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Indirect Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems TPMS System

Indirect TPMS is not as sensitive to changes in tire pressure as direct systems that actually monitor the air pressure inside the tire, but they are not as expensive either.  An indirect TPMS system is a relatively affordable add-on to a vehicle if it is already equipped with ABS.  Even so, the vast majority of vehicles that have TPMS use direct systems rather than indirect.

Federal law requires the TPMS system to alert the driver if the pressure inside a tire has dropped more than 25% below the recommended inflation pressure.  The same rules apply to direct and indirect TPMS systems.

One of the weaknesses of indirect systems is that they may not turn on the warning light if all the tires are underinflated by a similar amount. If the recommended pressure is 32 PSI, but all the tires are say 24 PSI (down 25%), the system won’t know there’s a problem because all will be rotating at the same speed when the vehicle is being driven.

Indirect TPMS is used on a variety of General Motors models, a couple of Fords and a smattering of Toyota and other import models.  You won’t find it on any Audi, Chrysler, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Nissan, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Porsche, Saab or Volvo products because they all use direct TPMS with pressure sensors inside the wheels.

Indirect TPMS applications include:
•  BMW X5 2002-2005
•  Buick LeSabre 2000-2005
•  Buick Lucerne  2006
•  Buick Park Avenue 1998-2005
•  Buick Regal 1999-2004
•  Buick Rendezvous 2003-2007
•  Chevy Impala 2000-2005
•  Chevy Monte Carlo 2000-2005
•  Ford Freestar 2004-2005 (some also have direct TPMS)
•  Ford Windstar 2001-2003
•  Lexus LS430 2004-2006
•  Lexus RX330 2004-2006
•  Mercedes C-Class 2007
•  Mercedes SLK 2005-2007
• Mercury Monterey 2004-2005 (some also have direct TPMS)
•  MINI Cooper 2004-2007
•  Oldsmobile Alero 1999-2000
•  Oldsmobile Aurora 2001-2003
•  Pontiac Aztec 2003-2005
•  Pontiac Bonneville 2000-2005
•  Pontiac Grand Am 1999-2002
•  Pontiac Grand Prix 2004-2006
•  Pontiac Vibe 2005-2007
•  Scion tC  2005-2006
•  Toyota Corolla 2005-2007
•  Toyota Matrix 2005-2006
•  Toyota Solara 2004-2006
•  Toyota Highlander 2004-2006
•  Toyota RAV4 2004-2005
•  Volkswagen GTI 2007
•  Volkswagen Jetta 2005-2007


Though all of these applications use a similar technology and strategy to detect a low tire, there is no common reset procedure.   GM is probably the worst, with 10 different reset procedures depending on the application. Toyota is probably the best, with only one simple reset procedure for all of their indirect TPMS systems (though a slightly different procedure is used on the Lexus models).

With so many different reset procedures, it’s important to make sure you are using the right procedure for the vehicle your are servicing.  The Tire Industry Association ( publishes a great reference flip chart that covers TPMS reset and relearn procedures for direct and indirect TPMS on most domestic and import vehicles.  This chart is a “must have” addition to your technical library, and is must faster and easier to use than looking up TPMS reset procedures online via an aftermarket or OEM service information website.  The OEM websites all navigate differently, which means you can waste a lot of time hunting for information that is buried somewhere on their website.

TPMS reset procedures may also be found in the vehicle owner’s manual (if it hasn’t been lost).   Open the glove box and check the index in the owner’s manual for any TPMS information.

As a rule, most indirect TPMS systems have a RESET button for recalibrating the system.  A reset is typically required after adding air to a low tire, after changing or servicing a tire, or after rotating the tires on a vehicle.

You usually turn the ignition on (engine off), and press the RESET button until the TPMS light flashes several times or goes off.  But there are a lot of variations on this basic procedure. Here are some selected examples of how to reset the system:


On General Motors applications, such as the Buick Century, turn the ignition ON after all of the tires have been inflated to the recommended pressure, but do not start or drive the vehicle.  With the key on, locate the TPMS reset button, then press the button until the TPMS warning light flashes three times.  Now turn the ignition off.   That resets the system and your customer is ready to go.

