How to Perform a TPMS Inspection and Communicate It to Your Customer

When a customer visits your repair facility for a tire replacement, tire rotation, or TPMS-related concern, your first action before performing any work should be to obtain their information and conduct a quick system check. This extra effort upfront will help you explain potential damages later and, most important, ensure that your customer is pleased with their service experience. Here’s what to do:

To start, perform a bulb check by simply turning the ignition key from OFF to RUN. All of the warning lamps on the dash should illuminate and go off in approximately 5 seconds. If not, there’s an error.

Error #1: Low Tire Pressure Telltale (Solid TPMS Light)

If the light remains illuminated, the TPMS system is indicating that one or more tires has an inflation error. Some vehicles (if the previous service provider performed a relearn) provide an additional message indicating the position of the fault. For low tire pressure, check the placard on the vehicle to find the recommended pressure, fill up the tire accordingly, make sure the warning light goes out, and repair the cause of the leak.

Error #2: Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) Telltale (Flashing TPMS Light)

If the light flashes (at least 60 seconds and no longer than 90 seconds) during a bulb check, there is a fault with the TPMS system, such as the sensor, receiver, or module. Use a tool to retrieve Diagnostic Trouble Codes from the vehicle, or use a TPMS tool to read each sensor. For more information on these procedures, refer to the videos on our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/TechSmartParts.

TPMS Relearn

The final step of any tire or TPMS-related work should be a TPMS Relearn. This step will ensure that the correct ID numbers are stored in the proper location. In the event of a future fault, the relearn will indicate the correct position to the driver and future repair technician.

Keep an Inspection Sheet

Once the work is complete and the money is collected, it’s helpful to have an inspection sheet to show the customer. The inspection sheet should document as much information as possible, including customer information, TPMS ID numbers, DTCs, and more. Also, you can use the inspection sheet to inform the customer that 1.) a relearn was performed and 2.) they can feel safe knowing their TPMS system is functioning and reporting properly. In the end, this simple communication can go a long way toward ensuring a successful TPMS repair and a happy customer. 

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