Since the 1987 model year, Corvettes have come with tire pressure monitoring systems to keep tabs on the air pressure on all four corners. While it’s convenient (and a necessity for Corvettes equipped with run-flat tires but no spare), it’s easy to confuse the system when getting your tires changed, with the wheels swapped side to side.

Fortunately, our friends at Corvette Central have this topic covered in their Tech Tips section, and using their helpful guide, we sorted out the TPMS positions on our C5 project car (see video below). Here’s how the process works, for fourth, fifth, and sixth gen Corvettes:

C4:

The C4 system uses a transmitting wheel sensor held in place by large band clamp. Each sensor has a separate identification color and frequency, which is transmitted as the wheel turns. If a sensor gets mounted to the wrong wheel, a Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) will be sent.  Wheel position, sensor colors and Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC) are as follows:

  • Right Rear: Orange, DTC=24
  • Left Rear: Yellow, DTC=34
  • Left Front: Green, DTC=44
  • Right Front: Blue, DTC= 54

It is possible to attain the code from your dashboard.  With the key in the “on” position, press and hold the “Trip/Odo” button until “1.1″ is visible on the trip odometer readout.  Next, press the “Eng/Met” button to scroll down the present code list (which is displayed at the MPH indicator) until you see the applicable one.

C5:

Reprogramming the sensors requires a strong (preferably u-shaped or circular) magnet.

1. Turn the key to the ON position but do not start the car.
2. Press the DIC RESET button to clear any warning messages, if they’re present.
3. Press the OPTIONS button and cycle through the menu until the display goes blank.
4. Press and hold the RESET button until “FOB TRAINING” appears on the display.
5. Press the OPTIONS button once. A “TIRE TRAINING” message is displayed.
6. Press the RESET button once. A “LEARN LEFT FRONT TIRE” message is displayed.
7. Hold a magnet over the Valve Stem on left front wheel. You may have to move it around the valve stem to hit the right spot.
8. When the horn beeps (about 7 seconds later), programming is complete for THAT wheel.
9. Program the other 3 wheel sensors as directed by the DIC message display. The sequence is as follows: Left Front, Right Front, Right Rear, Left Rear.

You have approximately 45 seconds to train each tire. If the sensor isn’t reset in that time, the training program shuts down and you will have to start the entire procedure over.

C6:

The C6 Corvette requires a TPMS reset tool. Excluding some very early production 2005 models, magnets will not work on the C6′s. The TPMS tool is expensive to purchase, but you may order them through a Chevrolet dealer or the Tire Rack, and most well-equipped tire shops will have the appropriate device. Instructions for use are similar to the C5:
1. Turn the key to the Accessory position but do not start the car.
2. With the key fob, press and hold the Lock and Unlock buttons simultaneously until an audible chirp is heard from the horn.
3. Hold the TPMS tool over the valve stem on left front wheel. You may have to move it around the valve stem to hit the right spot. Press the “learn” (or similar) button on the TPMS tool.
4. When the horn beeps (about 3 seconds later), programming is complete for THAT wheel.
5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for the other 3 wheels. The sequence is as follows: Left Front, Right Front, Right Rear, Left Rear.

After resetting the left rear wheel, an audible double-chirp is heard from the horn. This completes the sequence.

For more information on TPMS sensors (and a whole bunch of other Corvette tech topics) visit Corvette Central’s CC Tech.