TPMS is short for tire pressure monitoring system. The system consists of small sensors that go into each of the wheels and they tell you about the pressure of each tire. This system is very important because having your tires properly inflated is vital when driving. Not having the correct pressure on your car will impact your car’s performance and also impact the fuel economy. Not only that, it will also increase the chances of a tire blow-out, and reduce your tire’s overall lifespan.
Dangers of Underinflated Tires
Under inflated tires cause about 250,000 accidents each year, and they also waste about 3.5 million gallons of gas each day. The way that TPMS works is that when there is about a 25% reduction in tire pressure, a light illuminates on the dash. The reason you do not want to rely on that is 25% reduction is very significant. It can be the cause of an unwanted accident or crash on the road.
There are wires on your tire along the sidewalls. When driving on an underinflated tire, you are bending the wires over and over again. When you do that too often, the wire will eventually weaken and break. Your underinflated tire is going to change shape and flex huge number of times at higher speeds.
If this occurs for a prolonged time, the sidewalls will get weak and you will risk the chance of a catastrophic blowout of the sidewalls. This is where you will go from tire to metal lying on the road. Thus, underinflated tires can be far more dangerous than overinflated tires.
Replacements and Maintenance when the TPMS light comes on
To check the optimum pressure limit for your tire, you can either check the driver’s manual or the side of the door jamb. This door jamb will have information of the exact PSI of your tire. Due to the Transportation recall enhancement, accountability and documentation act, all US manufacturers must install TPMS in the cars sold after September 2007.
Therefore, if your car was manufactured in 2008 or any year after that, there is a really good chance that your car already has the TPMS installed. If you have had your car for over five years, then it is best that you remove the TPMS sensor and replace it. This is because these sensors will typically last about five to ten years.
The sensor is primarily a sealed unit, and so you cannot replace the battery on them. Furthermore, the seals are also vulnerable to damages and breakage. For this reason, the best fix for a TPMS sensor is to simply replace it to a new one.
As you can see, the installation of TPMS sensor was mandated for very good reasons. If your tire loses pressure and optimum air capacity, you need to address that as fast as possible. A TPMS sensor alerts you in an instance, and this makes a quick fix to your tires possible. IN other words, these sensors can be life saving.