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Understanding Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) in 2007+ Mustangs

By:  Andrew Cilio  / Jun 7 2019
Understanding Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) in 2007+ Mustangs

A guide to decoding and understanding the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) on 2007-2014 Ford Mustangs. Everything you need to know to maintain, replace, or remove a tire pressure monitoring system on a Mustang.

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TPMS in a Nutshell

When was the last time you checked your tire pressure? If you're like 25% of drivers, it wasn't recently. Did you know that driving on under inflated tires:

  • Can compromise the handling of your car?
  • Means you will have to replace your tires more frequently?
  • Decreases your fuel efficiency?
  • Can lead to tire failure?

All of these concerns led Congress to pass the TREAD Act in 2001. This Federal Law requires all 2007 model vehicles, weighing 10,000lbs or less, to have a tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS). Ford uses a Direct Band System in the 2007 Mustang. When the tire pressure in one or more of your tires drops 25% below the recommended cold air tire pressure inflation, the low tire warning lamp will turn on.

TMPS Warning Light

Shutting Off the Warning Light

When this is lit, your tires are under-inflated. You should check your tires as soon as possible after this light comes on even if it goes off a short time later. It is important to note your car will not warn you about low tire pressure as soon as you start your car. Your car has to be moving at least 20 MPH (32 km/h) for two minutes before it will register there is a problem. The TPMS will not respond immediately after you put air into your tires. You will need to drive your car for two minutes, faster than 20 MPH, for the light to turn off.

If you need to use your spare tire, the TPMS system will continue to warn you there is a problem with the road tire until you repair it and place it back on your car. The TPMS system will become fully functional again only when you have repaired and remounted the wheel/tire on your car.

1999-2004 Mustang Cruising Down the Highway

Mustang Direct Band TPMS Systems

Each tire comes with a tire pressure sensor secured to the wheel with a band and bracket system. The sensor is covered by the tire, and cannot be seen unless the tire is removed. The system measures the air pressure in your tires and sends readings of their levels to your Mustang. There are three parts to the direct band system:

  • The Sensor - Attached to the rim under the tire, the sensor acts as a transmitter, sending information about the wheel's tire pressure to the in-car receiver
  • The Receiver – Located in the dash of your car, it turns on the warning light to let you know your tire pressure is low
  • The Band/Bracket – Holds the sensor secure to the wheel, ensuring the sensor transmits information accurately
Mustang Direct Band TMPS Sensor

Registering Your Mustang's Sensors

When Ford places the sensors on your Mustang's wheels at the factory, they are scanned and registered (assigned) to a specific wheel. This allows your technician to determine exactly where there is a problem. The sensors measure air pressure ONLY, so there is no need to register your sensors again if you buy larger rims. However, when having new wheels and tires mounted and balanced by a non-Ford dealer, it is important your tire technician put your sensors in the same location on the car.

For example, the sensor assigned to the front right wheel will need to go on the new rim going in that location. If this is not done, you will need to re-register the sensors so if there is a problem with the TPMS system, it can be properly diagnosed.

When it comes to you replacing your rims you have three options for your TPMS:

2015 Mustang TMPS Sensors and Activation Tool

Option 1: Buying New Bands and Sensors From Ford

Changing the rims on a 2007 Mustang means you have to change the band and bracket to one that will accommodate the size of your new wheel. Ford offers size-specific bands for larger wheels, and you have to go to your local Ford dealer to get a complete OEM kit (bands, brackets, and sensors) as well as have them mount and balance your wheels/tires.

Note: If you choose this option but are buying wheels and tires from us, you will need to select "No, Do Not Mount My Tires or Balance My Wheels" when placing your order.

A 2007 and a 2011 Mustang at the Warehouse

Option 2: Buying Universal Bands, Keep Your Sensors

If you increase the size of your rim, you will need to purchase new bands/brackets to accommodate the size difference. However, you DO NOT need to buy new sensors! You simply reuse the sensors already on the wheels. The sensor measures only the inflation pressure, so you don't have to change them out or register them for the larger wheel. You also do not have to go to a Ford dealer to have your rims and tires mounted and balanced! The universal bands give you the freedom to choose the shop you want to go to.

