This week we’re looking at TPMS systems. TPMS stands for Tire Pressure Monitoring System. These are federally required in all late model cars and light duty trucks.
There are two types of TPMS. One system uses the vehicles antilock brake system and traction control to constantly
measure the tire as it rolls down the road. If a variance in size is noticed the vehicle assumes that the tire is flat and will illuminate the light on the dashboard. These systems while simple from the TPMS management standpoint they are not as accurate as the other type of TPMS system.
More common is the wheel mounted TPMS sensor. This is a tiny radio transmitter and air gauge that is attached to the wheel. The signal is received by the vehicle and if the pressure is too low or too high the TPMS light will illuminate on the dash.
Cold weather is a very common cause for both types of systems to activate the TPMS light. This is because the air in your tires shrinks as the ambient air temperature drops. When the seasons change from warmer weather to cooler weather this “shrinkage” will cause the light to come on.
For wheel mounted TPMS sensors it is very important to reset the TPMS system following a tire rotation or replacement. A symptom of a system not being reset would look like this, if you added air to the left front tire but the TPMS system shows the right rear tire having an increased air pressure the system needs to be reset.
Often a reset of the system resolves most TPMS issues.
Finally TPMS sensors do wear out over time and have to be replaced. Usually after about 5 years of age the sensors themselves start to fail. This is caused by the battery simply running down and the unit can no longer send a signal to the vehicle. TPMS sensors are not repairable and simply have to be replaced at this point.
The valve stems of the sensors can be easily replaced if needed.
Tread Connection has the equipment to manage and repair most TPMS issues. As with all of our services we do the work onsite on your schedule. If you need TPMS help please call us at 512-766-6230