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How do tyre pressure sensors work?

13th May 2020

What is a tyre pressure monitoring system?

A tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) is an electronic system that is fitted to your vehicle. This monitors the air pressure in your tyres and alerts you if your tyre pressure is under the legal requirement. Having received this alert, you will then need to take action in order to rectify your tyres’ air pressure.

How do tyre pressure sensors work?

Traditionally, monitoring your tyre pressure would have been a manual activity, which would usually be conducted without prompt. Typically, motorists would usually check their tyre pressure before long journeys, or monthly. Yet, with a TPMS – which is fitted into most modern vehicles – this can act as the prompt car owners require to check their tyre pressure, or address an issue.

There are two types of tyre pressure indicators, and they both work in different ways:

  • Direct TPMS – a direct TPMS uses pressure sensors which are mounted within the tyre, and are designed to monitor the tyre pressure levels. If your tyre pressure drops below a certain pre-set level, a warning light will appear on the dashboard – indicating action is required.
  • Indirect TPMS – an indirect TPMS collaborates with the anti-locking braking system function, detecting when wheels may be rotating at different speeds. Based on the rate of revolution, the onboard computer can then decipher the relative size of the tyres – as, if a wheel is spinning faster than predicted, this means the tyre may be underinflated.

Once your TPMS has alerted you to a problem with your tyre pressure, this then requires you to manually check your tyre pressure. Having rectified the tyre pressure issue, the warning light should disappear from your dashboard. However, it’s important to note that if you are continually receiving warnings that your tyre pressure has become too low, it may indicate that there is a problem with the tyre itself. This could be caused by a slow puncture – where a nail or piercing object gets trapped in the tyre, slowly releasing air. In this case, you would need to replace your tyre with a new car tyre.

Book in for your free tyre pressure check with Merityre Specialists, as well as full diagnosis of your tyre pressure issue and support. Simply locate your nearest Merityre branch, or get in touch with a member of our team for more information about tyre pressure indicators today.