Tire Buying Guide

Everything You Need To Know About Tires

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Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)

See why a TMPS is an important function of your vehicle and learn how to read it.

What is TPMS?

The Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TMPS) is an electronic system in your vehicle that monitors your tire air pressure and alerts you when it falls dangerously low.

Tire Pressure Monitoring System Icons

Why do vehicles have TPMS?

To help drivers recognize the importance of tire pressure safety and maintenance, Congress passed the TREAD act, which requires most vehicles made after 2006 to be TPMS–equipped.

How does the Tire Pressure Monitoring System work?

There are two different types of systems being used today: Direct TPMS and Indirect TPMS.

Direct TPMS uses a sensor mounted in the wheel to measure air pressure in each tire. When air pressure drops 25% below the manufacturer’s recommended level, the sensor transmits that information to your car’s computer system and triggers your dashboard indicator light.

Indirect TPMS works with your car’s Antilock Braking System’s (ABS) wheel speed sensors. If a tire’s pressure is low, it will roll at a different wheel speed than the other tires. This information is detected by your car’s computer system, which triggers the dashboard indicator light.

What are the benefits of TPMS?

TPMS notifies you when your vehicle’s tire pressure is low or is going flat. By helping you maintain proper tire pressure, TPMS can increase your safety on the road by improving your vehicle’s handling, decreasing tire wear, reducing braking distance and bettering fuel economy.

Is my vehicle equipped with a Tire Pressure Monitoring System?

Your vehicle has TPMS if the "low tire pressure" warning light appears on your dash when the key is turned to the "on" position.

What should I do if my warning indicator comes on?

Check the air pressure in your tires and inflate any tire that is low (according to the manufacturer’s recommendation). When the tire is at the appropriate pressure, the indicator light should go off.

If necessary, replace the tire with your spare tire and visit your local Tires Plus store for needed repairs or replacement. They’ll check your vehicle’s tire pressure and perform a systems test on all of your tire sensors to diagnose the problem. Once our technicians address your vehicle’s tire needs, they’ll then suggest the proper maintenance to get you back on the road safely.

Why does tire maintenance with Direct TPMS cost more?

Direct TPMS equipped tires cost slightly more to maintain than non–equipped tires because proper care requires extra parts and labor. The valve service kit, which includes the valve core, cap, nut and o–ring (seal), must always be replaced when a tire is dismounted for service or replacement. A special TPMS tool and additional time are also needed to check and reset the sensor system.