Since the end of 2014, it has been mandatory to fit all new passenger cars with tyre pressure monitoring systems, so that’s nothing new. Brand new, however, is the fact that ALCAR is offering a new and significantly improved product generation in the TPMS segment for the passenger car aftermarket.

In the following, you can read about what the four letters TPMS are all about in detail and what kind of extensive TPMS support you can expect as an ALCAR business partner.


Tyre pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) are in-built automotive systems for the continuous monitoring of tyre pressure. A distinction is made between direct (tyre pressure monitoring with a rim-integrated sensor) and indirect (tyre pressure monitoring via ABS sensors) systems. In case of a loss of pressure in one or several tyres the display in the interior of the car will inform the driver of the incident. 

TPMS have four functions: 

  • Increase safety due to improved grip, more stable steering, and shorter braking distances
  • Prevent increased fuel consumption due to inaccurate tyre pressure
  • Prevent increased tyre wear caused by low tyre pressure
  • Reduce CO2 emissions due to lower fuel consumption and longer tyre life

Which legal requirements must TPMS fulfill? 
Since 1st November 2014: according to the EU Directive, all new cars must be equipped with a TPMS by the vehicle manufacturers. However, the EU Directive does not stipulate which tyre pressure monitoring system should be used. Permitted are direct as well as indirect systems as long as they fulfil the requirements and conditions of ECE-R 64. ECE-R64 only stipulates the functionality but not whether an original or aftermarket sensor is required.

Important: In accordance with EU Directive 2014/45/EU, which came into force on 20 May 2018, an obviously non-functional tire pressure monitoring system (RDKS/TPMS) is classified as a significant defect during the general inspection.


If your car is already fitted with TPMS find out whether it is a direct or an indirect system. With an indirect TPMS you can lean back and need not do anything as your wheel purchase will have no impact on the TPMS. 

If your car has a direct TPMS you should consider the following points when buying wheels: 
1. Does your choice of rim design meet all requirements to be fitted with a TPMS sensor? 
2. Due to the complexity of the TPMS technology we recommend you seek the advice of a specialist retailer who have the relevant knowhow and are equipped with the required tools to carry out all servicing smoothly and competently. And they are happy to help if you have any questions.

Since early 2012, all ALCAR rims are equipped to integrate the necessary radio sensors (direct TPMS), and the relevant information is noted in the TÜV certifications.



What’s the difference between direct and indirect systems? 
In a direct system, the rim-integrated sensor measures the tyre air pressure. This information is transferred via a radio signal to a control unit in the car. Furthermore, various displays of individual car manufacturers allow for a continuous reading of the most current pressure values, or they will send out a warning signal only if tyre pressure is too low. These systems are very precise since they monitor tyre pressure directly on each wheel. 

How does an indirect TPMS work? 

In an indirect system, the in-built ABS or traction sensors monitor the wheels for rotation speed differences that would occur in a tyre in the case of pressure loss. In addition, the system measures pressure-relevant tyre vibrations. A change in vibration is also indicative of pressure loss.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of these systems? 
A direct TPMS allows for very precise data collection and additional functions such as tyre position recognition, pressure loss recognition while stationary, and monitoring the tyre pressure of a spare wheel. A direct TPMS incurs significantly higher costs when changing wheels and for maintenance. All wheels of a car (summer, winter, spare) must be equipped with a functioning sensor.

An indirect TPMS functions slightly less precise as it, for example, is unable to measure neither tyre pressure nor tyre temperature. Furthermore, it cannot determine a pressure loss in the tyres in a stationary car. When it comes to changing tyres, this system proves to be significantly simpler and economical since it works without the use of wheel sensors.

What impact do TPM systems have on maintenance and service? 
The use of TPMS comes with new challenges during operation and maintenance of cars, both for the car owner and the specialist retailer:

Car owners will be unable to readily change tyres themselves because direct TPMS in particular requires the sensor to be fitted, configured and checked by a qualified specialist retailer. Due to the wide availability of this technology retailers will invest in training their staff and the relevant equipment.

Can I fit the tyres myself when using direct TPMS? 
Fitting tyres is a safety-relevant topic that requires expert knowledge (checking tyre condition, using the right tightening torque, etc.). That’s why we recommend using the services of a specialist retailer to fit tyres. 

Furthermore, direct TPM systems involve the following technical requirements: 

  • Need for valve and gasket maintenance during each change of wheels to prevent sensor wear
  • In case of new tyres: new relearns of sensors to adjust to the car when using new sensors (new sensor ID) or when changing the wheel positions of sensors to ensure trouble-free communication between sensor and TPMS receiver
  • When changing tyres, the battery status of sensors must be checked

My car has no TPMS. Do I have to retrofit one? 
In cars for which the law requires mandatory TPMS, an indirect or a direct TPMS is fitted during manufacture because otherwise the car will not get type approval or registration within the EU member countries.

Retrofitting a TPMS is not mandatory.



ALCAR offers customised industry solutions: In addition to sensors, ALCAR provides assembly tools, diagnosis and programming tools, service and spare part kits as well as extensive consultation for all customers and partners. Moreover, with the new TPMS configurator ALCAR offers customers optimum digital TPMS support. In the Download Area you can download sensor or service kit allocations etc. for easy printout. This enables ALCAR to find simple and quick online solutions for the most common problems such as finding the matching sensor for a specific car model or the relevant relearn procedure.

Complex challenges – simple solutions

In addition to the new sensors, at the same time, ALCAR developed a new high-performance tool in cooperation with BARTEC, the world leader in the manufacture of TPMS diagnosis tools. With the ALCAR TECH600, specialist retailers will now have at their disposal a comprehensive diagnosis and programming tool featuring many extras. The new ALCAR TECH600, amongst other things, includes a colour display, WIFI, Bluetooth OBDII, wireless charging, and a robust ergonomic housing. Due to improved navigation, a wide range of menu languages, live updates via WIFI as well as comprehensive OBD analysis options, the new tool makes daily workshop routines easier. Add to this automatic sensor recognition, multi-programming, ERP integration, and a vast database for re-learn procedures as well as a three-year license period. A one-time ALCAR upgrade special offers all workshops full coverage of major sensor manufacturers worldwide.