If the aftermarket wheels are designed for your year Mustang, you can reuse the sensors that are on the factory Mustang and have them installed in combination with the tires. In some cases, shops charge to swap them over and it can sometimes be cheaper to buy new ones (if one was getting a wheel/tire package with the free mount and balance).

Note: AmericanMuscle cannot mount and balance wheels and tires purchased from us if you plan to use your existing sensors. When ordering, you need to select "No, Do Not Mount My Tires or Balance My Wheels." We will ship them to you and you can take them to ANY SHOP to have the sensors transferred over.

Option 3: Discarding the Sensor Altogether

There are a couple of benefits to this option:

  • You do not have to spend additional money to have your wheels mounted and balanced by a shop or Ford dealer
  • You do not need to spend the extra money on bands/brackets
  • ​You can have your wheels and tires mounted and balanced for free by AmericanMuscle

​The downside to choosing this option is the tire pressure warning lamp will remain constantly lit in your gauge panel. You will have to check your tires more frequently to make sure they are maintaining the recommended pressure. However, double check your state laws to make sure you can pass safety inspection without a functioning TPMS.

AmericanMuscle Chrome Wheel with Mounted Tire Waiting in the Warehouse

Having the Tires Taken Off Your Mustang's Rims

The TPMS sensor on a 2007 Mustang is fastened to the rim underneath your tire, and cannot be seen unless the tire is removed. Because the sensor is fragile, your tire technician will need to take extreme care in removing your tires to avoid damaging or destroying the sensor.  

The sensor is located directly opposite (180 degrees) from the valve stem.  

What if I Want to Re-Sync My Own Sensors?

To start with you'll need a TPMS activation tool (they usually come with the vehicle from the showroom, or a set of new sensors). Once you've installed your sensors, make sure your tires are inflated properly according to the placard on your door jam. Then you can start the re-sync process.

Steps 1-6 need to be done within a minute.

1 - Put your key in the ignition, but turn it

2 - Press and release the brake pedal

3 - Turn the key from off to on three times, ending at the on position

4 - Press and hold the brake pedal for two seconds, and then release it

5 - Turn the ignition off, but don't remove the key

6 - Turn the key from off to on three times, ending at the on position

If you did everything in under a minute, your horn should sound once, the TPMS light will flash, and the message center will display "train left front tire". If the horn sounds twice, you'll need to try steps 1-6 again. Training the sensors goes clockwise from left front. When you finish training one tire, don't spend more than two minutes moving to the next tire, or you'll have to start over. To train the sensors:

1 - Hold the activation tool against the tire's sidewall near the valve stem with the arrow on the tool pointing towards the rim

2 - Press and release the green button and wait for your horn to sound again. The light on the TPMS tool should turn red. If the horn sounds within ten seconds of the light going on, training that tire's sensor worked.

3 - Repeat for the other three tires. The message center should display "training complete" when done. If the horn sounds twice when you finish the last tire, the reset process didn't work, and you'll have to start over.

We always recommened relying on a mechanic to reset your TPMS sensors unless you have experience performing the reset yourself.

What Air Pressure Set Off the TPMS?

TPMS is not set to a specific PSI. It's calibrated in relation to the other tires. As a result, when one tire gets low in comparison to the others at the time of calibration, it will set the sensor off. This is so a change in tires can allow for a proper use of the TPMS as well as serve multiple applications.

My TPMS Sensors are Touching My Aftermarket Brakes!

Thankfully, there's a simple solution to this issue. ORO-TEK now offers a shorter sensor to avoid this issue, saving you time and money over trying other ways to fix the issue. a new product that has potential to totally eliminate this problem and save mass amounts of time and money. The shorter valve stem design is a snap-in to all Generation II ORO-TEK sensors.

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