You may have experienced the frustration of having your tire-pressure warning light coming on with no indication of which tire is low. This happens especially with the onset of winter when tires lose a small amount of air pressure because of dropping temperatures.
In cases where an air leak or loss of air pressure is not immediately noticeable, having a Tire-Pressure Monitoring System (TPSM) such as the Autel TS401 is a perfect diagnostic tool for you.
Tire-Pressure Monitoring Systems make possible the early detection of any loss of air pressure in tires, which helps you to avoid poor fuel economy, traffic accidents, and increased tire wear due to under-inflated tires.
In this article, we will review the specific features and technical specifications of the Autel TS401 and compare it with other TPMS diagnostic tools on the market.
What Is the Autel TS401?
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The Autel TS401 is a Tire-Pressure Monitoring System that tracks the air pressure of tires on vehicles. This small, portable device reports real-time tire pressure information of the vehicle.
It is an Indirect Tire-Pressure Monitoring System (iTPSM), which means it measures air pressure by monitoring the rotational speeds of each individual wheel as well as other signals present outside of the tire itself. It can be used by beginners, average car owners, car enthusiasts, and professional tire mechanics.
It can detect simultaneous under-inflation in all four tires by using spectrum analysis of individual wheels. This can be realized in software by using advanced signal processing techniques.
Because it is an iTPMS, it cannot display or measure absolute pressure values; these values are relative and have to be reset by the driver once all the tires have been checked and their pressures adjusted correctly.
Once reset, there is an automatic learning phase of 20-60 minutes where it learns and stores the reference parameters, which eliminates any interference from external influences.
The Autel TS401 is made of a durable, black flexible housing with a protective rubber boot and has a 128x64 pixel screen with a contrast adjustment feature.
It has a bright red push-button interface with up and down arrows for menu navigation and Y or N buttons to move forward of back through the menu. It also has a help button and a power button.
It has detailed step-by-step instructions and intuitive navigation, and the ability to display vehicle-specific relearn procedures. It is compact and portable, weighing only 0.82 pounds with dimensions of 7.7-inches x 4.09-inches x 1.48 inches.
It comes with a built-in rechargeable 3.7-Volt Li-polymer battery and is compatible with all TPSM-enabled domestic, Asian, and European vehicles.
It can function in temperature extremes from -4-degrees Fahrenheit to 158-degrees Fahrenheit. This model also has an Automatic Power-Off feature that preserves battery life for the future when it is not in use. It comes with a user manual, USB cable, carry case, magnet, power adapter, and CD in the box.
The Autel TS401 can read sensor ID, temperature, OE part number, tire pressure, relearn information, and battery condition of each individual tire from the sensors.
All of this information is accurate, correct, and precise. It provides both visual and audible responses to confirm that the sensors of your vehicle are in good condition and working properly.
The sensor coverage activates all frequency, magnetic, and tire deflation triggered sensors and even checks Key FOBS for transmissions. It receives both 315MHz and 433MHz signals and has a proper LF signal to prevent it being fooled by other RF signals.
A nice feature of the Autel TS401 is that you can program its Autel MX-Sensors to replace your vehicle's OEM sensors.
It will save up to ten TPMS records for you to review data and comes with free software updates to make sure it is compatible with the latest vehicles. You can also use it to turn off the car lights or turn off the TPMS.
It graphs vehicles with four or five wheels to simplify the troubleshooting process and also has a pre-selection process that provides faster activation and diagnostics.
The Autel TS401 can be purchased on Amazon for an affordable price. It can also be found on other online retailers such as eBay.com and Jet.com for a similar price. It is also sold at Walmart for those who prefer to buy it in person.
How It Compares
We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare. To be noted that these are diagnostics code readers so may include other functions that are not available in a TPMS, though they may not perform sensor monitoring.
Tire-Pressure Monitoring Systems may be used in conjunction with the following systems.
Ease of Use
This product has a simple push-button interface with step-by-step instructions and intuitive navigation.
The Autel is durable with the ability to read a variety of codes and a wide range of vehicle compatibility.
OBD2/OBD II Car Engine Diagnostics Code Reader
The Foxwell NT201 OBD II Car Engine Diagnostics Code Reader is orange and compact with a unique dust-resistant surface, a 2.4' TFT color LCD display screen, and a built-in speaker to provide visual and audible indication of readiness verification.
