Cars today are advanced, their computers can tell us when the tire pressure is low, some give us the exact tire pressure reading. But what about when the low tire pressure warning light stays on after a tire has been repaired or replaced? Tire and auto repair shops today need to have the right auto specialty tool to deal with this. Choosing a TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) tool that can reset the warning light on most makes of vehicles is needed, since most shops work on more than one type of car.
Direct or Indirect TPM systems are used on cars today. Direct tire pressure monitoring systems have sensors that can measure the exact tire pressure in each tire (including the spare on some models). The tire pressure sensors are either mounted by a steel band or built into the valve stem. These type sensors have a battery that can fail over time like any other battery. The sensors are not serviceable, so when the battery fails the unit is replaced. Caution must be taken when changing tires with the direct type TPM sensors, they can be damaged inadvertently when breaking the bead of the tire when using the tire machine. Consumers should also be aware that "fix a flat" or any similar tire sealer can damage the sensors.
Indirect TPM systems do not have tire pressure sensors on each wheel, they use the vehicle's ABS (Anti Lock Brake) wheel speed sensors to calculate the speed of each tire. The idea is that equally inflated tires will travel at the same speed. The computer detects the slight difference in speed of the under inflated tire and turns the warning on.
OTC is the primary OE (original equipment) tool manufacturer, therefore OTC makes most of the car dealer manufacturer specific essential (required by the manufacturer) TPM diagnostic/reset tools GM's OTC TPM reset tool number is J-46079 (Kent Moore), Ford's auto specialty tool number for resetting the TPM warning light is Rotunda 204-363 ( Rotunda TKIT-20006V4-FLM). OTC owns both Kent Moore and Rotunda along with other manufacturer specific auto specialty tool manufactures. The problem for the average auto repair shop is that it is not feasible to own each of the manufacturer specific TPMS auto specialty tool for each vehicle manufacturer. And, each manufacturer specific tool is only capable of resetting their specific brand. For instance if you have the Ford Rotunda TPMS tool it will work only on Ford and not Chevrolet, Nissan etc. The OTC 3833 Tire Pressure Monitoring Reset Tool is a very popular choice when it comes to TPMS auto specialty tools. The reason is that it is made by OTC and has software that allows it to have a wide range of coverage, not just one manufacturer.
By Dennis Bandy