What is TPMS and why does my light come on?

By Eastern Tire & Auto Service | Jun 19, 2012
Source: Google images

What is TPMS?

TPMS, Tire Pressure Monitoring System, is an electronic system that alerts you with a dashboard indicator light when your car's tire pressure falls to the point of needing inflation.

Why do cars have TPMS?

To help drivers recognize the importance of tire pressure safety and maintenance, Congress passed the TREAD act, which requires most vehicles made in 2006-07 and ALL made thereafter to be TPMS equipped.

How does TPMS work?

There are two different types of systems being used today: Direct TPMS and Indirect TPMS. Direct TPMS uses a sensor that's mounted in the wheel and measures air pressure in each tire. When air pressure drops 25% below the manufacturer's recommended level, the sensor transmits that information to your car's computer system and triggers your dashboard indicator light.

Indirect TPMS works with your car's Antilock Braking System's (ABS) wheel speed sensors. If a tire's pressure is low it will roll at a different wheel speed than the other tires. This information is detected by your car's computer system, which triggers the dashboard indicator light.

What are the benefits of TPMS?

TPMS notifies you when your vehicle's tire pressure is low or is going flat. By helping you maintain proper tire pressure, TPMS can increase your safety on the road by improving your vehicle's handling, decreasing tire wear, reducing braking distance and bettering fuel economy.

Is my vehicle equipped with TPMS?

Your vehicle has TPMS if the "low tire pressure" warning light appears on your dash when the key is turned to the "on" position.

What should I do if my warning indicator comes on?

Check the air pressure in your tires and inflate any tire that is low according to the manufacturer's recommendation. When the tire is at the appropriate pressure, the indicator light should go off. If it doesn't go off, give your auto repair service a call.

 


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