Is your vehicle equipped with TPMS?

In the U.S., if you purchased a car or light duty vehicle under 10,000 lbs, manufactured after September 1, 2007, you have TPMS. If your model was manufactured after October 5, 2005, you might  have TPMS. Also, prior to the legislation, some higher-end vehicles also came equipped with TPMS as a premium option. Among other matters, within TREAD Act of 2000, the U.S. federal government mandated the required implementation of TPMS on all new vehicles in the following phased rollout:

  • 20% of new vehicles from Oct 5, 2005–Aug 31, 2006
  • 70% of new vehicles from Sept 1, 2006–Aug 31, 2007
  • 100% of new vehicles from Sept 1, 2007 and beyond

There are several ways to determine if your vehicle is equipped with TPMS. The easiest include checking the owner’s manual and watching the dashboard indicator lights at startup. Turn the vehicle ignition switch to the “ON” or “AUX” position, or simply start the vehicle. Look for a TPMS warning light on the dashboard ( ! ).

Mini TPMS Explained

If you have a MINI with the TPMS system (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) and for one reason or another need to get another set for a new set of aftermarket wheels (the wheels will need to be TPMS ready) this is what you will need to make it happen. Kit includes 4 Sensors and 4 Valves specific to the MINI. All 2007 and newer MINI’s have TPMS and the way you can tell is to look at the valve stems; they will have a 1/2″ cap and they’re usually a light grey valve stem as opposed to normal black or chrome sleeved valve stem.

The sensor / transmitter that works with the new Tire Pressure Monitoring System Valve (TPMS) is BERU RDE-008. Like its parent company BMW, Bavarian Motor Works, the Mini Cooper runs the same part number and operates off the same frequency.  If you choose to install aftermarket wheels on your 2007-09/2009 MINI Cooper and Cooper S , and your MINI has the new TPMS system, you will need to install these TPMS Sensors along with the Valves in your new wheel.

Your aftermarket wheels must be designed to properly accept direct TPMS sensors. Its a flat spot in the safety hump, directly behind the valve stem hole. Check with your wheel supplier to confirm compatibility. For 3 piece and custom built wheels there is a second hole designed for TPMS mounting, usually drop center or more towards the inner of the barrel. Installation is still the same on 3 piece wheels.

The TPMS system works with a pressure-sensor module within the valve stems of all four wheels that sends continuous radio-frequency signals to a receiver, and the system informs occupants when the pressure is low. You can now check your tire pressure from inside the cabin.

OE TPMS Life Expectancy

One of the most common questions I get asked is, what is the life expectancy of the TPMS sensors? Followed by can the battery be replaced? Both are very good questions with sometimes some not so good answers. First question, up to seven years, for the average consumer this is great 7 years is longer then most people retain cars. Second question, No unfortunately not, like an Ipod the sensor has an encased battery that once used up cannot be replaced.
When asked how long the sensor batteries will last, industry representatives provide a broad life expectancy range of five to seven years and up to 100,000 miles are mentioned when addressing estimated life spans. The follow-up qualifier is that driving conditions, such as frequent on-off cycling of a TPMS, tire pressure sampling frequency and temperature extremes, will significantly shorten battery life. Translating to they cannot guarantee a specified amount as many things affect battery sensor life.
Mandated TPMS systems were phased in from starting from 2007, so some of these vehicles sensors have been in service for five years. It is highly likely that many of your factory equipped TPMS sensors are running low on battery life and may expire very soon. Still older direct sensors can be found in quite a few domestic and import models introduced earlier in the decade and equipped with TPMS ahead of government deadlines.
Direct TPMS sensors commonly use radio frequency technology to transmit measured tire pressure readings to a vehicles on-board electronic control unit and warn drivers of a 25% or more under-inflation level. These are mounted inside a tire assembly on valve stems or wheel rims, the sensors are usually powered by 3-volt lithium ion batteries, but some use 1.25-volt nickel metal hydride batteries. There are developments underway that promise battery-less sensors in the future, having the potential to dramatically change TPMS markets.
For now, though, the batteries are generally round and encased in a sensors molded plastic housing have finite lives. Since the batteries are entombed, a dead or dying one requires the replacement of its entire sensor assembly.

