Tyson Boyer: Hi! I am Tyson Boyer with Dill Air Controls. Have you seen this light? It can warn you of dangerously low tire pressure. Regular inspection and maintenance during an entire inspection is required to make sure this warning system will operate effectively. This includes checking air pressures and measuring tire tread depth for where to help maximize the life of your tires and fuel efficiency which means saving you money.
Did you know that under-inflated tires are linked to approximately 250,000 accidents resulting in 660 deaths and 33,000 injuries per year according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration? And without a tire pressure monitoring system, you are twice as likely to be driving on a tire that is severely underinflated. With advances and automotive technology that continue to make our vehicles better and our road safer, NHTSA the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration finalize the TPMS ruling under the FMVSS 138, which is the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard. This ruling started the phase-in of tire pressure monitoring systems in 2005 and mandated 100% compliance on passenger and light truck vehicles sold in the United States weighing 10,000 pounds or less by September 1, 2007. This light illuminates on your dashboard when the air pressure in one or more of your tires is 25% below the recommended vehicle setting.
The proper air pressure for your vehicle is found on the driver door sticker called the placard. When this light is solid be sure to check your air pressure in each of your tiers including your spare tire if you have a full sized spare. If the tire pressure monitoring system light is flashing upon vehicle startup, then you have a system malfunction. Visit your local tire dealer to resolve the issue which could include the need to replace one of your tire pressure sensors in order to get the system running correctly again. The tire pressure monitoring system normally consists of sensors mounted to the backs of the tire's valve stem.
The valve stem is the part that you use to gauge or inflate your tires. The sensors regularly send a radio frequency signal to the onboard computer located in you dash. Just because you have sensors, does not mean you can ignore preventative maintenance checks on your tires. You should check the air pressure and tread depth of your tires on a monthly basis. Like a traditional rubber valve this new system has a valve stem that consists of wearable parts. These components must be replaced during tire service and replacement. Ask your automotive service provider for a closer look the next time you are in for service, as you might guess, over time the aluminum pieces can corrode and there rubber parts deteriorate from moisture, dirt, salt, temperature changes and the intensity of the sun. If this occurs, then they cannot perform their intended function of maintaining a proper seal putting you at risk for air pressure loss in your tires.
If these valves components are not replaced when you purchase new tires, you are increasing the risk of a leak and potentially a flat tire in times and places that you least expect. When you spend hundreds of dollars on new tires, the last thing you want to worry about is a flat tire or premature wear of the threads because the valve stem is not sealing properly.
Many original equipment vehicle manufacturers stand behind regular replacement of the valve stem and attaching components collectively known as the service kit. This is commonly stated in your vehicle's owners' manual. According to the National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration, since tire pressure monitoring systems have been in place, problems in accidents directly related to under-inflated tires have decreased. If you see your light come on, check your tire pressure and visit your tire dealer to see if you need assistance to resolve the issue, and remember in order to maintain the system it is important to have new service components installed when you purchase new tires.