Direct and Indirect TPMS

What you need to know about Direct TPMS and Indirect, ABS Based TPMS systems.

Another common question we get is regarding direct and indirect Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems. Indirect TPMS works with your car’s Antilock Braking System’s (ABS) wheel speed sensors. If a tire’s pressure is low it will roll at a different wheel speed than the other tires. This information is detected by your car’s computer system, which triggers the dashboard indicator light. For Vehicles using the ABS system there is no actual sensor in the wheel. An although most companies have moved to direct TPMS system there are plenty of cars on the road using the indirect system. As the same ( ! ) Icon will appear on the dash. You can always verify with us directly if your car is equipped with sensors or not, we will not steer you in the wrong direction! We carry TPMS sensors for all makes and models, as well as service kits andvalves to keep your sensors working properly.

We offer sensors at a fraction of the price of the dealership. From single piece replacements, to full setups for your winter wheels we have got you covered. All of our sensors are OEM (Orginal Equipment Manufacture) and are the same exact sensors that are in you vehicle right now. We do not offer generic or tune to fit sensors. Our sensors come from major players in the automotive equipment industry including: BeruSiemensSchraderTRWLearContinental, and Pacific. We are keeping the integrity of the vehicle industry and your factory setting in tact. TPMSDirect is your number one source for sensors, we welcome wholesale accounts and ship worldwide.




Have you changed your factory equipped TPMS sensors yet?

It has been almost five years since the Clinton Administration passed the TREAD (Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability, and Documentation) Act in September 2007. All vehicles manufactured after September 1, 2007 are required to be equipped with factory TPMS sensors.

The average battery life of an original equipment TPMS sensor is 5-7 years. It is highly likely that many of your factory equipped TPMS sensors are running low on battery life and may expire very soon.

 1) Safety

Under inflated tires are the #1 cause of tire failure. Running your tires on inadequate pressure breaks down casing and can eventually lead to tread separation. Properly inflated tires reduce braking distance, improve vehicle handling, and can keep you and your loved ones safe on the road.

 2) TPMS saves you money!

Tires that wear evenly last longer before needing repair or replacement. Some tire manufacturers advise that just 5 psi below indicated tire pressure value could lessen a tire’s tread life by 25%. A typical tire loses about 1-2psi a month if your tire’s psi is not regularly monitored and adjusted.According to, keeping your tires properly inflated can improve your gas mileage by up to 3.3 %, with an equivalent gas savings of $0.11 a gallon. Under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by 0.3% for every 1 psi drop in pressure of all four tires.

At TPMSDirect, we believe safety should never be compromised.

The Relevance of TPMS

Honda Motor CompanyAcura have all been known for one thing dependability. TPMS is not the weak link, were proper valve service they will last you the entire life of you owning your car. TPMS and tire safety in general is one of the most overlooked items on our vehicle. We wash and wax our cars on a weekly basis, but we drive around on underinflated and bald tires! All the wax the world not going to matter if you have a blowout on the freeway. TPMS is now mandated by law in all states, stay informed and stay safe!

The Honda 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. So unless you have been living under a rock TPMS and this ( ! ) is affecting just about everyone.

Schrader Bridgeport Company History

A brief history lesson on the world’s largest provider of OE and aftermarket TPMS technology

In the early 1990s, Schrader was developing the first-generation of sensing technology that measured pressure and temperature in automotive tires. By 1993, Schrader filed for the first patent surrounding TPMS and on February 4, 1997, Schrader inventor Jerry Robinson was granted Patent #5,600,301 as Remote Tire Pressure Monitoring System Employing Coded Tire Identification and Radio Frequency Transmission, and Enabling Recalibration upon Tire Rotation or Replacement.

 The first production vehicles installed with Schrader TPMS technology occurred in 1997, with the Chevrolet C5 Corvette and Prowler platforms. New bolt-on TPMS innovations followed such as the Schrader snap-in valve type for TPMS (Schrader inventor Frank Banzhof received US Patent #6,005,480 on December 21, 1999). Building on the company’s success, in 1999 Schrader equipped the Renault Laguna with 100 percent TPMS-fitment, resulting in the first high-volume production of a TPMS enabled vehicle. Additional automotive manufacturers followed; however, the next major milestone was the TREAD legislation that spurred TPMS adoption in the United States, beginning in the early 2000s.

BorgWarner Beru Company History


Julius Behr und Albert Ruprecht establish a spark-plug factory.


Development and production of the first glow plugs for starting cold diesel engines

Further development of the products in the areas of ignition technology and diesel cold-start technology


BERU‘s first rapid glow plug shortens the preheating time to 20 seconds.


BERU registers the first dual-coil glow plug for a patent, the preheating time is only 5-7 seconds.


Start of internationalization: A production plant is opened in Tralee, Ireland, followed by many more international and national production and sales facilities.


