A basic distinction is made between direct and indirect tire pressure monitoring systems.
Direct systems measure and archive air pressure data extremely precisely by means of sensors which are installed at the valves in the tire. The data is transmitted almost in real time by radio to the vehicle's on-board electronics and thus to the driver on the display.
Indirect systems use the so-called ABS system. This system determines the air pressure loss with the help of the rolling circumference of the wheel. However, these ABS systems have very narrow tolerances by law and, unlike direct systems, are not suitable for all vehicles.
RDK systems must be considered in the following areas/ situations:
- Diagnosis when the warning light in the display lights up
- Maintenance, repair or replacement of the sensors
- Tyre change
- Tyre fitting
- Assembly of complete wheels
- Tyre Repairs
- Service check (e.g. general inspection for TÜV)
Professional special tools simplify the mounting and dismounting of sensors. They also ensure that the nut and valve for the sensor holder are fixed with the correct torque.
For mounting, you can choose between an aluminum and a snap-in valve (rubber valve). Separate sensor versions are available for both types of valve (to ensure compatibility between valve and sensor).
A snap-in valve is usually cheaper and easier to install than an aluminium valve. However, it must be remembered that a snap-in valve cannot be used from a maximum speed of 210 km/h because of centrifugal forces. For speeds > 210 km/h an aluminium valve must be used.
Please note: You should service the valve every time you change a tire. This involves replacing the valve insert, valve cap, nut, washer and seal. Special service kits with the necessary spare parts are available for this maintenance.
- Whenever you change tyres: maintain the sensors in the wheels of the vehicle with direct TPMS.
- To prevent corrosion of the valve and sensor: Replace the wear parts valve insert, nut, seal and cap with special service kits.
- Determine the battery charge using diagnostic/programming tools.
- Replace weak or dead batteries: The battery life of a sensor is finite (varies between 4-10 years).
- Analyze and solve the problem indicated by the warning light on the display.
- A non-functional TPMS is considered a minor defect during the general inspection according to § 29 StVZO and must be remedied immediately by the vehicle owner. The workshop must be able to rectify this defect at any time.
Workshops are faced with completely new challenges with regard to the TPMS obligation. In particular, new questions keep coming up regarding the technology of direct TPMS. Experience has shown that the market development and the spread of the TPMS are progressing rapidly. Therefore, early preparation of the workshop is sensible and necessary for tyre service with TPMS.
But what does the workshop have to consider in order to prepare itself in the best possible way for the daily and future work with the direct TPMS?
- The be-all and end-all: good preparation for the customer meeting. This means determining the vehicle data, answering the question of whether there is a direct or indirect TPMS and obtaining information about TPMS, as well as transparently explaining and justifying the additional costs incurred compared to conventional tyre service.
- At least as important: the good preparation of the employee for the new technology.
- Because money also plays a role: The investment in suitable sensors and the right diagnostic/programming tools.
- One step ahead of the competition: The workshop should make use of its competitive advantages at an early stage by communicating the TPMS service to the customers.
- Not only shine outwardly: It is also important to optimize and adapt internal tire service processes.
- So that in the end no one is disappointed: Adjustment of throughput times and prices for tyre service for vehicles with direct TPMS.
- Put everything on paper or into the system: Documenting the condition of the TPMS both before and after the work.
- Check the warning light and the indication on the vehicle display - if the light is illuminated, a diagnosis is necessary to determine whether there is a system fault or a loss of air pressure (see vehicle logbook).
- Check the valve (Is the seal damaged? Is there corrosion?)
- Scan the sensors using a diagnosis/programming tool.
- Documentation of the results of the scanning (input status of the vehicle's TPMS).
- Execution of the customer order e.g. wheel change, renewal of tyres or sensors, maintenance of the valve. If necessary: Teaching the (new) sensors to the vehicle and checking the TPMS.
- Documentation of the initial state of the vehicle's TPMS (the state of the TPMS must not be worse than the initial state) and information of the customer.
Please note: As a functional TPMS is part of the operating license, the workshop must ensure the functionality after each intervention. A corresponding documentation of the condition of the TPMS before and after the maintenance, diagnosis and customer order is therefore a safeguard within the scope of liability and warranty.
There are over 150 different sensor models on the market.
- The sensors must be preprogrammed for the vehicle.
