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Don't Confuse Tpms Relearn with Sensor Programming

Jun. 17, 2024

Servicing TPMS equipped vehicles profitably can pose challenges without the right knowledge, parts, and tools. Despite numerous training programs and technical articles available, confusion persists regarding TPMS, with a significant issue being the misunderstanding between vehicle relearn and sensor programming. These are distinct procedures.


Aftermarket TPMS sensors are often marketed as "programmable," "universal," or "cloneable," requiring proper programming with vehicle-specific protocol/application information before installation in the tire. Subsequently, they must undergo a relearn process with the vehicle. Unfortunately, some workshops overlook the crucial relearn step, assuming sensor programming alone suffices. This misconception can result in service comebacks and customer dissatisfaction.


TPMS relearn tool

Here are the facts:


Vehicle Relearn: Essential TPMS Service Step


Relearning every replacement TPMS sensor to the vehicle is a standard procedure in TPMS servicing. This step is crucial irrespective of whether the sensor is original equipment (OE) or aftermarket. The relearn process ensures not only the proper functionality of the replacement sensor but also the overall TPMS system of the vehicle. It is vital for maintaining optimal performance and accuracy in monitoring tire pressure. With the exception of some models that may be relearned to the vehicle via a driving procedure, a TPMS scan tool is required to complete the vehicle relearn procedure.


Sensor programming is an additional step in TPMS service


Certain aftermarket sensors, such as "programmable," "universal," or "cloneable" types, require specific programming to align with the vehicle's application specifications before installation and relearn.


REDI-Sensor arrives pre-programmed


Every replacement TPMS sensor, whether OE or aftermarket like REDI-Sensor, must undergo a vehicle relearn process. This OE-prescribed procedure ensures that not only the replacement TPMS sensor functions correctly but also that the entire TPMS system of the vehicle operates effectively. While some vehicle models may undergo relearn via a driving procedure, most require a TPMS scan tool for the complete relearn process.


What Does It Mean to Relearn a Tpms Sensor? When Does It Need to Be Done? And How Do I Do It?


Each wheel's TPMS sensor possesses a unique ID. This sensor ID, along with its corresponding wheel, is registered within the vehicle's TPMS module. Whenever a sensor is replaced or the tires are rotated, the new sensor ID or the updated sensor ID for that specific wheel position on the vehicle must be registered or relearned to the vehicle's TPMS module.


There are three methods of Relearning TPMS Sensors:


1. Auto Relearn: Driving the vehicle for a specific time and speed.


2. OBD Relearn: Requires a TPMS relearn tool be attached to the vehicle's OBD port to write (Relearn) the sensor IDs to the vehicle's ECU. This procedure is frequently used on most Japanese- and Korean-made vehicles, and Chrysler, Fiat, Land Rover and Jaguar vehicles.


3. Stationary Relearn: New sensor IDs are relearned to the vehicle without the need to drive the vehicle or write the IDs to the vehicle's TPMS module. This relearn procedure should be done while the vehicle is stationary in park mode. This procedure is commonly used on GM, Ford, and certain Chinese- and Japanese-made vehicles like Nissan.


To access the stationary relearn mode, follow these steps:


1. Use the Autel TPMS tool's OBD function to enable the Training or Relearn mode.

2. Follow onboard key operations as instructed by your Autel tool. Afterward, activate all tire pressure sensors to complete the stationary relearn. Typically, the activation sequence is clockwise, starting from the front left wheel and ending with the rear left wheel.

TPMS relearn tool


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