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Old 07-02-2021, 02:11 PM   #1
Mountain

 
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TPMS Relearn

This is a simple topic, but I recently had quite the headache getting two new TPMS sensors to learn to my car. Through some quick searching, I noted a lot of confusion and trouble from people in the past on this topic. So, with that, if figured to make this quick DIY post to hopefully help someone out and keep them from tossing potentially good TPMS sensors.

Background of my issue:
I recently bought two new, different width wheels to change up my setup. I like to keep TPMS operational, if I can, in my car, it being a SS 1LE with PDR. I purchased two, new GM/AC Delco TPMS from the same place I've purchased others. Same part number as I've purchased before and verified the correct parts before installation.

Once I had everything put together, tires and TPMS onto the wheels, I attempted to learn the new sensors to my car (the other two wheels on the car had known working sensors). The two new wheels were on the front of the car, the other two were on the rear. Attempting the relearn for nearly 30 minutes, time after time, I could not get the front wheel TPMS to learn. I tried doing the rear wheels, first, out of order, and I could get them to learn; however, they were, for whatever reason, proving more difficult than what I could remember. I had never had this much of an issue learning TPMS to a car!

So, I tried, in the mindset of process of elimination of issues, and toward the possibility of the car or my TPMS tool (EL-50448 equivalent) being the cause, to relearn my OEM wheels that I had just taken off the car. The OEM wheels/TPMS relearned, no problem, even being stacked at the other side of the garage. The problem couldn't be the tool or an issue with the car.

I began to believe the new sensors that I got were bad, but I had a very hard time settling on the fact that two, brand new sensors were both bad. Possibly, but these were brand-new, OE, Schrader TPMS.

Taking a step back, and thinking about the system, how it works and how the components work:
  1. 1. Typically, TPMS sensors will go into a "sleep mode" if they do not seem to be in use in order to save battery life. A brand-new TPMS will definitely be in a "sleep mode".
  2. 2. The TPMS system works by communication between the TPMS and the RCDLR module and that module to the BCM. There is a sending, receiving, sending, receiving.... and so on that goes on back-and-forth. Half of that communication is via the air - between the TPMS and RCDLR module.
  3. 3. In order to learn a TPMS, the vehicle must be in some sort of "learn mode".

In respect to "1.", the TPMS tool, the EL-50448, is supposed to wake up ("ping") a TPMS and make it start sending transmissions out to the RCDLR module so that the sensor can be picked up and recognized.

In respect to "2.", it is possible to have the TPMS positioned, in respect to the vehicle, such that the TPMS signal is not able to be picked up or picked up easily, in that the signal must travel over the air.

In respect to "3", you will know you are in "learn mode" with the Camaro as there is a specific sequence of horn beeps, turn signal illumination/flashing and a visible message in the message center (DIC).

If "1", "2" or "3" is not occurring correctly, you will not be able to learn a TPMS. For "3", it is pretty evident - you will be able to tell if the vehicle is in "learn mode" or not. But for "1" and "2", there is no easy way to tell for most people. My suspicion was that my issue, most likely, was in "1" or "2" and, if anything, at least one of my new sensors was good, and very likely both were good.

Result
Cutting to the chase, both new sensors were good; however I had to do some messing around to get them to wake up and learn. It took a combination of valve stem/TPMS positioning on the vehicle, letting air out, using the TPMS tool and re-trying the learn procedure a handful of times.

6th Gen Camaro TPMS Learn/Relearn
Required Tools
-TPMS tool: the EL-50448 (learn tool) is the cheapest and most available, but an EL-46079 (learn/diagnostic tool) also works.
Potentially Required Tools
-Jack
-Tire pressure gauge
-Air pump/compressor/air tank

Camaro TPMS Info
-XL7 = 315 MHz
  • Rubber stem: PN 84413363, 12 in-lb screw [??? application]
  • Metal stem: PN 13598786, 80 in-lb nut [??? application]
-XL8 = 433 mHz
  • Rubber Stem: PN 13598773, 12 in-lb screw [most LS, LT]
  • Metal Stem: PN 13598787, 80 in-lb nut [LT1, SS, ZL1, 1LE-variants]