On some General Motors applications, though, there is no button marked TPMS or RESET. You may have to press other buttons on the instrument cluster or driver information center to get to the TPMS mode to reset the system.

On a Buick Rendezvous, you turn the ignition on (engine off), but hold down the MODE button on the driver information center until it displays “Low Tire Pressure Hold Set to Reset.”  Then you press and hold the SET button until you head a chime and the DIC displays “Tire Pressure Reset.”  You should then hear the chime rings three times and see “Tire Pressure Normal” on the display.


On a Chevy Impala or Monte Carlo with indirect TPMS, a totally different reset procedure is required.  You can use the light switch or radio to reset the system.  With the light switch procedure, turn the ignition on (engine off), the turn the light switch from OFF to parking lamps three times within five seconds.   With the radio technique, turn the ignition on (engine off).  With the radio off, hold the DISP button until “SETTINGS” is displayed.  Use the SEEK button to scroll down the menu until you see “TIRE MON.”  Press the PREV or NEXT buttons until “RESET” is displayed.  Then press the DISP button again.  You should hear a chime and see “DONE” to indicate the TPMS system has been successfully reset.  Use the SEEK button to scroll through the menu until “DONE” is shown, then press DISP once more to exit from the learn mode.


There are a couple of ways to reset an indirect TPMS systems on a Ford Windstar.  Some Windstars have a RESET button while others do not.  On the minivans that do have a RESET button (to the left of the steering column on the instrument panel), turn the ignition on (engine off), then press and hold the button for three seconds.  The TPMS warning light should blink three times then turn off.  If the minivan does not have a reset button, turn the ignition on (engine off), the press the Trip/Odometer button on the instrument cluster until “TIRE RESET” or “CHECK TIRE” and “RESET” are displayed.   Continue to hold the button for three seconds until the TPMS warning light flashes three times and turns off.


On Toyota applications, the reset procedure is fairly straightforward, though it actually takes much longer to complete. Turn the key on (engine off), then press and hold the RESET button until the flashing TPMS warning light goes off.  Or, if it is not flashing, hold the RESET button until the light flashes three times.  Turn the key off.  But the relearn procedure is not complete until the vehicle is driven at 19 mph or faster for at least an hour. You don’t have to do this, obviously, but your customer should be made aware of the fact that the TPMS reset procedure won’t be complete until the car has been driven awhile. During this time, the TPMS system may not be able to detect a low tire, so make sure all the tires have been inflated to the correct pressure before the vehicle leaves your shop. In our October issue, we’ll cover some reset procedures for direct TPMS systems.

Can You Reset Your Car's TPMS Sensors Yourself?

It’s never fun when a warning light turns on, but not all car repair tasks are as opaque as diagnosing Check Engine lights. And while some repairs are best left to the professionals, others are significantly more DIY-friendly. One job that usually falls in both categories is resetting your car’s tire-pressure monitoring system sensors. So, if you think your TPMS sensors need a reset, here’s what you need to know.

If your TPMS light won’t go off, you might need a resetA GMC SUV with an illuminated TPMS light, indicating low pressure or sensor malfunction | Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Usually, when your tire pressure warning light turns on, the solution is simple: check and adjust your tire pressure. However, there are some situations where that might not be enough. For example, if part of the TPMS, such as the sensors, fails and/or dies. Or, if you just installed new sensors, your system needs a reset.

If your car has an indirect TPMS, it measures tire pressure through the car’s ABS. But if it has a direct system, then it has dedicated pressure sensors installed on each wheel. These sensors communicate with a central module wirelessly through radio waves. And when one breaks or its battery dies, it’s sort of like unplugging an accessory from your computer’s USB socket.

Sticking with the computer analogy, when you plug the accessory back in, your computer takes a moment to recognize it. And depending on what it is, it might need to download or update certain bits of software. That’s basically what happens when you install new TPMS sensors in your car: it knows they’re there, but it can’t quite do anything with them yet.

