What is a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)?

  • Aug 22,2016
What is a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)? What is a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)?

TPMS, Tire Pressure Monitoring System, is an electronic system to monitor the air pressure inside a tire.

Why Is TPMS Necessary?

To help drivers recognize the importance of tire pressure safety and maintenance, Congress passed the TREAD Act, which requires most vehicles made in 2006-07 and ALL made thereafter to be TPMS equipped.

How Does TPMS Work?

To help you make informed decisions about TPMS, it’s important to know how each system—Direct and Indirect—works. Direct uses a sensor located in the tire assembly that transmits data to your vehicle’s computer system. It measures the tire’s pressure and notifies the driver when pressure drops 25 percent or more below the manufacturer’s recommended level. Indirect TPMS uses the Antilock Braking System (ABS) to gauge tire pressure by measuring the difference in diameter of each tire. Our Firestone Complete Auto Care expert technicians can tell you which system your vehicle uses.

What Are the Benefits of TPMS?

TPMS notifies you when your vehicle’s tire pressure is low or is going flat. By helping you maintain proper tire pressure, TPMS can increase your safety on the road by improving your vehicle’s handling, decreasing tire wear, reducing braking distance and bettering fuel economy.

Is Your Vehicle Equipped with TPMS?

Your vehicle has TPMS if the “low tire pressure” warning light appears on your dash when the key is turned to the "on" position.

How Can Our Technicians Help?

If your vehicle’s TPMS warning indicator light comes on, there is a tire pressure problem.

Stop into Firestone Complete Auto Care and our technicians will take care of your needs. They’ll check your vehicle’s tire pressure and perform a systems test on all of your tire sensors to diagnose the problem. Once our technicians address your vehicle’s tire needs, they’ll then suggest the proper maintenance to get you back on the road.

Why Does Tire Maintenance with Direct TPMS Cost More?

Direct TPMS equipped tires cost slightly more to maintain than non-equipped tires because proper care requires extra parts and labor. The valve service kit, which includes the valve core, cap, nut and o-ring (seal), must always be replaced when a tire is dismounted for service or replacement. The service kit costs $5-$10 per wheel on most vehicles. A special TPMS tool and additional time are also needed to check and reset the sensor system. In the event pressure sensors need to be replaced,

the cost ranges from $50-$250 each depending on vehicle type.

Find Your Correct Tire Pressure

TPMS Dash Icons

TPMS Low Tires WarningThis means that one or more of your tires is significantly under-inflated.

TPMS Low Tire WarningThis means that the right front tire is significantly under-inflated.

With the TPMS, one of these symbols will light up on the dashboard when any tire is 25% under-inflated.

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