Nissan TPMS systems began appearing in 2003 as a standard feature or option on most models. And, for the past decade, the behavior of all Nissan TPMS systems has been very consistent on all models.
There is only one trick to service Nissan TPMS systems, and that is to buy the right tools. A TPMS tool that can interface through the OBD II port is needed to profitably perform Nissan TPMS relearns and sensor replacement. Lost business and productivity will result if you try to avoid making this investment.
Unlike some domestic systems where a relearn procedure can be performed by just pressing a few buttons on a key fob, most Nissans require the use of an enhanced factory scan tool or dedicated TPMS tool. The tool must be able talk to the BCM through the OBD II port to initiate a learning mode or input sensor IDs.
This is sometimes called a “corporate” TPMS relearn procedure because it once could only be performed with an OE scan tool. But now there are aftermarket tools and software that can perform the task. The OE method is to put the BCM into a learn mode with a scan tool and activate the sensors with an activation tool. The activation tool sends a low-frequency signal to the sensor’s antenna. This “ping” tells the sensor to transmit.
With some TPMS tools, it is possible to excite the sensor with a low-frequency signal and record the information with the tool. The information can then be programmed into the TPMS module through the OBD II connection.
Another option if you do not have an activation tool is to go for a test drive with your scan tool.
First, set the tire pressures to:
• Left Front: 34 psi • Right Front: 31 psi
• Right Rear: 29 psi • Left Rear: 26 psi
Then, use the scan tool to put the BCM into “ID registration” mode. Drive the vehicle at 25 mph or more for several minutes until the scan tool tells you it is “done” and that all the IDs are registered and assigned to the four different tire pressures. After the test drive, inflate the tires to the correct pressure. This is a last-ditch procedure if your activation tool is not working, or if there might be issues with sensors’ antennas.
The receiver for the system is typically located under the dash. Depending on the model, the system may or may not share the antenna with the keyless entry system. The BCM communicates with the instrument cluster through the CAN bus to turn on the TPMS light or display the tire pressures on the driver information center.
If you are pulling “no communication” codes, the TPMS problem may just be a symptom of a larger problem. For example, if the BCM is not able to communicate with the ABS or the transmission module needed to determine vehicle speed, the TPMS system will not operate and turn on the light.
Nissan is the fourth largest make found on U.S. roads. It is estimated that more than 18 million Nissans are equipped with TPMS systems, representing a significant service opportunity. Trying to get around the investment in a proper TPMS tool is not a practical or efficient practice for a professional shop.