Tech Tips: C4-C6 Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems


Our technical assistance reps get a lot of questions regarding the Tire Pressure Monitor System (TPMS) that is standard on C4, C5 and C6 Corvettes. The TPMS became a requirement for all vehicles under 10,000 lbs. produced after September 2007. An interesting side note is that the band sensors which are so prevalent today were introduced on the 1987 Corvette. Customer questions tend to focus on reprogramming, compatibility, and changing wheels, so we’ll cover those topics here.

C4: The C4 system uses a transmitting wheel sensor held in place by large band clamp. Each sensor has a separate identification color and frequency, which is transmitted as the wheel turns. If a sensor gets mounted to the wrong wheel, a Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) will be sent.  Wheel position, sensor colors and Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC) are as follows:

  • Right Rear: Orange, DTC=24
  • Left Rear: Yellow, DTC=34
  • Left Front: Green, DTC=44
  • Right Front: Blue, DTC= 54

It is possible to attain the code from your dashboard.  With the key in the “on” position, press and hold the “Trip/Odo” button until “1.1” is visible on the trip odometer readout.  Next, press the “Eng/Met” button to scroll down the present code list (which is displayed at the MPH indicator) until you see the applicable one.

The movement of the wheel provides the energy necessary to power the transmitter. If the tire pressure drops below 25 PSI, the sensor stops transmitting to the receiver, and the “Service LTPWS” lamp illuminates. The sensors don’t require batteries, and the receivers don’t need to be reprogrammed. (source: VetteWeb, Corvette Fever)

C5: There are two different types of C5 pressure sensors. The first sensors were installed on 1997-2000 models. The later sensors are featured on 2001-2004 models. Note that these two types of sensors are NOT interchangeable.
When the car is in stationary mode, the roll switches only transmit once per hour in order to save battery life. The car must be driven in order to take the sensors out of stationary mode. Once the wheel is rotating, the roll switches are activated and the sensor transmits once per minute.
Reprogramming the sensors requires a strong (preferably u-shaped or circular) magnet.

1. Turn the key to the ON position but do not start the car.
2. Press the DIC RESET button to clear any warning messages, if they’re present.
3. Press the OPTIONS button and cycle through the menu until the display goes blank.
4. Press and hold the RESET button until “FOB TRAINING” appears on the display.
5. Press the OPTIONS button once. A “TIRE TRAINING” message is displayed.
6. Press the RESET button once. A “LEARN LEFT FRONT TIRE” message is displayed.
7. Hold a magnet over the Valve Stem on left front wheel. You may have to move it around the valve stem to hit the right spot.
8. When the horn beeps (about 7 seconds later), programming is complete for THAT wheel.
9. Program the other 3 wheel sensors as directed by the DIC message display. The sequence is as follows: Left Front, Right Front, Right Rear, Left Rear.

You have approximately 45 seconds to train each tire. If the sensor isn’t reset in that time, the training program shuts down and you will have to start the entire procedure over.
If you intend to use a second set of wheels for winter driving, competitive driving, etc., new TPMS sensors will need to be purchased. They are available through Corvette Central.

C6: As with the C5, when the C6 Corvette is in stationary mode, the roll switches only transmit once per hour in order to save battery life.

At 20mph, the sensor roll switches activate to initiate full time monitoring. Actual tire pressures of greater than 42 PSI or less than 25 PSI will activate the “LOW TIRE PRESSURE” warning message. If actual tire pressure is less than 5 PSI, a “FLAT TIRE” warning message is displayed, 2 chimes sound, followed by “MAX SPEED 55 MPH” and “REDUCED HANDLING”. Note that the car will not default to a reduced power, or “limp”, mode under these conditions.

If the Remote Control Door Lock Receiver (RCDLR) detects malfunctions in the TPMS, it will display a “SERVICE TIRE MONITOR” message.

The C6 Corvette requires a TPMS reset tool. Excluding some very early production 2005 models, magnets will not work on the C6’s. The TPMS tool is expensive to purchase, but you may order them through a Chevrolet dealer or the Tire Rack. Instructions for use are similar to the C5:
1. Turn the key to the Accessory position but do not start the car.
2. With the key fob, press and hold the Lock and Unlock buttons simultaneously until an audible chirp is heard from the horn.
3. Hold the TPMS tool over the valve stem on left front wheel. You may have to move it around the valve stem to hit the right spot. Press the “learn” (or similar) button on the TPMS tool.
4. When the horn beeps (about 3 seconds later), programming is complete for THAT wheel.
5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for the other 3 wheels. The sequence is as follows: Left Front, Right Front, Right Rear, Left Rear.
After resetting the left rear wheel, an audible double-chirp is heard from the horn. This completes the sequence.

If you intend to use a second set of wheels for winter driving, competitive driving, etc., new TPMS sensors will need to be purchased. They are available through Corvette Central.

