Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS): A close look

Tim Miller

The purpose of TPMS is to consistently check the pressure in all tires and ensure that none is either under-inflated or overinflated.

But what is it, and why does a car need it?

Check it out.

Bonus: TPMS Light On: Why? What to Do?

What is (TPMS)?

TPMS is short for Tire Pressure Monitoring System. It follows that a TPMS light is a dashboard indicator that tells you when there’s a problem with the air pressure in one or more of your car’s tires. You’ve probably seen the light; it takes a horseshoe shape that has an exclamation sign in the center.

When a tire is underinflated (tire pressure is low), more of its surface area touches the road. As a result, friction between the tire and the road increases, accelerating the rate at which the tire wears out. The increased friction is responsible for such issues as tread separation, blowouts, and ultimately premature wear.

On the other hand, an overinflated tire has lower traction with the road. Consequently, its inner treads, particularly at the center, wear out prematurely. The rate of wear increases significantly when you’re driving on a rough road or through potholes.

Besides tires wearing out prematurely, improper inflation makes vehicle handling harder. It also affects the fuel efficiency of the engine. The car will use more fuel for less mileage than when the tires are properly inflated.

Tire Pressure Monitoring System

Types of TPMS

two types of TPMS
There are two types of TPMS. These are direct and indirect.

The Direct TPMS

Direct TPMS has special sensors within the tires that are pressure sensitive. They monitor the exact pressure in the tires. Also, these types of sensors go a little further by providing readings of the tire temperature.

According to the tires’ situation, all the data are collected and transmitted to the dashboard, where the indicating lights will inform you of the tires’ condition.

Each sensor in each tire has a unique number to enable the driver to know exactly which tire has a problem.

However, replacing this type of TPMS might be complicated due to its complex system. I am a highly experienced technician with the knowledge that this type of system would be required to handle such a highly complex system.

The Indirect TPMS

The indirect TPMS depends on the sensors on the wheel speed used by the anti-lock brake system. These sensors compare the vehicle’s speed to each wheel’s revolution by using an onboard computer system.

The computer can interpret all sizes of the vehicle’s tires by the rate of their revolution. When the wheel spins faster than usual, then the computer reports the tire to be under-inflated. A message is then delivered to the driver by an indicating light. The indirect TPMS does not measure the tire pressure, but it measures the tire revolution.

direct TPMS vs. indirect TPMS
What are the differences between direct TPMS and indirect TPMS?

Bonus: The Honest Review of the Best TPMS Tools

Benefits of TPMS


Under-inflated tires can cause danger while driving on them. The TPMS will always warn you when there is low pressure on the tire. Once you realize this, change your tire immediately and in the next tire maintenance shop, let it be checked and repaired.

Being conscious and attentive to the systems, you will always be assured of safety on the road.

Fuel Saving

A lot of fuel than usual can be used when driving on the under-inflated tire. An under-inflated tire does not have stability. It can make the vehicle drag at a low speed using a high gear and thereby consume more fuel. Proper tire pressure will save you on fuel consumption.

A lot of fuel than normal can be used when driving on the under-inflated tire.


Before TPMS, drivers had to stop at fuel stations to measure their tire pressures. Bending on each tire and all the processes of checking pressure were time-consuming and tiresome.

With TPMS, you only have to stop when you notice an under-inflated tire and that you need to change it. Otherwise, it is smooth driving without tire hustles.


With TPMS, insurance companies are sure that the chances of accidents are low. As we said, a tire problem can cause many accidents. In this case, the insurance will allocate you a better and low insurance policy that if you did not have a TPMS.

benefits of TPMS
Four benefits that a TPMS brings to users

Vehicle Value

Most of the new vehicles come with TPMS already installed by the car dealers. With this system, the dealers can sell the cars a little higher than the average price. The reason is TPMS. TPMS Maintenance Issues Passive Regeneration.

Maintenance of the Tire pressure monitoring system is essential. It is vital to be assured that your system is in good working condition. Whenever changing your tire, you should take some precautions to not interfere with the tire pressure monitoring system.

If it was accidentally hit by the pry bar for some reason, it is always advisable to have it checked and maintained. When driving, the driver is cautioned to keep an eye on the blinking light of the sensor. This is because every blink is a message.

The Bottom Line

Without TPMS in your tire, then it means you do not care about your life. The government should at least put strict measures on having all vehicles installed with TPMS. By so doing, then accidents on our roads would reduce.

Read more: 3.73 vs. 4.10: Which gear ratio should I choose?

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