Tyre Pressure Monitoring System
Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems(TPMS)
Tyre pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) are becoming standard on a lot of vehicles. They are a great tyre safety tool as you can instantly see when a tyre is losing air pressure. It is really handy in detecting slow leaks where the tyre is gradually losing air. There are alerts you can set so when a tyres pressure reaches a certain level it will alarm. You can even monitor your spare tyre in the boot. The joy is they are pretty much a wireless system except for powering the main unit. This makes installation relatively simple though pairing the tyre sensors and programming the pressures can be time consuming.
The real bonus these systems have is being able to monitor trailer, boat trailer or caravan tyres when towing. On a car you can feel when a tyre is not quite right and needs to be checked. This is not so easy when towing as you have no real feeling of what is going on behind you. Putting these on your trailer can be more important than the car when going on a long trip. If you tow a loaded trailer regularly they are a must have.
Popular Questions Asked
Are all TPMS the same?
No, they are not. They all do the same job though it depends on the manufacturer that made them. There are 2 main types:
Direct TPMS - uses a sensor in or on the valve stem to measure tyre pressure. They can be mounted inside the rim for protection and to stop theft. Aftermarket TPMS are this type but are usually a cap that screws onto the valve stem.
Indirect TPMS - Uses the vehicles computer and a bunch of parameters to work out the circumference of the wheel. If it gets smaller and the rotational speed increases compared to the other tyres, the wheel is going flat. It even uses tyre resonance. These are integrated OE factory systems and I dare say a scan tool would be required for diagnostics.
Do you need to replace TPMS with new tyres?
Servicing the TPMS is not a bad idea when replacing your tyres. Simply checking the seal and cap since they are being removed in any case for any visible signs of damage is a good idea. Then do some basic system testing to verify the TPMS is getting the correct readings from the sensors. Checking or replacing sensor batteries (if applicable) is also a good idea.