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Flat Tire Monitor

Discussion in 'E46 M3 (2001-2006)' started by billloyd, Jul 25, 2009.

    billloyd guest

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    Here's another pesky indicator. I had a new set of tires installed yesterday by a local retailer (not the BMW dealer). The Michelin Pilot Sports are the correct replacement size - front and rear. No problem encountered this morning but, this afternoon the Flat Tire Monitor indicator light came on. Suspecting that the installation was poor on one tire, I stopped to check the tire pressure. All four were very close to the factory specified air pressure. When I got home, I doubled-checked each tire and added air where needed to bring all the tires up to the specified pressure. Then, I completed the instructions in the owner's manual (page 88) for "Initializing the system". But the indicator light continues to burn. I also tried the "activate/deactivate the system" procedures on page 89 with no effect. So, is there a simple and reliable procedure that will reset the warning system to make that indicator light go out? I really hate to go into the dealer with this if I can help it.
    • Member


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    Did you order the car with run-flats and navigation with I-Drive?

    If you did, the TPM is mandatory. It's probably bugging you because the TPM monitor is not detecting the TPM air pressure sensors found on BMW run-flat wheels and tires.

    I don't think its possible to disable the TPM. Can you have the bulb removed?

    billloyd guest

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    My car, a 2004 M3, is a CPO bought over a year ago. It does not have navigation and it did not have run-flat tires when purchased. I had the rear tires replaced late last year by the dealer and those new rear tires were not run-flats either. Likewise, the four new tires bought last Friday are not run-flats. All tires (previously from the dealer and more recently from a tire retailer) were/are Michelin Pilot Sports. I'm not aware of a Tire Pressure Monitor system on my car, just the "Flat Tire Monitor" referenced in my owner's manual. My owner's manual has no text referring to "TPM" or to "Tire Pressure Monitor" but it does have instructions for "Initializing the System" (referring to the Flat Tire Monitor). The manual says that initialization is necessary any time tire maintenance is performed (air pressure, balancing, or new tires). That sounds fairly routine but in my case, that initialization procedure just does not seem to work. So, the warning light continues to burn even though tire pressure is correct on all four wheels. That's the problem I need help with.
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    It sounds like you might have to take your car to the dealership or an indy shop to have this looked at. I also have a 2004 M3 and do not have this issue.

    zee4mike guest

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    TPM Warning Indicator

    I put Michelin Pilot Sports on my 2006 Z4, replacing my Bridgestone Potenzas and didn't get a half mile from the BMW dealership when the TPM monitor lit up. Drove back to the dealer who checked the tire pressure. Turns out the techs had over-inflated the Michelin's to a pressure commonly used (I guess) with the RFT's. As soon as pressure was normalized to recommended pressure found on the door sticker the monitor went out. I was curious as to why the dealership would "over inflate" RFT's in the first place, clearly outside of the recommended pressure.

    Don't know if this helps, and can't explain why....just recounting a recent experience that seemed to solve the problem. Seems like the TPM monitors are very sensitive to rotational speed, even to the extent that the tire is slightly larger due to higher than recommended tire pressure.

    billloyd guest

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    The solution

    Thanks to those who responded ... finally, the solution came by way of the dealership - sorta ... I went to the dealership one day but, before hitting the service counter, I stopped by my salesman's office first ... he found some info on the "M3Forum" website that detailed a specific procedure for resetting the Flat Tire Monitor ... the procedure (shown below) is somewhat different from the procedure in the owner's manual (page 88) ... and that little difference apparently accounts for the success I had immediately upon leaving the dealership ... here's what you SHOULD do to reinitialize the FTM on E46 M3's:
    "Turn your key to Position 2 (the "click" right before the starter kicks in). Prior to cranking the engine, press and hold the tire monitor button. After about 5 sec, it will light up yellow. Now start up and begin driving. The car will reset the pressure standards to the current tire pressure. After about 2-5 min of driving, the yellow light should go off and you should be set. Make sure your tires are properly inflated before doing all this."
    In my case, the amber FTM indicator went out within about 30 seconds of leaving the parking lot ... hasn't come back on since ... the basic departure from the owner's manual is that the button is pressed and held till the light turns amber BEFORE starting the engine.

    leonelm3 guest

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    Thanks Bill ^^^^^^^^^^^^
    I had the same issue with my 01 E46 M3 and tried your suggestion and it worked !!

    Thanks Again

    377253 guest

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    Thanks for your contribution. When my car is out of hibernation, I will try your way and see.

    BTW, here is another pice of information. When I changed my summer Pilot to Pilot A/S, I did not have problem. Well, I was not happy with the Pilot A/S (not as good summer traction), so I changed again with summer Pilot, then the tire pressure light started acting. Apparently this system is pretty picky. Frankly I dont remember last time if I drove off before of after the yellow light was lit. But if it happens agaain, I will try your way.

    Thanks again Bill,
    04 M3

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