Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems
by Pat Goss
There is a significant safety system that’s becoming much more popular on cars. And here to explain it to us is Howard Laster from Siemens-VDO. Howard, welcome to Goss’ Garage.
HOWARD LASTER, SIEMENS-VDO: “Thanks, Pat.”
Now we’re talking about tire pressure monitoring systems and we’ve got some parts here. Tell us briefly how this system works.
LASTER: “Tire pressure monitoring systems were designed and developed to monitor the pressure inside the tire on every passenger car and light truck. And it triggers if the tire pressure goes below a preset standard a warning light to come on the car to tell the driver that their tire is low.”
Okay, now I have some parts here. This is the sensor that is actually inside the tire. What does it do?
LASTER: “This box contains the electronics that actually sends the signal and measures the pressure inside the tire on a constant basis. This box is attached to the valve stem. And if we see on the example tire we have here, the typical valve stem that would come out from inside the tire and inside the wheel to the outside the box is on the inside mounted. This triggers a signal, if we go to that preset standard, below the standard spec for tire pressure on this car. It sends that signal right into the computer in the car which triggers the warning light to come on and alerts the driver that he has a low tire pressure.”
All right now. Safety is certainly one issue here. How does this affect safety?
LASTER: “First and foremost, safety is definitely the main reason behind this whole system. With all of the accidents that can happen, from low tire pressure, of many different types. This system monitors that so that you know ahead of time your tire is low and if you inflate it back to where it should be at the set standard.”
Okay, tire pressure has an effect on tire wear, so I presume we get a benefit there.
LASTER: “Absolutely, tire wear is a great benefit from this. As we know that for every pound of pressure we lose, there is a loss of life to your tires. And today’s tires, I don’t know about you Pat, but the cost of these tires, I don’t want to replace them way ahead of when I should.”
Absolutely. And then of course tire pressure plays a big part in fuel economy.
LASTER: “Absolutely again. With the same idea, for every progressive pound of pressure we lose, we lose a lot, we’ll call that a significant amount fuel efficiency. And with the cost of fuel today, as it’s rising, I don’t want to lose that myself. And I don’t think you do either Pat.”
No. And these are becoming popular, why is that happening all of a sudden?
LASTER: “There’s been a federal mandate that says by the year, September 2007 for every 2008 model passenger car or light truck produced, every one of them must have a type of tire pressure monitoring system on them.”
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