That’s where the TPMS reset comes in. First, it activates and programs the new sensors to work for your specific car’s tires and wheels. Then, it inputs each sensor’s location to your car’s computer and lets it relearn the new sensors’ signals, The Drive explains. And presto, your TPMS is reset, and the warning light should turn off shortly.

You don’t necessarily need a dedicated TPMS reset tool

It’s worth noting that your tire pressure warning light likely won’t turn off immediately after a TPMS reset. It usually takes a few minutes of driving above a minimum speed; the time and speed vary between models. But after the relearning period passes, the light should wink off.

OK, so that’s the ‘what,’ now here’s the ‘how.’ Some cars reset their systems automatically or have dashboard-mounted reset buttons or display menu items. However, it’s worth noting that even these cars might have multi-step reset procedures, MotorTrend says. That includes making sure the car learns each sensor’s wheel location. And yes, this means you must reset your TPMS sensors every time you rotate your tires. But if your car doesn’t have a dedicated button for that, you can often force it to relearn by pulling the negative battery cable off for a few minutes.

Oftentimes, though, a TPMS reset requires additional tools specifically to program the sensors. For some cars, such as the C5 Corvette, this is nothing more than a big magnet that you wave over the sensors, MT reports. But others need specialized electronic tools for the job.

How much does this cost?


If you’re installing new TPMS sensors at a dedicated tire shop, the reset and/or relearn usually is an extra $30-$50 charge. But unless your sensors break prematurely and/or you have an extra set of wheels for winter, you won’t pay for a reset often. Also, even if you do have two sets of TPMS-equipped wheels, once the sensors are programmed, all that’s left is the relearning process. And as noted earlier, sometimes that just requires a short battery disconnect.

However, if you want to take the process—and costs—into your own hands, that’s certainly possible. Depending on how comprehensive your toolbox is, you might even have all the tools you need. For example, that bit about the Corvette TPMS sensor magnet? MT says “a large speaker magnet will usually do the job.” In addition, some OBDII scanners can perform TPMS resets.

As for dedicated reset tools, they range in price depending on capability and complexity. And keep in mind that some tools can only put the ECU in relearn mode, but not program the sensors themselves. But while some pro-grade tools often break the $500 barrier, the average home mechanic doesn’t need anything that complicated. Still, expect to shell out around $150-$200 for a quality TPMS reset tool, The Drive reports.

In short, resetting your car’s TPMS sensors might take some extra tools and time investment. But it’s definitely something you can do yourself.

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How to reset a tire pressure error: a few easy ways

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The article says:

  1. Why you need a tire pressure sensor
  2. What are the reasons for triggering the sensor
  3. How can I reset the tire pressure sensor error
  4. How to adjust tire pressure sensors

When the tires are optimally inflated, the low tire pressure indicator (TPMS) does not light up on the vehicle's dashboard. However, in some cases, it lights up even if the pressure is normal. This can't help but be annoying, especially when the tires are inflated normally. In our article today, we will figure out how to reset a tire pressure error.

Why do you need a tire pressure sensor

American and European scientists conducted a study, during which it was found that most drivers do not check whether the wheels are properly inflated before getting behind the wheel of a car. Only 40% of car owners perform such a check - and even then only once every 12 months. This is the reason for a large number of accidents.

The TPMS (Tyre pressure monitoring system) system is designed to monitor tire pressure, as well as warn of a malfunction. If the tires are under-inflated or over-inflated, an error will be displayed on the remote control or an audible signal will appear.

What is dangerous too high or, conversely, low pressure? The risk of an accident increases, the car begins to consume more fuel, in addition, the rubber wears out faster.

Photo: Shutterstock

The above devices operate on the same principle. Let's figure out how information about what tire pressure gets to the control panel.

  • Each wheel is equipped with a controller. It records tire pressure data.
  • Information is transmitted from the sensor to the transceiver with a frequency of 2-3 seconds . The controller transmits data using Bluetooth.
  • The program analyzes the received data, which should correspond to normal values ​​ . Otherwise, when the tires should be lowered a little, the program sends a signal to the car owner. Exactly according to the same principle, a signal is transmitted if the rubber needs to be pumped up.
  • Depending on the device, the error signals are sound, as well as light .
  • The driver can set the operating parameter limit himself . As a standard, the automaker makes it possible to adjust the device from 1.7–3. 2 bar.
  • On some car models, the TPMS system sends data to your phone.

