Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS)
Many new vehicles sold in Canada now are equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). Some older vehicles also have TPMS systems. There are also some after market systems available. TPMS systems indicate to the driver when tire inflation pressure is low. There are various types of systems and the degree of sensitivity varies greatly among them. Many TPMS systems indicate low tire inflation pressure with a dashboard light only when the tire is critically underinflated. When this warning light is activated, immediate action should be taken to readjust the tires to the vehicle's tire information placard recommended pressure and it is strongly recommended to have the affected tire inspected by a qualified tire specialist for any damage. It is important to understand the limitations of TPMS systems and that they do NOT replace the need for regular tire maintenance procedures. Many TPMS systems do not indicate variances in tire pressure which could have significant negative impacts. Tire pressure should be measured and monitored monthly by using a good quality tire gauge. Motorists should understand the TPMS system used on their vehicle, including its range of operation and limitations. The vehicle owner's manual will provide this information. Tires should be operated at the vehicle manufacturer's recommended inflation pressure to achieve maximum safety and optimal handling, braking performance and fuel economy.