Outdated TPMS tool software is the root cause of most of the technical support calls we receive. Outdated software is often confused with a malfunctioning sensor; however, the sensor is only as good as the software of the tool that triggers or programs it. The good news is that this issue is completely manageable and the fix is available right at your shop.
Tool manufacturers use updates to fix “bugs” and improve performance, ensuring your shop is able to provide the most efficient TPMS service possible. TPMS is also becoming more and more advanced as the demands and expectations of both vehicle manufacturers and vehicle owners become increasingly demanding. The ability to service these new features and have the latest vehicle coverage depends on whether your TPMS tool is updated with the latest software.
If you are using a programmable TPMS sensor, the sensor’s coverage is only as good as the last tool update you had. Tool manufacturers work closely with sensor manufacturers to ensure that any new coverage offered by the sensor is available on the tool. In order to have the best coverage possible, those updates must happen consistently.
Make TPMS tool updates a routine in your shop:
- Some TPMS tools are equipped with Wi-Fi capabilities that allow them to automatically update. This is a great feature and a huge time saver for the shop. It keeps the shop from having to manage the update on its own or spend time during a service updating the tool.
- If you don’t have a Wi-Fi capable tool, consider appointing one person as being the one who’s responsible to register the tool and to keep that tool updated. A service advisor is a great position for this role, but it could also be a lead tech or shop manager. Make sure the tool is registered with an email address that is being regularly monitored.
- Make sure you are on the email lists of both your sensor and tool manufacturers. Most manufacturers have an email that goes out when there is a new update on their tools. These communications will remind you to update your tool and provide information on the new coverage and features included in the update.
Keeping your TPMS tool updated is of the utmost importance when aiming for the quickest and most efficient TPMS service. Don’t waste time trying to figure out why the sensor won’t work when it could be (and often is) something as simple as outdated TPMS tool software. And don’t wait until the vehicle is in your bay to realize you need that tool to be updated. Always stay updated and you will always be ready for top-quality service. TR
Jacki Lutz is head of global marketing and communications for Schrader Performance Sensors, the automotive aftermarket brand of Sensata Technologies. In addition to being a Certified TIA ATS Instructor, she is also president of the Automotive Communications Council and an active Member of the AASA Market Executive Council.
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