C4 (84-96)

Tech Tips: C4-C6 Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems

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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.

[video src="http://tech.corvettecentral.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/C5-Corvette-TPMS-Reset-CorvetteOnline.com_.flv" width="615" height="346"]
Thanks to Paul Huizenga and Corvette Online for the video and article.

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.

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