Activate TPMS Sensor

Aug 30,2023
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What is a TPMS activation tool?

TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) Activation Tool refers to a device used to activate and reset the TPMS sensors in a vehicle's tires. TPMS is a safety feature in modern vehicles that monitors the air pressure of each tire and alerts the driver when the pressure drops below a certain threshold. Proper tire pressure is critical to vehicle safety, fuel efficiency and tire life.

Do TPMS sensors have to be activated?

Yes, TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) sensors typically need to be activated after they are installed in the vehicle's tires. Activation is the process of establishing communication between the sensors and the vehicle's on-board computer system. This enables the system to accurately monitor tire pressure and warn the driver when tire pressure falls below a certain threshold. Here are the reasons why TPMS sensors need to be activated:

① Accurate monitoring: Activating the TPMS sensor can ensure that the TPMS system can accurately monitor the pressure of each tire. If not properly activated, the system may not be able to distinguish the sensors or display accurate tire pressure readings.

② ID Registration: Each TPMS sensor has a unique identification number (ID) that corresponds to a specific tire location on the vehicle.  This ID helps the system know which tire's pressure is being monitored. Activation is the process of registering these IDs with the vehicle computer so that the vehicle computer can recognize and track each sensor's data.

③ Reset and reprogramming: When tires are selected or sensors are replaced, the ID associated with each tire may need to be reprogrammed or reset. In these cases, use the activation tool to reconfigure the system to match the new tire positions.

Depending on the make and model of the vehicle, the process for activating the TPMS sensor is different. Some vehicles may automatically detect and activate new sensors, while others may require manual intervention using a TPMS activation tool. The vehicle's owner's manual should provide instructions on the activation process specific to your vehicle.

How to activate new TPMS sensor without tool?

There are 2 ways to activate TPMS sensor: manual activation of the TPMS sensor and tool activation of the TPMS sensor. It might be a bit difficult to activate a new TPMS sensor without a TPMS activation tool. These tools are specifically designed to simplify the activation process. In some cases, we can manually activate a new TPMS sensor by following these general steps:

① Consult the owner's manual: Some vehicles have a built-in process for activating the TPMS sensor without tools. Look in the vehicle manual for information on "TPMS sensor activation" or "TPMS sensor registration".

② Check the reset button: Some vehicles have a reset button or series of buttons on the dashboard that can be used to start the sensor activation process. Please refer to your owner's manual to determine if your vehicle has this feature and how to use it.

③ Inflate and deflate the tires: In some cases, you may need to manually inflate and deflate the tires in a specific order to trigger the TPMS sensor to transmit a signal. This can be a bit tricky and may require trial and error. Always be careful not to release too much air from the tire as low tire pressure could damage the tire or rim.

④ Driving Vehicles: New TPMS sensors are automatically detected when certain vehicles travel a certain distance at a certain speed. This process may take some time, and the vehicle's systems will need to "learn" the new sensors.

Attempting to activate a TPMS sensor without the proper tools may result in inaccurate sensor readings or TPMS malfunction. Using a TPMS activation tool or seeking professional help is generally recommended to ensure accurate and reliable tire pressure monitoring. If you're unsure about the activation process, it's best to consult a certified mechanic or your vehicle's manufacturer.

How to choose the right TPMS sensor activation tool?

There are so many TPMS sensor activation tools on the market, how to choose the right TPMS sensor activation tool? Selecting the correct TPMS sensor activation tool requires careful consideration of several factors to ensure that the tool meets your needs and works effectively with your specific vehicle. The following guidelines can help you choose the correct TPMS sensor activation tool:

① Vehicle Compatibility: This is a priority factor to be considered, make sure the tool selected is compatible with the make and model of your vehicle.

② Function: Determine the specific function you need. Basic tools may only provide sensor activation and reading functionality, while more advanced tools can program sensors, diagnose TPMS problems, and provide other diagnostic capabilities.

③ Updates and Support: Check if the tool receives regular software updates to keep up with new car models and technology changes. Reliable customer support can be crucial if you face any issues while using the tool.

④ Ease of operation: Look for tools that are user-friendly and intuitive. Complicated tools can slow you down and may require additional training to use effectively.

⑤ Accuracy and Reliability: Read reviews and user feedback to measure the tool's accuracy and reliability. Tools that consistently provide accurate readings and successful activation are critical to proper TPMS maintenance.

⑥ Additional functions: Some tools provide additional functions, such as reading sensor IDs, diagnosing TPMS system failures, reprogramming sensors, and even reading other vehicle systems. Consider whether these features are valuable for your needs.

⑦ Portability: Tools that are easy to carry may be more convenient for work.

⑧ Brand Reputation: Choose a well-known brand with a history of producing reliable automotive diagnostic tools. Well-known brands usually have better support and a track record of quality.

⑨ Price: Set a budget for the tool, keeping in mind that more advanced features may cost more. Balance your budget with the features and benefits of the tool.

⑩ Warrant: Check the warranty terms and conditions. A long warranty period can provide peace of mind and demonstrate the manufacturer's confidence in the quality of the tool.

Based on the above conditions, we recommend a tire pressure detection tool ST06. ST06 is a sensor capable of activating most OEM/universal TPMS sensors, reprogramming sensor IDs, retrieving/clearing TPMS DTCs and relearning sensors to help technicians quickly find faults and turn off fault lights. It has the following specific functions:

Activate TPMS sensor

This function is used to activate TPMS sensors to view sensor data such as sensor ID, tire pressure, tire pressure sensor frequency, tire temperature and battery condition.

② Tire pressure sensor programming

This function is used to program a designated sensor to replace a faulty sensor with low battery life or not functioning properly.

③ Tire pressure sensor learning

This function is used to write the newly programmed sensor ID into the vehicle ECU for sensor identification. A "relearn" operation is only required if the newly programmed sensor ID is different from the original sensor ID stored in the vehicle's ECU. "Relearn" has 3 available ways: static learning, self-learning and OBD relearning.

④ Tire pressure sensor diagnosis

This function is used to perform operations such as writing the sensor ID into the vehicle, reading the ID from the vehicle, reading/clearing the TPMS code, and reading the real-time data of the TPMS.


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