Having a TPMS doesn’t only keep you safe but it also keeps you within the law. But you also need to consistently check the TPMS and TPMS sensor to ensure that they are working as they should. And that’s where a TPMS tool comes in.
Note that while some TPMS tools offer just one or few functions, others bundle up a number of functions conveniently in one device. With that said, which of the many TPMS tools available will serve you best?
We have a review covering the 10 Best TPMS Tools on the market in 2019.
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Table of Contents
- 1 10 Best TPMS Tools Review
- 1.1 1VXDAS EL-50448 Auto TPMS Activation Reset Relearn Tool for GM Series Vehicle
- 1.2 2Autel TS408 Automotive TPMS Relearn Tool
- 1.3 3Autel MaxiTPMS TS508K Professional TPMS Programming Tool with 8 MX-Sensors
- 1.4 4VXDAS TPRA-49 Auto TPMS Activation Reset Relearn Tool for Ford Series Vehicle
- 1.5 5VXSCAN EL-60448 Auto TPMS Relearn Reset Activation Tool for Ford Series Vehicle
- 1.6 6JDiag EL50448 2IN1 TPMS Relearn Tool Super for GM and Ford vehicles
- 1.7 7ATEQ QuickSet TPMS Reset Relearn Tool
- 1.8 8Autel MaxiTPMS TS501 Professional TPMS Programming Tool with 4 Programming methods
- 1.9 9Autel TS601 MaxiTPMS TPMS Programming Tool with OBDII Diagnostics
- 1.10 10Autel MaxiTPMS TS608 Complete TPMS Programming Tool with Full-system OBD2 Diagnostics
- 2 Recommendation: Editor’s Top 3 Picks of TPMS Tools
- 3 Introduction to TPMS Tools
- 4 What Does A TPMS Tool Do?
10 Best TPMS Tools Review
1VXDAS EL-50448 Auto TPMS Activation Reset Relearn Tool for GM Series Vehicle
The VXDAS EL-50448 retails at a very low price, yet offers some of the best functions of a TPMS tool. Perhaps its biggest strength lies in its simplicity and fast speed. You can activate individual TPMS sensors with just one click of a button.
Reprogramming TPMS sensors isn’t hard either, it only requires three steps. First, set the car in the TPMS Learn Mode. Proceed to hold the device against the sidewall of the tire. Make sure it’s close enough to the valve stem. Finally, press the “Learn” button to reprogram the sensor.
In doing so the VXDAS EL-50448 helps you reset the TPMS MIL. If the pesky light is bothering you perhaps because of tire rotation, switching or replacement, simply use the tool to reprogram sensors and the light will turn off.
The VXDAS EL-50448 is compatible with 315 and 433 MHz TPMS. Although it’s primarily a GM TPMS relearn tool, it also works on Ford, Audi, BMW, Honda, Mitsubishi, Mazda, Renault, Subaru and Toyota. The tool covers vehicles made from 2007. It, however, doesn’t work on trucks.
Who is it for?
This tire pressure monitor reset tool is for the ordinary car owner who needs to either activate or reprogram TPMS. You will get the best from the VXDAS EL-50448 if your car is a GM.
- Doesn’t need charging, it takes a 9V battery
- Easy to use in activating and reprogramming TPMS
- Works with more car brands beyond GM
- Very affordable
- Fast in operation
- Not suitable for trucks
- Reported functionality issues on cars that are newer than 2013
Overall, the EL-50448 is a great tool that can not only help you check whether you’re driving with low tire pressure but can also activate and reprogram TPMS sensors.
2Autel TS408 Automotive TPMS Relearn Tool
Autel is known for manufacturing practical tools, and the TS408 is no different. While most TPMS tools only activate and reprogram sensors, this unit brings a few more functions to the table.
Let’s start with the obvious: it can activate virtually all TPMS sensors. Additionally, this TPMS sensor tool can reprogram practically all aftermarket sensors.
