Best TPMS Tools: Reset Tire Pressure Sensors Yourself and Save Money

This simple, easy-to-use tool can save a you a big headache.

byHank O'Hop| UPDATED Jan 17, 2023 3:55 PM
Best TPMS Tools: Reset Tire Pressure Sensors Yourself and Save Money

The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links. Read more.

BYHank O'Hop/ LAST UPDATED ON January 17, 2023

Keeping your tires in check is easier now more than ever. With TPMS sensors in place, your car tells you if pressure is out of whack and even gives a live reading of tire pressure in some cases. With this system in place, you have almost no excuse not to be running the right tire pressure at all times. That is unless your TPMS sensors are out of whack. But even that is made easy when you add a TPMS tool to your collection. This device is how you keep your tire pressure monitoring system in check. The only thing standing between you and the perfect model for your situation is the hunt, and that's exactly what we're here to handle.

Best Overall
Autel MaxiTPMS New Generation Diagnostic & Service Tool

Autel MaxiTPMS New Generation Diagnostic & Service Tool

Summary
This TPMS tool gives you direct access to your vehicle’s engine control unit and allows you to clear sensors and diagnostic trouble codes.
Pros
  • TPMS relearn gives access to the vehicle’s ECU for quick diagnostics and reading and writing of the sensors’ IDs
  • Sensor Check feature allows viewing of TPMS data such as the sensor’s ID, battery, and position, plus tire pressure and temperature
  • Offers professional-level readings for in-depth information
Cons
  • Sensor programming may be a little awkward
  • Professional features may confuse first-time users
Best Value

Autel MaxiTPMS TS401

Summary
A handheld TPMS tool that will work with 98 percent of cars and trucks by scanning the TPMS sensor’s ID, then inputting the IDs directly into the device.
Pros
  • Activates all tire deflation-triggered and magnetic-triggered sensors found in TPMS units
  • A lifetime of free updates included
  • Stores your previous settings
Cons
  • Does not read the battery level of the old sensors (if replacing sensors)
  • May not work on sensors that are not Autel brand
Honorable Mention

JDIAG 2IN1 TPMS Relearn Tool

Summary
This easy-to-use, economical TPMS tool works fast with only the touch of a button and can be used on a wide variety of vehicles, including most GM and Ford cars and trucks.
Pros
  • Simple to operate, even for first-time users
  • Works on after-market as well as OEM tire pressure sensors
  • Illustrated instructions included
Cons
  • The written instructions could be more complete
  • Sometimes the tool does not reset the malfunction indicator light (MIL)

Summary List

Our Methodology

Why Trust Us

Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

Learn more

To identify the best TPMS tools available, we searched online for products at different price points and various features, and compared them with user reviews. We also looked at each device's compatibility with different TPMS sensors, gauged how compatible each was with modern vehicles, and chose those that offered the most versatility. Finally, we considered how extensive any given TPMS tool’s features and ability to read different codes was, opting to highlight those that could diagnose more problems for added convenience. To learn more about how we select and rate products, check this out.

Best TPMS Tool Reviews & Recommendations

Specs

  • Manufacturer: Autel
  • Part Number:TS508K
  • Weight: 1.76 Pounds

Pros

  • TPMS relearn gives access to the vehicle’s ECU for quick diagnostics and reading and writing of the sensors’ IDs
  • Sensor Check feature allows viewing of TPMS data such as the sensor’s ID, battery, and position, plus tire pressure and temperature
  • Offers professional-level readings for in-depth information

Cons

  • Sensor programming may be a little awkward
  • Professional features may confuse first-time users

Autel is a reputable brand that's very popular for its automotive diagnostic tools. The MaxiTPMS TS508, one of the products in the series, is a tool that does more than just monitor air pressure. It can scan, relearn, program, and display sensor information. It comes with a color screen that shows you the different values. This TPMS tool activates recognized OEM and universal TPMS sensors. It also offers direct access to your vehicle’s engine control unit (ECU), so you can use it to clear diagnostic trouble codes and to reprogram sensor IDs. You can also utilize its quick mode to quickly access data. Making for the most complete, high-tier package, it comes with 8 Autel MX-Sensors. The TPMS relearn feature grants you access to the vehicle’s engine control unit for quick diagnostics. The Sensor Check feature allows you to check TPMS data like the tire pressure and temperature, sensor IDs, and battery. However, this is a professional TPMS tool, and some of the functions can only be utilized by technicians who are well-versed in various professional, technical procedures. On the downside, this gadget only works with Autel sensors.

