Sensors are small but arguably the most important part of any tire pressure monitoring system. Safely tucked away from sight, they are responsible for transmitting signals to the monitor through which you can keep track of tire pressure levels.
TPMS systems have been a mandatory inclusion in new cars in America since 2008, so you are sure there is one in your car when you buy it. When it is time to replace the sensors, it can be confusing, not to mention exhausting, to analyze everything to figure out which brand to buy.
We analyzed numerous TPMS sensors in the market and came up with a shortlist which we hope will save you the hassle of looking through the numerous options.
Best TPMS Sensors
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Autel MX-Sensor TPMS Sensors
Autel TPMS Sensors MX-Sensor 2 in 1 TPS218 (315MHz + 433MHz) Screw-in OE-Level Tire Pressure Monitoring System Sensor for 99% Main Vehicles SAE Standard J1205/J1206/J2657 (Rubber Stem Qty of 4)
- [2-in-1 Dual Frequency] The Autel TPS218 TPMS sensors combine dual frequency (315MHz+433MHz) in one. With 100% original sensor ID cloning, the MX-Sensors can be replaced directly in the same position without relearning. Pairing with the Autel MaxiTPMS tools (TS601), all the Autel MX-Sensors can be activated, programmed, and
Autel is a well-known brand name in the industry which should give you confidence that you are taking home a good quality product. These sensors come in a pack of four pieces. This makes Autel ideal for a full tire sensor replacement job because it is always advisable to replace all four at the same time.
They are designed to replace OEM sensors and have proved to work just as well for a relatively lower price. The installation and programming process is easy so it can be done by anyone with basic knowledge of how TPMS sensors work.
This saves you a few dollars which would have ended up in the hands of a professional technician at the auto-repair shop. Another notable feature is a replaceable aluminum valve stem which helps the sensor withstand heat, cold and makes it corrosion resistant. A high-precision air valve helps to prevent leakage of air.
These are 100% cloneable with no relearn process required. Autel MX sensors can be used with both 433MHz and 315MHz frequencies and boast of 98% vehicle coverage.
Power is provided by a durable battery which is guaranteed to last you at least 5 years. A 2-year or 24,000 miles manufacturer’s warranty gives you confidence that you will get a replacement if the sensors develop any problems within this time frame or distance.
Where pricing is concerned, these are on the higher side. If you consider the fact that you get four pieces in a pack and their lifespan, it does work out to be a cost-effective option.
- Durable battery
- Replaceable aluminum valve stem
- Combines both 433MHz and 315MHzfrequencies
- Packet of 4 sensors
- Easy installation and programming
- 98% vehicle coverage
- 2- year/ 24,000 miles warranty
Denso 550 – 0103 TPMS Sensors
Denso 550-0103 TPMS 315-MHZ Sensor for Toyota/Lexus with Factory Alloy Wheel Options. (THIS SENSOR MUST BE PROGRAMMED BEFORE USE)
- Mounting Type: Clamp-In
- NOTE:Kindly refer the INSTALLATION MANUAL which is available below for guidance
- TPMS Sensor Type : Valve stem
- No Cloning or Pre-Programming
- Stamping on the product showing in the pictures are production/assembly line ID numbers, unrelated to the actual part-number of the product and should be
Denso sensors are made by a reputable manufacturer. This should give you a sense of confidence even before learning what makes them a preferred choice.
These are excellent OEM replacement sensors which can fit in a wide variety of car models. You don’t have to worry that it may not be appropriate for your car. For technicians who sometimes need to move sensors from one vehicle to another, this makes life a lot easier for them because they can move these sensors to virtually any other car.
One key difference in these sensors is their mounting design. They are mounted by clamping them in. This is an older mounting style in which the sensor body is attached to the valve piece. A rubber grommet and nut are used to attach a valve core.
These sensors are powered using lithium- polymer batteries which have about four times the energy in other similar batteries. They are also preferred by manufacturers because they are very light so they do not add much weight to the devices they are installed in. Lastly, this brand of sensors is definitely something to take a second look at if you are shopping on a budget.
