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From the Magazine

TPMS Quick Tip: The Right Tool for the Job

When a customer states their TPMS light is on, the first thing you think of is your TPMS scan tool, and you’re blind without it. Regardless of the problem or the resulting repair, your scan tool comes into play before, after and during the repair. But, there are a few additional tools that can save you time, make the repair process a lot easier and ensure a high-quality repair.

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The repair order says “Customer states TPMS light is on.” Naturally, the first thing you think of is your TPMS scan tool, and you’re blind without it. Regardless of the problem or the resulting repair, your scan tool comes into play before, after and during the repair. But, there are a few additional tools that can save you time, make the repair process a lot easier and ensure a high-quality repair.

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One of the quickest time-savers is a TPMS valve stem cap set, sometimes referred to as a tire-deflator set. You simply remove the valve caps and install the correctly marked (RF, LF, RR, LR) cap in place. It will depress the valve stem and release the air while you move on to other things, saving you time.

These also prevent you from having to remove and potentially lose the valve core, and with their position marking, there is no guesswork on putting the wheels back on in the same spot. This is especially useful if you are replacing or repairing tires. Some of these tools also have a provision to store the original cap when in use — no more digging in your pockets to remember where you put them.

TPMS valve core torque tools are designed to remove and install the valve cores and are preset at 4 in.-lbs. of torque so you cannot over-tighten them. Precision is a must with TPMS in order to prevent even the smallest of leaks or damaged components.

The most common sizes of clamp-in style TPMS sensor-securing nuts is 10, 11 and 12mm, and deep 1/4-in. drive sockets work perfect for these, but some flip sockets are also available featuring a different size on each end.

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Definitely one you don’t want to overlook is a 1/4-in. drive in.-lb. torque wrench to ensure that clamp-in sensors are not over-tightened.

If you prefer old-school in the tool category, specific analog TPMS tire pressure gauges are available that offer precise readings and the accuracy required for TPMS work.

Many of these tools are available in kits but whether you buy them together or separate, it’s a nice touch to have all your TPMS tools together in one location — but keep it a secret or get used to loaning them out!  TS

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