The one thing that the Autel TS408 excels in is information gathering. With a full-color screen, this TPMS programming tool can display the pressure and temperature of air in a tire.
Besides that, it also shows the sensor IDs as well as the battery life of each sensor. While the ID number is important during relearning, battery life tells you the amount of time you have left before you have to replace a sensor.
Finally, this TPMS tool contains a relearn procedure for compatible cars. It won’t do the actual relearn but it will show you how to do it.
The Autel TS408 is compatible with all vehicles that use TPMS, domestic and foreign. It works on all tires, including large 37-inch and 35-inch M/T tires.
Who is it for?
The wide vehicle coverage and impressive functionality of this tire pressure monitor reset tool make it ideal for DIY enthusiasts. If you frequently work on vehicles it can help you with the programming of sensors, measuring tire pressure, viewing sensor IDs and checking sensor battery level on any car.
- Wide vehicle compatibility
- Displays plenty of helpful information
- Supports both reprogramming and activation of sensors
- Can reset all tires in under 2 minutes
- Solid and rugged construction
- Doesn’t have the best user instructions
- Doesn’t show the exact voltage of a sensor battery.
- It only indicates that the voltage is okay or not okay.
Despite its few cons, this TPMS scan tool is perhaps the most all-rounded that we have so far on this list.
3Autel MaxiTPMS TS508K Professional TPMS Programming Tool with 8 MX-Sensors
The best thing about the Autel MaxiTPMS TS508K is that it offers two modes. One mode (called Quick Mode) supports basic TPMS functions and is suitable for ordinary car owners. The second mode is for advanced TPMS functions and may be more helpful to professionals.
Under Quick Mode, you can activate all sensors and reprogram new sensors. On the other hand, Advanced Mode lets you perform sensor cloning. Instead of relearning the ECU, you can clone new sensors so that the ECU reads them just as it read the older ones.
Additionally, the Advanced Mode of this TPMS tool includes a TPMS scanning function. In the case the system is faulty you can take advantage of this feature to pinpoint faults.
When you buy the MaxiTPMS TS508K you get 8 programmable TPMS sensors. When the time for replacing your current sensors comes you won’t have to worry about buying new ones.
This TPMS sensor tool, as well as its accompanying sensors, work on almost all mainstream car brands. But you may want to know that Autel TPMS tools, including the MaxiTPMS TS508K, only work with Autel TPMS sensors.
Who is it for?
Judging by its range of functions you can tell that the Autel MaxiTPMS TS508K is designed for professionals. If you constantly replace sensors for customers frequently you may benefit a great deal from the free sensors that come with the device.
- Offers basic and advanced TPMS functions
- Can be used by DIYers as well as professionals
- Easy to use once you find your way around the menus
- Fully compatible with all vehicles that have TPMS
- Has a full color, intuitive interface
- Costlier than most other models of TPMS tools
- Only works with Autel sensors
There’s no question that you’ll pay a pretty penny for this. But the service it offers, in addition to the 8 included sensors, more than offset the price.
4VXDAS TPRA-49 Auto TPMS Activation Reset Relearn Tool for Ford Series Vehicle
The VXDAS TPRA-49 is a lot like the VXDAS EL-50448 above. However, while the EL-50448 is designed for GM cars, the TPRA-49 is primarily a Ford TPMS tool.
In terms of functionality, the two are practically similar. Just like our first product, you can use the VXDAS TPRA-49 to activate individual TPMS sensors by clicking just one button.
In addition to that, this tire pressure monitoring tool supports reprogramming of TPMS sensors. The procedure is quite simple. Start by setting the car in the TPMS Learn Mode. Next, hold the TPRA-49 against the sidewall of the tire. Check that it’s close enough to the valve stem and then press the “Learn” button to program that particular sensor.
