How do tyre pressure sensors work?

Tuesday 21st January 2020

tyre pressure monitoring systems

Traditionally, checking your tyre pressure would be a manual activity usually without prompt that car owners would do monthly, or before long journeys. However, nowadays, there are many modern vehicles that are fitted with tyre pressure monitoring systems (TPMS). But how do tyre pressure sensors work?

What is a tyre pressure monitoring system?

A TMPS is an electronic system which is fitted in your vehicle, intended to monitor the air pressure in your tyres. A tyre pressure monitoring system will alert you if your tyre pressure is under the legal requirement, and that you need to take action.

So, how do tyre pressure sensors work?

There are two types of tyre pressure indicators which both work in different ways to identify if you have a problem with your tyres’ pressure:

  • Direct TMPS: this uses sensors that are mounted within the tyre to measure the tyre pressure levels. A warning will light up on the dashboard if your tyre pressure drops below a pre-set level.
  • Indirect TMPS: this incorporates the anti-lock braking system function to detect wheels which may be rotating at different speeds. Based on the rate of revolution of each wheel, the onboard computer can then interpret the relative size of the tyres on your vehicle. When a wheel spins faster than expected, the onboard computer calculates that the tyre is underinflated and alerts the driver accordingly.

Once you have received a warning on the dashboard from your TMPS about your tyre pressure being too low, you will need to manually check your tyres, and inflate any that require inflation. Once you have rectified the low-pressure issue in your tyres, the warning light should disappear. Unsure how to put air in your tyres? Our detailed guide will provide you with everything you need to know.

However, if you’re receiving continuous warnings from your TMPS that your tyre pressure is too low, it could indicate a slow puncture. Instead of inflating your tyres, this may mean you need to replace your tyre with a new car tyre. Find your local Formula One Autocentre branch today for a full diagnosis and support.

Now you know how tyre pressure sensors work, learn more about why tyre pressure is so important to your vehicle’s safety, and calculate your recommended tyre pressure online. Need more information? Our expert team are always on hand to help.

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