Development and production of ignition coils at the headquarters in Ludwigsburg


Market launch of the slim 5-millimeter glow plug for diesel engines with direct fuel injection


Initial public offering: from family firm to stock corporation


BERU Electronics GmbH is founded in Bretten for the development and production of electronic components and control units.

Joint venture BERU-Eichenauer is established to develop and produce PTC auxiliary heating systems.


Product innovation: market launch of the first electronically controlled diesel instant-start system (ISS)

Alliance with Lear Corporation for the joint development of tire-pressure monitoring systems for American carmakers


US automotive supplier BorgWarner becomes BERU‘s majority shareholder.


Official inauguration of the extended research and development center (RDC) in Ludwigsburg


Market launch of the new Ultra X Titan spark plug.

The BERU Pressure Sensor Glow Plug (PSG) starts series production in Europe.


After successful squeeze-out BERU will belong in full to the American automotive supplier BorgWarner Inc.

BERU is being converted into a limited liability company (GmbH) and has been trading under the name BorgWarner BERU Systems « since December

BorgWarner BERU Systems presents the new corona ignition “Ecoflash”.


BERU Systems finalized the complete takeover of the BERU Eichenauer joint venture project in Kandel.

At the new BorgWarner (Thailand) Ltd. factory in Thailand, BorgWarner BERU manufactures ISS glowplugs for an Asian automotive manufacturer.

The intelligent pressure sensor glow plug (PSG) is included in the retail program.

BERU Systems develops new high-voltage ceramic registers with electronic control systems for high-voltage PTC cabin heaters.


BERU Systems presents new generation of intelligent, compact Plug-Top ignition coils.

What Causes TPMS to Fail?

TPMS Direct explains some of the causes of TPMS failure

Sensors fail primarily due to battery failure or improper service procedures. Initially there will be a learning curve for installing and checking the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), but most service technicians quickly learn how to identify and service the system efficiently.

  • Sensor batteries can become discharged and fail – the internal lithium battery is not serviceable, and it has a life expectancy of approximately 5-7 years.
  • Installing the incorrect valve core will cause failure – TPMS sensors require a special nickel-plated valve core instead of the regular copper or brass valve core
  • Normal tire changing procedures can damage a TPMS sensor – this includes flat repairs, new tire replacement, snow tire change or a wheel upgrade
  • Pulling a typical looking rubber valve stem out of the wheel will lead to a broken sensor. TPMS systems now use either metal or rubber valves
  • Over tightening a new sensor valve will result in a broken sensor
  • Typical road hazards – collisions, potholes, curbs – can damage the TPMS system
  • TPMS sensors contain delicate electronics that are subject to failure over time

Like most things, TPMS are not invincible. Curbs, potholes, and just streets in general pose hazardous conditions to our aftermarket wheel and TPMS Sensors. Unfortunately we cannot control that but we can save you from the dealership! Our sensors are 100% OEM replacement, they are the same exact sensors that are in there right now. We buy in large quantities direct from manufactures to ensure that we always have availability, and that we provide the best prices anywhere.

TPMS Mounting Strap Kit Installation

How to install TPMS sensors using a TPMS sensor strap band


The use of a sensor strap bands may be required for some OEM applications like some Ford F-Series Trucks.  Most sensor bands are used with 3 piece wheels, oversized wheels, and wheels with drop center valve stem holes.  Some 3 piece wheels may have two holes drilled into the barrel, one for standard valve stems and one for TPMS. We included some pictures to aid in the installation, as with  any Do it Yourself, preparation is key!  Installation is assuming tires have not been mounted yet.

 Installation Procedure: 


  1. You must remove the TPMS sensors that are mounted inside of your stock wheels. This requires going to a tire shop and having your tires removed. The sensor is located inside of the tire, banded to the wheel. It is a good idea to remind the tech removing the tires that you do have a band mounted TPMS sensor in the wheel so that they will be cautious of it so as to not damage it when removing the tire. Once the tire is separated from the wheel, the sensors are easily removed by squeezing the ends of the brown stopper together and then carefully prying the metal tab outward with a small flat blade screwdriver and swinging the sensor upward on the hinged tabs. Take note of how the sensor is oriented. You must mount the sensor the same way in the new wheel, keeping the same edge parallel to the outer face of wheel. No problem if you forget to check, as the sensor is marked.
  2. The sensor will be mounted on the new wheel in the same orientation as removed from the old wheel. You should position the new sensor 180 degrees from the valve stem. The new (supplied) cradle will be affixed to the wheel with the (supplied) 3M double-sided adhesive tape. I chose to prep the location where the sensor would be mounted by wiping the area clean with rubbing alcohol and a clean rag. You want the area to be clean and dry for best adhesion of the cradle mount. It is important to install the cradle to allow the sensor to be mounted with the proper side toward the outside edge of wheel. See sensor to make sure.Remove tape and mount cradle. Note: for my installation, I chose to cut the “tab” off of the side of each sensor cradle. I did this so that cradle would fit the contour of my wheels. This is probably not necessary for all wheels, but I felt it was justified for my application.
  3. Thread the band through the installed cradle. Tighten the band, with the clamp end positioned near the valve stem (180 degrees from the sensor). After tightened I chose to trim the excess. If you do not trim the excess I would suggest restraining the loose end of the band to avoid unwanted noise when the vehicle is in use at low speeds, such as coming to a stop. In Figure 2 below, take note of the position of the clamp end relative the valve stem (black circle). Note: picture taken before I trimmed the excess from the band.


