Why is my vehicle equipped with TPMS sensors?

The tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) primary function is to make the driver aware of the state of tire pressure within the wheels. Under normal system operations, the TPMS system will alert the driver when one or more affected tires PSI reading falls below 25% of the placard. When the tire sensor indicates “low tire pressure”, it sends a radio frequency (RF) signal of 315 or 433 MHz to the ECU on the vehicle that determines if the pressure is below the threshold, which then will indicate a TPMS symbol or position-specific display, depending on the vehicle.

In 2000, after Firestone recalled more than 6.5 million vehicles due to tread separation, the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) issued the first version of the TREAD Act which required Tire Pressure Warning Systems to be implemented on all vehicles sold in the United States by the year 2008 including all passenger vehicles and light trucks with GVWR of 10,000 lbs. and less.

Advantages of a TPMS system:

  • Warns user of underinflated tire
  • Reduces the risks of accidents due to a tire failing
  • Optimizes the fuel consumption as well as the tire life
  • Reduces the risk of a slow puncture
  • On the road, safety means respecting the tire pressure requirements made by the manufacturer of your car. Unfortunately, with today’s tires, it is almost impossible to visually distinguish a 50% underinflated tire

A TPMS equipped tire can display the TPMS sensor internal pressure and warns drivers when it reaches a low level by displaying a TPMS warning light.