by Pat Goss
TPMS or tire pressure monitoring systems have been around for a number of years now and a mandatory on all passenger cars and light trucks. So you would think a lot of people would understand them, but apparently a lot of people don’t.
Number 1, is a lot of people think if the light is not on that means the tire pressure is perfect. That is not correct. All it means is the tire pressure is not dangerously low. You may have to add air periodically. You should be checking your tire pressure at least once a month to make sure you keep it at the proper setting for best tire wear and fuel economy.
Now, there are different types of tire pressure monitoring systems, most of them use sensors that are in the wheel. The type with the valve stem are the most common, but there is also one that is down in the dropt center of the wheel that’s held in place by a big clamp that goes all the way around the wheel. But the thing here is all these, well they’re so common well you go to your local parts store and buy replacements and buy repair kits such as we have here we have all the different parts torepair the different types of sensors.
Now, that said, these all work with batteries, and batteries wear out. And when they do on comes the check engine light in many cases always on is the TPMS light… the low tire pressure light.
Now, where you make a mistake… you buy one of these sensors you take the car in… you get the sensor installed… and a week or two later… another one… because all of the batteries all have the same amount of wear on them. So, what you do is if you have one of the sensors that has failed due to a bad battery, replace all 4 of them at once… you’ll probably get a better deal at the repair shop, and you’ll save a lot of back and forth.
Big thing to remember… check tire pressure manually once a month… rely on the TPMS as an emergency back-up. And if you have a question or a comment drop me a line right here at MotorWeek.