How Does The Tire Pressure Sensor Work On A Car

There’s a lot that can affect or damage your tires’ ability to maintain pressure. Fortunately, many modern cars have inbuilt sensors that inform you of real time problems, if any. Your car’s Tire Pressure Monitor System, as with many of its other safety and driver-assistance features, relies on specialized sensors.

In this article, we will be sharing why tire pressure monitoring systems are so relevant in modern cars, how they work and other details.

What is a Tire Pressure Sensor?

The Tire Pressure Sensor is an electronic system in your vehicle that monitors your tire air pressure and alerts you when it falls dangerously low. By helping you maintain proper tire pressure, it helps to  increase your safety on the road by improving your vehicle’s handling, battery fuel economy, decreasing tire wear, and reducing braking distance.

How Does the Tire Pressure Monitoring System Work?

There are two different types of systems being used today:

Direct TPMS: The direct TPMS uses a sensor mounted in the wheel to measure air pressure in each tire  – not just wheel revolution data from the anti-lock brake system.

When air pressure drops below the 25% manufacturer’s recommended level, the sensor transmits that information to your car’s computer system where it is analyzed and interpreted. If the pressure is lower than it should be, it transmits it to your dashboard and triggers your dashboard indicator light. All this data is transferred wirelessly.

Each sensor has a unique serial number, which helps to distinguish itself from other systems on other vehicles.

Indirect TPMS: The indirect TPMS works with your car’s ABS wheel speed sensors. The sensors measure the rate of revolution each wheel is making. It can be used by on-board computer systems to compare with each other and to other vehicle operation data such as speed.

When a wheel starts spinning faster than expected, the computer calculates that the tire is underinflated and alerts the driver accordingly. An indirect tire pressure monitor simply measures how fast your tires are rotating. It then sends signals to the computer that triggers the indicator light when something in the rotation is wrong.

If the tire pressure is low, it will roll at a different wheel speed than the other tires. This information is detected by your car’s computer system, which triggers the dashboard indicator light.

What Should I Do If My Warning Indicator Comes On?

If your warning indicator comes on, check the air pressures of your tires and inflate any low tire. The indicator light goes off when the tire is at the right pressure.

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

How much does it cost to replace a tire pressure sensor?

On average, getting a sensor will cost between $30 to $75 and labor will cost about $10 to $35. So, the average cost of replacing a tire pressure sensor will be between $40 t0 $100.

Is my vehicle equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system?

Your vehicle has a tire pressure monitoring system if your dash displays a low tire pressure warning light when the key is turned to the on position.

Why does tire maintenance with direct TPM cost more?

Direct TPMS equipped tires cost slightly more to maintain than non–equipped tires because  their proper care requires extra parts and labor. The valve service kit must be replaced when serviced, thus adding to the total cost.

Where are tire pressure sensors located?

Tire pressure sensor is located inside the tire attachment to the inner part of the rim. If you detach the tire from the rim, you’ll find a small cylinder, which is the tire pressure sensor.

How are tire pressure sensors powered?

The tire pressure sensor is powered by a battery with limited operating life. And since it’s mounted inside the tire, it is difficult for the driver to check the power sensor battery.

Wrap Up!

Proper tire pressure inflations optimize the tire’s surface contact throughout its performance. So, ensure your TPMS system receives regular maintenance if you want it to perform in a proper manner. It will also enhance the overall optimal performance of your vehicle.

John D. Archer