Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) is an essential safety feature in modern vehicles. It helps drivers monitor tire pressure and alerts them when there is a significant pressure drop. While most new cars have TPMS sensors, older models might not be equipped with this feature.
That said, we have penned some common ways that will help you to check if there are any TPMS sensors on your vehicle. Moreover, if your vehicle doesn’t have it, consider consulting with an automotive professional to explore the possibility of retrofitting this vital safety feature.
Different Methods To Check If The Vehicle Has TPMS Sensors
There are two types of TPMS sensors, direct and indirect. However, only direct one’s can be checked physically on a vehicle. Here are some methods to check if a vehicle has TPMS sensors installed.
Check The Owner’s Manual TPMS Sensors
The first and easiest step is to check the vehicle’s owner’s manual. It contains comprehensive information about the vehicle’s features and specifications, including whether it has a TPMS system or not. The manual should also provide details on how to interpret TPMS warning lights on the dashboard, if applicable.
Examine The Dashboard
For vehicles equipped with TPMS, there will be a TPMS warning light on the dashboard. When you turn the ignition on (without starting the engine), the dashboard will illuminate various symbols briefly, including the TPMS warning light.
If the vehicle has this light, it indicates the presence of TPMS sensors. In addition, some older models might have a different TPMS indicator. Therefore, it is necessary to consult the owner’s manual for clarification.
Check For TPMS Reset Button
Some vehicles come with a TPMS reset button located on the dashboard or near the steering wheel. This button allows drivers to recalibrate the TPMS system after adjusting tire pressure or replacing tires. Its presence is a strong indication that the vehicle has it installed.
Look For Valve Stem Sensors
Direct TPMS sensors are often mounted inside the tire near the valve stem. The valve stem sensor is bulkier than a regular valve stem and has a small cap with electronic components. Carefully inspect the valve stems of all tires. If you find such valve stem sensors, it confirms the presence of a TPMS system.
TPMS sensors Tools And Scanners
Several TPMS tools and scanning devices are available in the market that can identify it. These tools are generally used by automotive technicians, but some are user-friendly enough for consumers. They can communicate with the vehicle’s TPMS system and display sensor information, including the presence of TPMS sensors and their status.
Check The Manufacturer’s Website
Many vehicle manufacturers have online resources where you can enter your vehicle’s VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) to get detailed information about its specifications and features. Visit the manufacturer’s official website and use their VIN lookup tool to find out if your vehicle is equipped with it.
Observe The Tire Valve Caps
Some TPMS-equipped vehicles have unique tire valve caps that indicate the presence of TPMS sensors. These caps may have an “S” for “sensor” imprinted on them, or they could have a colored band. While not all TPMS-equipped vehicles have these caps, their presence can be a clue to the presence of it.
These were all the ways to check if the vehicle has it or not. Moreover, if your vehicle has tire pressure sensors missing, you can order new car TPMS sensors with extensive features and specifications.
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