Procedure
  1. 1. Check the position of the wheel TPMS/valve stems relative position and position to relative to the vehicle. I suggest starting: (view from looking at the wheel) LF @ 4-to-5-o'clock, LR @ 4-to-5-o'clock, RF @ 4-to-5-o'clock, RR @ 7-to-8-o'clock. Other positions may work for you. The point is to position the TPMS/valve stem in a manner that is easiest for the TPMS signal to transmit to the car (RCDLR module), providing the least amount of possible blocking of the signal and to make it easiest for you to point your TPMS at.
  2. 2. Turn on and start the car.
  3. 3. Navigate, in the DIC (driver information center), to the TPMS display. The car must be running to get to the DIC and navigate to any screens. Once at the TPMS display, press and hold the steering wheel "Select" button down until the DIC displays a message indicating TPMS "learn mode". The horn should beep once, as well.
  4. 4. The sequence you will be directed to follow, to learn each TPMS, is LF->RF->RR->LR. You can visually verify which wheel you need to be at by looking at the corner of the vehicle's turn signal - it should be solidly illuminated, indicating the wheel position that requires learning. You will receive a horn beep from the car when it acknowledges the particular wheels TPMS. The car will then illuminate the next positions turn signal. Note that you have approximately 2 minutes to learn a TPMS to a specific corner of the car before the TPMS learning will time out.
  5. 5. To learn a TPMS, place the TPMS learn tool antenna on the tire sidewall, as near to the tire bead/tire-to-wheel split as possible. You may need to either point the TPMS tool antenna in, toward where there TPMS would be (the actual sensor part) or with the antenna point upwards (yes, UP, toward the sky, but against the tire sidewall). You may need to repeat the TPMS learning, all together, if you can't complete the TPMS relearn on a particular wheel, and play with TPMS/valve stem position - the best positions seems to be 3-to-5-o'clock or 7-to-9-o'clock.
    For a brand new sensor, it seems that "waking up" the sensor can be a little temperamental. You may need to release air [fairly rapidly] while attempting TPMS learning with the tool. The TPMS may not learn at the attempt and may require a fresh, normal TPMS learn, starting from the beginning.*
  6. 6. Once you complete the LR TPMS learn, you will get a single horn beep, as with all the other three wheel position, but then there will be a short pause, followed by a double-beep, which will confirm the TPMS learn was completed for all four wheels and accepted.

*For the two, new front TPMS, my RF simply require the TPMS position to be at the 7-to-8-o'clock position. My LF required the TPMS to be positioned at 4-to-5-o'clock (it would not work at 7-to-8-o'clock) and me to attempt TPMS learning, while letting out air and activating the TPMS tool. I did not get the TPMS to directly activate, I had to re-start the entire TPMS learning and the TPMS was learned right away. My LF, RF and RR TPMS would learn with the TPMS tool antenna pointed at/toward the TPMS sensor, where my LR TPMS seemed to like the TPMS antenna point UP.

Picture 1 is LF TPMS position.
Picture 2 is RF TPMS position.
Picture 3 is RR TPMS position.
Picture 4 is LR TPMS position and the two ways to point the TPMS tool.
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Old 07-03-2021, 04:37 PM   #2
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Thx for the write-up Mountain. I'll keep this tagged for reference

I must be really lucky, I'll take it. I set my stems at 12:00 and haven't had any issues even with the 8 track wheels and new TPMS sensors.

Some input/support to the above. It usually takes quite a bit of pressure to seat the beads, once seated the pressure drops rapidly because the valve is not in the stem. This may wake them up
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Old 07-05-2021, 07:46 AM   #3
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Great write up! One thing I learned recently is that the newer cars require you to do just as you wrote - press and hold the “Select” button on the steering wheel after navigating to the TPMS screen with the car running. Older GM’s had you press two buttons on your remote at the same - not any more!
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Old 07-05-2021, 11:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by h018871 View Post
Thx for the write-up Mountain. I'll keep this tagged for reference

I must be really lucky, I'll take it. I set my stems at 12:00 and haven't had any issues even with the 8 track wheels and new TPMS sensors.

Some input/support to the above. It usually takes quite a bit of pressure to seat the beads, once seated the pressure drops rapidly because the valve is not in the stem. This may wake them up
Yeah, I’ve never had soo much trouble prior. But now that I did, and read the confusion and rabbit trails some other Camaro and Corvette guys have gone through, I thought it worth posting.

