Does Tire Pressure Monitor System (TPMS) need maintenance?

We all know about engine maintenance, checking the oil and other fuels’ level and the importance of keeping track of breaks’ system. But TPMS is one of those vehicle systems often neglected by the owner despite its crucial importance.

Technically, TPMS is a relatively new function, and not all vehicle owners might have already acknowledged its actual value and importance. It is required to be installed in all new vehicles since 2008. However, the technology appeared much earlier.

It monitors tire pressure and lets the driver know immediately when it goes 25% below the recommended level. Whatever was once considered an indulgence makes driving much safer and helps numerous car owners maintain the wheels and chassis of their vehicles.

And just like any system in your car, TPMS needs specific maintenance and attention. Continue reading, and you will learn how TPMS works, what can compromise its performance and how you can help it operate, securing your safe and comfortable driving.

How does Tire Pressure Monitor System (TPMS) work?

Tire pressure monitoring systems come in two variants:

  • Direct;
  • Indirect.

Direct TPMS is considered to be the most advanced one. It constantly monitors the pressure in each tire, including the spare one. As soon as the pressure goes down in any tire, the system sends an alarming sign directly to the vehicle’s dashboard, so the driver can see precisely which tire is the problematic one. Often direct TPMS shows the exact pressure in each tire, making it even easier for the driver to detect and eliminate a problem.

Indirect TPMS scans antilock brake sensors to determine the wheels’ speed. An underinflated wheel will turn much significantly faster for the system. It will also send the notification to the dashboard as soon as the misbalance is detected. However, the indirect system won’t let a driver know which tire is underinflated and how much pressure it has.

Although the two principles seem pretty different, they mostly face the same issues and malfunctions:

  • Tire pressure often drops in cold weather, which may cause your TPMS sens a warning signal;
  • All kinds of TPMS transmit radio signals to a control unit. Therefore, they can be blocked or altered by other radio signals of the same frequency;
  • TPMS sensors often get damaged by rough driving on potholes or rural roads, water, dirt, and debris.

How to take care of the TPMS in your vehicle?

Most mechanics and tire shops recommend servicing TPMS each time you replace or rotate your vehicle’s tires.

  • The mechanic replaces the valve core, retains the nut seal, and cap on the valve stem;
  • After the procedure, the car service conducts throughout diagnostics to make sure that TPMS works correctly.

Many manufacturers require an electronic reset of TPMS each time you change or rotate your vehicle’s tires. However, some advanced models reset themselves automatically as soon as they detect that all the sensors are balanced and work normally after several miles of driving.

Low tire pressure can alter your driving experience, compromise your safety and even make your vehicle lose more fuel. Proper maintenance of TPMS and following its warning signals will help you save a lot of energy, nerves, and money on the overall maintenance of your vehicle.

If you search for an expert opinion, thorough diagnostics, and comprehensive service of TPMS and other systems of your vehicle, contact OHS Body Shop. Our branches are located all over Montana’s Greater Flathead Valley, in Kalispell, Whitefish, Columbia Falls and Polson. Our qualified mechanics will answer all your questions, run thorough diagnostics of your vehicle or conduct a routine check to ensure that your driving is safe, comfortable and you get the most out of your vehicle’s performance.