Audi OE TPMS Explained

Audi has been keeping up with TPMS technology since 2002. Starting with the optional system on the A8 and S8, they then threw the system on their whole line to comply with the recent law. They have used several valve sensors.  The basics of the direct TPMS is that it uses a sensor in the wheel/tire to wirelessly relay pressure back to the driver on some sort of display. Some vehicles have a digital info screen that will show all four tire pressures (five pressures if spare has sensor) all the time. While others might just flash a low-tire-pressure light on the dash. There are also two different styles of sensors for this system: a valve sensor and a strap/band sensor. Only valve sensors are used by the direct system-equipped Audi, although if you bought an aftermarket SmarTire TPM system, those use the sensors held on by a strap around the barrel of the wheel.

The tire pressure indicator in the instrument cluster informs you if the tire pressure is too low or if there is a system malfunction. These characteristics can change and cause a tire pressure warning if the tire pressure in one or more tires is too low; the tire has structural damage; or the tire pressure was changed or the wheels rotated or replaced but the TPMS was not reset. An indirect tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) compares the tire tread circumference and vibration characteristics of the individual tires. If the pressure decreases in one or more tires, this is indicated in the instrument cluster with a warning symbol.

Tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) are now impossible to run from when buying a new vehicle. Every new vehicle made for sale in the USA has a TPM system as standard equipment. There are a few exceptions though: the vehicle must have only four wheels (so no dual-wheeled trucks or motorcycles), and the GVWR must be less than 10,000lbs.

We do our best at TPMS DIRECT to guarantee proper fitment. We stock all parts for all makes/models Audis, we buy in large quantities direct from the manufacturer to guarantee availability and best prices around!

Chrysler OE TPMS Explained

We get a lot of questions regarding OEM TPMS PARTS. Many Different companies supply tire pressure sensors for car manufacturers including BERU, SCHRADER ELECTRONICS and VDO. They are supplied when the car is first built, these are not aftermarket sensors.  We work directly with the manufacturers going off original parts numbers to Guarantee proper fitment.

The sensor measures the pressure and temperature in the tire and transmits this data along with the unique ID of the TPMS to the tire pressure monitor WCM (Wireless Control Module) and EVIC. If the TPMS ID is logged with the WCM then it is compared with the placard pressure and if under pressure then a warning light is lit on the EVIC or dash. That annoying ( ! ) symbol coming on? Its because your tires are losing air pressure.

The manufacturers of the Chrysler and former Daimler Chrysler TPMS are Schrader Electronics and VDO. The Chrysler Model range utilising TPMS technology includes the following brands:

  • Chrysler – 300, 300M, Aspen, Concorde
  • Crossfire, Intrepid, Pacifica, Prowler
  • PT Convertible, PT Cruiser, Sebring
  • Town & Country, Voyager
  • Dodge – Avenger, Caliber, Caravan
  • Challenger, Charger, Dakota, Durango
  • Grand Caravan, Intrepid, Magnum
  • Nitro, Ram, Sprinter, Stratus, Viper
  • Jeep – Commander, Compass
  • Grand Cherokee, Liberty, Patriot, Wrangler

There are plenty of things to distract us while we are on the road, cell phones, ipods, kids. TPMS sensors are designed to keep your focus back on the road. Your tires are the only thing on your vehicle in constant contact with the road, lets try to keep it that way.

Chevrolet Silverado TPMS Reset Procedure

TPMS SYSTEM BACKGROUND – how TPMS is integrated into the vehicle’s computer:
The tire pressure monitor (TPMS) system uses the passenger door module (PDM), the body control module (BCM), the exterior lamp switch, the 4 radio frequency transmitting pressure sensors in the tire valves, and the serial data circuit to perform the sensor learn mode functions.

