Being a tire and service technician for several years, I sometimes encounter several vehicles (Toyotas included) with problems related to the sensors in their tire pressure monitoring systems. I saw them with broken valve stems, dead batteries, no sensors inside the tire (unless they're indirect or they're not equipped with TPMS in the first place since Canada doesn't make it mandatory like the United States and several countries worldwide since 2008) and, once in a blue moon, one sensor that self-destructed to pieces inside the tire. Fixing them is easy, once you know what you're doing with the right replacement TPMS sensor and diagnostic tool to pinpoint the faulty sensor and perform a proper relearn. The shop I work with uses a dual-band Schrader EZ-Sensor (#33500) and a Bartec Tech 400SD TPMS tool with OBD-II capability. They're great to have, but the software support for the tool ends on December 21, 2019.
Looking at the options to replace the tool, I saw one that attracts the interests to tire shops and suppliers: the Autel MaxiTPMS TS508
. Being a combination TPMS tool with OBD-II capability, it has all the right features for the shop to activate and diagnose TPMS sensors, plus free lifetime software updates. Of course, that comes with a catch. With any TPMS tool with free lifetime software updates, you're stuck with programming one kind of universal TPMS sensor. In the case with the TS508 (or any Autel TPMS tool), the tool can only program Autel's MX-Sensors. Whereas with the Bartec (along with Ateq's VT-56 and its derivatives), you can program a variety of aftermarket replacement TPMS sensor, but you have to pay a hefty subscription fee to keep your tool up to date. Drawbacks aside, I gave the latest MX-Sensor
a try. I was impressed with the highest vehicle coverage, the ability to change valve stems from rubber snap-in to metal clamp-in at the push of a button, and the capability of programming up to 16 MX-Sensors at once.
Having seen those two products in-person, if you have either of those, what is your experience of using them to do a TPMS repair?