- Operated using lithium -polymer batteries
- Mounting design: Clamp in
- Powered using lithium-polymer batteries
- OEM replacement
- Can be used on most cars
Doorman 974 – 009 TPMS Sensors
These are designed to match original sensors in certain Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac, Hummer, Pontiac, GMC, Saab, Suzuki and Saturn vehicles. They are therefore compatible with the monitoring devices in these vehicles.
Packages come with grommets, stem units, hex nuts and washers which are everything you need to install them. This makes using the product very convenient because you don’t have to search for suitable fittings to go with the sensors. The installation process is also quite straight forward, making it quick and easy even for an amateur.
A unique 2-piece design means you can replace a sensor independent of the tire valve stem. Another strength which stood out is the high level of accuracy in these sensors’ reporting. This is despite the fact that they can accommodate a wide range of installation angles which are between 5 and 26 degrees.
These sensors have been professionally tested so you are assured of high-quality performance. In the event that you have any problems with the product, customer care and support from the manufacturer is easily available.
- Designed for certain Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac, Hummer, Pontiac, GMC, Saab, Suzuki and Saturn vehicles
- Installation angle range – 5 to 26 degrees
- Comes with everything you need to install
- 2-piece design
- Easy to install
- Can be replaced independent of valve stem
- High accuracy
- Support easily available
ACDelco 13586335 TPMS Sensors
ACDelco 13586335 TPMs sensors are manufactured for GM vehicles to be used as replacement of GM original sensors. They are therefore not advisable for other makes.
It then follows that they are designed to communicate with specific monitors used in these vehicles. They are recommended by GM as quality, reliable products which can be used to replace their original equipment.
ACDelco is known for accurate tire pressure readings. As soon as pressure levels drop below the recommended level, the system activates an alert to warn the driver of a problem with the tire. Power is provided by a durable battery which can serve you for up to 10 years.
Installation of these sensors doesn’t necessarily have to be done by a professional at an auto-repair shop. With minimal automotive DIY knowledge and basic tools, you can easily install them yourself at home and save yourself some money.
- Made for GM vehicles
- Alert when psi drops below 25%
- Weight: 1.12 ounces
- Durable battery ( up to 10 years)
- Very accurate
- Easy to install
- Flawless operation
VDO SE 10001 HP REDI TPMS sensors
VDO sensors are high-quality sensors designed to replace original equipment. They work just as well as OE, therefore giving the manufacturers a good reputation in the industry.
These come in a pack of two sensors so you will have to buy 2 packs if you are looking to replace all 4 sensors in your car. They also come preprogrammed so you will not need to get into any programming procedures. They are designed to simply follow vehicle relearn procedures.
A clamp-in pivoting stem design allows for expanded wheel fitment, as part of a quick and simple installation process. If you have any challenges, an installation guide is included for reference. Some packs (depending on where you buy them) include all component parts necessary for installation.
Most TPMS sensors transmit in one of the two main frequencies used for these devices. These are 315MHz and 433MHz. This means that you have to check which frequency a TPMS system uses to transmit before buying it to avoid buying the wrong one for your specific use. These sensors however, can transmit in either of the two frequencies.
Preprogrammed (No programming required)
- Comes with installation guide
- Clamp-in mounting design
- Can use either 315 MHz or 433MHz.
- OE validated
- Easy to install
ORO – Tek TPMS Sensors
ORO – Tek TPMS sensors are designed to replace OE sensors. They don’t require any programming, just a basic relearn procedure to get the sensors working.
A 2-piece stem design makes it possible to replace the stem independently which makes maintenance easier and cheaper.
The manufacturer advises replacement of all four sensors at a time for maximum benefit. If you follow this advice and buy four pieces for a full car sensor replacement, these sensors work out to be more expensive than similar products in the market.