To read correctly, the sensor learn procedure must be performed any time the PDM is replaced, a tire sensor is replaced, or after the vehicles tires have been rotated. Once the learn mode has been enabled, each of the sensors’ unique identification code can be programmed (“learned”) into the PDM’s memory. When a sensor’s ID code has been learned, the PDM sends a serial data message to the BCM to sound a horn chirp. This verifies the sensor has transmitted it’s ID code and the PDM has received it. As soon as the first sensor ID code is learned, all other IDs are erased from the PDM’s memory.

Each sensor takes a pressure measurement sample once every 20 seconds while in stationary mode. If the tire pressure increases or decreases by more than 1.6 PSI from the last pressure measurement, another measurement will occur immediately to verify the change in pressure. If a pressure change has indeed occurred, the sensor sends a re-measure signal to the PDM. When the PDM receives a re-measure signal while in sensor learn mode, it will assign that sensor ID to that location on the vehicle.

The PDM must learn each sensor’s ID code in the proper sequence in order to determine sensor location.

The TPM system will cancel the learn mode if more then 2 minutes have passed and no sensors have been learned, or if the system has been in learn mode for more than 5 minutes. If the learn mode is canceled before any sensor has been learned, the PDM will remember all current sensor IDs and their locations.

CAUTION: Before proceeding with the steps below, ensure that no other sensor learn procedure is being performed simultaneously, or that tire pressures are not being adjusted on a TPM equipped vehicle within close proximity.


  1. Turn “ON” the ignition, with the engine OFF.
  2. Apply the parking brake. IMPORTANT: If the learn mode cannot be enabled, ensure the TPM system is enabled in the PDM.
  3. Turn the exterior lamp switch from “OFF” to parking lamps 4 times within 4 seconds. A horn chirp will sound and the low tire pressure light will begin to flash indicating the learn mode has been enabled
    CAUTION: Over inflating tires may cause personal injury or damage to the tires and wheels. When increasing tire pressure do not exceed the maximum inflation pressure as noted on the tire sidewall.
    IMPORTANT: If a horn chirp does not sound after 35 seconds for any of the 4 sensors, turn the ignition “OFF” to exit the learn mode and repeat the procedure from step 1.
  4. Starting with the left front tire, increase or decrease the pressure for 8-10 seconds, or until a horn chirp sounds. The horn chirp may occur before the 8-10 second pressure increase/decrease time period has been reached, or up to 30 seconds after the 8-10 second pressure increase/decrease time period has been reached.
  5. After the horn chirp has sounded, proceed as in step 4 for the next 3 sensors in the following order:

Right front
Right rear
Left rear

  1. After all sensors have been learned, exit the learn mode by turning “OFF” the ignition.
  2. After the learn mode has been exited, adjust all tire pressures to the recommended psi

Nissan Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems

A little background on Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems for Nissan – By Dan Rosales

 At Tpms Direct we strive to keep the most updated information on our site. With hundreds of forum threads to pick through and blogging sites on TPMS it can sometimes make your head spin. Here is a little background on Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems for Nissan.

The Nissan TPMS was introduced to comply with the new Federal motor vehicle safety standard established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requiring installation of Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems as mandated by the Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability, and Documentation (TREAD) Act. All new model year 2008 light vehicles shall have a TPMS fitted which is capable of detecting when one or more of the vehicle’s tires, up to all four tires, is 25 percent or more below the manufacturer’s recommended inflation pressure (placard pressure) or a minimum activation pressure specified in the standard, whichever is higher. The system should be able to detect when one or more of the vehicles tires are 25% or more below the recommended inflation pressure.

TPMS or Tire Pressure Monitoring System is fitted to Nissan cars to provide a warning of low pressure on anyone of four or five tires on the vehicle (five if TPMS fitted in spare). A TPMS from one of two manufacturers is fitted as part of the valve assembly. The sensor measures the pressure and temperature in the tire and transmits this data along with the unique ID of the TPMS to the tire pressure monitor ECU/receiver. If the TPMS ID is logged with the ECU then it is compared with the placard pressure and if under pressure then a warning light is lit on the dash mounted display. Keeping your tires properly inflated is not only safe, it’s the law.

