What You Need To Know About TPMS

What Is TPMS?

If you are driving a 2008 or newer vehicle, it has a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). What does this mean and how does it impact you? In September 2007, the US government passed the THREAD Act as a result of a surge in accidents due to underinflated tires. This act requires the installation of tire pressure monitoring systems to warn drivers when one or more tires becomes drastically under-inflated. monitoring-system

In most vehicles, the authorized TPMS comes in the form of an electronic sensor attached to the valve stem. This low tire pressure warning light (pictured below) is set to appear when one or more of your tires are at 25 percent below the manufacturer’s recommended pressure.

The only issue that arises is when Congress specified that car manufacturers were obligated to implement a low tire warning system, they didn’t identify precisely how it should be done. Because of this, a wide range of warning systems was designed by each car manufacturer. Some worked well, while others did not. Luckily, over the last decade the more challenging warning systems have mostly been cleared out of the marketplace; however, there are still a lot of cars on the road that have irritable TPMS systems and sensors.

Some common issues to be mindful of include:

  • The TPMS transmitter and receiver sometimes do not communicate properly, causing the TPMS light on your dash to give a false warning or to read improperly. This is especially common after tire rotations and other tire services.
  • The metal valves found on many TPMS systems are relatively frail and may easily crack or break off when putting air in the tire or removing the valve core.
  • The valve cores and caps can become seized due to galvanic corrosion.
  • The rubber gaskets become fragile and prone to air loss over time.
  • The battery will eventually wear out, requiring replacement of the TPMS sensor, as you cannot replace just the battery.
  • Investing in the maintenance of your car as well as receiving thorough inspections from your professional technician will not only benefit the lifespan of your vehicle, but your safety as well. When in doubt, always ask technical advice to ensure your vehicle is serviced and repaired properly.

Written by Suburban Tire