Reprogramming TPMS sensors makes them fully compatible with the car’s ECM. So if the TPMS light was bothering you because the sensors had not been reprogrammed you may use this Ford TPMS reset tool to turn the MIL off.
Outside of TPMS, the VXDAS TPRA-49 can be used to replace the receiver module of a remote-controlled door lock.
As mentioned in passing, the VXDAS TPRA-49 is a Ford TPMS activation and reprogramming tool. Although it was designed for Ford vehicles that were manufactured between 2010 and 2013, the device is compatible with Ford series cars made from 2007 all through 2018.
Besides Fords, this TPMS light reset tool also works on most GM, Audi, BMW, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Renault, Subaru, and Toyota cars and light trucks.
Who is it for?
Despite its wide coverage, the VXDAS TPRA-49 works best on Ford vehicles. That’s why it’s suitable for ordinary car owners who drive Fords.
- Very affordable TPMS tool
- Uses 9V batteries and therefore doesn’t need charging
- One of the easiest TPMS tools to use, especially for activating and reprogramming sensors
- Supports programming of remote control door locks
- Works with a variety of car brands besides Ford
- Not suitable for trucks
- Could have compatibility issues with cars that are newer than 2013
If you are worried that this scan tool might not be compatible with your car you can contact VXDAS and inquire.
5VXSCAN EL-60448 Auto TPMS Relearn Reset Activation Tool for Ford Series Vehicle
The VXSCAN EL-60448 is yet another entry-level TPMS tool that can activate and reprogram sensors easily. It’s not so different from our first two, not just in design but also functionality.
For starters, the VXSCAN EL-60448 can activate individual TPMS sensors with just one click of a button. You will remember that both the VXDAS EL-50448 and VXDAS TPRA-49 support that.
Additionally, this unit reprograms TPMS sensors. That may be necessary after a tire rotation, switching or replacement. Rather than going to the shop for that service, you can simply use this TPMS reprogramming tool and do it the DIY way.
The procedure is pretty straightforward. With the car in Learn Mode, hold the tool next to the tire’s valve. Press the “Learn” button to reprogram. The horn will blow to indicate that the procedure is complete for that particular tire. Be sure to repeat for all the tires on the car.
This TPMS tool was made for Ford cars that were manufactured from 2007 all through 2016. That said, it does work on other car brands, including GMs models between 2010 and 2013. Other car brands that you can use the tool on including Audi, BMW, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Renault, Subaru, and Toyota.
Who is it for?
As an entry-level tool, the VXSCAN EL-60448 was built with the ordinary car owner in mind. It’s easy to use and supports both activation and reprogramming of TPMS sensors. It is most compatible with Ford cars.
- Simple construction and easy-to-use interface
- Fast and effective at reprogramming TPMS sensors
- Doesn’t require any charging, uses a 9V battery
- Very affordable
- Supports Ford and several other car brands
- Not suitable for trucks
- May have compatibility issues with cars made after 2013
Despite its few compatibility issues, the VXSCAN EL-60448 is a reliable and affordable tool worth your consideration.
6JDiag EL50448 2IN1 TPMS Relearn Tool Super for GM and Ford vehicles
JDiag’s EL50448 is a 2-in-1 TPMS tool that supports activation and reprogramming of TPMS sensors. With it in your car, you won’t have to visit the shop to get your sensors reprogrammed. In other words, you may be able to reset the TPMS MIL yourself.
To do that, set the car in TPMS Learn Mode and then hold this tool such that its antennae is close enough to the tire valve. Press the “Learn” button, release it then wait for the tool to release a chirping sound. That will indicate that the tool has read sensor data.
Do that for the front left, front right, rear right and rear left wheels in that order. Once complete the TPMS light will reset. Needless to say, the JDiag EL50448 is an important tool for reprogramming sensors after switching, replacing or rotating tires. Plus it can activate TPMS sensors with just one click of a button.
