Tire Pressure Monitoring System Facts


Understand Your Tire Pressure Monitoring System

It is hard to tell if the air in a tire is too low or too high just by looking at it. Luckily for us, most newer cars have a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) that continuously monitors the pressure in your tires through sensors located in the tires (direct system) or the use of wheel speed and other vehicle sensors (indirect system).

Tire Pressure Monitoring System Facts

Many cars, trucks, and SUVs use a direct system where a tire pressure sensor has been placed in each tire, which is linked to your vehicle's onboard computer to measure air pressure directly.

A small number of vehicles use an indirect tire pressure monitoring system that monitors the general speed and rotation of the vehicle's wheels and alerts you if one wheel is especially out of sync with the others.

Underinflated tires can take a toll on your finances and your safety by affecting your fuel economy and shortening tire life due to uneven wear. Even more importantly, underinflation can wear a tire to the point of failure, putting you in jeopardy of having a blowout on the road.

There are many things that can come into play and affect tire pressure, including temperature changes, tire punctures or other damage. Tire pressure can drop about 1 psi (pounds per square inch) for every 10 degrees and tires lose about 1.5 psi per month as air escapes from the tire naturally.

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