Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems

Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) TPMS stands for Tyre Pressure Monitoring System. A TPMS is an electronic system designed to monitor the air pressure inside the tyres of a vehicle. The TPMS sends the air pressure data back to the driver in real time either by a gauge, a pictogram display or a simple low-pressure warning light.

TPMS Dash Warning

Benefits of TPMS

There are two main reasons that TPMS has been introduced:

  • Avoiding traffic accidents due to under-inflated tires by early recognition of the malfunction of tyres.
  • Reducing rolling resistance to increase overall fuel efficiency.

Types of TPMS

There are two main types of TPMS. Direct systems or Indirect systems.

  • Direct TPMS uses sensors inside each tyre that is attached to the tyre valve. The sensors monitors the pressure of each individual tyre and sends a wireless signal back to the vehicle computer. The pressure data is then displayed on the vehicles dashboard. If the pressure drops below a preset level it will issue a warning to the driver so they can have that specific tyre checked.
  • Indirect TPMS uses data from ABS or wheel-speed sensors to determine a loss of tire pressure. If the difference between one and another tire exceeds a certain tolerance, the monitoring system will indicate tire pressure loss.

TPMS Legislation in the UK

TPMS has now become such an important issue due to recent legislation changes regarding it’s use in the United Kingdom and European Union. Important facts about TPMS are below:

  • As of 1st November 2012, all new-type vehicles will be required by EU law to have a pressure based tyre pressure monitoring system installed. This applies to the road wheels, not the spare. This system can be direct or indirect TPMS.
  • By 1st November 2014, all new passenger vehicles will have to have TPMS installed by the manufacturer.
  • The law is not currently retrospective, and does not apply to older vehicles and this law applies to passenger vehicles only, with no more than 7 seats.
  • TPMS is now part of the annual vehicle test (MOT), and applies to all newly registered cars from January 1st 2012. This means that a car with a faulty TPMS will fail the vehicle test from January 2015.
  • Until 2015, a faulty TPMS will only be an advisory and be listed on the testing certificate (UK). Different European countries may interpret the EU legislation differently. So please refer to your own European country legislation.

What does TPMS mean for your after market alloy wheel purchase?

So with the implementation of TPMS in most vehicles and the change in legislation what does this mean when you are buying a new set of after market alloy wheels from Autostyle Wheels Direct?

  • If your car does not come with a factory fitted TPMS or is fitted with an indirect TPMS then there is no change and nothing you need to do. Wheels or Wheels and Tyres can be purchased without TPMS sensors and fitted to your vehicle with no issues at all.
  • If your car comes with a direct TPMS then you will need to make the decision to either re-use your existing sensors or purchase a new set of new sensors. At Autostyle Wheels Direct we stock sensors for all vehicles and have the equipment to set all the sensors to the specific settings for your vehicle. If your car has a direct system you will be prompted to add sensors to your order after selecting your alloy wheels.

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO REMEMBER WITH TPMS IS THAT IT IS A FACTORY FITTED SAFETY SYSTEM OF YOUR VEHICLE. BY CHOOSING NOT TO HAVE A TPMS SYSTEM FITTED TO YOUR WHEELS (IF YOU HAVE A DIRECT SYSTEM AS STANDARD), YOU ARE DEACTIVATING THIS SAFETY SYSTEM WHICH WE DO NOT RECOMMEND.

TPMS Dash Warning