The JDiag EL50448 uses 433 and 315 MHz TPMS. Although there are many car brands that use those frequencies, this device is made specifically for GM and Ford cars.
It works on virtually all GM cars made from 2010. As for Fords, the EL50448 is compatible with most models made from 2006. However, in the case of some models like the F-150, Edge, Lincoln MKX, Lincoln MKT, and Lincoln Mark LT it covers those made from 2007.
If you want to be 100% sure that your car is compatible consider contacting JDiag.
Who is it for?
This TPMS programming tool is more or less suitable for GM and Ford car owners. With a simple-to-use interface (just one button), the JDiag EL50448 doesn’t need professional knowledge to use. That’s why it’s ideal for the ordinary car owner.
- Supports both activation and reprogramming of TPMS sensors
- Remarkably simple to use
- Fully compatible with most Ford and GM cars
- Small, compact and easy to store in the driver’s compartment
- Fast at resetting TPMS light
- A few reported issues on some 2015 and newer models
- Not suitable for other car models
It might not be flawless but the JDiag EL50448 earns a spot on this list on account of its simplicity and effectiveness at activating and reprogramming TPMS sensors.
7ATEQ QuickSet TPMS Reset Relearn Tool
So far our first four tools (above) are primarily for activating and reprogramming TPMS sensors. The ATEQ QuickSet is quite different from them. Rather than activating and reprogramming sensors, this TPMS reset tool performs ECU relearn.
How it works is that it allows you to feed the new sensor IDs to the ECU. Usually, when you buy a new set of TPMS sensors you not only reprogram them but you also relearn the ECU (check the introduction section for the meanings and difference of those two).
Similarly, after tire rotation, replacement or switching (from summer to winter and vice-versa) you may have to relearn the ECU. The ATEQ QuickSet allows you to do that.
All you need is the ATEQ QuickSet tool, a PC and your car. Start by connecting the ATEQ QuickSet to your PC. Next, install the QuickSet software. Do not unplug the TPMS tool when installing the software.
Once the installation is complete you will get an interface where you can enter the IDs of the new sensors. Note that the IDs are usually provided when you buy sensors. In case the seller didn’t provide sensor IDs you can use a TPMS decoder to get them.
After entering the new sensor IDs to the ATEQ QuickSet using the PC, go ahead and connect it to your car’s OBD2 port. Load the new sensor IDs and drive the car for several miles. That should reset the TPMS light. More importantly, you will have completed a TPMS sensor relearn procedure successfully.
ATEQ lists Acura, Hyundai, Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Subaru, Suzuki, Scion, Pontiac, Mitsubishi and Infiniti as the compatible car brands.
Who is it for?
If your car is an Asian or European model then this is the best TPMS tool for you. Besides pulling sensor IDs, it performs TPMS relearn. That’s necessary after a tire rotation, switching or replacement.
- The QuickSet software is intuitive and easy to use
- Fairly affordable for a TPMS relearn tool
- Upgradable, which means it’s designed to be compatible with future TPMS applications
- Can be used to view sensor IDs stored in ECU
- Tracks and records tire rotation
- Works on Asian and EU-made cars only
- Could use a better user manual
The biggest downside of this TPMS tool is that its coverage is limited to foreign cars. Otherwise, it’s one of the best TPMS relearning tools.
8Autel MaxiTPMS TS501 Professional TPMS Programming Tool with 4 Programming methods
Autel MaxiTPMS TS501 is the first full-function TPMS tool on this list. That means you can use it for every TPMS function. Whether it is reading tire pressure, viewing sensor IDs, reprogramming sensors, cloning sensors, this tool supports them all.
Activating and reprogramming sensors shouldn’t be a new concept because we’ve covered them thoroughly when talking about the first 6 products. Perhaps what I should mention here is cloning.
The MaxiTPMS TS501 allows you to clone new sensors so that the ECU can read them as if they are the old ones. This practice cancels the need to relearn the ECU. However, ultimately you get the same results as doing an ECU relearn.
