top of page
  • Matthew Atkinson

Complete Guide to Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS)

All new automobiles now come with a tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS), which alerts you to any pressure problems, to help you keep an eye on the pressure in your tyres.


What is a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)?

A vehicle's TPMS is a system that continuously checks the pressures or pressure imbalance in the tyres and alerts the driver if they drop below a certain level. Given how crucial proper inflation is, TPMS is a highly helpful safety feature.



Types of TPMS

A vehicle's TPMS is a system that continuously checks the pressures or pressure imbalance in the tyres and alerts the driver if they drop below a certain level. The TPMS should not be used in place of routine physical tyre safety inspections, nevertheless. TPMS systems come in two varieties currently for automobiles:


To detect the tyre inflation pressures, direct systems place radio sensors inside each wheel. Direct Systems: These sensors "directly" measure the pressure within each tyre and communicate the information to a control unit.

Indirect Systems: By measuring and comparing the rotational speeds of the tyres and vibrations, indirect systems use the vehicle's existing ABS sensors "indirectly" determine the pressure in the tyres.


Both types of systems communicate with the primary Electronic Control Unit (ECU) of the car to notify the driver of any pressure loss or variation problems through dashboard warning lights.


The Law surrounding TPMS

Since November 2014, tyre pressure monitoring systems have been required for all new passenger cars sold in the EU (TPMS).


Long-standing TPMS installations on automobiles have lately been legally required, as has routine upkeep. On November 1, 2012, legislation was introduced requiring the installation of TPMS on all new automobile models sold in the EU. In November 2014, this was expanded to mandate that every new passenger car have a TPMS before going on sale. On January 1, 2015, regulations went into effect in the UK stating that an MOT failure for certain cars with an inoperative or damaged TPMS sensor.


Find out more about UK Tyre Law.


Why use a TPMS?

The main element affecting how well your tyres perform is the air pressure inside of them. The tyre's capacity for speed, weight carrying capacity, handling response, wear rate, and overall safety are all impacted by pressure. Additionally, having under-inflated tyres can increase your car's fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Therefore, it's imperative for your security and comfort that your tyres be properly inflated in accordance with the guidelines provided by the vehicle's manufacturer. At least once a month or before a lengthy trip, tyre pressure should be physically checked when the tyres are cool. However, all new automobiles are now outfitted with a tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) that alerts you to any pressure difficulties in order to help you check the pressure in your tyres.


A TPMS Warning Light

There may be a problem with the pressure in one or more of your tyres if the TPMS warning light on your dashboard lights.


Find a secure location to stop your car if you receive a TPMS alert while driving so you may manually compare your tyre pressures to the manufacturer's suggested levels. These specifics can be found on a plaque on the driver's door sill, inside the gasoline filler flap, or in the owner's manual for your vehicle.

TPMS Low Pressure Warning Light

What does it mean if my TPMS Light comes on?

There may be a problem with the pressure in one or more of your tyres if the TPMS warning light on your dashboard illuminates. Find a secure location to stop your car as soon as possible so you may manually compare your tyre pressures to the manufacturer's suggestions. These specifics can be found on a plaque on the driver's door sill, inside the gasoline filler flap, or in the owner's manual for your vehicle. Find your local tyre expert who can assist you if you are unable to check your tyre pressures yourself. You may also contact us for roadside assistance.


Should you rely on your TPMS to warn you about your tyre pressure?

The TPMS should not be considered a substitute for routine physical tyre safety checks. TPMS systems come in two varieties now for automobiles. To assess the pressures of the tyres, direct systems place radio sensors inside each wheel. The rotational speeds of the tyres, which are influenced by their pressures, are measured and compared by indirect methods using the vehicle's current ABS sensors. Both versions communicate with the primary Electronic Control Unit (ECU) of the car to notify the driver of any pressure loss or variation problems through dashboard warning lights.


Can my vehicle fail its MOT because of a faulty TPMS sensor?

Since November 2014, all passenger vehicles sold in the EU have been required to have TPMS. Additionally, beginning on January 1, 2015, all new cars equipped with TPMS systems must pass their yearly MOT test with a fully operational system. An MOT failure will occur if the TPMS system is broken or inoperable.


How do I make sure my vehicle's TPMS is working?

To lower the possibility of an MOT failure and, more significantly, to make sure the system is functioning properly, it is recommended to get your TPMS serviced on a regular basis. Despite the fact that sensors are made to survive for a long period and distance, they ultimately lose their internal battery, necessitating a replacement. In addition, weather damage, corrosion, or inadvertent damage while changing tyres can cause sensors to malfunction or entirely stop working.


How can you keep your TPMS sensors working?

Many manufacturers advise replacing the valve cap and core components each time a tyre is replaced in order to maintain the sensor's integrity. Your tyre fitter may need to use specialised diagnostic tools to programme the new component to the vehicle while replacing the TPMS sensors in your automobile.


Getting your TPMS serviced

You might need to get the TPMS system repaired on occasion to make sure it keeps working correctly and lower the risk of an MOT failure.


The internal battery in TPMS sensors will eventually run out, necessitating a replacement even though the sensors are made to endure for many years and miles. In addition, weather damage, corrosion, or inadvertent damage while changing tyres can cause sensors to malfunction or entirely stop working. Many manufacturers advise replacing the valve cap and core components each time a tyre is replaced in order to maintain the sensor's integrity. Your tyre fitter may need to use specialised diagnostic tools to programme the new component to the vehicle while replacing the TPMS sensors in your automobile. Under no circumstances should your TPMS sensor be replaced with a "normal" non-TPMS type valve if it does develop a problem. In addition to reducing your driving safety, removing the sensor will cause your automobile to fail its MOT.


What you should do if your TPMS sensor develops a fault

Don't take off the TPMS valve and replace it with a "normal" valve. In addition to reducing your driving safety, removing the sensor will cause your automobile to fail its MOT.


Do I need TPMS for Run Flat Tyres?

Yes. Only cars equipped with run-flat tyres should have a TPMS installed. Run-flat tyres are made to only allow for a brief duration of use after a puncture. The "RF" symbol on the sidewall of these tyres serves as a visual cue. Run-flat tyres are intended to function for a little amount of time, at a top speed of 50 mph, and with a constrained load-bearing capability.




Want to learn more about TPMS? Get in touch today! Best of all... We'll come to you!!


Blog article by Matt Atkinson, SME Geek Ltd

bottom of page