TPMS Tools of the Trade

April 1, 2020
An inside look into the sensors and scan tools needed to perform TPMS services.

TPMS service is one of the industry's most straightforward tasks. Understanding tire service and sensor replacement includes basic TPM system knowledge, universal programmable sensors and a TPMS tool able to support that understanding. Adding TPMS service to your shop's menu requires your team to perform diagnostics, sensor programming and the needed relearn procedures.

Currently, there are about 103 million vehicles on the road with TPMS. Automakers developed two types of TPMS systems, direct and indirect. The more popular direct system uses pressure sensors in each tire measuring and transmitting air pressure to the TPMS module. When a low pressure is detected in either system, an alert will be displayed on the dash and the tire service opportunity at your door.



Autel, a leading developer of automotive diagnostic tools, makes a complete line of TPMS tools and is the developer of the aftermarket's best-selling sensor, which combines both 315 MHz and 433 MHz frequencies into the 1-Sensor. In fact, Autel is the only company in the aftermarket industry that makes both TPMS sensors and TPMS scan tools. The universal programmable 1-Sensor with press release interchangeable aluminium and rubber valves, help make this TPMS sensor able to cover replacement on 99 percent of the vehicles on the road today.

Autel has made scan tools for more than a decade and designs the software to be easy to use and efficient. This provides any size repair or service shop looking to bring tire service to their customers, with the best option to purchase and best solution for their team to depend on now and into the future. 



The TS508 is the TPMS technician’s go-to tool for its multi-function capability. The TS508 is a tough handheld tool that can perform every TPMS service, including activation of every sensor brand in the market and programming the 1-Sensor. This functionality is a great time saver for every technician, simply because the TS508 connects to the vehicle's TPMS module via the OBDII port. 

When the sensor is programmed with the correct protocol and frequency for that specific vehicle, it also gets a unique ID. Each sensor then gets its corresponding wheel placement (Front Right, Front Left, Rear Right and Rear Left) and gets registered (the industry calls the process Relearn) to the TPMS module. When a new sensor ID is added or even if the tires are rotated, the tire location of the sensor (and its ID) need to be Relearned to the TPMS module so it can identify which tire has low pressure. 

Depending on the vehicle, relearning sensors can take time. In fact, if a technician has an issue with TPMS service, it's usually when performing the relearn. That's because the automaker determines the steps to complete a relearn and some procedures can be inconsistent. There are three types of relearn: stationary (manual procedures popular among domestic vehicles), OBDII (IDS are written to vehicle via the OBDII port, popular among Asian vehicles) and auto-relearn (ID are automatically relearned to the vehicle when driven for a certain time at a certain speed, popular among European vehicles).


Proven Efficiency 

The TS508's Copy by OBD sensor programming option is a time-saver because it enables the technician to read the sensors IDs (and their location) from the TPMS module and program those exact IDs to the sensors. No additional step is needed. Install the sensors in the appropriate wheels and that's it.

Another great feature made possible by the TS508 OBDII connection with the TPMS module, is the TPMS Status Screen. The ability to display all the TPMS diagnostics-at-a glance within one status screen. After a quick sensor activation and connection to OBDII port, the technician can instantly see where the fault lies in the system-if sensor batteries are dead or if a sensor ID needs to be Relearned. Finally, the TS508 offers free software updates and vehicle coverage for the life of the tool, ensuring the tools continued vehicle coverage.


If you are a successful shop looking to offer your customers a new service or a successful team looking for a new TPMS service option, Autel has the complete TPMS solution.