Consider how pressure is calculated by measuring instruments. Typically, the sensor performs a comparison of the angular rotation of the wheel. Knowing the value of this parameter, you can calculate the distance that the wheel will travel in one rotation.

Obviously, if the tires are under-inflated or over-inflated, then the outer diameter of the wheel will be different. Visually, a person cannot determine this change. But the sensor notices even such changes. The system fixes non-compliance with the required parameters.

Causes of tire pressure sensor activation

The sensor will still respond, despite the fact that the wheel circumference has changed quite a bit. In this situation, it is necessary to find out what mechanical reason led to this. Only in this way can you eliminate the misinterpretation of the signals transmitted by the system. This can happen because:

  • Tire not inflated enough.
  • You have fitted a different wheel with a different shape, dimensions and tread.
  • A “spare wheel” was supplied, it also differs in parameters from other wheels.
  • Rubber has been punctured or torn.
  • There is an uneven load on the car, as a result, the car skewed to one side.
  • You have installed anti-skid chains on the wheels.
  • An overload of one of the axes has occurred; this happens when you are driving uphill or downhill, towing a trailer.

Also, the TPMS system gives an error when you install new wheels or rearrange them.

When, after these steps, a tire pressure error appeared, indicating unbalance, you should reset the settings, and then set the basic parameters. In this case, the control signal may remain even if the basic settings have been selected.

Why such problems may occur:

  • Different tire pressures . Some wheel is under-inflated or vice versa.
  • The error occurs because a system crash has occurred . It will only be possible to reset it at the service station.
  • The indicator lights up when you operate the car using a sporty driving style, driving on ice, dirt road . At the same time, as soon as you drive out onto an asphalt surface or start driving calmly, the error disappears.

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Velcro or spikes: which rubber is better for the Russian winter?

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How to reset tire pressure error? To begin with, imagine that the TPMS system is working properly and the blinking light indicates a problem with the undercarriage of the machine. The first thing you should do is slowly release the gas. You can not brake sharply, turn the steering wheel. After the car has stopped, inspect the tires to make sure the rubber is not punctured or broken. Then you can check if the tire pressure is normal.

Pay attention! The TPMS will not always show a tire pressure error. For example, if the tires are slowly deflating, the system will not inform you about the problem. In the same way, she will not notice the error if the tire pressure starts to drop rapidly. This usually happens when a tire ruptures. This feature of the TPMS system is explained by the specifics of identifying and counting nonconformities.

However, in some cases, it happens that the TPMS system indicator is on, but the tires are in perfect condition. How to reset tire pressure error? We understand.

A few simple ways to reset the tire pressure sensor error

The complex TPMS system in some cases starts to work incorrectly. Usually, car owners observe the following picture: a tire pressure error is displayed on the display (the tire is underinflated), but in reality everything is fine with the wheel. You have to reset the tire pressure error. Otherwise, the TPMS system starts to work incorrectly.

Photo: Shutterstock

You also have to reset the tire pressure error when there is radio interference from high voltage power lines. Or when sources of radio signals are located in the immediate vicinity. But as soon as you move away from them, the pressure error disappears and the system begins to function properly.

The reason for the malfunction may lie in the sensor, which is "failed". This damage cannot be easily repaired. How to reset a tire pressure error if the sensor flashes, while you hear a beep, lose your vigilance and find it difficult to drive a car? There are 4 ways to fix this problem.

Method 1

To reset the error, pick up a speed of 80 km / h and continue driving for another 15 kilometers.

This method is the easiest to implement. If your car has this feature, then turn on the cruise control so that the speed does not change. Depending on the model of your car, you will be able to reset the tire pressure error at a speed that exceeds the specified one. After you cover a distance of 15-20 kilometers, maintaining the same speed of 80 km / h, make a stop. Turn off the motor. When you start it again, the tire pressure error will disappear.

