BMW TPM Malfunction? 6 Reasons Why

Are you getting the BMW TPM malfunction message on your dashboard lately? The problem can be significant because the TPM tells you whether your car’s tire pressure is okay. So, any issue with the TPM can be troublesome.

There are several answers if you are wondering what causes BMW TPM malfunction. Usually, the malfunction occurs from defective transmitters, damaged TPM fuse, sensor battery issues, bad TPM sensors, and water damage. However, you may get the message due to one or more of these reasons.  

It’s better to dive into the details of the TPM malfunction issue. Then, you can get a better insight into the problem and a slight idea of the fixes.

6 Causes of a BMW TPM Malfunction

In general, once you get the BMW TPM malfunction message on your dashboard, you can check out the problem directly from the settings. For example, go to vehicle status, where you will find all the possible causes.

Now, let’s examine the actual reasons that can cause the TPM to malfunction on your BMW.

1: Defective transmitters

If you drive the latest model of BMW, you don’t have to bother with this issue. The issue persists only with the older versions of BMW.

With the older models of BMW, a defective transmitter is primarily responsible for a TPM malfunction. 

The function of transmitters is to relay the information from the TPM sensor to the central unit. So when the transmitters fail to work, the main unit doesn’t get any information.

You will need to replace the TPM sensor to fix this problem, as the transmitter comes with the sensors. We recommend going to a mechanic to resolve the issue. You can only repair or replace a transmitter yourself with prior experience and knowledge.

The cost of replacing the RDC transmitter can be around $120 to $300, depending on the BMW model.

2: A damaged TPM fuse

Every TPM system has a fuse connected to it. Like any other fuse, the system fails to work if the TPM fuse somehow blows out or becomes faulty. The majority of the time, a short circuit causes a fuse to blow out.

The fix to this problem is straightforward. First, you must get a replacement fuse for the TPM module and replace it with the damaged one. 

Of course, you can always refer to your car’s manual to locate the correct fuse for the TPM system. Most BMW models have their fuse box behind the glove department.

For the cost, you should spend around $3 to $10 at max for a TPM fuse. However, there is no need to worry about labor costs because replacing the TPM fuse is simple, and you can do it yourself.

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3: Defective TPM sensors

Sometimes the TPM sensors of your RDC module can go bad. When a single or multiple sensors get defective, they send incorrect information. 

The sensors are the core components for measuring tire pressure. So, wrong information there can be very vital for your BMW.


The only solution you have here is to replace the sensors. There is no scope for repairing or fixing the sensors as they are very technical components. For the same reason, you can’t replace the sensors yourself and must seek professional help.

Keeping that in mind, you must consider the labor and parts costs. You have to spend around $50 to $100 for most TPM sensors. However, some TPM sensors replacement can cost a total of $650 along with the labor cost.

4: Battery issues with the sensor

The sensors of the TPM module run on batteries. Unfortunately, these lithium-ion batteries drain out over time, eventually making the sensors non-functional. When the sensors stop working, they can’t detect tire pressure properly. Hence, the TPM malfunction occurs.

Solving battery issues is more complex than it sounds. First, you can only get the batteries of the sensors separately. So, once the batteries die out, you must entirely replace the sensors to fix the problem.

We have already discussed the cost of replacing your TPM sensors.

5: Damaged TPM or RDC module

Damaging your TPM or RDC module is something that can rarely happen. It’s the control unit for the whole tire pressure monitoring system. 

Various reasons can damage the RDC module and make it inactive. External damages and corrosion are two of the most common causes of this.

Now, whatever the case is, you can either try to repair the RDC module or replace it. You will have to rely on a professional mechanic for the repair work because it’s a very technical component. But if it’s about replacing the module, you can do that yourself.


A TPM module for most BMW models costs around $300 to $500. As for the labor, you can expect to pay somewhere between $250 to $350. It’s a bit expensive to replace. The repair cost may vary from mechanic to mechanic.

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6: Damages from water

How can water damage cause this problem? Well, this mostly happens in the newer versions of BMW. These new models use a TPM module with a single control unit.

The manufacturers mount the unit on the car chassis. Water can sometimes penetrate through the chassis and enter the unit. Because of that, the control unit corrodes and causes TPM malfunction.

While the problem sounds quite critical, the solution is simple. You must open up the control unit and clean the corrosion using various methods. First, you must replace the module if you can’t clean it.

You can check out the cost of replacement for your RDC module above.


Still a bit unsatisfied, aren’t you? No worries, we have covered you with some popular questions about the BMW TPM malfunction.

How Do You Fix A BMW TPM Malfunction?

The fixes usually depend on the cause of the malfunction. Most importantly, replacing the damaged or faulty components should fix the BMW TPM malfunction. Maintaining proper tire pressure also fixes the problem at times.

How Long Do The Batteries Last In A TPM Sensor?

The batteries of a TPM sensor may last from 5 to 10 years at best.

How Much Does It Cost To Fix The TPM Malfunction On BMW?

The cost will depend on the component you have to replace and the labor cost in your locality. It starts from $3 for replacing the fuse and up to $650 max for replacing the RDC module and sensors.

Can You Drive Your Car With A TPM Malfunction?

Yes, you can drive with the TPM malfunction error on your car if the tire pressure is within the required value.

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We hope this discussion clarifies all the confusion you might have regarding the BMW TPM malfunction. Although, we have a little parting suggestion for you.

If you are dealing with this TPM malfunction, then the first thing you should do is, check the tire pressure. As this is a cause for the TPM malfunction message to appear on your dashboard.

While the problem isn’t that serious, we highly recommend looking at it. Because, over time it can severely damage your car, which you don’t want.

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