Glad 12-o’clock works for you. My suggestions are only that - nothing definitive
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Old 07-07-2021, 01:21 AM   #5
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Any suggestions if none of this works? Seems like when I do the relearn it doesn't let me get past my first sensor. It just never registers the first sensor. They're brand new wheels, tires, and sensors.
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Old 08-19-2021, 11:51 AM   #6
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Wow great write up. Thank you for the info. I plan on using my forged wheels i took off my 5th gen Z before selling them and using them on my 6th gen ZLE. I bought OEM tpms sensors back then and used them on the forged wheels. Do you know if the tpms sensors from a 5th gen Z will work with the 6th gen's?
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Old 08-19-2021, 09:55 PM   #7
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on a 6spd car make sure the parking brake is set or this procedure will not work. You do not have to start the car but a long hold (5 sec) of the start button to get it in the "key on" position prior to relearn is necessary. Nice write up.
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Old 08-19-2021, 10:55 PM   #8
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I just did four new stems with the tool a couple of weeks ago, stems at all different positions and it took about 45 seconds and was done. I guess you never know what these damn cars will throw at you...
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Old 08-20-2021, 08:34 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sspddmn View Post
Wow great write up. Thank you for the info. I plan on using my forged wheels i took off my 5th gen Z before selling them and using them on my 6th gen ZLE. I bought OEM tpms sensors back then and used them on the forged wheels. Do you know if the tpms sensors from a 5th gen Z will work with the 6th gen's?
No, they have different frequencies.
If you want more details, go to my build thread, pg2 post 26. Sorry I’m on my phone and can’t figure out how to post the link.
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Old 08-20-2021, 10:31 AM   #10
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Sticky'd because this thread wins.
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Old 11-16-2021, 01:35 PM   #11
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I'm glad I found this. I will try the recommendation to wake up the sensors.

I tried three times to sync my winter tires to this car without success. I've done this without problem on past gen6 Camaros when swaying summer/winter tires. This time it wouldn't and I was wondering if I bought defective sensors.
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Old 11-17-2021, 12:56 PM   #12
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Nice write-up. And that is my exact relearn tool I got from amazon.
Only thing I might add is never go near the metal wheel or the valve stem when aiming the tool at the sensor. Always make sure the RF signal is going through rubber. The pictures show the right way to do it.
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Old 11-21-2021, 02:31 AM   #13
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Great write up and comments. I'll add one thing that I've had to learn from trial and error even though I was following all the other steps correctly:

Sometimes, the sensor will not interface right away with the learn tool. The best thing you can do in this situation (assuming you are already positioning the learning tool correctly) is just be patient, continue to hold the learning tool in that same position with the button depressed, and just wait a couple of extra seconds. I used to assume if the horn didn't beep within 1 second that I didn't have the tool in the correct position and would start to move the tool around slightly (changing the angle of the antena, where on the tire or rim it was touching, etc), usually do no affect. Sometimes is just takes a few extra seconds.

And one other thing I don't think I saw in the write up, but is in the owner's manual procedure: The electric parking brake has to be on in order for the programming procedure to work. I've forgotten to do this before, and I think that you will be unable to initiate the learning procedure via the DIC (no 2 horn beeps) until the brake is set.
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Old 11-26-2021, 05:10 PM   #14
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I tried to position the sensors as described and was able to get the front two to acknowledge but timed out at the first rears. New realization came when I started over and the front wouldn’t connect even though they had been woken. The TPMS acknowledged previously so why not immediately when I tried again. They were woken.

I bought a new sync tool this year because I couldn’t find (remodel house) the one I’ve owned and used twice a year since 2016. The old one synced immediately each of the nine times I changed the tires.

I looked up the manufacture of the two tools. The one I just bought, and doesn’t work for shit, was made by Shenshengyi and cost $12.65

The previous one, that worked flawlessly, was manufactured by Bosch for GM, and cost $88.63

The problem I had here is the cheap tool.

I bought a new Bosch tool and the sensors acknowledged and synced immediately even with the low battery flashing because I use an old battery

https://www.autotoolworld.com/Kent-M..._p_198848.html

The Bosch tool is on the right. It is larger and the orange surround is soft. Throw the other POS in the trash and buy a new Bosch unit
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Last edited by hotlap; 11-26-2021 at 05:20 PM.
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