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Method 2

Press the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) reset button on your car and you will be able to reset the error.

It does not matter what type of low pressure warning system is used. In any case, there will be a sensor on each wheel of your car. Sometimes it may be necessary to reboot the touch system of the car. Read the owner's manual for the vehicle. It contains information on how to reset a tire pressure error. Most often, the instructions indicate which button to press to reset.

The ignition key must be in the lock. No need to start the car, just turn it to the “on” (“ON”) position. Then press and hold the reset button, which may be under the steering wheel. We are waiting for the low pressure indicator to flash 3 times. After that, you can release the button. We start the car, it should work for 20 minutes. After this time, the computer will calibrate the sensors on the wheels. Now you can turn off the car.

Method 3

Lower and then re-inflate the wheels.

Failed to reset tire pressure error using the previous method? Then we inflate all tires to 0. 2 bar, this is the pressure that should be according to the recommendations of car manufacturers. Did the error go away? Then we lower the pressure in the tires completely.

Now we pump up the wheels again. The pressure in them should be the same as indicated on the driver's door pillar or in the car's operating instructions. When there are sensors on the wheels, you need to remember about the spare tire. Now you need to drive about 3-5 kilometers, adhering to a speed of 25 km per hour. So you can reset the tire pressure error.

Method 4

Remove the battery terminals and then connect it to reset the error.

Each car has a computer that receives data from all kinds of vehicle sensors, including TPMS system sensors. However, any electronics can fail. To reset the error, you will have to reboot the system, for which you need to turn off the power.

Photo: Shutterstock

To do this, open the hood. The battery is located under the hood. Disconnect the negative terminal from it. To perform this operation, use a wrench. Then sit in the driver's seat, turn the key to the "ON" position, but do not start the car. Now you need to press the signal for 3 seconds. This will use up the energy that remains in the electrical system of the machine. Then reconnect the battery. This way you can reset the error.

How to adjust the tire pressure sensors

Sensors keep track of tire pressure. However, you need to be sure that they function properly. Of course, you do not need to constantly walk around with a special measuring device and find out the status of the sensors. It just needs to be calibrated from time to time.

It is performed quite simply. The most important thing to remember is that, depending on the make and model of your car, for each wheel there are pressure parameters strictly defined by the manufacturer for winter and summer. These values ​​should be given to the sensors. How the installation and configuration will be performed depends on the controller used.

  • Mechanical controller . It is convenient to use. We just screw it in instead of the cap. Nothing else needs to be configured.
  • Electronic controller . The installation procedure will be more difficult, because the device has a control unit. It can work autonomously or you will need to connect it to the cigarette lighter. We turn on the device in the training mode. Then proceed according to the tuning algorithm that is set by the manufacturer. You will have to put the device on all wheels, starting from the left front. Once the installation is done, make sure that all gauges are correctly displayed on the monitor. Otherwise, you will have to rearrange them so that everything matches the parameters on the display.
  • Internal controller . Such devices are the most difficult to mount, because for this you will have to use special equipment for tire fitting. Experts do not recommend using the internal controller yourself. However, additional settings are not required if the data is read using the screen that is directly on the control system.

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To prevent a tire pressure error from appearing, it is important to calibrate (adjust the TPMS system) every time a change is made. For example, when you installed a new set of wheels, repaired tires, did balancing, and the like. Using TPMS controllers is quite simple. The main thing is to read the instructions for use of the device. And make sure that the tire pressure is the one recommended by the car manufacturer.

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Every car owner gets annoyed if the tire pressure error icon lights up on the dashboard. This indicator informs you that something is wrong with the wheels. However, even if the tire pressure is optimal, the tire pressure error must be reset.

The fact is that if the TPMS system icon constantly signals insufficient pressure, the driver will not be able to know when the rubber will actually begin to deflate. Driving becomes dangerous for both you and other road users. It is necessary to find out the cause of the malfunction as soon as possible and reset the tire pressure error. This is the only way to operate the vehicle safely.

The fact is that it is impossible to turn off the sensors. We'll have to look for other ways to remedy the situation. What exactly? Now we'll tell you.

