Ensuring that your vehicle tires are fully inflated at all times will help prevent accidents, save fuel and help your tires last longer. Good tire pressure improves tire traction, thus giving the driver more control over the vehicle. This is especially important in unexpected driving and weather conditions. Tires that are completely inflated allow the vehicle to use less fuel because they require less effort to move on the road. Also, properly inflated tires will wear out at a much slower rate due to the decreased friction and will withstand changes in weather better than tires with low pressure.
Since, checking tire pressure is an easily forgotten task, most vehicles now have a tire pressure monitoring system built into the vehicle as an additional safety measure. All vehicles manufactured after September 1, 2007 have a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). It is likely that your vehicle has a tire pressure monitoring system making it necessary for you to know the essential parts of this system and how to take care of them. Drivers who do not have this system pre-installed may purchase a tire pressure monitor and sensors. In which case, knowledge of tire pressure sensors quality and replacement is essential.
The tire pressure monitoring system keeps track of the air pressure in your tires and warns you when the air pressure falls under proper levels. This information is on a separate display in the digital dashboard. This display lets the driver know exactly which tire needs to be inflated. The information comes from the sensors in the tires.
Tire pressure sensors are small devices that work with a built-in lithium ion battery. One sensor is mounted to each tire rim on the inside with screws, glue, or built into the valve stem, where the air is pumped to inflate the tire. A sensor’s battery life can extend from around five to ten years.
There are many different styles to choose from just as there are different styles of tire rims. Each sensor sends air pressure readings to a tire pressure monitor, which can be purchased or might be already installed in the vehicle’s dashboard, or a tire pressure gauge.
Sensors have to be replaced if you change the tires or if they begin to give faulty readings for whatever reason, like running low on batteries. The replacement sensors have to be reprogrammed into the tire pressure system, so the monitor can accurately tell you which tire needs more air. It is important to reprogram new sensors into the system whether change one or all of the tires or just rotate them. There are now universal tire pressure sensors that can be used as replacements for various kinds of sensors.