You may not have realised this (we didn’t!), but all new vehicles have been equipped with tyre pressure monitoring systems as standard since November 2014. The technology has been used by some manufacturers for quite some time before, so you may well have an older vehicle that uses the safety system to ensure that the tyre pressure remains at an appropriate level, as well as to check for any unusual changes in temperature.
The monitors work by transmitting data to the dashboard from a pressure sensor in the dust cap that protects each tyre’s valve. A light will appear on the dash which alerts the driver of any possible changes in tyre pressure, such as low pressure or imbalance pressure. In general, the monitoring system has been designed to relay information about adjustments of at least 6-7 psi, or about 20% of the total pressure of the tyre. As you can suspect, just as with any other piece of equipment in your car, the monitoring device would need to be periodically tested and maintained. Replacement may also be needed periodically.
Should You Install A Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)?
If you have an older motor that hasn’t been equipped as standard with a tyre pressure monitoring system and are considering having one installed, you may be wondering what the advantages of doing so are. There is a good reason for manufacturers to decide to include the equipment in all new builds, which means that, if possible, it is certainly worth fitting one.
The advantages of a system to monitor tyre pressure include:
- Improved safety because properly inflated tyres result in shorter, more reliable distances for braking
- Lower fuel consumption on properly inflated tyres when driving
- Reduced CO2 emissions achieved on properly inflated tyres whilst driving.
- Reduced risk of tears on the surface of tyres
How To Maintain A Tyre Pressure Monitoring System?
If you purchase a new vehicle that has a standard TPMS installed or decide to fit one with your existing vehicle, keep in mind that the systems are now part of the MOT test. As such, a system fault will result in an “advisory” for vehicles manufactured before 2012, while if the warning light is illuminated, a newer vehicle will fail MOT testing.
Your TPMS should be periodically checked and included as part of any service performed on your vehicle. As a general rule of thumb, before valve pressure sensor batteries need to be replaced, the system should last approximately six years or 100k miles. Most vehicle mechanics should be able to install a new sensor that clones existing information or as close as possible if a full replacement is required.
TyrePal Tyre Pressure Monitoring System
The following information has been provided to us by our friends at TyrePal, explaining why your tyre pressure monitoring systems are essential for those towing caravans.
Blowouts are known to be a major factor in insurance claims, especially for caravans – one insurance provider estimates that their claims for road traffic accidents are:
- 33 percent resulted from the blowout of tyres
- The accidents with other road users resulted in 33 percent.
- 14 percent was caused by the loss of wheels
- The detachment of the unit from the tow vehicle at 9 percent
- As a result of a snaking incident, 9%
- Due to unexplained factors, 2%
A TyrePal tyre pressure monitoring system constantly tracks the tyres’ temperature and pressure and alerts you when things go wrong:
- High pressure affects the distance of braking, wear of tyres and road handling.
- Low pressure, which causes excessive fuel consumption and wear of tyres.
- Overheating, which boosts the risk of a blowout or fire
Monitoring your tyre pressures can save money by minimising fuel consumption and tyre wear, apart from giving you notice before a blowout, and it can help minimise CO2 emissions.
All that is needed is for the consumer to replace their tyre dust caps with sensors that wirelessly relay information about pressure and temperature to a cab monitor. With two sensors for a caravan, the cost of a TyrePal device is as low as £ 135.
We hope you found this information about tyre pressure monitoring systems useful. A TPMS sensor and pressure sensors could help you identify loss in tyre pressure and ultimately keep you safe on the road. If you’re TPMS system shows you have loss of pressure just as you’re starting your car then you could pump up your tyres, check the valve caps to ensure theyre still in place. If it’s waring you for no reason you should take it to a garage to be check out and have them look at your TPMS sensors to ensure they’re working as they should be. You can find out more about tyres, replacing tyres, which tyres are best and which space saver you should have for your vehicle by taking a look at our online store and our blog section.