Programming and training tyre pressure sensors

Here you will find useful information and valuable tips on all aspects of programming tyre pressure sensors and/or training TPMS sensors.

In this article, the configuration of the HELLA universal TPMS sensors is illustrated using a Volkswagen Passat B8 as an example. A tyre pressure monitoring system with four pressure sensors and aluminium tyre valves is fitted as standard on this vehicle model.

Important safety note
The following technical information and practical tips have been compiled by HELLA in order to provide professional support to vehicle workshops in their day-to-day work. The information provided on this website is intended for use by suitably qualified personnel only.

 

Universal tyre pressure sensor: Background information

The HELLA universal tyre pressure monitoring sensor can be fitted on almost all original and accessory rims. If necessary, the sensors can also be replaced individually and combined with other original sensors. The universal tyre pressure sensors can be ordered in the valve stem finishes of rubber, aluminium silver or aluminium black.

 

The TPMS sensor sends its measured values by radio to the higher-level system control unit. In the event of a loss of pressure on a tyre, a warning message is issued visually or acoustically via the vehicle display. The driver is warned at an early stage and can therefore avoid further damage to the vehicle and/or prevent potentially dangerous situations.

 

Prior to installation, the universal tyre pressure monitoring sensor must be adjusted to suit the vehicle in question by means of a suitable diagnostic unit. It is not possible to use the sensors without such coordination first having taken place.

TECHNICAL DATA

  • Frequency: 433 Mhz (Europe)
  • Pressure control range: 0 - 8.9 bar
  • Power supply: integrated 3.0 V lithium-ion battery
  • Weight: approx. 43 g
  • Working temperature: -40 °C to 125 °C
  • Tolerance range pressure: ± 1.5 psi (0.103 bar)
  • Certification: CE / SAE J2657

Checking tyre sensor: Important information

Initial diagnosis

Before the new sensors, for example for the winter wheels, are installed and the wheels are fitted, the function of the tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) should be checked as part of an initial diagnosis. Depending on the vehicle model, this can be done via the on-board computer or also via the control unit diagnosis.

 

The first diagnosis is usually carried out when the vehicle first enters the workshop. If the TPMS warning lamp in the dashboard goes out after the engine has been started and remains off while the car is being driven, it can usually be assumed that all sensors are transmitting their values to the control unit. In order to ensure that everything works properly after the conversion, the error memory should be read out.

Checking the TPMS sensors with a TPMS diagnostic unit

Another test option is to read out the TPMS sensors using a TPMS diagnostic unit. It is possible in many service units to select the function called "Check sensor". In this function, the unit is held with the antenna against the side of the tyre at the height of the valve and the trigger pulse is released by pressing a button. The unit triggers the sensor and the values are shown on the display. The ID code, tyre pressure, frequency, temperature and battery status of the sensor can then be read.

 

The function of the TPMS warning lamp in the instrument cluster is subsequently checked. After the engine has been started, the control lamp should then not light up or flash. A permanently lit control lamp usually signals faulty tyre pressure. A control lamp which is first flashing and then permanently lit means that a component of the TPMS system is faulty.

Tips and information

For documentation purposes, the sensor data read out should always be noted in the input log with the corresponding vehicle data and the mileage reading. This ensures transparency in the vehicle history in the event of subsequent repairs having to be made to the TPMS system.

 

Before any diagnostics or repairs are undertaken, it is first advisable to carry out a visual inspection of the individual system components. In this way, damage to wheels, rims or valves can be localised without much mounting and/or dismantling work becoming involved.

Selecting a TPMS sensor

Getting the right spare part is essential for the repair. Because of the variety of models and spare parts, an exact allocation of the spare part is only possible on the basis of the relevant vehicle data from the vehicle registration document. If this is available, the appropriate spare parts can be located in the electronic parts catalogue or, depending on the manufacturer, in the TPMS diagnostic unit. This ensures that the tyre pressure monitoring sensor is mounted, configured and then recognised by the TPMS system as required.

Programming and teaching universal tyre pressure monitoring sensors: VIDEO

Programming and teaching universal tyre pressure monitoring sensors

In this video, you will receive important repair instructions for programming and teaching the universal tyre pressure monitoring sensors.

Programming and training the universal TPMS sensors: Instructions

The sensor ID of the new, universal TPMS sensor can be newly created or transferred (copied) from another sensor. However, if four wheel sensors are required for a new set of winter tyres, as shown below, the data from the old sensors from the summer tyres/wheels can be transferred to the new sensors. The sensors can therefore be programmed before they are installed in the rim, a procedure carried out wirelessly via radio using a TPMS programming device.
It is important that the new sensors are marked accordingly as regards their location and then later mounted in the correct axle position.

 

Before the configuration of the sensors can begin, the manufacturer and type of the TPMS sensor and also the appropriate vehicle data must all be entered after selection of the required function.

Read out and copy TPMS sensor ID

Select the required function for the copying of the sensors in the diagnostic unit, then read out the sensor ID data from the old sensors and transfer it to the new sensors.