It works on standard OBD2/EOBD/JOBD & CAN import and domestic cars and 12-volt light-duty trucks, mini-vans, and SUVS.
It also works on US cars from the year 1996 onward, European and Asian cars manufactured from the year 2000 onward, and Japanese cars from 2008 onward. Another notable feature is that it is compatible with hybrid cars.
It has a one-click I/M readiness status design which quickly scan's your vehicle's engine heath status. It has red, yellow, and green LED indicators that help you to pass the Smog Check.
It can read and erase engine fault codes as well as display the DTC definition on the screen. It allows you to view freeze frame data and also shows live data in both text and graph format. It plugs directly to the OBD2 interface in your vehicle and includes life-time free software updates.
It supports multiple languages, including English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Russian, Polish, and more.
Ease of Use
It can be confusing to set up and navigate for beginners.
This device is durable and dust-resistant with a large vehicle compatibility and a variety of codes.
AIOBD AI3009 OBD2 Code Reader
The AIOBD AI3009 OBD2 Code Reader is made of a thick flexible blue insulator with a large 128x64 pixel LCD display that has white backlight and contrast adjustment features.
The interface is simple with an up and down arrow for menu navigation and an enter button and exit button to move forward or back through the menu. It works on most US-Based made after 1996, European cars made after 2000, and Asian cars from 2006 and newer.
It has all the basic functions of a diagnostic scanner providing a variety of engine error codes along with over 10,000 definitions in the built-in DTC LookUp Library.
This eliminates the need to look up codes online or any possible confusion. It can also turn off the Malfunction Indicator Light (MIL), check engine lights, and support an I/M monitor readiness test.
It can read and clear generic, pending, and manufacturer-specific codes and reads a live data stream. It also allows you to view freeze frame data and retrieves vehicle information such as the VIN, CVN, and CIN.
It supports multiple languages, including English, French, German, Finnish, Polish, Russian, and more. It is equipped with a 2.5-foot detachable cable that is used to connect it to your vehicle's OBD II interface as well as charge it.
The cable supports cars with engine power anywhere from 8 Volts to 18 Volts. It is certified by CE, FCC, and RoHS.
Ease of Use
This device is small and durable and has the ability to monitor a variety of vehicle information.
NEXPEAK Car Universal OBDii Scanner
The NEXPEAK Car Universal OBD II Scanner is a handheld professional car diagnostic tool that has a soft silicone, anti-shock and anti-slip black housing.
The push-button interface is orange and includes a four-point touchpad for menu navigation, an escape button to return to the menu, an OK button for item selection, a help button, and a one-click I/M Readiness hotkey that lets you scan the engine health status quickly. It has a 2.8" color LCD display that displays scan results immediately.
It comes with a lifetime of free software updates, though this it does not work on a MAC system.
It supports most cars with OBD II protocol that have a 16 PIN interface; however, it only supports 12-Volt vehicles. It comes with a long 5-foot diagnostic cable to connect it to the OBD II interface in your vehicle to scan it directly. The cable also charges the diagnostic scanner with the plug and play function, which eliminates the need for batteries or APP.
The NEXPEAK Car Universal OBD II Scanner performs the basic function of detecting the engine system, but it can also read and clear DTCs, read dynamic DataStream, query freeze frame data, perform O2 sensor tests, read vehicle information, perform an on-board monitor test and EVAP system test, read permanent DTC, read error codes, and turn off MIL.
It also includes data review playback and battery monitoring and displays live vehicle sensor data in multiple graphic formats. It alers you to any symptom-specific or specific data parameter.
It allows you to update your software for free automatically without having to download another data package. All you have to do is go to the NEXPEAK website and connect your scanner via USB, though it is does not support MAC OS.
Ease of Use
Has a large display with simple push-button interface and quick buttons.
This device is compact with a variety of functions and a wide range of supported vehicles.
It is important for your tires to be properly inflated for your personal safety and the efficiency and durability of your vehicle.
By having a Tire-Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), you can keep an eye on your tire levels and be automatically alerted if they need to be inflated. The Autel TS401 is the perfect diagnostic tool for this purpose.
Though it is not an overall diagnostic tool like the other products mentioned here, it performs its function of monitoring tire air pressure perfectly. Because of its durability, accurate results, and ease of use, we give the Autel TS401 4 out of 5 stars.