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Tyre pressure monitoring system installation

What is a tyre pressure monitoring system?

A tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) is designed to constantly monitor the temperature and pressure of the tyres on your car. If the pressure goes above or below the set range, the system gives the driver audible and visual warnings.

Depending on the kit you buy, a TPMS can monitor the pressures of between 1-22 tyres. The system works via sensors attached either to each tyre valve you wish to monitor or the vehicle’s anti-lock braking system (ABS). In either case, these sensors communicate with a monitor that sits inside the cabin.

Types of tyre pressure monitoring systems

There are two different types of TPMS commonly used today.

Direct: This type uses a wheel-mounted sensor that measures the air pressure of the connected tyre. When the pressure drops below or above the set range, the sensor triggers a warning to your vehicle’s computer or monitor.

Indirect: This system utilises your car’s anti-lock braking system (ABS). The system monitors the rolling speed of each wheel using wheel-speed sensors and can detect when one is rolling at a different speed to others. Low tyre pressure causes this difference in rolling speed and when the system recognises such an occurrence, a warning is triggered on your dashboard or monitor indicating there is a problem.
If all four tyres are losing pressure at the same time and rate, an indirect system will not be able to give accurate readings.

Reasons for having a tyre pressure monitoring system

Low tyre pressures can have a number of negative impacts on your car and the tyres themselves. These include decreasing the life of the tyres and negatively impacting your car’s handling. Low tyre pressures can also increase your braking distance and impair fuel economy.

It’s nearly impossible to spot differences in tyre pressures with the naked eye unless they are massive. A TPMS will help you keep on top of your tyre pressures and help you keep your car and its tyres in the safest condition possible without you having to constantly visit the nearest service station air pump.

tyre pressure monitoring system display

Who can install a tyre pressure monitoring system?

An auto electrician or your local tyre specialist should be able to both install and configure your tyre pressure monitoring system.

In order to ensure the system is operating correctly and that the right pressure range is being monitored, it’s best to get a qualified technician to set it up for you.

Things to consider when getting a tyre pressure monitoring system

  • Are the sensors theft proof?
  • Does your car already have an in-built TPMS? (If you get a low tyre pressure warning on your dash, then yes it does!)
  • Can you mount the TPMS monitor somewhere in your cabin?

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