Professional Distributor - 33
to the procedure on the tool or in the
TIA [Tire Industry Asssociation] Chart."
Another consideration when servicing TPMS is that on many vehicle
makes, the keyless entry system is likely
part of the TPMS, so it's important to
think about where the keyless entry
module is located on the vehicle and
whether it might be subject to a harsh
environment or extreme conditions.
The engineering that goes into TPMS
sensors is pretty amazing. Data parameters such as air pressure, temperature,
battery condition, and hex ID can typically be found on modern systems.
Retrieving this data, however,
requires the use of dedicated TPMS
tools. In most cases, the data is available
using a tool without any cabled connection to the vehicle, of which there are
many on the market. Riverside Automotive's Fanslow says his shop utilizes the
Autel MaxiTPMS TS508 as well as the
ATEQ VT55, while Gladney Automotive's Holland is more familiar with the
Bartec Tech400 and 500.
Whichever tool a shop uses, it is
important to fully understand the
TPMS system and how to use the TPMS
tool before going to work on a vehicle.
"Tire repair techs commonly confuse programming and relearn, which
[can cost them] a lot of time," Autel's
Bartec's Holloway adds that technicians are not always aware that sensors even need to be reprogrammed at
all, noting that the company's technical support agents frequently walk the
technicians through the process of programming a sensor.
He adds that placard programming
is another area that can go overlooked
but is imperative to proper operation
of the system.
"Placard adjusting is part of keeping
a TPMS operative," Holloway says. "If a
customer wants to upfit his truck from
P rated tires to LT tires, chances are
the recommended inflation pressure [for
proper load carry capacity] will increase.
This is a direct impact on the TPMS.
The TPMS light is triggered once 75
percent of placard pressure is hit. If a
truck tire is now inflated to 50 psi [the
recommend inflation pressure] that
tire will be half flat before you get the
TPMS low pressure light. It's a must to
reprogram the placard in order to keep
the TPMS operational."
Most service tools today will guide
technicians through the various test
and service routines. If a tool doesn't
have the specific vehicle listed and you
want to query a sensor, technicians can
always try selecting different vehicles
that use the different frequencies. Most
systems today operate at 315Mhz or
433Mhz. Trying either of those may
provide access to the sensor information. The reset/relearn procedures
would not be available, but the above
step may help a technician get through
a particular situation.
Just as important as understanding
how to use the tool is knowing how
to keep its software up-to-date. Items
such as vehicle coverage and new features are frequently updated, so keeping the most current software on the
tool is critical.
"Updating the tool software has
to be [the] number one [most common
issue we deal with]," Francavilla says.
"Many technicians struggle with ...
things like downloading, installing
software, and using [the software]
to update their tool. Sensor coverage, vehicle coverage, and new features are all affected if the tool is not
Keeping TPMS tools updated is
just one of many important steps when
servicing this crucial safety system.
Armed with the proper components,
tools, and knowledge, technicians
are able to perform TPMS service
effectively, providing safe and reliable transportation for customers and
efficiency for the shop.
Enter #99 at "e-inquiry" on
Professional Distributor I March 2020 I VehicleServicePros.com 33
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Professional Distributor
Editor's Note: More Than a Case of the Sniffles
Cover Story: The Wheels Keep Turning
Show Me Your Truck: Third Truck's the Charm
Go Sell Something: Closing the Sale
In Focus Products
Diagnostic Tech: Let's Talk TPMS
Tales From the Road: Growing Up in the Business
Professional Distributor - 1
Professional Distributor - 2
Professional Distributor - 3
Professional Distributor - Editor's Note: More Than a Case of the Sniffles
Professional Distributor - 5
Professional Distributor - Cover Story: The Wheels Keep Turning
Professional Distributor - 7
Professional Distributor - 8
Professional Distributor - 9
Professional Distributor - 10
Professional Distributor - 11
Professional Distributor - 12
Professional Distributor - 13
Professional Distributor - 14
Professional Distributor - 15
Professional Distributor - Show Me Your Truck: Third Truck's the Charm
Professional Distributor - 17
Professional Distributor - Most Wanted
Professional Distributor - 19
Professional Distributor - Sneak Peek
Professional Distributor - 21
Professional Distributor - 22
Professional Distributor - 23
Professional Distributor - Go Sell Something: Closing the Sale
Professional Distributor - 25
Professional Distributor - In Focus Products
Professional Distributor - 27
Professional Distributor - 28
Professional Distributor - 29
Professional Distributor - Diagnostic Tech: Let's Talk TPMS
Professional Distributor - 31
Professional Distributor - 32
Professional Distributor - 33
Professional Distributor - Driving Sales
Professional Distributor - 35
Professional Distributor - 36
Professional Distributor - 37
Professional Distributor - Tales From the Road: Growing Up in the Business
Professional Distributor - 39
Professional Distributor - 40