By November 2014, all new models of passenger vehicles will be required by law to have a tyre pressure monitoring system installed, also known as TPMS. TPMS has become a legal requirement after a high rate of accidents were discovered to relate to tyre malfunction – with around 1,200 road casualties reported in 2011 alone. We are urging motorists to prepare for the changes and the differences you will see at your local garage.
TPMS was conceived to reduce the number of traffic accidents caused by under-inflated tyres by identifying early on when the performance of the tyre is failing. The advantageous system provides drivers with fuel savings, an extended tyre life, decreased downtime and maintenance and environmental efficiency, and most importantly ensuring the safety of passengers. Working in close accordance with the vehicle, the TPMS monitors the air pressure of tyres, reporting real-time tyre pressure information to the vehicle driver.
Direct TPMS, which is the choice the majority of car manufacturers have used, allows sensors to be fitted to each wheel of the vehicle to monitor the changes in tyre pressure. The sensors send signals to a receiver located inside the vehicle using a wireless connection. Once low pressure or leaks are detected, an in-car alert system signals the driver’s awareness and triggers a dashboard display or warning light. The system sends a signal approximately every 30 seconds whilst driving. If low pressure is detected, the driver is alerted immediately. The tyre sensors identify leaking air and also can tell if a tyre has low pressure at engine start up.
Leigh Stote, Sales and Marketing Director said, “The number of cars that have a TPMS system has risen steadily since 2002 but with the new law coming into force as of January 2015, a car fitted with a faulty TPMS system will automatically be failed at MOT inspection. It’s something that people will need to bear in mind but most professional fast fit centres will have suitable tools to assist.”
These sensors are considerably more expensive than a normal car valve though, which costs around £3-£5 pounds. For a new sensor and ECU re-program customers could be looking at spending £60 plus at a tyre shop and even more at a dealership. Currently, there is no law to state that the TPMS system should work, so people are entitled to disconnect the system and just use a normal valve, however, this will not be the case as of January 2015.