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Monthly Archives: October 2015


Top 5 TPMS Tips UK

TPMS – Safety Economy Performance

Maintaining  the TPMS prevents premature failure and ensures the safety, economy and performance of the vehicle are not compromised due to ignorance.

From Identifying TPMS to Correctly Servicing the system – read our top 5 UK TPMS tips here:

Top 5 TPMS Tips UK

1. Replacement TPMS

When dealing with replacing TPMS the best trick you can learn is how to diagnose the problem correctly first time every time. If the TPMS is faulty you can quickly clone the original and replace it in under 5 minutes using a universal programmable TPMS.  This means stocking just one sensor to suit almost every car or van.

2. Freeing Corroded TPMS

When the TPMS is seized due to corrosion it can be very difficult to remove without damaging the sensor. most tyre bays will force the stem and break the sensor, but often with a little penetrating oil such as WD-40 the stem can be worked loose without damaging the sensor, once removed the sensor can often be fitted with a new stem and service kit.

3. Relearn Procedures

When fitting new sensors or rotating the wheels on some vehicles the TPMS system may require a relearn procedure to be carried out – All our tools have relearn procedures built into the software so you can quickly resolve the situation and have the relearn procedure to hand.

4. Quickly Identify Vehicles with TPMS Sensors

Vehicles registered after November 2014 will all have a TPMS System. However some use an indirect method (via the ABS) – if the pressure is shown on the dash you can be sure there are sensors in the wheels as the indirect method is not that accurate. Tips for identifying that the vehicle has TPMS Sensors:

  • TPMS warning symbol on the dash during start-up.
  • Live tyre pressure displayed on the dash
  • Tyres can be scanned via TPMS Tool
  • If tyres have a rubber stem check to see if there is a bevel and the rubber coating stops before reaching the threads when the cap is removed.
  • If the tyres have a metal stem.

5. Correct service items must be used

Metal dust caps are to be avoided as they are the number one cause for premature failure, causing metal to metal corrosion. Another common cause for premature failure is the wrong valve cores being used, TPMS stems must use Nickel plated electro-less cores to prevent corrosion. Normal Copper and Brass valve cores must not be used.

Every time the tyre is removed from the rim follow the manufacturer guidance and use a service kit to service perishable items – they usually include a plastic cap, valve core, nut, seals and washers. If the stem is damaged either replace with a new stem or if a stem isn’t available replace the entire sensor.

Why it is important to look after the TPMS

The main thing to remember is preventative maintenance, this will ensure long service life and helping the vehicle owner save money in the long run.

Tyre rotations and repairs can cost money due to the TPMS but the benefits include higher fuel efficiency, better handling, extended tyre life and shorter stopping distances.

Maintaining  the TPMS prevents premature failure and ensures the safety, economy and performance of the vehicle are not compromised due to ignorance.

November is almost here – the nights are getting darker, longer and colder.

Stay Safe and Happy Halloween from the TPMS Team

Happy halloween


Published Date: 28th October 2015
Category: Safety, TECH: Help, Trade, Tyres
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The Garage or Tyre Bay broke the TPMS!

Who’s to blame?

The customer takes their car that has TPMS to the tyre bay for new tyres or a puncture… the TPMS gets broken, and the customer wants it put right by the person that broke the TPMS Sensor!

It may have been faulty already, it may have been corroded and brittle… but can the technician prove it wasn’t their fault?

the stem snapped on this TPMS due to corrosion

Testing for TPMS before proceeding

Had the technician tested for TPMS and carried out a quick inspection before starting work, and advised the customer regards the condition of the TPMS then the situation could have been averted.

Testing for TPMS also ensures you have customer engagement and a customer who has faith in your service. Most customers do not realise they have TPMS sensors in the tyres and will benefit from your knowledge – this is critical in keeping your customer happy  and ensuring customer retention.

Failing to test the TPMS before starting work is the first step towards it failing and the Technician getting the blame.

Schrader recommend the following procedure : Test Before Touch – TBT.

A properly stocked repair bay streamlines the repair process and ensures that the required repair elements are available on-demand. An essential, must-have element for TPMS repair, hand-held scan/programming TPMS tools are needed for reading, activating, programming, and relearning sensors on the vehicle. These tools enable technicians to “Test Before You Touch” – checking sensors for functionality, verifying tire pressure, and sharing TPMS state with the customer before beginning the repair, thus limiting liability by helping repair centres avoid inheriting other’s problems. – See more at: Schrader

Test Before Touch Procedure

  1. Check the TPMS warning symbol on the dash.
    1. Turns ON then OFF = TPMS is working fine
    2. No light turns on = Is TPMS Fitted?
    3. Stays ON = Low tyre pressure in one or more tyres.
    4. Flashing ON = Potential sensor or system malfunction.
  2. Check valve caps
    1. Are any missing?
    2. Are they correct type – Metal stem = Plastic cap ; speak to customer before replacing or removing, as they are the prime reason for corroded stems and will weld themselves on.
    3. Visually check the stems for damage, corrosion and breakage. If a fault is found discuss it with the customer and notify them that the TPMS requires servicing.
  3. Check TPMS Sensors with a handheld scanner / diagnostic tool.
    1. Test Before Touch – is the industry best practice.
    2. Determine whether all sensors are functional and advise the customer of battery status.
    3. Check actual pressure against TPMS reading.
  4. Print pre-repair inspection report or complete a notice to the customer
    1. Should show date, make / model, owners name, reg number, TPMS notes from test and get customer to sign.
    2. Discuss any battery issues with the customer – advise if one has failed it is likely that all will fail at around the same time. Batteries typically last 5-7 years.
    3. Discuss any corrosion issues and be sure the customer is informed regards MOT legislation – TPMS sensors must be replaced with another TPMS rather than a standard stem.
    4. Once the customer has been informed and with their approval begin work.

