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Tire Pressure Monitor System Terminology

Two terms used in the industry is most commonly misinterpreted by the consumer of our products

  • Program
  • Relearn

 

Before we look at these two terms, Tire Pressure Monitor Sensors are available from the OEM, Original Equipment Manufacturer, and Aftermarket.  With OEM Sensors, these sensors are purchased based on year make and model of the vehicle and already contain the protocol necessary for the sensor to communicate to the vehicle.  With Aftermarket sensors there are many companies producing TPM Sensors that are:

  • Similar to OEM Style (also referred to Single Protocol)  These are typically for specific year make and models of vehicles.

 

  • Multi-Protocol TPM Sensors contain many different protocols and can be used on a variety of year make and models of vehicles.

 

  • Programmable TPMS Sensors contain no protocol and are required to be programmed.

 

Program and Relearn

Program:  To program a TPM sensor refers to copying specific protocol to a sensor so that it can communicate with a specific year make and model of vehicle.  Programming Is not required with OEM, OEM Style, or Multi-Protocol Sensor as they already contain the specific protocol necessary for communication. 

 

Relearn:  To Relearn a TPM Sensor refers to “Pairing” the TPM Sensor to the vehicles ECU, Electronic Control Unit.   This process is also known as “Relearn Procedure”.   Each TPM Sensor contains a unique identification number and is matched to the vehicles ECU through the Relearn Procedure as outlined by the manufacturer.  There are 4 Relearn Procedures commonly used throughout the world:

  1. Auto Learn (Chrysler, Jeep RAM)
    1. Sensors are installed and driven for a specific amount of time and speed.  Requires NO Tools
  2. Manual Learn (Ford, Chevrolet)
    1. Sensors are installed, the vehicle is placed in Relearn Mode as outlined by the manufacturer and then each sensor is triggered to complete the process.  Requires Trigger Device
  3. European Auto Learn (Mercedes Benz, BMW)
    1. Sensors are installed, the vehicle is placed into relearn mode as outlined by the manufacturer and then driven for a specific amount of time and speed.  Requires NO Tools
  4. OBDII Relearn (Asian Imports)
    1. Requires TPMS Scan Tool with ODBII Connections. 
    2. Sensors are installed, sensors are scanned with TPMS Scan Tool and uploaded into the vehicles ECU using the OBDII Interface.

 

Final Note:

Not all sensors are required to be Programmed as they already contain the necessary protocol to communicate with the vehicle, however,  all TPM Sensors including programmable TPM Sensors will require the Relearn Procedure to be performed after installation to “Pair” the sensors unique identifications to the vehicles ECU.