Fig. 2 – Band Installed

  1. Snap the sensor in place. Hooked end installed first, then lower the sensor to snap firmly in place. See figure 3 below.

Fig. 3 – Sensor installed

  1. TPMS install is now complete and you are ready to have your tires mounted and balanced.
If you need help installing the TPMS Mounting Strap Kit, please feel free to contact our customer service department 

Replacing TPMS for Dummies

Here are some instructions on how to replace your TPMS sensors

The Tire Pressure Monitor System (TPMS) sensor is a computerized tire inflation valve (in most cases) that reads the air pressure for the specific tire and sends that information to the computer of the vehicle. When a tire goes below the programmed inflation for the sensor, it triggers a light to inform the driver that he has a tire or tires with low tire pressure. These sensors need to be carefully removed and reinstalled when replacing or changing tires over. Sometimes normal corrosion can damage the sensors, but sometimes a careless tire technician can also damage the sensors by not removing them properly. Follow these helpful guidelines.


Things You’ll Need

  • Valve core remover
  • 1/4-inch drive ratchet and socket set
  • Tire machine
  • 1/4-inch drive adjustable torque wrench in inch pounds
  • Replacement TPMS sensor
  • Replacement TPMS sensor rebuild kit (if not supplied with the new sensor)
  • Updated TPMS manual for your vehicle

1) Remove the valve core from the TPMS sensor using the valve core remover. Allow the tire to deflate.

2) Remove the TPMS sensor grommet using the ratchet and a socket. In some cases, there may be a washer under the grommet.

3) Poke the valve of the TPMS sensor into the rim of the tire. The sensor will automatically drop down to the bottom of the tire as you break the bead down normally at the tire machine.

4) Break the bead of the tire on both sides of the rim as you would with a normal tire using the tire machine.

5) Place the tire on the turntable of the tire machine and lock the rim to the adjustable claws.

6) Lift the top bead of the tire off of the rim. Reach inside the tire and extract the TPMS sensor. If you’re replacing the tire, you can remove the bottom bead from the rim, otherwise, place the top bead of the tire back onto the rim.

7) Place the rubber gasket (supplied in the TPMS sensor rebuild kit) onto the valve stem of the new TPMS sensor.

8) Press down on the sidewall of the tire in front of the valve stem hole in the rim and manipulate the sensor valve stem down and then up into the hole. While holding it there with one hand, add the washer (if applicable) and the grommet and thread on hand tight.

9) Look up the specific type of car in the TPMS manual and it will give you the recommended inch pounds to tighten the grommet of the TPMS sensor. Adjust the torque wrench to the recommended inch pound setting and tighten the grommet to specification.

10) Inflate the tire as usual to the recommended pounds per square inch.

In some applications, the new TPMS sensor may need to be programmed for the vehicle. In other applications, the particular sensor may have to be programmed by a dealership only which can get costly. Some can be reprogrammed by reading the TPMS manual and following the instructions. There are different types of TPMS sensors for different makes and models. Most follow this procedure for replacement. There are other (older) and rarer types of sensors that are clamped to the interior circumference of the rim. Replacing these may have to be performed at the dealership. Most all passenger vehicles or light trucks manufactured in the year 2007 or newer are coming standard with TPMS sensors in the tires.

What does the TPMS warning light mean?

What exactly does it mean when my TPMS warning light comes on?

If the TPMS warning light comes ON and flashes ON for one second and OFF for three seconds, this indicates a malfunction with the vehicle’s TPMS system.

If the TPMS warning light comes ON and stays ON, take caution. This means that one or more of your tires may have a low-pressure condition. You should carefully slow the vehicle and park in a safe and secure place. You should then inspect all of your tires and check the air pressure. The correct air pressure for your vehicle can be found on the placard, usually located on the inside door panel.

Tires should be inflated to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendation as found on the vehicle tire information door placard. The vehicle placard is normally located on the inside door panel or door itself. In many cases the specified tire pressure can also be found in the vehicle owner’s manual. The pressure indicated on the sidewall of the tire should not be your guide, as that is the maximum inflation pressure for the tire itself, not for the tire when used on your specific vehicle.