The technology in vehicles is constantly changing and improving as cars become smarter. As always, with new technology comes more options, and TPMS is no exception. There are multiple types of TPMS sensors and deciding which one is the right for your business starts with a good understanding of each.
Below is an explanation of TPM sensors in terms of something we all understand – music!
Programmable Sensors: Music On-Demand
When you are listening to your favorite streaming service, you have whatever song you want, when you want it. You don’t have to buy a whole collection of music in order to have that song at any given time. Similarly, when using a programmable sensor, the protocols are downloadable, and you are able to choose which application you want depending on your needs. You always have the right sensor at your fingertips.
• As low as one SKU to stock
• Able to add new applications without adding SKUs
• Able to copy ID from an original sensor
• Requires a tool to program and relearn the sensor
Multiple Protocol Sensors: A Mix Tape Collection
Before we had music on demand, we had mixtapes. You would pick your favorite songs and put them together on one tape. You keep multiple mixed tapes as new songs are produced, so you continue to have the right mix when you want it. When you want a specific song, you play the whole mixtape. Multiple protocol sensors are much the same. Each sensor has a collection of the most used vehicle applications. You keep a collection of different multiple protocol sensors so that you have the right sensor when you need it.
• No programming or activation needed
• Must stock 6+ SKUs for full coverage
• New applications = added SKUs
• If a wrong sensor is installed, a new sensor must be installed from scratch
• Risk of crosstalk with multiple protocols functioning at once
• Tool needed to relearn the sensor
Selectable Sensors: A Jukebox
A jukebox is like a mixed tape, only you can select one specific song that you want to listen to. A selectable sensor has protocols pre-loaded and you select which vehicle application you want to use. You keep a collection of selectable sensors so that you have the right application when you need it.
• Able to copy sensor ID from an original sensor
• Must stock 6+ SKUs
• New applications = Added SKUs
• Must select application before installing
• Tool needed to select and relearn the sensor
Direct Fit Sensors: A 45-Record Collection
A 45 holds a single song. You stock an entire library of the 45s you love the most so that you can listen to the song you want when you want to. This is just like a “like for like” sensor. Each sensor has a specific protocol built in, and you have one sensor for one application. You keep a large stock of different SKUs so that you have the right sensor when you need it.
• No programming or selecting needed
• Must stock hundreds of SKUs to guarantee coverage
• New applications = added SKUs
• Tool needed to relearn
Written for Tire Review by Jacki Lutz, Global Head of Marketing Communications & Intelligence
Which sensors do you work with the most? Do you have a favorite type of TPMS sensor?