Identify Key Fobs and Relearn TPMS Sensors with Essential Tool EL-52545

The EL-52545 TPMS and RF tool that was shipped as an essential tool to all GM dealerships in October 2019 can help with the diagnosis and repair of systems that rely on Radio Frequency (RF) communications, including the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), Keyless Entry (Key Fob Active Functions), Passive Entry and Pushbutton Start.

In addition, it offers the ability to quickly relearn TPMS sensors after a tire rotation or aid with key fob identification. For example, with a key fob in hand, the tool can display the last eight digits of the VIN of the associated vehicle, making it easy to match the fob with a vehicle in the dealership’s inventory or a vehicle in for service.

The EL-52545 tool works with the new Vehicle Intelligence Platform electrical architecture on the 2020 Corvette, CT5 and CT4 as well as with electrical architectures on 2008 and later GM models. The tool also has the ability to service non-GM vehicles, providing support for the dealership’s used vehicle department.

The EL-52545 TPMS and RF tool package includes the TPMS Module, USB and RJ45 cables, power adapter, OBD II module and a hand strap. (Fig. 14)

Fig. 14

Key Fob Diagnosis and Signal Detection

The EL-52545 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

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 of the EL-52545 tool can be used to display the key fob identification along with the ability to check the fob frequency and signal strength. (Fig. 15)

Fig. 15

TIP: The Pre-Delivery Inspection (PDI) process includes a check of all key fobs. Verify that all functions of both key fobs are working properly. Replacements for missing key fobs should not be submitted as a warranty transaction.

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. 16)

Fig. 16

TPMS Relearn

A recent GM study of 2018 model year vehicles has shown that TPM DTCs C0750, C0755, C0760, C0765 (Tire Pressure Sensor Low Voltage, Too Few Pulses, and Internal Malfunction codes) combined to account for more than 20% of all codes set, most of which set after a maintenance event (tire rotation) or dealer installation of accessory wheels. The EL-52545 tool changes TPMS relearn communication from radio frequency to writing IDs directly via the Diagnostic Link Connector (DLC) without any time penalty when doing a normal tire rotation. As long as the tool is placed by the proper tire, an incorrect sensor cannot be learned, greatly reducing a common issue of learning a stray sensor on a near-by vehicle.

The Rotate–Diagnose–Relearn (RDR) function of the EL-52545 tool can be used anytime the TPMS or tires are serviced on a vehicle, such as a tire rotation or if the TPMS warning lamp is illuminated. (Fig. 17) All TPMS data is available on the tool.

Fig. 17

Tool Updates

The EL-52545 tool software updated are available quarterly to ensure the latest information is being used, including new model support. As with other tools, the software updates are available through the website using the link in GlobalConnect.

Future software releases will add more functionality to the tool, including a new Trailer TPMS feature that can be used to check the Trailer TPMS sensors.

For more information about the EL-52545 TPMS and RF tool, visit or call 1-800-GM-TOOLS.

Additional information about the tool’s features also can be found in the recent GlobalConnect message GCUS-9-9350.

– Thanks to Mike Waszczenko and Rick Jackson

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  1. The EL-52545 will identify the VIN for key fobs from 2010 that use a milled key. All GM Products from 2010 with an edge-milled key have the VIN encoded into either the key fob (all Push-Button Start vehicles) or the key (for keyed ignition vehicles). Many of these products have the key fob and key integrated, like the “Switch Blade” key/fob units. The only exception is the Express/Savana vans, which use the PK+ system with an edge-milled key.


    Is there any insight as to why the key fob ID function only works on certain key fobs? I can’t identify a 2020 Silverado with they keyed ignition and separate fob, yet I can identify a push button start fob non issue.

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