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Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems | What You Need to Know

Author of the article

By Saoirse McClure Fisher

calendar 14-10-2020 tag MAINTENANCE clock 5 min

Have you ever been parked and had someone approach you to tell you, "you've got a flat tyre mate"? We've all been there. Fortunately, there is a system that will immediately alert you, often before the signs of a flat tyre are even visible. A TPMS (Tyre Pressure Monitoring System) is now a standard fitting on all new vehicles produced since 2014. Here's what you need to know.

What is TPMS?

A tyre pressure monitoring system is a battery-powered sensor valve that monitors the pressure and imbalances in your tyre's air pressure. The data provided by a TPMS is fed to a display on the dashboard to indicate to the driver when a pressure drop occurs. 

Dependent on your vehicle, this may be displayed digitally as a set number, or alternatively, just produce a simple warning light. 

What Does it Mean when TPMS Light Comes On?

The legal limit for TPMS to indicate to the driver that something is wrong is when there is a drop in pressure greater than 7PSI. However, many manufacturers agree that you don't want to know when you are at the limit. You should be given a heads up before the limit. Therefore, TPMS may be set to be much more sensitive. 

Is it Safe to Drive with the TPMS Light On?

The simple answer to the question, "is it safe to drive with the TPMS light on?" is a categorical, no! This means that your tyre is not inflated correctly. By continuing to drive on it, you risk damaging the tyre and even your wheels! Not to mention you increase the risk of a catastrophic tyre failure if you are driving at speed.

How Long Does a TPMS Sensor Last?

The eagle-eyed amongst you may have spotted that they are battery-powered. The more you drive, the more likely it is that the battery will run out sooner. 

For average car use, you can expect a TPMS sensing valve to last for around 5 years.

Do I need to replace TPMS When Replacing Tyres?

While it isn't mandatory, it is recommended. Just like the valves in your tyre, TPMS sensors are exposed to the elements and can rust, corrode and stick. If the sensor isn't doing its job, it puts you and other road users in danger.

How Do I Know What my Tyre Pressures Should Be?

There are a couple of ways to check. Your vehicle handbook will tell you what pressure the tyres should be inflated to. But there is an easier way.

You can easily check your tyre pressure here. Just enter your registration, and you'll get instant data on how far to inflate your tyres.

If your TPMS light has come on, or you seem to be constantly reinflating your tyres, it might be time for an upgrade? It doesn't need to be expensive. Check here to find the perfect new tyre for your vehicle. 

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