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What is a TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) and why do I need it?

Most drivers know that tire pressure has a big impact on driver and vehicle safety. But did you also know that under inflation impacts your tire wear, as well as potentially costing you more at the pump? Tires can lose pressure without looking like they are under inflated, and most drivers can’t easily identify a slow leak. To help prevent this most new vehicles are equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) to ensure that proper tire inflation is always monitored.

Tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) are a safety device installed by the factory to alert the driver of an underinflated tire. The most common systems uses a sensor mounting inside the tire to measure tire pressure directly and then transmits this information wirelessly to on board electronics.

TPMS makes it easy to keep up with one of the essentials of tire maintenance by alerting you via your instrument panel that your tires are under inflated; in real time. When the TPMS warning light comes ON and stays ON, this indicates low tire pressure in one or more tires. Inflating the tire to the recommended tire pressure found on the door placard should trigger the light to turn OFF. Remember that one or more of the tires may be low in pressure, so you should always check the pressure in all of your tires.

The average person who drives over 20,000 kilometers per year on under-inflated tires uses approximately 547 extra litres of fuel (at a cost of $662 CDN per year!). Under-inflated tires also cause an average of 250,000 accidents every year on Canadian roads. TPMS provide such a considerable benefit to driver and passenger safety that many countries are now mandating that all passenger vehicles sold are equipped with a TPMS.

If your vehicle is equipped with TPMS it’s important to remember that you’ll need to equip both sets of seasonal tires and rims with TPMS hardware. If you purchase new winter tires and the corresponding wheels, the new wheels also need a TPMS sensor. TPMS equipped tires also require a bit more attention when installing new tires and wheels. There are some minor parts that must be replaced whenever a tire with TPMS is dismounted or replaced for service. Additionally, the TPMS needs to be reset and tested. At Kal Tire, we are dedicated to our customers’ safety which is why we won’t install tires designed to work with TPMS without their corresponding hardware. Kal Tire team members are TPMS experts and are always on hand to walk you through how TPMS impacts tire and wheel selection and installation.

Come in to your local Kal Tire location to learn more.