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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 01-17-2013, 01:33 PM   #1
delmarco
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FYI/DIY: Difference Between E46 RDC and RPA style TPMS Systems

RDC System (9/1999 - 9/2003 E46) uses valve stem pressure radio sensors in each tire and a RDC module and console switch button that ONLY resets and calibrate the sensors.







TPMS/RPA Systems (2003 - 2006 E46 and all year M3) uses the existing ABS/DSC/Wheel Spin Sensors and a control module to determine when a tire is low on pressure. The TPMS button ONLY resets and calibrates the system.



DSC/ABS/Wheel Spin Sensors as TPMS notifiers (all year E46s) in the event you do not have an RPA or RDC kit in place the DSC/ABS/Wheel Spin Sensors can alert you of a flat or low/high pressure tire. I'm not sure if this would be a coded feature (that makes the system sensitive) or something it would just do on it's own assuming you have STOCK tires and rims inflated at factory spec pressures. The system realizes one wheel is spinning differently that the other three and alerts the driver by constant flashing of the DSC lamp during travel.

The two pictures directly below is what happened during a 543 mile trip back to New York City from Toronto, Canada last summer. My front tire got damaged during the drive and lost air and my DSC lamp kept blinking to let me know something way awry with one of the tires:





Below is EVERYTHING all the e46 manual booklets from 2000 thru 2006 tells us about the RDC and TPMS/RPS even the 2009 BMW E90 as well.


RDC SYSTEMS (1999 - 2003 E46 cars and 2006 to present E90 cars):













TPMS/RPA SYSTEM (2003 - 2005 E46 cars and all years E46 M3)






















This is exactly what you will need to do for a full OEM RPA style factory retrofit and also a clear cut explanation of the difference between RDC and TPMS (aka RPA).

http://www.bimmerboard.com/forums/posts/179456


RDC retrofit kits can also be purchased from eBay as well but note that they will not be cheap and may not be sold in the entirety of the full kit needed to make it work in your car.

An alternative to the OEM is the well reviewed Orange Brand TPMS kits. They are the closest thing to OEM (in how they work and look), they relatively cheap and don't need coding and can be installed at your local tire shop during your lunch break.


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Last edited by delmarco; 01-17-2013 at 03:44 PM.
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:44 AM   #2
flashmeow
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holly crap.

I was actually researching this a few days ago.

I want to contribute to this thread:

the valve stem on the BMW active tire monitoring system is replacable. The vavle stem is the rubber piece where you fill up the tire with air. Don't let the dealer try to make you buy a brand new TPMS sensor. the valve stem is like $5-20 and the TPMS Sensor is like $75-125.

We broked our valve stem and just bought a new one. Replacing the valve stem is very easy. it is secure to the TPMS S by a screw.

Also...the video that Delmarco posted has the aftermarket system by the company called "orange." This company sucks. their US office closed down and their technical/warranty support is virtually non existant. We had the orange system and when it works it works but ours died a few years later and was unable to get any warranty/technical support. This dead problem is very common and is widely reported on Amazon's review of the orange system.

Next week, we are going to replace our aftermarket system with a Schrader system. Schrader is the OE supplier to many car manufacturer such as GM, Ford, etc. Once we install the system we will come back and report.

In the mean time, here are some pix of the Schrader Tire pRessure monitoring system, BMW TPMS valve stem, and a BMW TPMS Sensor



Uploaded with ImageShack.us

I hope this helps. Good luck!
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Old 02-07-2013, 10:15 AM   #3
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I have been thinking about this too.
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Old 02-07-2013, 10:21 AM   #4
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for those who have a dynavin.... this looks promising....

http://www.tpms.com.au/tyre-pressure...itor-tpms.html
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Old 11-06-2013, 09:34 PM   #5
Chrayo
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So, I'm just looking for winter wheels for my '05 330i zhp. Am I understanding this correctly that it should be a DSC system and there is no component in the wheels??
I don't need to worry if the wheels I buy have tpms units?

Thanks
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Old 12-10-2013, 02:57 PM   #6
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Thanks for the info, Delmarco.

