Know All About Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems
Do you know that your vehicle's tires wear out faster when you do not maintain the correct pressure? Well, the tires have more importance than you realise. Apart from “Breaks”, tires are cornerstones of the vehicle’s safety. When you maintain the correct pressure of tires, they follow steering directions and absorb shocks better.
In contrast, a tire with higher or lower pressure than the optimum one will not perform well. So, a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) is important to ensure that all tires in a vehicle are at optimum pressure. But first, let us understand more about TPMS.
What is a tire Pressure Monitoring System?
A tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) is a technology used to check the real-time air pressure in the fleet’s tires. A sensor collects this information and transmits it to the driver as an indicator on the vehicle's dashboard. It can also transfer data via a mobile or web platform alert.
The main purpose of the TPMS sensor is to alert a driver of possible safety concerns that can occur due to inadequate pressure. However, the working model of the tire pressure monitoring system is different for various sensor types.
Different Types of TPMS
There are two types of TPMS:
- Direct TPMS
- Indirect TPMS
Direct TPMS, and it’s Working
Direct TPMS is the basic and preferred method to monitor tire pressure. A separate sensor fits with each tire and directly transmits a tire's pressure data to the driver. The sensors have battery power, informing the drivers if there is any need to change the tire. The driver will also know if the tire needs air to be filled or reduced. The Direct TPMS has the following advantages:
- It delivers correct tire pressure readings.
- It is not prone to inaccuracies even after tire rotation or replacement.
- There is simple resynchronisation after tire replacements or rotation.
- There are batteries inside the sensors that almost last for a decade.
The following are the disadvantages of Direct TPMS:
- It is more expensive than an indirect TPMS.
- Though it is simple, resynchronisation may need expensive tools.
- Its battery is rarely serviceable. So, if the battery gets drained, you need to change the whole sensor.
- Its sensors are susceptible to damage while mounted/demounted.
Indirect TPMS & it’s Working
As the name suggests, indirect TPMS working is not dependent on the physical sensor. In this case, you can measure the pressure by the revolution rate of the wheel. Then, you can analyse and present it to the driver while keeping benchmark numbers of the corresponding size of the tire.
If the tire starts revolving slower or faster than usual, the onboard computing technology finds the change immediately. Then, it warns the driver about the tire’s over or under-inflation. Here are some advantages of Indirect TPMS systems:
- They are relatively inexpensive than the Direct TPMS.
- They need less programming or maintenance than Direct TPMS.
Below are some disadvantages of Indirect TPMS:
- It may become inaccurate when you purchase a smaller or bigger size of tire.
- It may be unreliable in case tires are unevenly worn.
- You must reset it after inflating every tire properly.
- You must reset it after a routine tire rotation.
Benefits of Using a TPMS in the Vehicle
The benefits of a TPMS extend beyond your understanding of the vehicle's tire pressure levels. Here are some advantages of a tire pressure monitoring system:
- Improved Fuel Economy: Tire pressure can negatively affect fuel efficiency. It is because under-inflated tires have a greater resistance to rolling. Using TPMS, you can get alerts automatically when air pressure drops lower than the recommended tire pressure. So, you can help the fleet to stay fuel efficient.
- Improved Safety: Under-inflated or over-inflated tires can lead to tire failure and tread separation, which is the cause of most accidents. Properly inflated tires add more stability and seamless braking, providing a safer road experience.
- Environmental Efficiency: Vehicles with under-inflated tires release more than carbon monoxide. But you can ensure proper inflation of tires by monitoring tire pressure across the vehicles. So, you can help to lessen the emission of dangerous pollutants.
Best tire Pressure Monitoring Systems
Are you looking for some good tire pressure monitoring systems? If yes, take a look at the options mentioned below:
Steelmate has sensors mounted on the wheel rim. So, there is a need for pro-fitting unless you have your own tire changing kit. Also, the head unit and sensors need initial calibration, which is difficult to master. However, all this is offset by longer battery life, superior security, and real-time pressure readings displayed in the vehicle on another solar-powered head unit. So, you do not have to get out of your car to see which tire has a problem.
Produced with British specialist Fit2Go, this Michelin TPMS is convenient. It has four sensors marked for each wheel. You can screw each one on the valve of the correctly inflated tire and secure them with a spanner and lock nut. The sensors automatically connect with the display and show pressures for all tires. A monitor at the top of a windscreen comes with a rear solar panel and a sticky pad. It is the only position for the unit, as there is no 12V option.
70 Mai TPMS Lite
The 70Mai TPMS Lite features a film sensor with an anti-corrosion and waterproof design that is ideal for harsh weather. In addition, it uses superior quality processors and chips for excellent stability between sensors and receiver display. You can enable it with an app to monitor tire pressure and temperature. Its LCD supports solar charging and a USB cable, which allows you to free the cigarette lighter socket.
Schrader AirAware TPMS 65594-67
It is the only kit tested with an all-rubber and Snap-on tire valve. Its pressure readings are accurate, but it lacks an over-inflation warning. The screen is cheap and does not show all tire readings in one. Also, it lost communication with sensors on various occasions, but it reconnected automatically.
Though both systems are different, they serve the same purpose and activate the indicator light. TPMS can deliver accurate alerts when you maintain it properly, but it can not replace manual air pressure checks. So, consider it just another item in the vehicle maintenance toolbox.