How to Program a New Chevy Tire Pressure Sensor: A Simple Guide

September 24th, 2020 by

Whether you’re preparing your car for a change in the seasons or an extended road trip, there are a lot of things to check off your to-do list. But just as important as checking your coolant, oil, and antifreeze, is making sure your tire pressure sensor is working correctly on your Chevy.

Checking the tire pressure sensor is an integral part of maintaining your vehicle. Changes in temperature as well as wear and tear on your tires can result in losses or gains in tire pressure that can be adverse to the health of your vehicle and longevity of your tires.

You might also encounter a minor malfunction with your dashboard telling you to take action. There’s no need to panic; it’s a simple operation if you do it in the right order and follows a few simple steps.

But whether you have a malfunction or are suspicious the sensor giving accurate readings, it’s a relatively easy procedure to reset and program this device.

Your Tire Pressure Sensor: Getting Ready to Go

First off, you’ll need a J-46079 Tire Pressure Monitor Tester. It may be worth buying one of these ahead of time rather than waiting until a problem arises as to be prepared for any outcome related to tire pressure.

To use the pressure monitor tester, follow these steps:

  1. Ensure your Chevy is turned off.
  2. Switch the ignition key to the “on” position,” but don’t start the car.
  3. Push the Vehicle Information button by using the Driver Information Cluster until you see “Relearn Tire Positions” displayed. You can then push the “Set/Reset” button until you see a “Tire Learning Active” message on your display.
  4. If your car doesn’t have the Driver Information Cluster, then press and hold the odometer reset until you see the “Tire Learning Active” message.
  5. Now, it’s time to use the tire pressure monitor tester. Using the J-46079 on the left front tire, hold the antennae to the valve stem and press the “active” button. After about 10 seconds, you should hear a sound. Once you do, move on and repeat this action on the remaining three tires, thus: right front tire, right rear tire, left rear tire.
  6. Once you’ve done all four tires, turn the ignition key to off.
  7. Adjust all your tires to the recommended PSI (pounds per square inch) for your tires. It should be in your owner’s manual or located on the exterior of the tires.

How the Sensor Works

General Motors (GM) puts a sensor inside each tire’s valve stem. When your tire pressure gets too low, or you have to change a new tire, the TPMS light comes on.

A battery powers the sensor, and it will basically send out a radio signal to the computer inside your Chevy. There are usually receivers near each wheel, which then tells the computer system which tire is low.

A Few Other Tips and Tricks

There are a few things a responsible Chevy owner can do to ensure their TPMS is working.

Responsible car owners should always use a new rubber seal between the sensor and wheel to prevent leaks and avoid over-torquing the valve stem nut. This means you stand a better chance of not breaking the stem and breaking the sensor.

Also, if you’re unfortunate enough to get a flat tire, then try not to use an aerosol flat tire repair spray. Even the ones that claim they’re safe to use with TPMS sensors. The glue in the sprays can block the sensors and stop them from working.

Lastly, don’t use brass valve stem inserts. Use the nickel ones instead. It’s because brass interacts with the aluminum stem, and eventually, you won’t be able to remove it.

Also, bear in mind that the tire pressure sensors run on batteries. Batteries don’t last forever. And in this case, they aren’t replaceable, although they’re meant to last for half a decade minimum and up to 10 years.

In other words, they go for as long as the tires are meant to go. Having said that, if something unusual happens and you do need to replace the TPMS sensors, they’re much cheaper now than ever before.

Ready to Get Going?

So now you know how to program your new Chevy tire pressure sensor without too much stress.

You can stay on the road safely in the knowledge that you checked your tire pressure sensor yourself, and if you’ve done it once, you can do it again and for everyone else in your family driving a Chevy.

Posted in Car Care