33 thoughts to “Tech Tips: C4-C6 Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems”

  1. I have a C6 2008 and the fob and main batteries died at the same time. After replacing them, the door remote works and i can run the car. I do now get the tire monitoring system needs service on the DIC. and yellow tire indicator all the time. Tire pressures read XX for all postions. Pressing the fob’s lock and unlock buttons simultaneously makes the horn beep once (in accessory mode on). But the left front turn signal does not turn on. Bought an EL-50448 OEC-T5 tmps relearn tool and it doesnt cause the horn to beep either. I dont know how to get the DIC i to the relearn mode or view pressure when in accessory mode. Im stuck.

  2. Are there any after market alternatives to the band mounted tire pressure sensors in a 1993 C4 that are that are compatible with the existing receiver/control module. I would install them as a set.

  3. Is there a way to calibrate the C-6 TPMS pressure reading psi number? I get a constant low pressure warning and light with correct tire pressure at 30 psi. I have a 2006 Z06, all original and unmodified, factory wheels, tires, and TPMS sensors. Recently the left rear tire started showing a low pressure warning with the actual pressure 8-10 psi lower than actual — DIC reads 20-23 psi when actual pressure is 30. (Multiple digital gauges and my local tire shop confirmed actual pressure in the tire was 30 psi.) Tire store recommended changing the “bad” TPMS sensor. Ordered a factory new one and installed; no help, same condition. Swapped rear tires left to right and re-learned positions; no help, still shows left rear low. The problem follows the car, not the sensor.
    Any ideas?

    1. Holy crap found my issue. RR 23 psi read but was 30, 35, 32 psi, someone swapped LR and RR wheels as putting new tires on. Direction tire correct, they mixed up the two wheels. LR to 30 from 23 now and tire org light is off. Wow, sheesh….

  4. I drove for 35 years prior to TPMS and promptly detected flat tires without them, and I had at least one flat per year. With TPMS I too often get false indication of low pressure which can create anxiety on a crowded freeway and a hazardous condition especially if I pull over to shoulder to investigate. At least the Vette tells you which tire is suspect. I have regularly checked my tire pressures ever since I was a little boy and I would be better off without TPMS. It only causes me grief on every vehicle that has it. The systems which do not specify which tire is out of range are even worse. Hate TPMS, unnecessary. It is cool to check all 4 tire pressures from the driver’s seat but not worth the TPMS hassles, not even close. I have a tire pressure gauge, in fact I have many tire pressure gauges. When you check your tire pressures is a good opportunity to inspect the tire treads for wear and nails, sidewalls, etc

  5. I have a 99 corvette and the new tires I run call for 45 psi so my display is always telling me high psi. How can I change the parameters of the Tpms to not trigger until a higher psi thanks.

  6. Hello, I have a 2000 c5, auto, it has the c6 18″-19″ wheels on it. The tpms alert comes on at every start up, and the tire pressures say zero, I imagine it’s causenif the c6 sensors in the wheels. Can I get c5 censors, and install them in these wheels? Also, I can’t get my key fob to work, I installed a new battery, and tried to re-program it, but to no avail. Please help.

  7. I have the same issue as Maxim except it is always LR TIRE FLAT until I drive for a few minutes – then the correct pressure is displayed. Could this be a battery issue? How do you change the batteries?

  8. I have the same problem as John Doe. Driver Information Center displays SERVICE TIRE MONITOR. One of the tire sensors displays XX when the car is running for at least an hour. The next day, the
    SERVICE TIRE MONITOR message is gone and the XX sensor displays a normal PSI reading. My customer complaint was duplicated at an authorized Chevrolet Dealer. As a result, my extended GMPP, covered the cost for the new sensor and labor. However, the new tire sensor, did not correct the problem. Please advise at your earliest convenience.

    1. Take a pit stop every hour and turn ignition off for a minute while you get out and stretch and take a short walk. Good for your circulation too.

  9. My C6 RR Tire Sensor displays XX on the highway. A PSI reading is only available on city streets. Can only reset XX Tire Sensor when vehicle is cold. Any ideas?

  10. I put a set of c6 rims and tires on my 2003 c5, since then the tpms has put up a warning. Can I reset them using this method or do I need to purchase a new tpms kit?

  11. I just purchased a set of stock chrome wheels from a 2014 Stingray. Before I sell my 2007 stock grey wheels, I need to know if I can just reset the 2014 sensors to work on my 2007. Are they the same or do I need to switch them out. I hope you can help me.

  12. 1997 C5. I just started having no response from my key FOB, also at start of driving, the tire pressuer monitor shows flat tire, then after a time it goes away. Sometimes, it starts out as service tire system, then after a while it goes away, and the correct tire pressure can be seen.

    Is this related in any way to my driver door?
    I noticed this problem after replacing the window regulator. I am not able to now train my key FOB, no response from the training system.

    1. I would set all 4 tires to exactly the same pressure with a gauge, as it sounds like one sensor is sending a message after the tires warm up from driving. I don’t believe it is related to the driver door problem.

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