Specs

  • Manufacturer: Autel
  • Part Number:TS408
  • Weight: 3.31 Pounds

Pros

  • Activates all tire deflation-triggered and magnetic-triggered sensors found in TPMS units
  • A lifetime of free updates included
  • Stores your previous settings

Cons

  • Does not read the battery level of the old sensors (if replacing sensors)
  • May not work on sensors that are not Autel brand

If you’re looking for a TPMS tool that comes with free updates, this is it, as Autel provides free updates for life. The company also says the device is compatible with 98 percent of cars. However, Autel TPMS tools typically work most effectively with Autel sensors, and not all cars have Autel sensors mounted up. This scan tool checks the TPMS sensor ID and stores the information for future reference. It activates many forms of magnetically-triggered and tire deflation-triggered sensors that are found in tire pressure monitoring systems. It also has the ability to test your key fob to determine the right frequency. The screen displays various metrics, including the make of a car. One of the best things about this tool is that it stores the details of previous settings. If you buy it, you get a 12-month warranty and full support. However, it may not work with non-Autel sensors. It also may not display all the sensor information, such as the battery level.

Specs

  • Manufacturer:JDIAG
  • Part Number:EL50448
  • Weight: 5.9 Ounces

Pros

  • Simple to operate, even for first-time users
  • Works on after-market as well as OEM tire pressure sensors
  • Illustrated instructions included

Cons

  • The written instructions could be more complete
  • Sometimes the tool does not reset the malfunction indicator light (MIL)

If you’re looking for one of the most affordable relearning tools on the market, the JDIAG 2IN1 TPMS Relearn Tool fits the bill. It’s a basic tool that can detect and relearn (find) the location of sensors in case of a tire change or sensor replacement. This simple device will save you trips to the tire shop and possibly pay for itself rather quickly. To switch on the tool, press the white circular button at the front. Nine-volt batteries ensure it performs reliably and is easy to recharge. This TPMS tool works with both OEM and aftermarket tire pressure sensors, and you’ll also appreciate the illustrated instructions it comes with. This is a generally reliable relearning tool, however, it has a few drawbacks. It only works with GM and Ford car—the “G” stands for GM cars, while the “F” represents Ford cars. It also might also fail to reset malfunction indicator lights, and users report that its written instructions are incomplete.

Specs

  • Manufacturer:Autel
  • Part Number:TS601
  • Weight: 3.5 Pounds

Pros

  • Excellent support of the market
  • Comprehensive interface
  • Offers all useful data regarding TPMS systems

Cons

  • Instructions aren’t very helpful
  • Somewhat difficult to use

As we already noted, Autel is a leader in automotive diagnostics, detection, and analysis, and that's why we're featuring so many of its products on our list. The Autel TS601 TPMS Relearn Tool is a great option as long as it's compatible with your vehicle. You can ensure this by checking your vehicle's make, model, and VIN with the company. It supports up to 98 percent of American, European, and Asian vehicles with TPMS systems. This device provides all the TPMS functions you need, including a reading code, clearing code, and even creating a live data stream. To program the sensor data into a new sensor, the device features four programming modes: auto create, manual create, copy by OBD, and copy by activation. It can also program the Autel MX-Sensor, which is Autel's own product that's comparable to anything made by OE parts companies. It reads, records and plays back TPMS live data, including tire pressure, signal status, temperature, battery status, etc. Users report that it's easy to use, and the tool and its case are of very good quality. While the printed instructions are not in depth, there are videos online that can provide assistance. However, the menus can be a little confusing and it's a little pricey.
Best TPMS Tool Bargain
Autokcan TPMS Relearn Tool
SEE IT

