Most people have probably never heard of a TPMS ‘relearn’ until their auto service pro tells them they have to pay for one. A relearn refers to the process of electronically pairing a new TPMS sensor to the vehicle’s Tire Pressure Monitoring System. A TPMS relearn is always required when a new TPMS sensor or sensors are installed. Without pairing, or ‘relearning,’ the sensor doesn’t ‘talk’ to the Tire Pressure Monitoring System and the system simply can’t work.
TPMS Vehicle relearn procedures vary by automaker. Some vehicles relearn automatically when you drive them. Others require a TPMS scan tool to complete the relearn. The process for many Asian makes and models may also require connecting a tool to the OBDII connection. For each procedure the concept is the same, the car’s TPMS receiver learns the sensor’s unique ID numbers. In advanced systems the car’s TPMS receiver also learns the sensors’ locations too (right front, left front, right rear, left rear, spare).
So if you have a sensor that fails or is damaged and must be replaced, don’t be surprised when you have to pay for a new sensor and a “relearn.”