Tyre pressure monitoring systems

Tyre pressure monitoring systems

What to do if your TPMS light is on

TPMS stands for Tyre Pressure Monitoring System.  It’s an electronic system inside the tyre that monitors the air pressure in your tyres.  If your tyres are under or over inflated the TPMS system activates a warning light on your dashboard.

Your TPMS light will come on when 1 or more of your tyres is around 10% below recommended inflation pressure.

If your TPMS light is on or you’re aware you need a TPMS sensor replacing then we can help. All our branches carry TPMS sensors in stock that are suitable for around 98% of vehicles and cost a fraction of the cost at a dealership.

How do I know if my car is fitted with TPMS?

From November 2012 EU Legislation required all manufacturers to fit all new cars with a TPMS system as standard.  Many cars were fitted with TPMS systems before this, for example, if you have a car fitted with run-flat tyres, a tyre pressure monitoring system will already be in place.  If you want to check if your car has TPMS, simply turn on the ignition – If you see the TPMS warning light on your dashboard then your car is fitted with TPMS.

TPMS sensors

If your vehicle is equipped with a TPMS system it will have sensors mounted on the inside of the wheels, attached to specialist tyre valves. These components degrade over time and need to be regularly checked by a tyre expert and services or replaced as required.

TPMS sensors would normally last around 5 years or around 100,000 miles, although like most things this can vary depending on how the vehicle is used.  As the sensors are positioned in the wheel, they are at risk of corrosion and damage which may mean they need replacing sooner.

TPMS tyre valves

Tyre pressure monitoring systems have ensured that tyre valves are no longer all the same. If your vehicle is fitted with TPMS you may need a specialist valve replacement or valve service when you have a tyre changed. 

TPMS rubber valve

TPMS rubber valve

  • Replace at every tyre change
  • Specialist sensor specific valve
  • Many different versions
  • HIGHER spec to withstand additional centrifugal forces generated by the sensor
  • Additional cost of £9.95
TPMS metal valve

TPMS metal valve

  • Service or replace at every tyre change*
  • Specialist sensor specific valve
  • Many different versions
  • HIGHEST spec to withstand additional centrifugal forces generated by the sensor
  • Additional cost of £12.95*

*price for replacement valve. For servicing costs please ask your local branch.

Standard tyre valve

Standard tyre valve

  • Fitted on vehicles that don’t have a TPMS system
  • Replace at every tyre change
  • Included in the cost of every tyre we sell if no TPMS sensors are present

What shall I do if my TPMS light is on or flashing?

If your TPMS comes on or is flashing then the easiest thing to do is call into your local branch.  All our centers have the very latest technology and a trained TPMS specialist on site, we’ll be able to check your tyre pressures for you and diagnose the fault.  If the fault is caused by normal pressure loss, we’ll simply adjust your tyre pressure for you completely free of charge.  If we find you need a replacement sensor then 99% of the time we’ll have it on the shelf – at a fraction of the cost of a main dealer.  Please contact your local branch for more details.

Will my car fail its MOT if the TPMS isn't working?

Yes.  New vehicles fitted with TPMS and registered from 1st January 2013 have their TPMS system tested as part of their MOT.  If the TPMS system is not working correctly on these newer vehicles then this is an MOT failure. 

What's the difference between indirect TPMS & direct TPMS?

Indirect TPMS

Indirect TPMS relies on the tyre speed sensors that the anti-lock braking systems uses. This system measures the rate of revolutions each wheel makes and feeds this information to your vehicle’s computer system to compare with other data such as speed.

When the revolution of each wheel is conducted, the computer can then interpret the relative size of the tyres on the vehicle. If a wheel begins to rotate more quickly than expected, the TPMS system interprets this as the tyre being underinflated and sends a warning message to your dashboard.

So indirect TPMS isn’t actually measuring the pressure of your tyres but simply the speed at which your tyres are rotating.

Direct TPMS

Direct TPMS uses sensors located in each tyre to monitor the actual tyre pressures. These sensors can also provide tyre temperature readings. This monitoring system is able to send all the collected data to a central control module where it is examined and interpreted. If the tyre pressure level is lower than it should be then the TPMS dashboard light will illuminate.

What are the benefits of correct tyre pressures?

We all know we should check our tyre pressures every week, but how many motorists actually do this?  The benefit of having a TPMS systems fitted to your car is that it constantly monitors your tyre pressures for you and alerts you as soon as something is wrong, this will:

  • Improve road safety
  • Save Money
  • Reduce your Carbon footprint

Having a TPMS system fitted to your car can improve your safety on the road and save you money on fuel and tyres.  Having a system that continually monitors your tyre pressures reduces your chances of having an accident related to incorrect tyre pressure or a blowout.  It also means you’ll get better braking and overall handling from your car.

Driving on tyres at the correct pressure also means you’ll be getting optimum fuel efficiency & longer lasting tyres, as premature tyre wear can often be related to incorrect tyre pressures.

TPMS systems also benefit our environment.  The fact that TPMS is now fitted as standard to new cars is because of new EU legislation that has been driven by environmental concerns as part of the EU’s commitment to reducing CO2 emissions.

If you’re TMPS light is on & you need further advice please don’t hesitate to contact your local branch or call our team on 0345 2997 955