June 1st, 2016
Tire Pressure Monitor System Overview
You might not know it, but your vehicle is most likely equipped with a tire pressure monitor system (TPMS). The tire pressure monitor system allows you to know if, and when, your tires are under-inflated. A simple warning light alerts the driver of an issue.
Thanks to the TREAD Act, the U.S. requires certain vehicles, excluding tow trucks, step vans, and heavy-duty trucks, to be equipped with a tire pressure monitor sensor alerting the driver when tire pressure gets low. Even with this law, many drivers cannot recognize the warning signs coming from their tire pressure monitor sensor.
The Importance of Proper Tire Pressure
The correct level of tire pressure is a key component in getting from one place to another. Over 200,000 accidents occur annually across the United States due to insufficient tire pressure. Here are some interesting facts about the importance of tire inflation:
- About 75% of roadside flats are started by a slow leak or under inflation
- Americans could reduce fuel consumption by 10% and save a collective $2 billion a year if tires are kept properly inflated
- Using TPMS in the correct fashion could prevent an estimated 10,365 injuries and 79 deaths each year in the United States
How Does TPMS Work?
TPMS is designed to provide drivers with correct tire pressure alerts and information needed to expand fuel efficiency, tire life, stability and handling, as well as lessen the need for tire maintenance. TPMS also decreases the risk of hydroplaning and regular tire wear-and-tear.
It is important to know exactly what your TPMS icon looks like on your dashboard, as a recent survey discovered that one in three drivers couldn't identify a TPMS icon. All drivers should be educated about these warning lights to prevent hazardous situations.
This is the standard icon for the low-tire pressure warning indicator:
This is the standard icon for the TPMS failure indicator:
If you see a warning light like the ones shown above, know that something isn't quite right and seek help. 44% of drivers admit they don't pay attention to their car's tire pressure, proving tire pressure monitor system warning lights are critical for safety. If these lights appear, call your tire & automotive service professionals immediately.
Most issues with your tire pressure monitor system aren't expensive to fix and all work can be completed in a short visit. The most important step is to have the tire inspected by a tire professional. We've found the cause of a warning light can be fixed with a new TPMS valve service kit, installing a new battery in the sensor, reprogramming the TPMS system, or most commonly, a flat repair on the tire.
We encourage all drivers to leave tire safety issues to professionals. Many accidents and injuries can be avoided by paying attention to your dashboard's TPMS warning lights -- and trusting your vehicle(s) maintenance and repair needs to true professionals.
Each of our auto repair shop locations has the ability to check the status of your TPMS and if needed, add additional air to a low tire. Visit us if you have any other questions related to how does TPMS work!
Tags: preventative maintenance, car maintenance, tire maintenance, tire inflation, tires, tire pressure, all season tires