Winter Tires and TPMS
Most new cars will be equipped with sensors integrated in the valve. These transmit their own ID number together with information about tire pressure and temperature and other information via high frequency to the vehicle ECU so that the driver can be warned of critical values through a warning light.
Every time a TPMS sensor is replaced, the vehicle ECU has to be reprogrammed and the unique ID and position of each sensor must be entered into the vehicle. This needs to be done e.g. in the case of a faulty sensor/valve or low sensor battery.
Especially when creating winter tires, where the procedure has to be repeated 4 times (and every time when changing from summer to winter tires and the other way around), the amount of work is considerable.
But not only that: Since car and tire manufacturers use a multitude of different sensors, a tire workshop that wants to offer TPMS repairs has to stock every single sensor type.
In order to tackle this problem, the leading valve manufacturer Schrader and the world’s leading manufacturer of TPMS activation and diagnostics systems, Bartec Auto ID, have developed a completely programmable sensor, the EZ-sensor. It can emulate OEM sensors’ identities which makes the programming of the ECU redundant. Hence the TPMS repair time is reduced tremendously. In the USA, where TPMS have been mandatory for a couple of years now, the EZ-sensor has been introduced in 2012 and is capable of replacing over 90% of the roughly 150 different OEM sensors there. A similar market coverage is anticipated for Europe as well. Workshops can therefore reduce their stock drastically and still offer TPMS repairs. In Addition , other sensors are available for the aftermarket TPM Sensor demand including, OE Sensors, ALLIGATOR sens.it®, VDO REDI-Sensor™ & Orange Electronic OE Replacement Sensor as per the visuals below.
|Schrader "EZ-sensor®"||Orange Electronics "OE Replacement Sensor"||VDO "REDO-Sensor™"||Alligator "sens.it®"||OE Sensors|
And the programming process is very simple: Handheld devices like the TECH400SDE from Bartec Auto ID or the EXP’AIR from Schrader can activate and read every sensor in a tire and display its ID number. Within seconds this number can then be programmed into an EZ-sensor that transmits the unique signal of the previously used sensor henceforward. If the wheel with the sensor is mounted to the car in the right position, the ECU doesn’t even notice that a new sensor is in use and thus does not need to be reprogrammed.
When changing a single sensor the saving of time is obvious already. When changing tires seasonally, this applies even more as summer and winter tires can, once programmed, be swapped back and forth again and again.
But what happens with the TPMS Sensor if I have to change a tire or all four tires because of the switch from summer to winter tires twice a year?