Specs

  • Manufacturer:Autokcan
  • Part Number:Autokcan
  • Weight: 4.2 Ounces

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Easy one-button function
  • Fast operational time
  • Backed by 12-month warranty

Cons

  • IDoes not include batteries
  • Signal strength can see improvement

The Autokcan TPMS Relearn Tool works with GM vehicles equipped with 315 or 433 MHZ Tire Pressure Monitor Systems. It's a handy tool to have when you replace tire pressure sensors, remove tire pressure alarms, or change tires. The device reprograms all tires in just three steps. It's easy to activate: Simply hold it against the tire's sidewall near the valve stem, and press the "learn" button until you hear a sound. Users report that this tool is very easy to use as long as you follow the manufacturer's instructions. It's also backed by a 12-month warranty should you experience any issues. Overall, it's an inexpensive gadget that works in just minutes. However, the device requires a 9-volt battery that must be purchased separately. Also, the signal may not be as strong as a more premium brand, and report that it can take slightly longer to figure out and successfully use.

Our Verdict

We chose the Autel MaxiTPMS New Generation Diagnostic & Service Tool as our top choice overall. This is because it recognizes sensors universally and seamlessly connects to your vehicle’s ECU. On the other hand, the hand-held Autel MaxiTPMS TS401 is our choice for best value because it works on 98 percent of today’s cars and trucks.

What to Consider When Choosing a TPMS Tool

Key Features

Compatibility

Tool and sensor compatibility is a major factor to consider when buying a TPMS tool. Some tools are meant to be used with particular car models, while others can be used with a wide selection of vehicles. If you want a TPMS tool you can use on multiple vehicles, get one that’s compatible with American, European, and Asian cars. Most brands fall within these categories. 

Interface

The functions of a TPMS tool guide its design and price. While some TPMS tools are basically monitor-only systems, some have more than four functions. They can check the tire pressure, relearn sensors, reset codes, and program sensors. They display this data in real time on an LCD screen.

Power Source

Battery powered, solar powered, or rechargeable? The power source is an important feature when choosing a TPMS tool. While some tools have nine-volt batteries that last long, there are newer products that have rechargeable batteries or use solar energy. It is also important to know the status of the battery, so you know when it’s time to replace it. 

TPMS Tool Pricing

TPMS tools can range anywhere from $10-$300 or more. Features are a primary determining factor for pricing. More basic models that have very limited functions will run at the lower end of the price scale, while more comprehensive versions sell for much more. Quality and application coverage also factor into what you can expect to pay.

FAQs

You've got questions. The Drive has answers.

Q: What does a TPMS tool do?

This tool identifies the types of sensors in your tires and the information that the sensors contain. This information is necessary for the sensors to work correctly after you have performed maintenance such as a tire replacement or rotation. You use the tool to perform the proper relearn procedures to reset the system. 

Q: Do all vehicles have a TPMS?

No, only newer cars and trucks. Manufacturers began to install TPMS in vehicles in the 1980s on a few luxury cars. Rollover problems on some vehicles in the late 1990s prompted laws mandating TPMS on U.S. vehicles. As of 2012, all vehicles sold in the U.S. and EU must have a TPMS. 

Q: Can TPMS sensors be reprogrammed?

A: It depends on the kind of sensors your vehicle is equipped with. Many are reprogrammable, and all you need to reprogram them is one of the TPMS tools on our list above.

Q: Can I reset TPMS with an OBD2 scanner?

A: If your OBD2 scanner does come with the ability to read TPMS codes and reset its sensors, then you’ll be able to do so without a specialized TPMS tool. However, if your OBD2 scanner isn’t able to do so, you will need a separate device.

stripe
stripe