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Product Spotlight: TPMS Tools

January 18, 2011
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The Tire Industry Association estimates that there are more than 50 million vehicles equipped with TPMS already on America’s roadways, making TPMS service one of the fastest-growing business opportunities for tire dealers. However, with more than 150 SKUs of TPMS sensors fitted to vehicles in North America, it can be a challenge to maintain sensor inventory, diagnose their failure and perform proprietary re-learn procedures.

OTC's 3834 Tire Pressure Reset Tool

Not all tire pressure monitoring systems are created equal. In fact, each new vehicle model year brings with it a variety of updated TPMS replacement, reset, activation and decoding procedures. But learning about a specific TPMS while the vehicle is sitting in the service bay could result in dissatisfied customers and possible damage to the owner’s car or light truck.

Worse, non-functioning inflation pressure sensors can leave untold thousands of vehicles with underinflated or overinflated tires. According to a Rubber Manufacturers Association study, 50% of all passenger cars and light trucks on highways have at least one underinflated tire. More shocking is that one in five vehicles has at least one tire underinflated by 8 psi below the proper, labeled pressure.

In the years since TPMS started showing up on North American cars and light trucks, things have gotten simpler. Dealers need to remain vigilant in keeping up with the latest technology and products, but the market has done much to consolidate these technologies and products.

Fortunately, OE and aftermarket TPMS suppliers are addressing the situation by introducing more universal sensors that are programmable by scan tools already available. Scan tool makers support the variety of sensor
Ateq VT55 OBD II kit
types with frequent updates to cover the latest vehicle models.

Below are a few items designed to make TPMS service easier and potentially more profitable.

Tire Pressure Reset Tool
OTC’s 3834 Tire Pressure Reset (TPR) Tool is a standalone TPMS activation and reset tool that supports all known TPMS sensors through the 2009 model year (an update will be available in the coming months that includes 2010 model year coverage). Featuring a bright graphic display and simple navigation buttons that enable vehicle selection for fast activation, the tool automatically adjusts activation output power to eliminate cross activation of near sensors. The tool set comes with a TPR handheld, DB25 wireless adapter, carry case, registration card and user manual for TPR and Genisys interface. Technicians can use the TPR tool to activate and decode sensor IDs and transmit them wirelessly to the Genisys scan tool via a Bluetooth communication adapter, included in all kits. Also, TPMS reset procedures can quickly be accessed on the Genisys and the tool is easily updated wirelessly when new software is installed on the Genisys.


Complete OBD II Kit


Compatible with domestic, European and Asian vehicles, Ateq’s VT55 OBD II kit contains the VT55 TPMS diagnostic trigger tool, OBD II programmer, lithium battery charger, magnet, PC software CD, USB cable, reference guide and plastic carrying case. Select the make of the vehicle and let the tool do the work. The OBD II connector allows resetting the TPMS warning light on Asian models. It also features real-time updates.

Real-Time Tire Pressure Monitoring
With applications for all types of vehicles from motorcycles and autos to commercial fleets and heavy equipment, PressurePro provides real-time tire inflation pressure information that drivers and fleets can use to maintain optimal tire pressures, helping to increase fuel efficiency, extend tire life, decrease maintenance and downtime, reduce emissions and add safety, according to its maker. The systems provide pressure information whether moving or parked, offer two low pressure alerts (at 12.5% and 25% drop in pressure) as well as a variable high-pressure alert that can be set per the user’s needs. Monitoring options include fully-automated drop-and-hook applications for multi-trailer fleets, standard data-logging and RS232 capabilities on all monitors, plus remote monitoring.

Multi-Application Sensor
Designed specifically for the aftermarket by Continental, the new VDO Redi-Sensor multi-application sensors replace a variety of OE sensors, including banded, snap-in and clamp-in sensors from Continental, Lear, Schrader, Siemens VDO and TRW. That means you can scale back sensor inventory and still be able to handle practically any vehicle that comes in for service, according to the manufacturer. Compatible with all major scan tools, the Redi-Sensor comes ready to use and does not require specialized programming. It relearns to the vehicle just like the OE sensor and uses the same scan tool relearn process. For Chrysler vehicles, the sensor is “self-learning” to the vehicle receiver, just like the original equipment.

Programmable Sensor
Schrader’s EZ-Sensor is an OE-replacement TPMS sensor that can be programmed to function across diverse car makes and models. Created via an alliance between Schrader and Bartec, the programmable sensor requires only a single programming tool that most service and repair facilities already use. The sensor also features Snap-In

Schrader EZ-Sensor
TPMS valve and programming technology to help minimize installation time. One EZ-Sensor SKU covers more than 60% of TPMS-enabled vehicles in the U.S., the maker said. The company plans to introduce one additional SKU with a goal having the two SKUs cover an estimated 90% of the market by the end of September 2011.

Sensor Activator
The Bartec Tech400+ is a TPMS sensor activator that can activate and decode all the TPMS sensors in use today It also helps the repair technician know the condition of the sensor battery, if the sensor is the right one for the vehicle and if it is in the proper mode. As a scan tool connected to the OBD port, it can detect TPMS faults, proper sensor

Bartec Tech400+
position and, most importantly, it can program sensor IDs to the control module, a necessary feature when repairing many Asian makes. Finally, it programs the EZ-Sensor from Schrader. With this tool, a repair technician can create a unique set of sensors or make a duplicate set for a seasonal set of wheels and tires.

Programmable Sensor System
A multi-functional TPMS scan and trigger tool, the Orange Programmable Sensor System (OPSS Gen. 2) scans the functionality of the OE sensor and displays the sensor’s ID number, tire pressure/temperature and estimated

Orange Programmable Sensor System
remaining battery life. The ID-write feature allows the installer to bypass complex auto relearn and OBD activation procedures. With ID-write, installers can write the OE sensor’s unique ID onto the Orange sensor. The tool is designed for use with company’s new universal sensor – OEC Simple Sensors – launching by mid-2011.