Gaining mutual trust with your customer

By carrying out a test before touching procedure you are earning your customers respect and trust.

For those customers that had no or limited prior knowledge of TPMS you are instilling confidence and educating them on issues that you may have been blamed for had they failed whilst you were working.  Whilst the customer who had prior knowledge will be impressed by your care and will expect a procedure to be in place of testing before touching.

If you need more information

Our technical help team can assist with any specific model enquiries, or if you need testing equipment that is easy to use and provides printed reports for audit purposes look here.

For more information on the best practice on servicing TPMS read our article.

If your garage broke your TPMS… then Share this article!

Make sure the next customer’s TPMS is tested before it is touched.


Published Date: 20th October 2015
Category: News, TECH: Help, Trade, Tyres
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ACD Open Day Saturday 17 October

Everyone is Welcome

This coming Saturday 17 October, at 10:00am our parent company ACD of Lancashire is throwing open the doors and everyone is welcome to come and see what we do at Brookside Mill.

TPMS Warehouse Trade

Free TPMS Demonstrations and Tech Advice

We have all our experts on hand to meet and greet, and offer FREE no obligation demonstrations and selected ex demo TPMS right through till 2:00pm, and there will be a Free Lancashire Lunch is provided free of charge along with unlimited hot and cold drinks.

What else is there to do?

Our site tours offer a behind the scenes look at a modern breakers yard – you can visit our repair facility, and our many storage warehouses of new and used parts.

We are located just 15 minutes from the M6 – 5 minutes off the M65, and offer a warm and friendly welcome. Find Directions here.

Members of our ACD sales and breaking team will be on hand with high quality used and selected new parts from our Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Volvo spares warehouses.

If you can’t come…

Please come along if you can; we have many special open day deals and opportunities for both trade and end users. If you can’t make it on Saturday…. feel free to get in contact with us on 01254 301021 and call down at another time, we are always happy to oblige with any requests for demonstrations or just help out a confused customer.


Published Date: 12th October 2015
Category: News
Tags: ,



TPMS Servicing Best Practice in the Tyre Bay

Servicing TPMS – Best Practice

Manufacturer recommendations state that the TPMS Sensors need servicing each time the tyre is removed from the rim. This will ensure long life and minimise the risk of premature failure.

Offering a full range of TPMS servicing is Best Practice for your automotive business too – especially if you are under pressure to make profit.

Serviceable Parts

Sensors do vary in construction – some are one piece stem designs that are moulded to the sensor, some are fully serviceable and a small number use rubber snap in valves.

We stock a full range of service kits and stems; the service components can include:

Rubber Grommet – this creates a good airtight seal to the rim

Outer Collar – Ensures corrosion on the valve body is minimised and ensures a tight fit to the rim.

Nickel Plated Valve Core – Ensures the airtightness of the valve, aluminium stems must have nickel plated cores to prevent corrosion (do not use standard brass cores).

Stem – Aluminium stems are sensor specific and not always replaceable. Prone to corrosion if not serviced correctly.

Plastic Sealing Cap – Plastic stem caps ensure dust and debris do not enter the valve core. (Metal caps should not be fitted to Aluminium TPMS Stems due to a higher risk of corrosion)

TPMS Inspection / Diagnosis

Inspection of the TPMS is a very important step in maintaining best practice. It determines that the TPMS is present and functioning as expected. This is an excellent opportunity to engage with the customer. The condition of the TPMS should be recorded. Follow our diagnosis check to find unknown faults.

What is needed to get started with TPMS?

You will need a TPMS detection device or scanner – to check for TPMS presence before starting any service activity on the wheel, this will also provide an overview that the TPMS is functioning on all four wheels.

TS601 Tool can be used to scan for TPMS in the wheelstpms fitting tools tpms warehouse591394

We use the TS601 to scan a customers wheels and diagnose any issues before we even remove the wheel.This stand alone tool will record and store the pressure readings, battery state and unique ID’s.

You will also need a calibrated fitting tool kit to ensure the specified tightness and torques are observed. We have several tool kits available including master kits and fitters pouch kits.


A TPMS Service Starter Kit is essential for Valve Servicing and Replacement, we have many options available including light use kits that have a few of the most common service kits and stems so you can provide the manufacturer recommended servicing at the point when tyres are changed or punctures repaired. We also stock individual refill kits.

