Tire Pressure Monitoring Light (TPMS)
Don't be confused when your red or yellow Tire Pressure Monitor light comes on. Our ASE trained technicians know just what to do in order to keep you and your vehicle safe and reliable. Dont take a chance with this potentially serious safety issue. Call for an appointment today !
Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems Explained, and Why You Shouldn't Ignore that Red (TPMS) Light When it Comes On.
Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems launched in about the 2000 model year. Customers with good memories might remember the Ford Explorer / Firestone 500 Tire Recall at about that time. About 210 people died as result of SUVs rolling over or otherwise going out of control. Ford alone recalled over 14million tires in order to make sure people were safe. The root cause was determined to be multiple factors, but the primary issue turned out to be that many customers did not realize that their tires had partially lost inflation pressure, and this led to overheating of the tire. This subsequently caused the tire to fail, and serious loss of control. As result, those great guys at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration mandated that all new passenger vehicles and light trucks be equipped with systems that alert drivers when their tires have low inflation pressure.
These systems have evolved constantly since the early 2000's and different manufacturers have adopted different levels of sophistication with their systems. In a nutshell, this is how most modern systems are configured... Each of your four wheels contains a battery powered sensor that has the capability to detect when the vehicle is moving (so that it can turn itself on and off to save battery life) and what the inflation pressure is for that wheel. The sensor also had a tiny transmitter so that it can convey it's information from inside the rotating tire to the driver. Each corner of your vehicle contains a tiny antenna, which picks up the signal from each of the four tires. This information is sent along a data buss to the instrument panel to provide you with an indication when the pressure gets low.
When the red indicator light either winks or turns on all the time, it's time to come and see us!
Why it's important to get attention right away: Operating your vehicle with low inflation pressure may lead to poor fuel economy, tire damage, or in rare cases, those dangerous situations (remember the previously mentioned recall) where vehicles roll over or otherwise go out of control. Keeping your tires inflated to the recommended pressure is something we check with each premium oil service performed.
When your TPMS light comes on, be sure to check your tire pressure and confirm that they are at the manufacturers recommended levels. If, after checking inflation, the light doesn't turn off, you likely have a bad wheel sensor in one or more of your wheels. Each of the four sensors on your vehicle contain a small battery. When that battery goes dead, the sensor must be replaced. We normally recommend that all four be replaced at the same time. Assuming that all four sensors are the same age, all are probably "about ready' to fail at the same time. Replacing only one at a time is less costly in the short term, but leads to more trips to the repair shop, and additional diagnostic time to figure out which sensor is bad. You probably replace all of the smoke detector batteries in your house at the same time, for this reason. It's far more convenient to get it over with.
Convenience Auto Service is happy to assist you with any tire related issues. Just call for an appointment!
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