 

  • Hold the TPMS device with the antenna against the tyres at the position of the tyre valve and press the start button
  • After successful transfer, the sensor ID of the old sensor is shown in the display.
  • Repeat the procedure on all other TPMS sensors in accordance with the instructions given by the device

 

After all TPMS sensors have been read out successfully, all values are shown in the display and then transmission of the sensor ID data can begin.

Transfer TPMS sensor ID

To copy the data, proceed as follows:

  • Hold a new tyre pressure sensor to the antenna and press the start button. The transmission is indicated with "Processing in progress" and "Checking". After successful transmission, the sensor ID is shown in the display
  • Then repeat the procedure on all other TPMS sensors

 

When all data has been successfully transferred, this is shown in the display for all sensors.  
Now that all sensors have been successfully programmed, they can be mounted in the rims and the tyre covers can be fitted.

Recreate TPMS sensor ID

If only one sensor is defective on a vehicle, this can also be replaced individually.

 

Since no data is available from the old sensor for copying, a new ID is created for this sensor and programmed to suit the vehicle. To do this, the relevant function is selected and accordingly initiated. Then follow the instructions given by the diagnostic unit. After successful transmission, the sensor ID is shown in the display.

 

Important!
Newly created ID codes must then be registered in the vehicle or the training procedure of the vehicle manufacturer concerned must be carried out. If a code has been copied from a sensor, registration is usually not necessary.

Training tyre pressure sensors

Depending on the vehicle manufacturer and tyre pressure monitoring system, there are various training procedures that can be followed. Again depending on the vehicle model, such a procedure can be carried out via the vehicle menu or by using the OBD interface with a suitable diagnostic unit.

 

In our case study, Passat B8, no manual training is necessary after the replacing of tyre pressure sensors. The TPMS sensors and their position are automatically detected by the system during a subsequent test drive. The vehicle speed must be over 25 km/h during such a test drive.

 

The training procedure can take up to 20 minutes in certain cases.

Basic setting of the tyre pressure monitoring system

As part of the basic setting, all old values of the tyre pressure sensors are reset and the new, current data is saved. A basic setting is necessary after replacing a TPMS sensor or changing a wheel because varying tyre pressures can lead to incorrect information in the system.

 

Basic setting of tyre pressures on the Passat B8 - vehicles with infotainment system:

  • Switch on the ignition
  • Switch on the infotainment system
  • Press the CAR button on the infotainment system
  • Press the menu item "SETUP" on the touchscreen
  • Press the menu item "Tyres” on the touchscreen
  • Press the menu item "SET" on the touchscreen
  • Press the menu item "Confirm" on the touchscreen.

 
If all tyre pressures determined by the control unit correspond to the manufacturer's specifications, the menu item for carrying out adjustment will not be displayed.

 

Basic setting of tyre pressures on the Passat B8 - vehicles without infotainment system:

  • Check tyre pressure and correct if necessary.
  • Press and hold button for the tyre pressure control display until you hear a confirmation tone.

 

For details and information, please refer to the vehicle-specific operating instructions.

Fitting the tyre pressure sensor - notes on fitting TPMS sensors: Instructions

TPMS sensor with snap-in rubber valve

If repairs have to be carried out, we recommend the following general procedures:

 

1. Coat the rubber valve with a suitable mounting paste (Fig. 2). 

2. Insert the rubber valve through the rim and position the sensor. To do this, mount the valve with a suitable valve puller tool and make sure that the sensor remains square on and does not jam (Fig. 3).

3. Then ensure that the valve rests directly on the rim (Fig. 4).

TPMS sensor with snap-in aluminium valve

If repairs have to be carried out, we recommend the following general procedures:

 

1. Insert the tyre valve through the rim and place the sensor as close as possible to the rim edge (Fig. 6).

2. Guide the union nut over the valve and screw it on hand-tight. Then tighten the union nut with a suitable torque spanner to 4 Nm (Fig. 7).

3. Illustration of a successfully installed TPMS sensor (Figure 8).

Fitting tyres with TPMS - tyre-fitting instructions: Important information

After the sensors have been properly mounted, the tyres can then be mounted on the rim. So as to avoid damage or malfunctioning of the sensor during tyre mounting, please observe the following instructions:

  • When mounting the tyre, place the mounting head on the opposite side of the TPMS sensor
  • The tyre pressure sensor must not be smeared with mounting paste. That can lead to malfunctioning or failure of the component.
  • The sensor should not be trapped between the tyre bead and the rim
  • After fitting new TPMS sensors, the training procedure must be carried out according to the specifications of the respective vehicle manufacturer
  • The use of tyre balancing powder or tyre puncture kit can lead to malfunctioning or failure of the sensor

Maintenance and repair instructions: Important information

When replacing the tyre pressure sensors, always follow the installation instructions and also the repair instructions relating to the product and specified by the vehicle manufacturers.


If necessary, please use the installation or removal tools specified by the vehicle manufacturer.


Repair work on the tyre pressure monitoring system should only be carried out by a specialist in the motor vehicle trade or by a trained mechanic.

Please note

The various diagnostic options were illustrated using the examples of the mega macs 77 diagnostic unit and the Ateq TPMS diagnostic unit. The relevant depth of inspection and the variety of functions depend on each individual system configuration of the system control unit used in the vehicle.