I was searching to see if its possible to retrofit the factory TPMS on my car which does not come with this option, and I found this thread.
I also found an interesting DIY stating that I only need the TPMS button with a little wiring job that seems very straight forward plus a coding to activate the system. Here is the DIY :
http://www.zhpmafia.com/forums/showt...e-full-package

From what I see in your post, the DSC unit is different for cars which have the runflat indicator ( different DSC unit part numbers ). So I am confused how its possible to activate this system so simple as Jupiter's DIY say. Could the difference be only that one more wire connected to the DSC plug?

Please let me know what you think about this.
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Old 12-11-2013, 03:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocellatus View Post
Thanks for the info, Delmarco.

I was searching to see if its possible to retrofit the factory TPMS on my car which does not come with this option, and I found this thread.
I also found an interesting DIY stating that I only need the TPMS button with a little wiring job that seems very straight forward plus a coding to activate the system. Here is the DIY :
http://www.zhpmafia.com/forums/showt...e-full-package

From what I see in your post, the DSC unit is different for cars which have the runflat indicator ( different DSC unit part numbers ). So I am confused how its possible to activate this system so simple as Jupiter's DIY say. Could the difference be only that one more wire connected to the DSC plug?

Please let me know what you think about this.
Yeah back when I first got my car I heard rumors that on the E46 all you needed was to buy the Run Flat console button for your car and code it to work with the DSC/ABS sensors in order to activate a run flat system.



So when I got the retrofit navigation kit coded to my car back in 09/2010 I attempted to get the Coder (Terraphantm) to code my the Run Flat console button to my DSC/ABS modules but the coder could not.

So I looked it up and this was what I found:

The reason is E46 cars for my year (starting in 1999 and up to 9/2003) used an RDC module in conjunction with an set of four TPMS sensors to monitor tire pressure inside the tires. These in tire sensors were based off a pre-set pressure and the run flat/RDC button basically reset the RDC module after your fixed your flat to turn off the flat tire warning. The button basically allowed the driver to communicate with the car by telling it a previously flat or low pressure tire was newly inflated tire back to normal pressure.


For cars after 9/2003 the DSC module and ABS wheel sensor BECAME the flat tire monitor. This system senses wheel spin variations between the tires to detect when a tire is lower on air relative to the spin on other tires. It was a precise system that was cheaper to maintain and retrofit compared to the older TPMS system. These cars would only need the console button and I assume some coding (and we now know from JupiterBMW's thread : " http://www.zhpmafia.com/forums/showt...e-full-package " reworking of the ABS/DSC wiring to get a working flat tire monitor in the car.

The only thing all year cars are prewired for is the warning lamp in the odometer.

Ocellatus I see from your avatar and signature that you have a 2005 325i car so this JupiterBMW's DIY should definitely work for you!

http://www.zhpmafia.com/forums/showt...e-full-package

Now considering the rewiring work that JupiterBMW has done I am wondering if it will now work for previous years BMW cars like mine?
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Old 12-11-2013, 03:23 PM   #8
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It is definitely possible to enable on 2002+ E46s. Not sure about the 01s. Do the 2001 E46s have DSC MK60?

One thing to keep in mind, unless you have a ZHP, INPA won't let you clear the codes for RPA even if you enable it. DIS can do it however. The reason INPA can do it on ZHPs is because ZHPs came with the RPA-specific DSC module even when they didn't have that option
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Old 12-12-2013, 08:11 AM   #9
ocellatus
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Thanks for the inputs guys.

So I will definitely give it a shot. I'm only worried about the coding part. There is no official and up to date dealer over here anymore, so I have to check independent mechanics/shops to see if their device/software is capable of doing this. They usually don't know most of the capabilities of these devices/softwares. Today I wrote down the modules and lines and showed them to two guys but apparently they had no idea what it is about. I have to go to them later and check their devices myself.

Would you please give a little more description of the things we should look for? According to JupiterBMW two modules ( KMB and MK60 ) should be coded. So first we should find them, are they in same names in all softwares?

Then those 5 mentioned strings which their value should be changed ( RDKS, CAN_RDC, AKUSTIK_RDKS, WARN_MEDIUM_RDKS, REIFENDRUCKWARNSYSTEM ), with proper software are these already available under those modules or its something to be programed as new entries?

I hope I can find around the software that gives enough access.

Thanks in advance.
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