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A Focus on TPMS

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Tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) are part of your daily routine, and the Autel ITS600 can provide your technicians with the ability to correctly diagnose a repair and give them the opportunity to easily expand their scope of service. Not only does this TPMS-focused service tool easily show the issues, but it goes further to provide common service resets and vehicle system diagnostics, to give your customers what other TPMS tools don’t, an easily created report so they can understand and make the decisions.

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A perfect example of its efficiency is a vehicle that came into the shop with a flashing TPMS light, indicating a sensor communication issue. We checked the tire pressures as a baseline for diagnosis and then we used the Autel ITS600 to quickly diagnose the system fault and easily confirm if there were other problems for the customer to approve added service.

The wireless vehicle communication interface (VCI) was connected to the data link connector (DLC,) then we started by viewing the TPMS Status screen. The ITS600 will automatically confirm the VIN or you can use the VINscan camera feature to automatically obtain the vehicle data, which can be easily captured at the driver side door jamb placard.

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The next step was to trigger the TPMS sensors to make sure they are all operating as designed. This wireless OBD2 connection to the vehicle makes the process of triggering and activating the sensors easy.

Each sensor is triggered by simply tapping the screen and waiting for signal retrieval, then repeating for each sensor in position order. After the left front, we moved to over to the right-front, then right-rear, and finally the left-rear. After triggered, the TPMS Status Screen confirms all sensor positions, pressure and temperature data, but more importantly any and all of the DTCs to confirm the required service.

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The system scan can generate a diagnostic report, which is useful to show the customer. You can discuss additional services that may be recommended to help save them money on similar returning service, like replacing more than one sensor if OE batteries are dead or showing lower voltage. On our example vehicle, triggering the left rear TPMS sensor generated no signal return.

Next, we clicked on details to retrieve any current TPMS DTC’s. We retrieved a DTC for low battery voltage on the left rear sensor which is causing the light to illuminate. These sensors looked like they were the original OE from 2006, 15 years old! That’s far exceeded their normal life expectancy, so we’re going to have to replace that one.

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We could replace only the left rear TPMS sensor, but there is a good chance the other three sensors will fail soon too. Normally they fail around the same time, so it’s a good recommendation to replace the group of four sensors all together to save the customer money. After the vehicle system diagnosis report is created, you can select the ITS600 report which also provides the VIN, make, model, and other recommended services based on vehicle history. The technician can also add visual inspection recommendations to the report like wheel alignment or heavily worn tires by adding photos from the ITS600, so the shop manager can discuss it with the customer.

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The report can be printed or easily emailed to the customer, organizing all relevant information for the customer to make an informed decision and easily approve new work. In today’s digital age, information is key to being able to keep your customers happy and satisfied. The Autel ITS600 keeps your techs working efficiently while creating the opportunity for additional service.

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