BMW TPM Malfunction: Here Is How To Fix (Step by Step Guide)

BMW TPM Malfunction

Do you know how to fix BMW TPM malfunction? Well, you are at the perfect place to find the answer to such a question.

Has your BMW started to flash a ‘TPM Malfunction’ warning? Well, as the warning suggests, this indicates a problem with your vehicle’s TPM. But, what is the TPM? Is this a problem that you can fix yourself? If you can fix it yourself, how do you actually do it?

Here are 5 main steps you need to fix BMW TPM malfunctions which include:

Step 1: Check The Tire Pressure

Step 2: Reset Your BMW’s TPM

Step 3: Drive Your Vehicle

Step 4: Check The Tires Again

Step 5: Replace Your BMW’s TPM

What Is a BMW TPM?

In the past, if you owned a vehicle, you would need to be constantly check the pressure of your vehicle’s tires. This was the only way to ensure that they weren’t going flat (never a good thing!).

However, in the modern age, you don’t need to do that. Every modern vehicle in the United States, including BMWs, needs to be legally kitted out with a TPM.

The job of the TPM (Tire Pressure Monitor) is to monitor the pressure of your tires. If the TPM detects that your tires have fallen below a certain level, then the TPM will flash the warning.

It is a great system, and we bet it has prevented many people from having accidents. 

How Do You Know You Have An Issue With Your BMW’s TPM?

Well, the main indicator (and pretty much the only indicator) that there is something wrong with your BMW’s TPM is if you see the ‘TPM Malfunction’ warning flash up on your dashboard.

Now, this does not actually tell you what the issue is, but at least it will tell you whether there is something wrong with the system. 

Now, there are some situations where BMW’s TPM won’t indicate that there is a problem. However, this is exceedingly rare.

If you notice that your vehicle’s tires are dropping below the recommended pressure and your vehicle is not telling you that this is happening, then it does also indicate a problem with the vehicle’s TPM.

However, this is more likely to be a problem with one sensor rather than all four of them (sometimes, five). So, that is a problem that should be easy to diagnose.

Can You Fix a BMW TPM Yourself?

It depends on the issue.

Many minor issues with a BMW’s TPM can be fixed. In fact, most of the issues that you may see present themselves on a BMW are not actually issues with the TPM itself.

Instead, your TPM is just letting you know that there is an issue with the tires.

However, if your TPM is starting to fall apart, or sending incorrect signals to your vehicle, then it is probably a better choice to get the problem fixed by a professional.

Still, we will give you a quick overview of how you can replace the vehicle’s TPM if you really want. However, do bear in mind that it is a lengthy process and, if you get it wrong, you are still going to end up with a TPM that is giving you incorrect readouts. 

How To Fix a BMW TPM Step-By-Step

So, you have a TPM malfunction on your vehicle, how do you fix the problem? Well, the first thing to do is make sure that it actually is a malfunction.

Because the BMW dashboard can only give a limited amount of information about your vehicle, there is a chance that there is no issue with your TPM at all.

Instead, it may be a problem with your vehicle’s tires. Thankfully, this is an easy issue to fix.

Step 1: Check The Tire Pressure

As we said, there is a good chance that the issue is simply with your tire pressure, and have just taken a while to spot issues with your tires.

So, check the tire pressure and refill them, if needed. 

If your tires seem to be at the correct pressure, then there is likely to be an issue with your BMW’s TPM. In that case, you can skip to step No.5. Otherwise, follow the next few steps.

Step 2: Reset Your BMW’s TPM

Once you have refilled your BMW’s tires, you can reset the TPM malfunction warning. How you do this will vary based on your BMW model.

We suggest that you consult your vehicle’s manual so you can be 100% sure of the process. However, it generally works as such:

  1. Open the vehicle’s dashboard menu. There should be a ‘Menu’ button somewhere near the shift stick.
  2. Select ‘Vehicle Info’
  3. Select ‘Vehicle Status’
  4. Scroll until you see the option ‘Perform Reset’
  5. Select the ‘Tire Pressure’ option.
  6. Wait for the vehicle to reset. Do not switch the vehicle off.

Step 3: Drive Your Vehicle

Now, drive around a few blocks.

If your TPM Malfunction warning doesn’t come on, then the problem has been fixed. It was just a tire pressure issue. You don’t need to read any more of the steps.

If that warning comes on again, then head to the next step.

Step 4: Check The Tires Again

If the warning comes up, then check the tire pressure. If your tires have started to lose pressure, then you have a puncture in the tire.

There is nothing wrong with the vehicle’s TPM. Go into a garage and get your vehicle’s tires replaced or repaired.

If you are getting a completely new set of tires and you have never replaced your vehicle’s TPM, then it may actually be worth replacing the TPM at this point. As you will see in a short while, a TPM is not going to last forever.

If the tires are not losing pressure and you still see an issue with your TPM, then it is important to replace them.

Step 5: Replace Your BMW’s TPM

A TPM is going to last 5-7 years, maximum. You may be able to squeeze a bit more life out of them if you don’t drive your vehicle regularly.

However, basically, a TPM’s battery will last about 7-years before it stops. You cannot replace the battery, sadly.

It is a battery designed for the TPM and it is in a sealed unit. If you removed the battery, then you have destroyed the TPM.

While only one TPM may be flashing up an issue, we recommend that you replace all TPM at once. You do not have to do a like-for-like replacement, but you will need to choose something that operates on the same frequency as the TPM that you are replacing.

How you replace the TPM will be dependent on the replacement that you purchase. The vast majority of them will be screwed directly onto the valve of your tire. You will then need to do a bit of configuring to get them working with your vehicle.

Because there are so many different ways to connect a TPM to your BMW, we cannot give you a complete guide here. However, the manual for the TPM will tell you everything that you need to know.

Because a TPM can be pretty expensive to replace, we do suggest that you head to a mechanic to have it dealt with. They may notice another issue that can be rectified at a far lower price.

What Happens If You Can’t Fix The Issue?

If you have followed the guide above, then it is unlikely that you will not be able to fix any TPM Malfunction warning on your vehicle.

If you have replaced your vehicle’s tires and your TPM, then there is very little else that can go wrong.

Of course, there is always the small chance that a warning will start to appear on your vehicle again. If that happens, then head to a BMW dealership.

it could indicate that there is a problem with the vehicle instead. There may be an issue with the way that the vehicle is reading any signal that comes from the TPM.

If your vehicle is out of warranty, then you can head to a mechanic instead, preferably one that is a specialist when it comes to dealing with tires.

Final Word

If your vehicle is flashing up a TPM malfunction, then there aren’t too many ways to deal with the issue. In some cases, it is going to be because you have an issue with your vehicle’s tires.

In others, it may be down to the fact that the TPM is a bit too old and needs replacing. Both are issues that you can easily fix from the comfort of your own home.

Even changing out a TPM is easy. However, we do suggest that you head to a garage instead. This way, they can identify any other potential issues that may be causing that warning. 


Steve P.

Steve is an automotive technician, technical writer, and Managing Editor. He has held a lifelong passion for cars, with a particular interest in cars like the Buick Riviera. Steve is based in Boise, Idaho.

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