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TPMS: Determine the system on a BMW 3-Series E-90

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TPMS: Determine the system on a BMW 3-Series E-90

SUBJECT VEHICLE: 2009-13 BMW 3-Series E90

RELEARN PROCEDURE? Yes, see reset procedures.

SPECIAL TOOLS NEEDED? No.

There are two types of tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) on 2009-13 BMW 3-Series E90 vehicles.

The Flat Tire Monitor (FTM) system uses the ABS to measure each tire’s rolling radius changes and with it, the rotational speed of the wheels. Changes are detected and signaled as a flat tire. The FTM system does not use tire pressure sensors in the tires.

The Tire Pressure Monitor (TPM) system uses tire pressure sensors installed in the tires to check the tire inflation pressure in the four mounted tires. The system indicates if the tire inflation pressure has dropped considerably in one or several tires.

Tire pressure monitor warning light

FTM: If a significant drop in tire pressure is detected, the TPMS warning lamps light up yellow and red, display a warning message on the iDrive Control Display, and sound an acoustic warning signal.

If a system malfunction occurs, the TMPS warning lamps light up yellow and a message is displayed.

TPM: When a flat tire is detected, the TPMS warning lamps light up yellow and red, a message appears on the iDrive Control Display, and signal sounds.

If a system malfunction occurs, the yellow warning light flashes and then lights up continuously. The tires are shown in gray on the Control Display and a message is displayed.

CAUTION: The system is inactive and cannot display a flat tire if a wheel has been mounted without TPM electronics or if TPM experiences temporary interference from other systems or devices that use the same radio frequency. Status display on iDrive Control Display: The tire and system status is indicated by the color of the tires. TPM takes the fact that the tire pressure changes during driving into account. A correction is only required if the color of the TPM display indicates that it is necessary.

• Green: The tire pressure matches the learned set state. “Status: TPM active” is displayed on the Control Display.

• One wheel is yellow: There is a flat tire or a major drop in inflation pressure in the indicated tire. A message appears on the Control Display.

• All wheels are yellow: There is a flat tire or a major drop in inflation pressure in several tires. A message appears on the Control Display.

• Gray: The system cannot detect a flat tire. Reasons for this can include: TPM is being reset; temporary interference due to systems or devices that use the same radio frequency; and system malfunction.

Reset procedures

When the tire pressure warning light illuminates and a warning message appears, immediately check air pressure of all tires and adjust to the specified pressure. Reset TMPS. Ensure warning indicators go out.

NOTE: If a tire pressure has been adjusted, or a wheel or tire has been replaced, the TPM or FTM system must be reinitialized. See appropriate tire pressure monitor system under reset procedures.

TPMS reinitialization

FTM: NOTE: The resetting process finishes during driving, which can be interrupted at any time. When driving resumes, resetting is continued automatically.

Without iDrive

1. Set the tire pressure of all wheels to specification and start the engine.

2. Lightly push button 1 in the turn indicator lever up or down repeatedly until the corresponding symbol appears in the display accompanied by the word “RESET” (see Figure 1).

3. Press button 2 to confirm your choice of the Flat Tire Monitor (see Figure 1).

4. Press button 2 for approximately five seconds, until the reading shown in Figure 2 is displayed.

5. Drive vehicle. Initialization is automatically completed during the drive, with no additional feedback.

With iDrive

1. Set pressure of wheels to specification.

2. On iDrive Control Center, select “Vehicle Info,” then “Vehicle Status.”

3. Select “RESET.” The initialization menu appears (see Figure 3).

4. Start the engine, but don’t drive.

5. Start the initialization with “RESET.”

6. Drive vehicle. The initialization is completed during driving (see Figure 4).

TPM: CAUTION: The system is inactive and cannot display a flat tire if a wheel has been mounted without TPM electronics or if TPM experiences temporary interference from other systems or devices that use the same radio frequency.

NOTE: The reset process finishes during driving, which can be interrupted at any time. When driving resumes, resetting is continued automatically.

Without iDrive

1. Set the tire pressure of all wheels to specification.

2. Start engine.

3. Lightly push button 1 in the turn indicator lever up or down repeatedly until the corresponding symbol appears in the display accompanied by the word “RESET.”

4. Press button 2 to confirm your choice of the tire pressure monitor.

5. Press button 2 for approximately five seconds.

6. Drive vehicle. Initialization is automatically completed during the drive. The indicator lamp goes out after the system reset is completed.

With iDrive

1. Set the tire pressure of all wheels to specification.

2. On iDrive Control Center, select “SETTINGS,” then “TPM.”

3. Select “Reset TPM.”

4. Start the engine, but don’t drive.

5. Select “RESET” (see Figure 3).

6. Drive vehicle. The tires are shown in gray and “Resetting TPM...” is displayed.

NOTE: If there is a problem resetting and applying the tire inflation pressures, all tires are shown in yellow on the Control Display, and a message is displayed.

7. After a few minutes of driving, the set tire inflation pressures in the tires are applied as the set values to be monitored. The resetting process is completed automatically while driving. When the resetting is completed, the tires in the display turn to green and “TPM Active” is displayed.

Demounting/mounting procedures

CAUTION: The tire should be demounted from the wheel using the tire changer manufacturer’s instructions. Use the following information to avoid damage during the demounting/mounting procedures.

The only way to know from the outside, whether a wheel contains an electronic sensor, is by the metal valve stem. System initialization is the only way to determine whether the correct sensor has been used. An incorrect sensor will not be registered and a fault will be recorded in the diagnostic system.

Tire pressure sensor removal

1. Raise the vehicle on a suitable support. Remove the tire/wheel assembly from vehicle.

2. Demount the tire from the wheel following the tire changer manufacturer’s instructions while paying special attention to the following to avoid damaging tire pressure sensor:

• To prevent the pressing-off horn from damaging sensor, do not rest pressing-off horn on both rim sides in the area of the valve.

• The valve should be approximately 15 centimeters to the right of the assembly head (to prevent tire iron from damaging sensor).

• Tire bead must not press onto sensor.

Tire pressure sensor installation

1. Mount tire to wheel following tire changer manufacturer’s instructions while paying special attention to the following to avoid damaging tire pressure sensor:

• When the sensor is installed, the rim must not be cleaned with high-pressure cleaning equipment.

• Visually inspect sensor for external damage and check for tight fit. Do not retighten screw and union nut. If one of the valve parts is loose, replace the entire valve.

• Keep the sensor free of tire mounting paste.

• Fit the lower tire bead so that no pressure forces are exerted on the sensor.

• Fit the upper tire bead so that no pressure forces are exerted on the sensor.

2. Install the tire/wheel assembly on the vehicle. Reinitialize the TPMS. See reset procedures.    ■

Information for this column comes from Mitchell 1’s “Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems Guide” for domestic and import vehicles through 2013. Headquartered in Poway, Calif., Mitchell 1 has provided quality repair information solutions to the automotive industry for more than 80 years. Visit www.mitchell1.com.

To read the June 2014 issue of Modern Tire Dealer, see the digital version here.

To read more TPMS articles, see:

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