BMW X3 models utilize an electronic system to monitor the pressure in your tires. This is due to regulations by the US government and updated safety standards.
The tire pressure information is used to notify you of a low tire pressure condition. If a tire loses pressure, a warning lamp is illuminated in the instrument cluster and a warning chime sounds. This is a very helpful system. If you have a tire puncture and are losing air, you will be notified, therefore allowing you to immediately pull over and reduce the damage to the tire. Any time you have a warning message related to tire pressure, immediately pull over and check all four-tire pressures. If you had a low tire and repaired the problem, you will have to reset the tire pressure monitoring system. This can be done easily through your instrument cluster.
When checking air pressure, make sure you use a plastic valve stem cap. A metal one can seize onto the TPM sensor and damage it. This applies to TPM sensor equipped vehicles.
Keep in mind that when your car was serviced before, parts may have been replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have, so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.
Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Never work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.
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There are two systems used in BMW X3 models, FTM (flat tire monitor) or TPM (tire pressure monitoring).
Wheel speed FTM: In this system, fitted to most 2003: 2006 vehicles, tire pressure is monitored by ABS wheel speed sensors. The ABS / DSC control module compares rotation speeds at all four wheels. In case of pressure loss in a tire, the rolling radius and therefore rotation speed of the wheel changes in relation to the other wheels. Inflation differential is inferred indirectly through tire speed differential. The control module detects this condition and illuminates a warning light in the instrument cluster.
Sensor style TPM: In this system, gradually introduced in vehicles starting with 2007 models, tire pressure is measured directly using an antenna mounted in each wheel. This antenna communicates with a centralized module via separate receiving antennas located near each wheel.
The easiest way to tell the systems apart is the style of valve stem you have:
A rubber, flexible valve stem (blue arrows) utilizes wheel speed. A solid aluminum stem (red arrows) that has a nut on the base is a TPM sensor system
Resetting the tire pressure system: Read the entire procedure before beginning. Once read, it will be easier to follow the steps. Set your tire pressure cold, to specification found on driver door jamb. Start your engine but keep the vehicle in Park. Press and hold the tire pressure reset button (red arrow) located at the front of the center console. Hold button down, TPM light will go out and come back on.
Vehicles with BC button (on-board computer function):
In the on-board computer function select "RPA" and "INIT" (LC display) with the rocker switch on the turn-signal/main-beam switch. Press the BC button to confirm. Press and hold the BC button for approx. 5 seconds, until a box with a tick appears behind the "INIT" display. RO reset on vehicles with iDrive, select "RPA" in the "Settings" menu and confirm. Select "Set" and confirm.
Resetting the tire pressure system: Once the button and the TPM light illuminates (red arrow) for a few seconds, drive your vehicle. The system will automatically reset. You don't have to drive the vehicle right away. You can also reset, then it will finish the procedure the next time you drive the vehicle. If the system will not reset, check the TPMS system for fault codes using a BMW scan tool.