauge to manually check the tire pressure of each tire, including the spare tire. Compare the readings with the recommended pressure specified in the vehicle’s manual or on the placard located on the driver’s side door jamb. Make sure the tires are inflated to the correct pressure.
Visual Inspection: Visually inspect the TPMS sensors on each tire. Ensure they are securely mounted and not damaged or corroded. Check for any visible signs of physical damage or moisture intrusion.
TPMS Activation Tool: Some TPMS systems require an activation tool to test the sensors. Consult the vehicle’s manual or contact a qualified technician to determine if your vehicle requires an activation tool and the specific procedure to use it.
Consult a TPMS Tool: Specialized TPMS tools, such as TPMS scan tools or TPMS diagnostic tools, are available to help test and diagnose TPMS sensor issues. These tools can communicate with the sensors, retrieve sensor data, and identify any problems. If you have access to such a tool, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to perform the test.
Seek Professional Assistance: If you’re unable to perform the tests yourself or if you’re uncertain about the results, it’s recommended to seek assistance from a qualified technician. They have the necessary equipment and expertise to diagnose TPMS sensor issues accurately.
It’s important to note that TPMS sensor testing methods can vary depending on the vehicle make and model. Therefore, referring to the vehicle’s manual or consulting with a professional is advisable to ensure accurate testing and diagnosis.
TPMS sensors are typically located inside each tire, attached to the tire valve stem or integrated within the tire pressure valve assembly. The exact location may vary depending on the vehicle make and model. Here are the two common types of TPMS sensor placement:
Valve Stem-Mounted Sensors: Many vehicles use valve stem-mounted TPMS sensors. These sensors replace the standard valve stem and are attached directly to it. They are often small and cylindrical in shape. Valve stem-mounted sensors are positioned on the inner side of the tire, facing the rim.
Band-Mounted Sensors: Some vehicles employ band-mounted TPMS sensors, especially in older models. These sensors consist of a metal band that is secured around the circumference of the wheel inside the tire. Band-mounted sensors are placed near the rim, typically opposite the valve stem.
It’s important to note that the location of TPMS sensors may also depend on aftermarket or customized tire and wheel setups. In such cases, the sensors may be repositioned or modified to accommodate the specific configuration.
When performing maintenance or tire replacement, it’s crucial to be mindful of the TPMS sensor location to avoid damage. Proper care should be taken to prevent any mishandling or rough removal of the tires, which could lead to sensor damage or malfunction. If you’re uncertain about the TPMS sensor’s location or need assistance, it’s recommended to consult the vehicle’s manual or seek help from a qualified technician.
To service a TPMS sensor, you may need a few specific tools to perform various tasks. Here are some common tools that are often required when servicing TPMS sensors:
TPMS Activation Tool: This tool is used to activate and initialize TPMS sensors after installation or replacement. It communicates with the sensors and the vehicle’s TPMS system to synchronize them. The activation tool is essential to ensure proper functioning of the sensors.
TPMS Scan Tool/Diagnostic Tool: A TPMS scan tool or diagnostic tool is used to read and retrieve data from the TPMS sensors. It can provide information such as tire pressure readings, sensor IDs, battery status, and diagnostic trouble codes. These tools help diagnose any issues with the TPMS system and individual sensors.
TPMS Programming Tool: In some cases, a programming tool may be required to program or reprogram TPMS sensors. This tool is typically used when replacing sensors or when the vehicle’s TPMS system requires sensor reprogramming. It allows the sensor to communicate with the vehicle’s TPMS module.
Torque Wrench: A torque wrench is used to ensure proper tightening of the TPMS sensor during installation. It helps achieve the recommended torque specification to prevent over-tightening or under-tightening, which can cause damage to the sensor or result in inaccurate readings.
Valve Core Tool: This tool is used to remove and install the valve core of the TPMS sensor. It is necessary when replacing the valve core or performing maintenance on the sensor.
Tire Pressure Gauge: A reliable tire pressure gauge is essential for measuring and verifying the tire pressure accurately. It is used to compare the readings with the recommended tire pressure during TPMS sensor installation or maintenance.
Additionally, basic hand tools such as pliers, screwdrivers, and wrenches may be required for removing and reinstalling wheels, accessing the sensors, and performing general maintenance.
It’s important to note that the specific tools required may vary depending on the vehicle make and model, as well as the TPMS sensor type and configuration. It is recommended to consult the vehicle’s manual or seek advice from a qualified technician for the appropriate tools and procedures specific to your vehicle’s TPMS system.
If your check engine light is turned on, here are the codes associated with a DPF Differential Pressure Sensor. Any part or component should not be replaced only with reference to a Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC). The vehicle service manual should always be consulted for more information on possible causes of the fault, along with required testing.
The Wheel band is the best-in-class solution for a Universal and flexible Aftermarket Solution. With a top speed of 81mph (130km/h), we are covering all commercial vehicles above 3.5 tons. The Wheel band is also the easiest solution for installation. Click HERE to learn more about this solution.