Tire Pressure Management System (TPMS) is an important vehicle security system in all cars driven in the United States. TPMS helps regulate air pressure in tires to avoid accidents, which occurred a lot more often before TPMS became a legal requirement.

What is TPMS?

TPMS is a web of interconnected sensors designed to be installed in your car. The system signals when your vehicle's tires or just one of them is over or under-inflated.

Like a fire alarm, it triggers a danger alert that warns you against a potential safety alert. An indicator on your dashboard flashes if one or more of your tires are under-inflated.

The indicator is in the shape of a horseshoe with an exclamation mark in the middle. It represents the cross-sectional view of your tire.

If you find the light on this symbol flashing, you should grab an air gauge and check the pressure in each of your tires. This measure could help you re-inflate the low-pressure tire. It can also help you decide if you want to buy another tire or re-install the old one after service.

Direct TPMS: How Does It Work?

This technology has special sensors installed within the tires. These sensors are connected to a central control module (CCM). If the CCM detects low air pressure in one or more tires, it prompts a stimulus. This stimulus, in turn, turns the indicator light on the dashboard on.

Since the warning is based on real-time data directly from the tires, experts consider it more accurate. Moreover, the batteries on which this system runs have an extraordinary life of up to ten years. But it might be daunting for some, as it takes a lot of time to get it re-installed after regular tire rotations or service.

Also, the sensors are sensitive, so if a sensor goes out of order or the battery runs out, it needs an immediate replacement.

Indirect TPMS: How Does It Work?

Unlike direct TPMS, which relies on specialized sensors, indirect TPMS uses the anti-lock brake systems & its wheel speed sensors. This system looks out for each tire's revolutions per minute (RPM).

The computer keeps the data regulated, and an anomaly in the RPM of any tire is signaled as a change in tire size. The system reads this change as an under-inflation of the tire, which prompts the dashboard indicator to blink.

In addition to being less costly, it's not as high-maintenance as direct TPMS. Because it relies on the tire size, it only requires getting the system re-programmed every time you fix the tire in any way.

When a TPMS Light Comes on and Then Goes Off?

Since colder temperatures can result in lower air pressure in tires, it can cause the system to turn on the indicator. But, once the car is driven for a while, the temperature rises, and the pressure. This can make the light go off.

However, if the light remains on even after the increase in temperature, then it’s probably action time for your air gauge.

When a TPMS Light Flashes and Stays On?

Sometimes, if your TPMS isn't working correctly, it can make the indicator light stay on every time you start your car. In such a case, get it checked immediately.

Remember! Don't rely upon TPMS too much. Make it a habit to make routine maintenance check-ups for both tires and TPMS.

Reviewed by Alex Ross

Content Editor, responsible for maintaining the quality and accuracy of the information presented on our blog.

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