Indirect TPMS Making A Comeback On Some Imports

Indirect TPMS Making A Comeback On Some Imports

Indirect Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) are the systems that do not have air pressure sensors inside the tires. Rather, they detect a low tire by comparing relative wheel speeds via the Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) wheel speed sensors. When a tire loses air, its diameter decreases slightly.

TPMS-DashOlder indirect TPMS are not as sensitive to changes in tire pressure as direct systems that ­actually monitor the air pressure inside the tire, but they are not as expensive ­either. An indirect TPMS is a relatively ­affordable add-on to a vehicle if it’s already equipped with ABS. Even so, the vast ­majority of vehicles that have TPMS use ­direct systems rather than indirect.

Federal law requires the TPMS to alert the driver if the pressure inside a tire has dropped more than 25% below the recommended inflation pressure. The same rules apply to direct and indirect TPMS. Many vehicles abandoned indirect systems for ­direct systems to meet the federal mandate.

One of the weaknesses of older indirect ­systems is that they may not turn on the warning light if all the tires are underinflated by a similar amount. If the recommended pressure is 32 psi, but all the tires are 24 psi (down 25%), the system won’t know there’s a problem because all the tires will be rotating at the same speed when the vehicle is being driven.

New systems are taking advantage of better wheel speed sensors and modules to make indirect systems work. Indirect TPMS began making a comeback in 2011 on all Audi models. The highly popular Honda Accord switched to indirect TPMS for the 2013 model year. The 2013 Mazda CX-5 is now also using an indirect TPMS. Some of the VW Golf platform vehicles have switched to an indirect TPMS. Most of these models have the ­optional ABS and stability control system.

But even the newer systems suffer from the ­inability to read the tire pressure when the ­vehicle is sitting still.

Indirect TPMS applications include:

  • Audi 2011-’14
  • BMW X5 2002-‘05
  • Honda Accord 2013-’14
  • Lexus LS430 2004-‘06
  • Lexus RX330 2004-‘06
  • Mazda CX-5 2013-’14
  • Mercedes C-Class 2007
  • Mercedes SLK 2005-‘07
  • MINI Cooper 2004-‘07
  • Toyota Corolla 2005-‘07
  • Toyota Matrix 2005-‘06
  • Toyota Solara 2004-’06
  • Toyota Highlander 2004-‘06
  • Toyota RAV4 2004-‘05
  • Volkswagen GTI 2007 and 2010
  • Volkswagen Jetta 2005-‘07

Where To Find Reset Procedures

All of these applications use a similar technology and strategy to detect a low tire, but there is no common reset procedure. Toyota is probably the best, with only one simple reset procedure for all of its indirect TPMS (though a slightly different procedure is used on the Lexus models).

With so many different reset procedures, it’s ­important to make sure you’re using the right ­procedure for the vehicle you’re servicing.

TPMS reset procedures may also be found in the vehicle owner’s manual (if it hasn’t been lost). Open the glove box and check the index in the owner’s manual for any TPMS information.

Indirect TPMS Reset Procedures

As a rule, most indirect TPMS have a RESET button for recalibrating the system. A reset is typically ­required after adding air to a low tire, after changing or servicing a tire, or after rotating the tires on a ­vehicle.

Audi Reset Procedures

  1. Find the factory tire pressure specifications on the vehicle placard located on the doorsill on the driver’s side.
  2. Identify the tire that’s low on pressure and fill it up according to factory specifications.
  3. Put the key in the ignition and start the car, but don’t turn on the engine.
  4. Push the “Car” button located on the vehicle control panel.
  5. A menu will pop up on the screen, then scroll down and select “tire pressure monitoring.”
  6. Select “Store Curr. Tire Pressure.”
  7. The screen will then read, “tire pressures are being stored.”
  8. The tire pressure light should now be reset.

Toyota Reset Procedures

On Toyota applications, the reset procedure is fairly straightforward, though it actually takes much longer to complete. Turn the key on (engine off), then press and hold the RESET button until the flashing TPMS warning light goes off. Or, if it’s not flashing, hold the RESET button until the light flashes three times. Then, turn the key off.

Hold on, though: The relearn procedure is not complete until the vehicle is driven at 19 mph or faster for at least an hour. You don’t have to do this, obviously, but your customer should be made aware of the fact that the TPMS reset procedure won’t be complete until the car has been driven awhile. During this time, the TPMS system may not be able to detect a low tire, so make sure all the tires have been inflated to the correct pressure ­before the ­vehicle leaves your shop.

You May Also Like

Vogue Tyre adds two new sizes to its custom built radial lineup

New sizes include the 275/50R22 Custom Built Radial SCT2 White/Gold and the 245/40R19 Custom Built Radial White/Gold.


Vogue Tyre has introduced two new sizes to its custom-built radial lineup: the 275/50R22 Custom Built Radial SCT2 White/Gold and the 245/40R19 Custom Built Radial White/Gold.

The 275/50R22 Custom Built Radial SCT2 is designed as the original equipment (OE) fitment for popular SUVs, crossovers, and truck vehicles such as the Cadillac Escalade and Ford F-150 Limited. This addition meets the demand for larger, more robust tires that deliver both style and performance for these high-end models, Vogue said. Additionally, the new 245/40R19 size caters to the growing market of luxury sedans, fitting seamlessly with the Cadillac CT5, BMW 5 and 6 Series, and the Mercedes E-Class, according to the company.

Hanook’s iON evo to be OE on the Porsche Taycan electric sports car

Hankook said it succeeded in increasing the iON evo’s sustainability without having to compromise tire safety and performance.

Pirelli named tire partner for the Audi RS 4 Avant 25 year edition

The anniversary edition of the sports estate car has two tire options: Pirelli P Zero Corsa and Pirelli P Zero Trofeo RS tires.

Yokohama Rubber supplies its GEOLANDAR X-CV as OE on Mazda’s CX-70

The tires being supplied for Mazda were developed by utilizing specialized tuning to match its tread pattern, profile, and tire structure.

Pirelli works with Porsche to develop the P Zero Trofeo RS and P Zero Corsa tires

The companies said these tires have been specifically designed to offer pleasant driving on the road as well as on the track.

Other Posts
The future of TPMS technology

Radio wave sensors have been the standard for all TPMS devices until Tesla began utilizing Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology in 2021.

Magna Tyres introduces five additions to product lineup

Magna expanded its MB800 series and released the M-Traction, M-Straddle, MU26 and MA610 tires.

Toyo Tire U.S.A. releases the M156 urban and regional all-position commercial tire

The company said this tire is built to maximize removal miles, fuel efficiency, retreadability and casing durability.

Bridgestone releases V-Steel Container Lifter G-Smooth port tire

The Bridgestone VCLG tire is meant to deliver better heat resistance, with improved load capacity and extended tire life.