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How to Assess the Tire Pressure Monitoring System Before it Becomes an Issue

Posted on 11/14/18

tire pressure errorTire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) is indicated by a yellow or amber-colored light featuring an exclamation point centered in the cross section of a tire, and it’s frequently illuminated on vehicles that enter a collision shop. An impact on a wheel, a blown tire, low tire pressure, electrical issues or a damaged sensor can all cause the TPMS light to illuminate.

In theory, the TPMS should be straightforward - illuminate when there is an issue with tire pressure in any one of the four tires. The system should provide an alert, diagnose the issue, and provide the guidance to resolve the issue. Unfortunately, there is no consistent diagnostic process to cover all potential TPMS issues.

At the end of the day, customers place their trust in collision repair centers to diagnose and repair the electronic systems so they operate exactly as the OEM intended.

Tips to Assess the TPMS in Collision Repair

Perform a Thorough Vehicle Inspection

When the vehicle arrives at the shop, it is very important to perform a visual inspection before the disassembly for repair process begins. This step might seem obvious. But, taking time to properly walk around the vehicle will help identify potential diagnostic and/or electronic issues. Performing this step will generate a more accurate repair plan. Identifying all diagnostic and vehicle electronic damage up front is key to eliminating post repair surprises.

For example, damaged wheels are a common result of collisions. It's fair to assume that a tire pressure monitoring sensor may be physically damaged if the tire or rim has been severely impacted. A proper “walk around” inspection will isolate any issues that might exist with the tire pressure sensor, gasket, nut, and cap.

Check for TPMS Light Illumination

Is that amber-colored light lit on the dash? If it is, that's a clear indication that something in the TPMS needs to be addressed. A solid TPMS light indicates a low tire pressure reading from one or more sensors. When the TPMS light flashes, it indicates a system failure or a tire sensor communication issue.

Learn more about the TPMS

Pre- and Post-Repair Diagnostic Services

One of the best ways to identify TPMS issues for any collision repair center is through the use of the patented asTech® device, the driving force behind the asTech® pre and post-repair diagnostic solution. Trouble codes can be present in a TPMS module without illuminating the associated light.

For many makes and models, like Honda vehicles, a low TPMS sensor battery can be identified before repairs begin by using the asTech® diagnostic service.  

Include a Relearn Procedure When Possible

Many tire pressure monitoring systems require a relearn procedure after a tire rotation. Often times, an OEM tool might be required to properly register the new position of the tire after the sensor has been replaced. Performing these simple repair steps will resolve the TPMS issues and turn off the TPMS warning light displaced on the dashboard.  

If the collision repair shop performs tire-related or TPMS-related repairs, it’s a good best practice to perform a tire relearn procedure on all vehicles where tire/wheel work was completed before the customer’s vehicle is delivered back to the owner. 

For remote, pre and post-repair diagnostic services as well as TPMS relearn procedures, choose asTech®. It's a comprehensive solution for diagnostics, calibration and information to streamline your processes and improve customer satisfaction. And for TPMS issues, asTech® offers everything your shop needs to get the job done right. Contact us today.