New EL-52545 TPMS and RF Tool Identifies Key Fobs

The new EL-52545 TPMS and RF tool (Fig. 17), which will be shipped as an essential tool to all GM dealerships in the 4th quarter of 2019, is designed to help with diagnosis and repair of systems that rely on radio communications, such as Tire Pressure Monitoring, Keyless Entry (Key Fob Active Functions), Passive Entry and Pushbutton Start.


Fig. 17


It features a new communication protocol for TPM systems and Remote Keyless Entry systems that takes advantage of the new Next Generation Digital Vehicle Platform electrical architecture coming on the 2020 Corvette, CT5 and CT4. It’s also backward compatible with electrical architectures on 2008 and later GM models.

The EL-52545 TPMS and RF tool package (Fig. 18) includes:

  • TPMS Module
  • USB Cable
  • RJ45 Cable
  • Power Adapter
  • OBD II Module
  • Hand Strap


Fig. 18


Key Fob Diagnosis

The EL-52545 tool offers several unique features for use when diagnosing a Remote Keyless Entry system issue.

The tool can be used to:

  • Read the 8-digit VIN from the key-integrated fob or stand-alone key, along with additional data
  • Monitor and display the frequency and signal strength for key fob output
  • Monitor and display the signal strength for the Passive Entry/Passive Start system signals from the vehicle to the key fob


Key Fob Signal Detection

Warranty data shows that about 37% of returned key fobs do not match the VIN on the warranty claim, often due to an accidental mix up with other key fobs during transportation, at the dealership or by the customer.

The Signal Detect function (Fig. 19) of the EL-52545 tool can be used to display the key fob identification — including the last eight digits of the VIN — associated with the fob, the fob data and the fob part number along with the ability to check the fob frequency and signal strength. With the capability to identify the key fob, it will be much easier to quickly diagnose a customer concern of “this fob doesn’t work on my vehicle.”


Fig. 19


To determine the VIN associated with a key fob, select the Signal Detect function on the EL-52545 tool. From the Fob/Key ID screen, the tool will instruct to place the fob on the small pocket on the back of the tool and press OK. The last eight digits of the VIN and the fob part number will be displayed on the tool. (Fig. 20) If the VIN matches the vehicle, continue with system diagnosis.


Fig. 20


The EL-52545 tool also can be used when diagnosing a Passive Entry or Passive Start condition. To test the active capability of the key fob, select RF Auto Detect and hold the key fob in front of the tool. Press a key fob button and the tool will determine the Radio Frequency (RF) signal strength and frequency. (Fig. 21)


Fig. 21


To test the ability of the key fob to respond to a signal from the vehicle, select Signal Detect and then Key Fob Status. With the key fob in front of the tool, press the touch pad on the vehicle door. (Fig. 22) The tool will display if there is a reply to the vehicle signal from the key fob, indicating if the key fob is communicating with the vehicle.


Fig. 22


More Details

For more information about the functionality of the EL-52545 tool, check out an earlier TechLink article covering its TPMS features.

To view a video covering some of the RF features of the EL52545 tool, look for the September 2019 edition of the GM Service Know-How Emerging Issues seminar, 10219.09V, on the GM Center of Learning website (U.S.). In Canada, review Top Stories in the October 2019 TAC Talk Program.


– Thanks to Bob Wittmann

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