How-To: Program a New OEM Nissan TPMS Sensor

During a routine tire rotation maintenance the front-left OEM sensor got snagged in the tire mounting machine and broke at the stem. Initially I ordered a replacement from eBay using same part# on OEM sensor. I wasted the next 5 days trying to get the replacement eBay TPMS sensor programmed to my truck – including a visit to a nearby Nissan dealership, where the friendly techs tried to reset my TPMS sensors on the spot. Thanks to them, they discovered that the replacement eBay TPMS sensor was faulty (that’s what I get for seeing if I could save a few bucks). Basically the TPMS Device they use at the service center could get pressure readings on every TPMS sensor on my truck EXCEPT the front left… and that’s the one that I had replaced. The tech felt bad that I had to replace it again, so he didn’t charge me anything for what he just did… BUT he did casually mention that a new TPMS sensor (just one) would be $95, plus install for a total of $220.

Yes, I declined.

Instead, the next day I called my buddy who does my tires, and he ordered a new TPMS sensor for me directly from his contacts at a different local Nissan dealership (Before you ask, I have like 5 Nissan dealerships within 30 minutes from my house, another 4 or so within an hour). The “Pals hookup” came out to $40 for a brand new OEM Nissan TPMS sensor from dealer stock. After waiting 2 days for the TPMS sensor to arrive in my mailbox, we installed it and here’s how I programmed the new TPMS sensor by myself, without requiring a visit to the dealership service center:

The Procedure (Literally The Exact Steps I did, In Order)

STEP 1: To begin the manual reprogram, I first adjusted each tire pressure as shown below:

STEP 2: Next, go to the driver’s side footwell and next to the OBD2 plug, you will find a small single wire white plug next to it just hanging there:

To do the reset you’ll need to ground this “TPMS reset plug” in a specific pattern. You can connect a small piece of wire to it, or insert a pin or paper clip into the plug itself. You can then ground this wire to any nearby piece of metal that is grounded. So once you have your wire (or paper clip) ready, go to the next step.

STEP 3: Turn the key to “ON” but do not start the engine.

STEP 4: Keep your eye on your gauge cluster (see below) and wait for TPMS light to go from blinking fast to steady ON:

Watch this warning light until it stops blinking.

STEP 5: When the TPMS light stays steady ON, ground the TPMS wire at least 6 times in 10 seconds. If you did it right, the TPMS light should start blinking SLOWLY – this is good, that means the TPMS system is in the right mode. If it’s not blinking or it’s blinking QUICKLY like when you first turned the key to ON, it didn’t work. Turn the key to OFF then go back to step 3 and start over.

STEP 6: Now start the truck, hop in, and drive. You’ll want to drive at higher speeds (think freeway for best results) for awhile, and magically the TPMS light will stop blinking and turn OFF. Now, how long it takes before this happen can vary; some other Internet guides say 15 minutes, my truck took about 15 miles on the freeway averaging 60-65 mph before the TPMS light turned OFF.

STEP 7: Now it’s time to adjust tire pressures back to normal. Take a look at the tire pressure label for your truck, which is on the driver’s side door jam when you open the door. Read what the tire pressure says EXACTLY. If it says “36-psi” then your target pressure is 36-psi. Not 34-psi, not 35.5-psi – aim for EXACTLY what it says. Mine says “36-psi”.

STEP 8: Using whatever method you have/use, inflate all four tires to the specified air pressure; for me, that meant all 4 tires back to EXACTLY 36-psi.

That’s it. The TPMS sensor is programmed and part of the pressure sensor system.

Just to be sure – afterward to test that the TPMS sensor was functioning normal I waited until the next morning and I purposely dropped the left-front tire (the tire with the replacement TPMS sensor) down to 20-psi. Next I drove around my neighborhood, and within about 30 seconds the TPMS light went back ON. I drove back home, aired the left-front tire back up to 36-psi, drove around the block again, and in about 20 seconds the TPMS light went OFF again.

NOTE: If for some reason you can’t get the sensor recognized, it may not be “awake.” Unfortunately there’s no workaround to this; if your sensor isn’t “awake” then you will have to visit a Nissan dealership (or good tire shop like America’s Tire) so that they can use their TPMS tool to wake the sensor up before the reprogram.