If that’s not enough you will be glad to know that this TPMS reprogramming tool offers relearn procedure for all cars. Like the Autel TS408 above, it won’t do the actual relearn but it will tell you how to do it.
Besides that, the MaxiTPMS TS501 supports TPMS scanning. In case the system is faulty you can use this device to pinpoint faults and correct them. If the problem is with the sensors the device will tell you so that you know whether they need replacement.
The MaxiTPMS TS501 works on all vehicles that have a TPMS. It is compatible with domestic and foreign models, including those that have large 37-inch and 35-inch M/T tires.
Who is it for?
You may have noticed that this TPMS reset tool offers substantially more than the other 6. That’s what makes it suitable for auto shops and mechanics. It basically features wide vehicle coverage and extensive functionality, both of which are important to professionals.
- Has full-color screen for easy navigation
- Supports all TPMS functions, including sensor cloning
- Provides relearn procedure for those who want to relearn the ECU
- Works on all cars that have TPMS
- Displays tire pressure, sensor ID and air temp
- Costlier than most other TPMS tools
- Doesn’t perform ECU relearning
Although it will dent your account significantly (relative to the first 6 tools), the MaxiTPMS TS501 comes with a premium functionality to match its premium price tag.
9Autel TS601 MaxiTPMS TPMS Programming Tool with OBDII Diagnostics
The Autel TS601 MaxiTPMS is more than just a TPMS programming tool. In addition to all TPMS functions, it also acts as a basic OBD2 code reader for the TPMS. Meaning it can pull and clear TPMS codes, and therefore reset the TPMS light.
Besides, it also displays and graphs live OBD2 data that you can use to track the performance and efficiency of your car. On top of that, the TS601 performs smog tests to tell you whether your car will pass an emission check.
As far as TPMS, this device is the best yet on our list. It can activate sensors, read sensor data, relearn ECU, reprogram sensors, read TPMS codes, and clear TPMS codes. That’s pretty much everything that a TPMS tool can possibly do.
As you would expect, the Autel TS601 MaxiTPMS is compatible with all mainstream vehicle brands, domestic and foreign. It will work on a car as long as the car has a TPMS system. The only problem is that when it comes to sensors it only works with Autel-made sensors.
Who is it for?
Its range of functions, some of which are beyond TPMS, makes this device great for professional auto shops. With it, you can run a few OBD2 checks, including reading/clearing TPMS codes and running emission tests.
- Compatible with both 315 and 433 MHz TPMS frequencies
- Offers handy OBD2 functions in addition to TPMS functions
- Ergonomic design with a nice looking shape
- The software is upgradable to cover newer TPMS functions
- Supports all possible TPMS functions
- Not compatible with TPMS sensors that are not made by Autel
- Could be too complicated for beginners
If you are an auto shop owner or operator you will find this tool very handy. It can help you with all your TPMS needs and free up your OBD scanner for other functions.
10Autel MaxiTPMS TS608 Complete TPMS Programming Tool with Full-system OBD2 Diagnostics
It may be the last TPMS tool on our list but the Autel MaxiTPMS TS608 is undoubtedly the most advanced. It takes all the functions of the Autel TS601 MaxiTPMS and adds to them.
For example, while the TS601 can only read and clear TPMS codes, the TS608 does so for all available OBD2 systems. That means you can pull and erase codes from systems like the ECU, ABS, SRS, EPB etc. By doing so the TS608 allows you to reset the Check Engine Light as well as malfunction lamps for the TPMS and other systems.
Additionally, the device includes advanced service functions. It can reset the SAS, relearn parking brake pad, perform forced regeneration, perform battery registration and do IMMO functions.
In short, the Autel MaxiTPMS TS608 is more of an OBD2 scan tool, yet it offers the best TPMS functions. You can use it to activate sensors, read sensor data, relearn ECU, reprogram sensors, read TPMS codes, and clear TPMS codes.