- Vehicle and sensor must be compatible, i.e. not every sensor can be installed in every vehicle.
- In case of replacement of a sensor or for winter tyres/ spare tyres, it is possible to use either original sensors or unprogrammed universal sensors.
Universal sensors are not pre-programmed and can therefore be easily integrated into most vehicles. The advantage: The workshop does not have to stock the large number of original sensors in order to serve all customers according to their needs. A good basic stock of universal sensors is quite sufficient.
For the universal sensors, a special programming tool is also required to be able to program the sensors for specific vehicles. Using this programming tool, the technical data of the vehicle is first requested in order to then determine the position of the tire in which the sensor to be programmed is located. Afterwards, the original sensor is recognized by the programming tool and the collected data is used to program the new sensor. The original sensor is thus imitated, so to speak. If no old original sensor is available, a new sensor ID can also be created using the programming tool.
Original sensors are already preprogrammed with the vehicle-specific details. Original sensors can therefore only be used in some vehicles intended for this purpose. Due to the high number of different sensors, however, the stock and the bound capital of the workshop would increase, because at least 4 pieces of the most important original sensors should always be in stock to be able to serve the customers satisfactorily.
ALLIGATOR prepares you and your employees for the tyre service with TPMS 4 times a year with practical live webinars.
Our experts guide you through general topics on TPMS with interesting content and bring up the latest news and technical innovations. You can ask our experts questions and bring yourself and your employees up to date on the latest developments in tyre service with TPMS in your workshop.
In our download area or in the sens.it application software you will find the current coverage list. This will be updated for you regularly as soon as new vehicles are available.
If this problem occurs, please try to determine the vehicle alternatively using the selection option "Manufacturer & Model".
If no diagnostic device is available, it is possible to read the ID directly from (most) sensor housings. The website www.reifendrucksensor.info, supported by ALLIGATOR, provides important information on where the position of the ID can be found on the respective sensor.
The ALLIGATOR sens.it® programming device was developed to describe sens.it® sensors. Reading sensor data of any kind is therefore not possible with this device.
sens.it® is a closed product system. It is therefore not possible to program sensors from other manufacturers.
With the help of the serial number (ID) of the OE sensor currently installed in the vehicle and to be replaced, a duplicate of this component can be produced. This procedure eliminates the need to teach the sensor to the vehicle - a clear advantage in terms of saving time in customer service.
There are two ways to determine the ID number:
1. electronically reading the ID of the sensor with a diagnostic device, or
2. Immediate reading of the ID from the sensor housing after removing the tire.
For programming, this ID number is entered into the data field "OE Sensor ID". Detailed instructions for the entire programming procedure can be found in the installation instructions in our downloads under information material.
Important: Make a note of which sensor was installed in which wheel!
If a new sensor ID is created, the sensors must be taught to the vehicle.
The teach-in processes for vehicles are very different. Basically three variants are distinguished: Automatic teach-in, via the OBDII interface in the vehicle or manually via the on-board computer. You can find out which procedure has to be used from the vehicle manual or by contacting the manufacturer.
If a set of tires is to be prepared before the vehicle arrives, you can pre-program the sens.it® sensor. To do this, select the appropriate vehicle and generate a serial number (ID) for the respective sensors (AutoGenerateID button). In this case, a teach-in procedure must be carried out after the wheel set has been mounted.
A sensor accidentally programmed to a "wrong" vehicle can be reprogrammed several times.
Any combination of sens.it® sensors with original sensors on the vehicle is possible.
The typical lifetime of a sensor battery is 5 to 7 years.
If the sensor diagnosis indicates an empty battery, the complete component must always be replaced.
From a technical point of view, all valves are constructed in the same way, the difference in colour only serves to adapt the valve to the wheel or the vehicle individually or visually.
According to current regulations in the EU, the 315 MHz frequency range may not be used for tire pressure monitoring in Europe.
As soon as the pressure in a tire drops below the threshold value set in the vehicle, the system warns the driver. The settings are usually visible on the vehicle, often on the inside of the fuel filler flap or in the entrance area of the driver's door.
Vehicles with indirect tire pressure monitoring use the ABS/ESP systems and determine the tire pressure based on algorithmic data. No direct measuring TPM sensors are required for this.
ALLIGATOR does not currently offer its own diagnostic equipment, but is working intensively with relevant equipment suppliers.