28th May 2015
The air pressure within your tyres is the most important factor in determining how well they perform. The tyre's pressure affects your vehicle's speed capability, load carrying capacity, handling response, wear rate and overall safety. It's worth remembering that under-inflated tyres will cause your car to use more fuel and emit more CO2 emissions too.
TPMS is a system fitted to a vehicle which constantly monitors the pressures or pressure imbalance in the tyres and provides a warning to the driver if these fall below a certain threshold. The system is a major advance in terms of safety since it alerts you in real time of a pressure failure in the wheels of your vehicle.
There are two types of TPMS systems fitted on cars today.
Both types work with the vehicle's main Electronic Control Unit to alert the driver via dashboard warning lights to any pressure loss or variance issues.
Since November 2014, all new passenger vehicles sold in the EU must be equipped with TPMS. Furthermore, with effect from 1st January 2015, all vehicles fitted with TPMS will need to have a fully functioning system when undergoing their annual MOT test. Inoperative or faulty TPMS systems will result in an MOT failure.
TPMS is a very useful safety feature, but it should not be seen as a replacement for regular manual tyre safety checks. Tyre pressures should be tested at least once a month or before any long journey, when the tyres are cold, using an accurate and reliable pressure gauge.
When checking pressures, it is advisable to also give the rest of the tyre a thorough visual inspection as well as ensuring the tread is not excessively or unevenly worn. Find out more about tyre checks and checking your tyre pressure in our Tyre Safety section.
If the TPMS warning light on your dashboard illuminates, this should not be ignored as there may be a problem with the pressure in one or more of your tyres. At the earliest opportunity, find a safe place to stop your vehicle where you can manually check your tyre pressures. You can find the correct tyre pressure for all of your tyres in your vehicle handbook, inside the fuel filler flap or on a placard located on the driver's door sill. If you are unable to check your pressures yourself, either call for roadside assistance or locate your nearest tyre specialist who will be able to help you.
Merityre Specialists take care of the inspection and maintenance of your TPMS system. When an inspection is carried out on your tyres, we will offer to carry out a TPMS system inspection and if necessary to change the parts required in order to maintain its capability for safe operation.
During any inspection of a tyre, it is important to inspect the condition of the sensor-valve and of the electronic system. It may be necessary to change certain components to ensure satisfactory operation and your safety.