- 2- piece stem design / 35 degree adjustable
- Weight: 1.44 ounces
- No programming required
ITM TPMS Sensors
ITM sensors are made to replace OE sensors. They come as a set of 4 pieces which makes them a good choice for users looking to replace sensors in all four tires at once. They come pre-programmed so you don’t need to know how to program them. This makes installation a quick and simple process.
In addition to tire pressure monitoring, these sensors also monitor tire temperatures, an additional advantage many users believe is limited to original sensors. Each sensor is powered by a durable lithium ion battery which will serve you for 5 to 6 years.
The manufacturers of these sensors have gone out of their way to make sure you are happy. They give a 2-year warranty which covers any manufacturing defects. On top of that is a guaranteed refund in the event that you are dissatisfied with the product for one reason or another.
- Set of 4 pieces
- Monitors both pressure and temperature
- 1 lithium ion battery
- Battery lifespan – 6 years
- Easy to install
- 2- year warranty
- Money back guarantee if dissatisfied
Motorcraft TPMS Sensors
Motorcraft is an auto parts brand owned by the American automotive corporation Ford Motor Company. It is a trusted producer of vehicle-specific, direct OEM replacement parts for Ford vehicles, Lincolns and Mercury vehicles.
They are made from premium materials and meet strict standards set by Ford. This is why they are the number one recommendation by Ford Motor Company for replacements.
Motorcraft TPMS 23 sensors for instance are designed to be used in certain Ford models such as some Edge, Explorer, Escape, Expedition, Flex, F-150, Fusion and Taurus vehicles. They can also be used in Lincoln vehicles.
Programming or relearning may be required during installation to activate them. The manufacturing company recommends that you have a trained professional do the programming to ensure it is done correctly.
This product comes with a 2-year limited warranty on parts sold to customers in the US. If a sensor is found to be defective in regards to workmanship or factory-supplied materials it can be replaced or repaired at the discretion of the company.
- Direct OEM replacement
- Vehicle specific for Ford
- Very light (0.32 ounces)
- 2 -year warranty
What to Consider When Buying TPMS Sensors
There are several aspects to keep in mind when you start shopping for TPMS sensors. Here are some of them.
Type of vehicle
What type of vehicle do you have? Is it a small car, a medium sized family car or an RV? If you have a mid-sized car, there is no need to spend extra on sensors designed for RVs. If you have a towing vehicle, be sure to buy sensors which can handle higher pressures than those of regular cars.
OEM vs Aftermarket TPMS sensors
OEM sensors are those made by the manufacturer of the vehicle for the purpose of replacing sensors installed during manufacture. They are usually more expensive than aftermarket parts and give you a greater assurance of quality service and durability. They work just as well or better than what was in the vehicle when you bought it.
OEM sensors usually come with a warranty which obviously gives you more confidence in the product. Most manufacturers give a one year warranty though some go up to 2 years.
If you are like many users, you will appreciate the fact that the options for OEM sensors for a specific vehicle are few so it is easy to narrow down on what you need.
Do keep in mind however, that it is not in all instances that OEM means better quality. Some aftermarket parts work just as well or better than OEM sensors. In some cases, you are paying the extra cost for OEM sensors just because they bear the manufacturer’s name.
This is most important when you are dealing with aftermarket TPMS sensors. Some sensors are vehicle-specific. This means that it can only be used for vehicles of a certain makes. Vehicle specification sometimes goes as far as certain models manufactured in specified years.
If this is not you cup of tea, look for TPMS sensors which can be used in a variety of vehicles regardless of the model or make.
Ease of use
TPMS sensors are part of a larger TPMS system made up of a monitor and other components. Sometimes the sensors seem alright but the systems within which they work are complicated. Look for sensors whose systems are easy to learn and easy to use.
If you find yourself constantly stuck when trying to operate the sensors, you may want to rethink them altogether.
TPMS sensors transmit in one of two frequencies that is 433MHz and 315MHz. The former is the typical frequency used in Europe and the latter in most other parts of the world including America.
