- 7 Apr 2023
Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems: How They Work and Why They Matter
Driving with underinflated tyres not only affects vehicle performance but also poses a safety hazard. Tyre pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) are designed to alert drivers when tyre pressure drops below recommended levels, ensuring optimal performance and safety. In this article, we will explore how TPMS works and why it matters.
How TPMS Works
Tyre pressure monitoring systems use sensors to measure tyre pressure and temperature in real-time. These sensors can be either direct or indirect. Direct TPMS uses sensors mounted inside each tyre to monitor pressure and temperature. Indirect TPMS utilizes wheel speed sensors to detect variations in rotational speed caused by changes in tyre pressure. Both types of TPMS alert the driver when tyre pressure drops below the recommended level.
Why TPMS Matters
Properly inflated tyres improve vehicle handling, fuel efficiency and lifespan while preventing accidents. A significant number of accidents happen due to underinflated tyres. TPMS helps prevent such accidents by continuously monitoring tyre pressure and alerting the driver if there is any deviation from the recommended level. Furthermore, the system can help save money on fuel costs and tyre wear by maintaining optimal tyre pressure. Lastly, properly inflated tyres minimise the risk of blowouts or sudden loss of control, especially at high speeds.
Types of TPMS
There are two types of TPMS: direct and indirect. As mentioned earlier, direct TPMS measures air pressure and temperature using sensors mounted inside each tyre. It is more accurate, as it provides real-time measurements, but is more expensive to install and maintain. On the other hand, indirect TPMS measures tyre pressure indirectly by detecting variations in the wheel speed. It’s cheaper than direct TPMS but less accurate and cannot detect gradual pressure losses.
TPMS Installation and Maintenance
Newer vehicles come equipped with TPMS installed, but older vehicles may need aftermarket installation. It is essential to ensure that TPMS sensors are compatible with the vehicle and its wheels. Voltage levels, communication protocols and physical dimensions must match. It’s also critical to follow manufacturer guidelines for TPMS maintenance, including sensor replacement every few years or when tyres are replaced.
Tyre pressure monitoring systems have become an integral part of modern vehicles, ensuring optimal performance and safety. It’s important to understand how they work and why they matter. TPMS alerts drivers of any deviations from recommended tyre pressure levels, minimising the risk of accidents and improving vehicle performance. Properly inflated tyres last longer, consume less fuel, and provide better handling, making them a wise investment for any vehicle owner.