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.
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.
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.