When buying sensors, don’t forget to check what frequency they broadcast in depending on where you intend to use them. Some sensors are capable of broadcasting in either of the two frequencies. You simply program it as you like.
The primary aspect to look at when it comes to durability of TPMS sensors is battery life. The sensor is in an enclosed space throughout its life so there is little chance of physical damage. Batteries are what determine how long it serves you.
When picking out sensors, check what the manufacturer quotes as the typical lifespan of the battery. Even if it doesn’t last as long as quoted, it usually doesn’t vary too much.
The question in reliability is ‘will the product perform as well as the manufacturer says it will?’ The best way to get around this is to go for sensors manufactured by a reputable, established company.
A company which has made a name for itself in the industry most likely produces quality products. An established company has been around long enough to have customer care and support systems in place. If you have any problems with the sensors, there is a number you can call to get assistance.
The caveat here is that this is not always the case. Some reputable, established companies have terrible customer support systems. Similarly, you could come across a product from a newly established company which produces exceptionally good quality sensors but has not been around long enough to build a name.
How long does a TPMS sensor battery last?
The typical lifespan is 5 to 10 years. Some may last up to 10 years. Sensors don’t send signals continuously. They only broadcast when the vehicle is in motion. They are designed as such to save on battery power and this is why they can last so long.
What is an OEM sensor?
OEM stands for ‘original equipment manufacturer.’ Any part referred to as OEM is manufactured by the vehicle’s manufacturer. Ford OEM TPMS sensors for example, are manufactured by Ford and are designed to replace sensors in Ford vehicles.
How can I remove TPMS sensors?
Here is a quick guide:
- Put the vehicle in a raised position and remove the tires
- Unscrew the valve stem and let the air out gradually
- Get the tire off the wheel
- Remove the TPMS sensor by unscrewing it from the back of the valve stem
How many TPMS sensors do I need for my vehicle?
The basic working is that you need one sensor for each tire. If you have a vehicle with more than 4 or 5 tires, buy tire pressure monitoring system which can accommodate as many tires as you have (including the spare tire). If you have an RV, you will need sensors for all tires, including trailer ones.
Are all TPMS sensors vehicle specific?
No. Some are manufactured specifically for certain vehicle makes and models. Others can be used in a variety of vehicles. Be sure to check if sensors are vehicle-specific before purchasing.
Are all TPMS sensors mounted the same way?
There are two methods used based on the type of sensor.
- Clamp-in sensors. With these the valve piece is attached to the sensor body. A nut and rubber grommet are used to attach the valve core.
- Snap-in sensors. This method was introduced a few years after the clamp-in method. In this one, a valve screw is used to snap in a rubber- enclosed valve piece.
If you intend to install your sensors yourself, make sure you know which of the two is applicable.
Does frequency of a sensor really matter?
Yes it does. There are two frequencies used by TPMS sensors. 315MHz and 433MHz. 315MHz is what is typically used in America so it is unlikely you will accidentally buy the wrong one from a local dealer.
That said, it does happen so make a point to check before you buy. If you are buying sensors in the US but intend to use them in another part of the world, this is a very important detail to check.
Is the pressure threshold the same for all TPMS sensors?
25%. That is the threshold used by most sensors. As soon as tire pressure drops below 25% of the set recommended level, an alert is activated. This is supposed to tell the driver that there is something wrong with the tire and give him/her enough time to address the problem.
A good-quality, fully functional tire pressure monitoring system not only keeps you safe on the road, it also ensures efficient fuel consumption. TPMS sensors are the backbone of this system. For this reason, it is important to choose the best TPMS sensors within your budget.
From our analysis, Autel MX-Sensor TPMS Sensors carried the day because they come in a packet of 4 pieces. This adds to cost-effectiveness of the product. They are capable of broadcasting in both internationally recognized TPMS frequencies and are cloneable. They are also easy to install and come with a 2 year or 24,000 mile warranty.