TPMS Servicing

There are three different levels of service beyond visual inspection and diagnosis:

TPMS Service Kit - seals, grommet, core & cap Valve ServiceTPMS Service Kit - seals, grommet, core & cap Good PracticeValve Service Good Practice

Basic valve service as per manufacturer recommendations, this is for preventative maintenance during punctures etc.

Valve Replacement Better PracticeValve Replacement  Better Practice

Valve replacement when fitting new tyres, recommended good practice.

TPMS Sensor replacement Best PracticeSensor replacement Best Practice

Full service of the TPMS – including new stem, seals and sensor. Best practice and the only option when the internal battery dies.


Replacing TPMS – Best Practice

When replacing TPMS it helps if you have the sensor you need in stock – we recommend the use of Universal TPMS Sensors. Universal sensors ensure that one sensor will cover up to 99% of factory fitted sensors, so you no longer need to keep over 75 different types of sensor in stock.


When a new sensor is fitted to a vehicle the car needs to pair with the new sensor to the module, this can be via diagnostic tools, by driving or a few models pair automatically. With the relearn procedure (pairing) in mind it is best practice to clone the original sensor – this will eliminate the need to get the car to pair with the new sensor, which can save time and money for your customer.

Reading the ID from an OE Sensor
Reading the ID from an OE Sensor

To clone you need the unique ID from each original sensor; which can be read via diagnostic tools or by manually reading the codes printed on each sensor.

New Sensor

If a replacement sensor is used (not cloned) the relearn procedure will need to be carried out. The higher end programming and diagnostic tools will provide the relearn procedure for you, our recommended tool the TS601 provides the relearn data and allows you to programme via the OBDII to hundreds of vehicles that require the OBDII method.

Universal sensors can be programmed as a new TPMS sensor when cloning isn’t possible, but bear in mind the extra time required to complete the relearn procedure.


Published Date: 9th October 2015
Category: Cloning, Re-Learn Procedures, Trade, Tyres



Alligator Sens.it has arrived in the UK

We offer various solutions for TPMS


  • OEM
  • Aftermarket
  • Blank Programmables
  • Ready fit Pre-programmed (cover several sensors)
  • Retro Fit Kits including monitor

Our Programmable Sens.it starter kit from Alligator

Introductory trade price of £409+vat (RRP £549+vat)


  • Desktop USB Programming Pad
  • 8 Blank Sensors & Stems
  • FREE Software & Updates from Alligator

The software is FREE and you can try before you buy, the latest edition also records every sensor programmed and the ability to store customer details.

Software Link:http://www.alligator-sensit.com/start.html?content=download

universal tpms alligator sens.it kit set

Replacement blank sensors start from £33+vat and we have no minimum order – everything is sent Next Day Delivery.

Some vehicles can auto relearn a new sensor – these sensors tend to be very expensive (Audi, BMW, etc), whilst the ones that are cheap mostly require programming via the OBD (Renault, Citroen). Cloning the ID’s on existing sensors ensures the vehicle will not need to be plugged in – but will recognise them and immediately fix the TPMS error.

There are a wide range of advanced tools, that are compatible with and can programme Sens.it programmable sensors. So even if you already have the tools we have the blank sensors and a wide range of fitting tools and stems to meet your needs.


Published Date: 6th October 2015
Category: Alligator
Tags: , , ,



TPMS Failure due to Battery

TPMS Sensors will fail due to the Battery

TPMS Failure due to Battery:

Typically the TPMS battery will last 5-7 years or up to approx. 100,000 miles whichever comes sooner. There are many factors that affect the battery life:

·         Frequent short journeys

·         Temperature extremes

·         Driving conditions

·         Continued driving with a current alert (low pressure warning)

Most sensors use a 3v lithium ion battery, which is embedded into the sensor body, to ensure it is secure and not susceptible to flying loose in the tyre. Because the battery is embedded once it loses power the only option is to replace the entire unit.

We handle lots of enquiries asking why they can’t be replaced, and it all comes down to safety.

What happens when the battery dies?

When the battery fails, it will stop transmitting to the receiver and becomes inoperable. When the ECU fails to receive this data it will wait a short period before alerting the driver via the warning system of failure.


Some vehicles will indicate which wheel is at fault where others will simply illuminate the warning symbol.

It is very common and expected that all the sensors will fail at around the same time, as they should have all had the same workload. However it is common that if there has been a repeated issue with just one wheel then the sensor would have sent data more frequently and would drain quicker than the rest.

Most tyre bays carry TPMS scanners that will allow the technician to read the battery data – however this data is unreliable as a low battery could technically last another 6 months or longer.

Replacing all the sensors before or when one fails, will help avoid last minute expense and panic when the vehicle MOT is due. Many vehicles are now covered by the new MOT rules and require no warning lights to be present at the time of the test.

Is there a battery-less option?

At the moment this option isn’t available, however we do expect in the next 5+ years for it to be more widely tested – whether manufacturers will opt into this technology remains to be seen and we do not expect it to be backwards compatible.

Once the battery dies the only option is total replacement. 

shop now


Published Date: 2nd October 2015
Category: TPMS, Trade