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TPMS Diagnostics: MINI Applications

In 2004, MINI was one of the early adopters of tire pressure monitoring systems. This was driven by the lack of space for a spare tire and the use of run-flat tires. The TPMS system on these early models was intended to warn the driver of a tire with low pressure so they could reduce speed and find the nearest shop.

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In 2004, MINI was one of the early adopters of tire pressure monitoring systems. This was driven by the lack of space for a spare tire and the use of run-flat tires. The TPMS system on these early models was intended to warn the driver of a tire with low pressure so they could reduce speed and find the nearest shop.

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Many owners opted to go with conventional tires when the original run-flat tires wore out. This makes the health of the TPMS system even more critical to the safety of the driver because they can spot a low tire before it is destroyed from being under-inflated.

RPA: Indirect Systems
2004-‘07 MINIs used wheel speed sensors to calculate the inflation pressure of the tires. The system needs the vehicle to be going 10 mph or faster to determine the pressure.

Early MINIs used a TPMS or Run-Flat Module called an RPA that looks at other information like ambient temperature and vehicle dynamics to calculate the pressure. The module also communicates with central information display (CID) in the instrument cluster.

RDC: Direct Systems
MINI’s Tire Pressure Monitor (RDC) is a system for monitoring the tire inflation pressure with sensors inside the wheel assembly. It was standard on most models starting in 2008 to meet the TPMS mandates.

The reset procedure requires driving the vehicle with the pressure set to the specification listed on the door placard. If the system detects a pressure below 24 psi, or if the pressure difference between the wheels on one axle is greater than 5.8 psi, the system will set a plausibility code and reject the reset procedure.

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MINI TPMS systems have four sensors and four antennas. When a reset procedure is performed, the system is checking the signals from the sensors to verify operation and location of the sensors. The system is then looking at the plausibility of the tire pressures and resetting the target value. The system is also looking at temperature values to determine the target tire pressure under various temperatures.

MINI TPMS Light Diagnostics
If the warning lamps come on in yellow and red, it is a signal that there is low tire inflation on one or more of the wheels. An acoustic signal also sounds if there is a flat tire or substantial loss of tire pressure.

If the small warning lamp flashes in yellow, and then lights up continuously followed by the larger warning lamp turning on, it is a signal there is a system malfunction. In some cases, no tire pressures will be displayed even if the tires are properly inflated. This can happen when a wheel without a sensor is mounted or radio frequencies are interfering with the signals.

2004-’07 With the Reset Button
When a tire pressure warning light is observed, or a new set of tires is installed, check and inflate the tires to specified pressures. After correcting the air pressure with the engine off and the ignition on, press the “Set” button and hold it for 4 to 6 seconds until the words “Set tire pressure” appears in the instrument cluster or the yellow LED lights up the basic instrument cluster for a few seconds. Driving the vehicle will complete the initialization process. (There is no indication to indicate the process is complete).

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2008-’10 Models
1. Check and set tire pressure on all four tires.
2. Press BC button, at the tip of the turn signal stalk, to scroll through the onboard computer menu.
3. When SET/INFO is displayed, press and hold BC button until “SET” is shown.
4. Use BC button to scroll to “TPMS Reset.” A picture of a tire and the phrase ACTIVE RESET will be displayed.
5. Press and hold BC button until RESETTING is displayed.
6. Drive the vehicle. The TPMS warning light will go out when the system resets.

2011-’13 Models
1. Set the tire pressures.
2. Start the engine.
3. Press the button in the turn signal lever until “SET/INFO” is displayed, and hold the button until “TIRE PRESSURE MONITOR” and “ACTIVE” are displayed.
4. Select “RESET.”
5. Press and hold the button until “RESETTING” is displayed.
6. Start driving until the TPMS MIL turns off.

2014 – ’17 Models
Without iDrive
1. Set the tire pressures.
2. Start the engine.
3. Move the turn signal lever up or down until TPMS warning symbol and “RESET” appears.
4. Press BC button on end of turn signal lever select.
5. Press and hold BC button for 5 seconds until a check mark appears.
6. Initialization is completed by driving – without any feedback issued.

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With iDrive
1. Set the tire pressure.
2. Turn the ignition switch ON, but don’t start the engine.
3. Call up “I” menu.
4. Select “SETTINGS.”
5. Select CAR/TIRES.
6. Select TlRES/RDC.
7. Start the engine.
8. Select CONFIRM TIRE PRESSURE.
9. Drive the vehicle.

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