The manufacturer of the Nissan TPMS is Schrader Electronics. The Nissan Model range utilizing TPMS Technology includes:

  • 350Z
  • 370Z
  • Altima
  • Maxima
  • Cube
  • GT-R
  • Quest
  • Sentra
  • Versa
  • Armada
  • Murano
  • Pathfinder
  • Rogue
  • Xterra
  • Frontier
  • Titan
  • Altima
  • Juke
  • Leaf

Understanding the Importance of Tire Presssure Monitoring Systems – By Dan Rosales

Tires like most things in life are not invincible. They are made of individual layers of fabric and steel encased in rubber. If a tire is allowed to run on low air pressure, the rubber is forced to stretch beyond the elastic limits of the fabric and steel reinforcing cords. When this happens, the bond between the various materials can weaken. If this is allowed to continue, it will eventually break the bonds between the various materials and cause the tire to fail. And even if the tire doesn’t fail immediately, once a tire is weakened it won’t heal after being re-inflated to the proper pressure. So if a tire has been allowed to run nearly flat for a period of time, the tire is going to need to be replaced. Costing you in some cases hundreds of dollars.

Try flexing a piece of sheet metal back and forth and you may get to 30 or 40 times before it fractures.. Somewhat like that piece of sheet metal, your tire, when run low on air can rip at the weakest point. A typical 18″ tire may revolve 750-800 times per mile! On a 20 minute trip at highway speeds the underinflated tire may needlessly over flex as many as 16 thousand times.
We all know how quickly or slowly a tire can lose pressure, that phantom flat tire every 3 days sound familiar to you? Obviously air is getting out somehow.

TPMS or Tire Pressure Monitoring systems, continuously monitor the air pressure inside the tire. Some systems indicate which tire is low and may even monitor your spare, while others only alert you that one of your tire is low. Each wheel has a small sensor that is part of the wheels valve stem. The sensor is affixed to the inside of the wheel attached by the valve stem, inside the tire and wheel assembly.
Each of your sensors is a small radio transmitter. It lays dormant (park mode) when the car is at rest. The sensor then wakes up when the car travels at 15mph. If the car comes to rest for 20 minutes or more the sensors shut down again to park mode. This extends the life the batteries, which should last between 7-10 years.

If the pressure exceeds the high or low limits of the pressure threshold, the sensor sends a signal to the system receiver and your warning indicator illuminates. ( ! ) You may have seen this on your dash and wondered what the heck it was. All vehicles produced after 2007 are mandated to be equipped with TPMS systems.

Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) Mounting Solutions for Different Wheel Types

Here at TPMS Direct, we recognize the importance of tire pressure monitoring systems and we’re committed to helping customers with their TPMS problems. Whether you’re driving on OE or aftermarket wheels, TPMS Direct has the right solution for you.
The TPMS mounting strap kit is made from 304 stainless steel. The strap exceeds all OEM torque specifications and fits on wheels from 13″ to 26″ in diameter. The TPMS mounting strap kit is very easy to use and install.
  • Fit the strap around the drop center of the wheel
  • cut of excess material
  • slide on OE bracket or TPMS bracket (comes with strap kit)
  • tighten with a screwdriver
  • cradle can be adjusted for various valve stem angles
You can purchase the TPMS mounting strap kit individually or purchase a set of 4 at a discounted price.
The 90 degree valve stem with TPMS mounting loop is designed for use on multi-piece wheels with 90 degree standard diameter valve stems.
  • The valve stem must be located in the tire drop in zone of the rim
  • The TPMS sensor must have an adjustable angle valve stem
  • You can securely mount the TPMS with a set screw
You can purchase the 90 degree adapater with bolt-on valve stem individually or purchase a set of 4 at a discounted price.
Designed for use on one-piece wheels with straight standard diameter valve stems
  • Valve stem must be located in the tire drop in zone of the rim.
  • TPMS must have an adjustable angle valve stem.
  • You can securely mount the TPMS with a set screw
You can purchase the straight outer mount adapter with bolt-on valve stem individually or purchase a set of 4 at a discounted price.