As far as TPMS functions, the TS608 is compatible with all cars that have TPMS. Needless to say, it only works with Autel-made TPMS sensors. With regards to OBD2 functions, this tool is compatible with all mainstream OBD2 cars.
Who is it for?
The MaxiTPMS TS608 is way too advanced for most ordinary car owners. That’s why it is mostly recommended for professional mechanics and auto shops. If you are a professional mechanic you will love that it also offers a variety of OBD2 functions, supports all 10 OBD2 modes and includes special service functions.
- Offers excellent value for money
- Well-built with a tablet-like design
- Easy to use thanks to intuitive interface and menus
- Includes OBD2 and service functions
- Comes with free software updates for one year
- One of the most expensive TPMS tools on the market
- Suitable for professionals
It may be costlier than other TPMS tools but the Autel MaxiTPMS TS608 brings a lot more to the table. It’s essentially an OBD2 scan tool whose functionality is TPMS oriented.
Recommendation: Editor’s Top 3 Picks of TPMS Tools
VXDAS EL-50448 Auto TPMS Activation Reset Relearn Tool
Autel TS408 Automotive TPMS Relearn Tool
Autel MaxiTPMS TS508K Professional TPMS Programming Tool
4.2 / 5
4 / 5
4.8 / 5
|Read Sensor Data||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Read TPMS Codes||N/A||N/A||Yes|
|Other System Codes||N/A||N/A||N/A|
Introduction to TPMS Tools
What Is A TPMS Tool?
TPMS stands for Tire Pressure Monitoring System. In the most basic terms, the system’s main function is to check the health of car tires. It particularly ensures that each tire is properly inflated, i.e. not underinflated.
So, why is TPMS such a big deal? For starters, poorly inflated tires not only wear out prematurely but they also affect the fuel efficiency and overall safety of the vehicle. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the number of road fatalities that can directly be attributed to defective tires stands at 738 for the year 2017 (Source – https://www.nhtsa.gov/equipment/tires).
Besides, TPMS has been a legal requirement on all vehicles in the US since 2008. It was first introduced as law by Congress in the TREAD Act of 2000. But it wasn’t until 2008 when it was made a mandatory requirement.
What Does A TPMS Tool Do?
There are various functions that a TPMS tool can do. Here are the main ones:
A TPMS tool can pick up information from a TPMS sensor and relay it to the user. As you walk to each tire, the sensor will transmit information like pressure level, tire temperature, battery level, sensor ID etc.
Most TPMS tools can be used to clear the TPMS Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL). The TPMS light can come on for many reasons, top on the list being driving with low tire pressure. Other reasons include replacing a tire, tire rotation or switching from summer to winter tires and vice versa. If the light comes on you can turn it off with a TPMS reset tool.
More often than not the Engine Control Module (ECM) will not know the new location of TPMS sensors after a tire rotation or replacement. You can use a TPMS tool to “tell” the ECM the new location of sensors. A tool that supports this function is known as a TPMS relearn tool.
TPMS sensor programming
Besides vehicle relearn (as explained above), a TPMS tool can be used to program TPMS sensors. While the relearn procedure tells the ECM how to find sensors, programming installs the necessary protocols/applications to make the new sensors fully compatible with the vehicle’s ECM. This is necessary when you are dealing with an aftermarket sensor. A tool that does the procedure is known as a TPMS programming tool.
You can use a TPMS activation tool (also called TPMS trigger tool) to activate or “wake up” a TPMS sensor that is inactive or in “sleep mode”. When activated the sensor will start to gather and transmit information.
A TPMS decoding tool packs several functions in one device. It can trigger sensors, receive sensor info and send that info to the ECM.
There are certain TPMS tools that allow you to check the functionality of the system itself, not just the sensors, tires or ECM. These are called TPMS scan tools, and they primarily help you to identify faults in the whole system.