What is TPMS?

A tyre pressure monitoring system or TPMS is an electronic system for monitoring the air pressure in a vehicle tyre and automatically transmitting a warning to the driver in the event of an under and, in some cases, over inflated tyre. These systems have been legislated to be progressively installed on all new passenger carrying US and EU vehicles and similar legislation is being introduced worldwide.

What are benefits of TPMS?

TPMS keeps you safe - Safety studies show that an estimated 250,000 vehicle crashes are caused by underinflated tyres each year, nearly 700 crashes every day! (NHTSA)

TPMS can save your money -Not only can underinflated tyres reduce the life of your tyres, it can also cost you at the pump!  Properly inflated tyres save the typical passenger car 9.32 gallons of fuel, every year. (NHTSA)

TPMS helps your car perform - Proper tyre pressure improves the way rubber meets the road by optimizing traction, handling, steering, stability, braking and even the life of your tyres.

TPMS reduces CO2 emissions -Properly inflated tyres improve gas mileage. The gallons you save will translate to reduced carbon emission from your vehicle!

TPMS legislation

On Tuesday 10th March 2009 the European Parliament in Strasbourg officially approved a Directive Proposal of the Commission aimed to simplify and change the type approval of motor vehicles in Europe. At the same time this proposal introduces a series of implementing measures imposing mandatory adoption of some proven existing technology including Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems (and ESP).

As for TPMS introduction dates and technical specification this mandate officially requires that (see article 9.2 of adopted text):

"Vehicles in categories M1 shall be equipped with an accurate Tyre Pressure Monitoring System capable of giving, when necessary, an in-car warning to the driver when a loss of pressure occurs in any tyre, which is in the interests of optimum fuel consumption and road safety. Appropriate limits in the technical specifications shall be set to achieve this, which shall furthermore allow for a technology-neutral and cost-effective approach in the development of accurate Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems."

As for the introduction dates of TPMS, there is a two-year phase-in schedule starting from November 1st, 2012. Article 13.1 to 13.4 of the adopted text states that all vehicles type approved after this date must install a TPM System. Furthermore, all newly registered vehicles after November 1st, 2014 must have a TPM System.

What is the difference between direct and indirect TPMS?

• Direct TPMS has a sensor installed in the wheel and tyre assembly. This sensor detects what the actual tyre pressure is in each of the tyres.
• Indirect TPMS does not have a sensor installed in the wheel and tyre assembly. This system detects the low tyre by comparing relative wheel speeds via the Anti-lock Brake System (ABS). When a tyre loses air, its diameter decreases slightly. One drawback is the inability to read the tyre pressure when the vehicle is sitting still.

What is the difference between programmable and OER TPMS sensors?

OER sensors are supplied with a with a single vehicle protocol, while programmable sensors can be programmed using a TPMS programming tool to specific make model year.

What are benefits of universal/programmable sensors?

Universal/programmable sensors are designed to replace the original equipment (OE) sensors for the automotive aftermarket. Main benefits of programmable sensors are:
•    Lower stock volumes and cost associated to it
•    Simplified TPMS fitment, diagnostics, part selection and fitment
•    Lower the risk of fitting the wrong part
•    Increased speed of service
•    Avoid lost sales from not having the right part
•    Sensors can be programmed either before or after the wheels are mounted to the vehicle

What is the difference between programming and relearning?

EZ-sensor® comes BLANK and must be programmed to the specific MMY of the vehicle being serviced using a compatible TPMS programming tool. The tool programs the sensor with the vehicle specific protocol so that the sensor can communicate with the vehicle’s receiver. After the EZ-sensor® is programmed, it functions the same way as the OE sensor for that specific vehicle. A relearn is required any time a NEW sensor ID is introduced to the vehicle or when the tyres are rotated. The vehicle’s ECU records the 4 (or 5) sensor IDs so that:

• The unique IDs installed on the vehicle are correctly recognized by the vehicle’s ECU.

• On vehicles with pressure by location, the ECU can display the correct wheel location of each tyre’s pressure.

What does TPMS light mean?

Solid light

•    If your TPMS light comes on and stays solid, it indicates one or more tyres has low air pressure. Some vehicles provide a visual of each tyre’s pressure and may or may not also include the TPMS symbol.
•    During service, the tyres will be inspected and inflated to the recommended tyre pressure.

Flashing light

•    If your TPMS light comes on and flashes for 60 - 90 seconds before staying solid, it indicates a system malfunction.
•    During service, a test will be performed to determine the cause of failure and a repair solution will be provided.

Why is it important to change the service kit every time the tyre is removed from the wheel?

Harsh road conditions such as salt, sand, dirt and road grime may cause valve cores and aluminium stems to corrode, causing potential air leaks. Time and environmental elements could cause rubber stems to crack, also causing slow air leaks. Changing the service kit is a simple, inexpensive way to help ensure that your TPMS services are compliant and may decrease returns.

How do I know what is my recommended tyre pressure?

On your driver’s side door, there is a sticker, called a “placard”, on the front end of the frame. This door placard shows the manufacturer’s recommended tyre pressure for your specific vehicle. A common mistake people make is to fill tyres to the “max air” pressure shown on the sidewall of the tyre, which is incorrect. Your tyres should be filled to the door placard pressure. 

How often should I check my tyre pressure?

It is recommended that you check your tyre pressure once a month.  It is important to check your tyre pressure in the morning before driving the car. This will ensure the air in the tyre has not expanded from heat and will provide the most accurate reading.

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