How to reset a TPMS error

The most obvious way to reset a tire pressure sensor error is to check the condition of the tires. Yes, the error in the operation of devices is extremely high, but in most cases they still signal a real problem.

If the insidious light comes on while driving, stop at a convenient authorized place and make sure the tire is properly inflated. To do this, it is better to use a pressure gauge, because it is not so easy to determine by eye where the air is released.

Then proceed according to the situation. Try inflating the tire to the standard level, and then start the car and drive at normal speed for several kilometers.

Hyundai Creta tire pressure error will reset itself, without requiring additional expert intervention. The miracle did not happen, or was the tire completely in order, but the light continues to burn, distracting and annoying? Then you have to be cunning and here are the main ways:

  • Try to go to the track and move along it at the same speed for an hour. The fact is that the sensors installed in the Korean crossover function only on the go, and sometimes it takes time to receive an adequate signal from the disks to the head unit.
  • If there is no time for a “journey”, you can actually try to deflate the tire and then pump it up to the standard rate. Then you have to reset the error in the original way, after driving a few kilometers.
  • Didn't that help too? Then reboot your device. Remove the battery terminals for a couple of minutes, and then put them back in place.

Important note: If you decide to remove the sensors from the discs, in the hope of getting rid of a regular error, then you will not come to the desired result. The light will remain on even if there are no devices.


There is another way to disable TPMS on your Hyundai Creta. Experts call it initialization and it is mainly used when changing wheels between seasons. Proceed step by step:

  1. Switch on the ignition, but do not start the engine.
  2. In this state, hold down the SET button. You will find it on the left side of the steering wheel.
  3. Wait for a beep to confirm that the initialization procedure is complete.

If none of the above methods helped, the light remains on, and you are absolutely sure that the tire pressure is at the level recommended by the manufacturer, you will have to go to a service center.

There, using special software and a scanner, the master will be able to forcibly shut down the system or reflash it in order to finally rid the driver of the problem.

Important note: Even a specialist in a service center does not disable tire pressure sensors. He only makes sure that the annoying signal on the dashboard does not turn on.


Sometimes a frequent error may indicate that the device itself is broken. In this case, resetting errors on the Hyundai Creta will not help, because it will not fix the breakdown. Try changing the TPMS to a new one. You can do it yourself, but you will have to tinker.

The tire pressure sensors in the Korean crossover are hidden directly inside the wheels, in the tire cavity. So for replacement, you will have to dismantle each of them.

The best option would be to contact a specialized service center, but if you prefer to handle it yourself, then at least call a friend to help you, who will hold the disk.

But it is not necessary to register new devices after their installation. Just drive a few kilometers at the same speed and the information will begin to be transmitted to the head unit.

At the same time, no one will guarantee that beginners will not start making mistakes and you will not have to reset the Hyundai Creta tire pressure sensor. After all, you remember about the 30 percent error?

However, we do not recommend trying to disable the pressure control. Better try to get used to it. Factory-installed sensors on the Hyundai Creta are one of the basic security systems designed to protect against accidents, rapid tire wear and other troubles.


Vladimir, 55 years old (Yaroslavl)

What is the standard pressure for the Hyundai Crete provided by the manufacturer and does it depend on the type of engine?

This indicator does not depend on the vehicle equipment. In a normally loaded car, tire pressure should be 2.3 bar, and in crossovers with a maximum load, 2.5 bar. The manufacturer's recommendations are displayed on a sticker located on the front of the driver's door. You can verify this for yourself.

Sergey, 29 years old (Abakan)

How does the level of tire pressure depend on weather conditions? I noticed that the malfunction from the sensors pops up only in the winter period.

The lower the air temperature, the lower the tire pressure drops. Therefore, in climates with cold winters, it is recommended to inflate tires a little more than the manufacturer requires. But we are talking about really low temperatures (from -20 degrees and less).

Dmitry, 25 years old (Barnaul)

How often can a Hyundai Creta reset errors so that the head unit does not refuse to work?

There are no specific recommendations for this. But if you have to reset too often, you should think about the causes of the problem and deal with it once.

Learn more