Your newer car or light truck may be equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). This technology has been used by race cars for years but has made its way into everyday vehicles only fairly recently. Race crews can head off problems from underinflation by closely monitoring tire pressure on the track.
Flats, blowouts, skids, and longer stopping distances can all be the result of under-inflated tires. It’s hard to tell when a radial tire is under-inflated because it may not look low until it gets below 20 lbs. – which is very significantly deflated.
TMPS systems don’t come free. U.S. government studies have estimated the net costs of the TPMS system itself, maintaining the system, replacement of worn or broken parts, and cost increases. The costs are partially offset by savings in fuel and tire wear. Drivers also save on property damage and travel delay. The net cost is estimated to be between $27 and $100.
The government predicts that TMPS systems will prevent fatal accidents. They estimate that it will cost between 3 and 9 million dollars for every life saved. This new safety equipment will help you avoid the most common vehicle failure, and possibly a catastrophic accident.
For more information, contact your local NAPA AutoCare Center.