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CAR FACTS
Tire Monitoring Systems

 

Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems:  Why We Have Them and How They Affect Your Vehicle

The federal government mandated installation of tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) in most vehicles produced in 2006-2007 and in all vehicles produced after those years after a series of accidents attributable to underinflated tires.  Underinflated tires cause excessive tire wear, unsafe driving conditions, and poor fuel mileage.  The TPMS measures pressure in your four road tires (and, in some vehicles, your spare) and sends the tire pressure readings to your vehicle. You generally will not see your tire pressure monitors as they are located on the inside rims of your wheels and are covered by the tires.  The Check Tire Pressure light will turn ON if the tire pressure in one or more tires is incorrect.  Even if the light turns ON and a short time later turns OFF, your tire pressures still need to be checked.

You can usually find the manufacturer’s recommended tire pressures on a sticker on the side of the driver’s door.

When you put air into your tires, the TPMS may not respond immediately to the air you’ve added. It may take up to 30 minutes of driving over 20 mph for the light to turn OFF after you have filled your tires to the recommended inflation pressure.  If the light does not turn off, have your vehicle checked.

When one of your road tires has been replaced by the spare, the TPMS system will continue to identify an issue to remind you that the damaged road wheel/tire needs to be repaired and put back on the vehicle or that the installed spare needs to be "trained" to the vehicle. Some vehicles also require “retraining” of the wheels after tire rotation.

Refer to your Owner’s Manual for more detail about your particular vehicle.  And remember that no monitoring system can replace the driver’s vigilance in maintaining and operating a vehicle.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  DO NOT USE TIRE FLAT SPRAY PRODUCTS IF YOU HAVE A TIRE MONITORING SYSTEM.  IT CAN RUIN THE SENSORS.

There are costs associated with proper maintenance of your Tire Pressure Monitoring System, but the protection this system provides could save your life.


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