Nuisance or safety standard? Everything about tyre pressure monitoring systems
TPMS - Two systems, same task
Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) … control the status of tyre pressure on a car automatically.
Not only do these systems improve your driving safety by reducing the chances of accidents caused by tyre pressure losses, but their use might also reflect on fuel mileage as well. Since a pressure loss can be detected much more promptly, the tyres can be serviced accordingly to have them always working at the proper pressure. This means an optimised fuel consumption, which is obviously good for your wallet but most importantly for the environment.
Tyre pressure monitoring systems are generally divided into two categories, which are respectively known as direct (active) and indirect (passive) depending on their mode of operation.
The ABS and traction sensors installed on the vehicle monitor the rotational speed of the wheels. If one of the tyres loses pressure, the affected wheel starts rotating at a higher speed than it would normally do with properly inflated tyres. The system detects this difference and informs the driver accordingly.
An indirect system is a simple and affordable alternative, since no extra TPMS sensors are required. Such a system is particularly convenient whenever a wheel change is in order.
ATTENTION: an indirect system is unable to measure tyre pressure or temperature, as it can only detect variations in the rotational speed of the wheels - therefore, it can exclusively function if the vehicle is in motion.
A direct TPMS offers a much more advanced and reliable type of monitoring, although it generally involves a higher degree of costs and maintenance as well
The system functions via special sensors which have to be regularly serviced and eventually replaced.
Direct systems gather detailed real-time information about the values of pressure and temperature in each single tyre. In addition to that, they can automatically identify the current tyre positions, as well as detect losses of tyre pressure even when the vehicle is not in motion and monitor the pressure of the tyre on the spare wheel.
This information is transmitted wirelessly from the sensors to the electronic control unit of the vehicle
Depending on factory specifics and vehicle model, there are generally two different types of TPMS indicator: in one, the TPMS light simply signals a loss of pressure without specifying the position of the tyre (as it would in an indirect system), in the other, detailed information about each single wheel and its tyre pressure is shown on the trip computer.
In order to ensure reliable communication between sensors and electronic control unit, the sensors have to be reactivated each time a wheel is mounted to another position, as well as when tyres or the complete set of wheels have been changed or new sensors have been installed.
Sensors can be programmed via a dedicated device in all authorised shops carrying the proper equipment, though our sensors are already programmed before being installed on the wheels.
If your vehicle has a direct TPMS (and has a first registration date from November 2014), all the tyre sets it can mount (summer/winter) are required to have functioning sensors.
Advantages with a TPMS
Improved driving safety thanks to the prevention of the risks caused by an incorrect tyre pressure
Better fuel efficiency with the right tyre pressure
Increased tyre mileage
No more manual checking of the tyre pressure
Information and advice
All vehicles for which a TPMS is compulsory (with a first registration date from November 2014) are equipped ex-factory with either a direct or an indirect system, in accordance with the regulations in force. If a TPMS if not part of the standard equipment of your vehicle, you are under no obligation to have one installed at a later time.
The use of TPMS sensors requires specific technical knowledge and is an important safety matter. If you purchase a wheel-and-tyre package on our website, we will program the sensors accordingly before starting the fitting process. Once you have received your wheels, the TPMS sensors only need to be activated. You can also have a local trusted shop handle the processes related to installation, programming and activation of the TPMS sensors, if you prefer.
Direct systems require vehicle-specific software in order to function properly, which is made available by the respective sensor manufacturer. Each TPMS sensor is assigned its own ID code which has to be activated via the electronic control unit on the vehicle, although it can also be copied from a set of previously installed sensors. Some vehicles are able to identify and activate new TPMS sensors automatically, in any case, it is of capital importance that a reliable connection is established between sensors and electronic control unit.
The battery level of the installed TPMS sensors is to be checked by professional staff each time the wheels are changed. All TPMS sensors on our shop come with a guaranteed battery-life of 2 years or max. 50 000 km.
Type of system
If your vehicle is equipped with a TPMS, it is important to find out which type of system has been installed. You can learn how to do this by reading here.
Regular maintenance and, if necessary, the replacement of the valves or of their gaskets each time the wheels are changed help protect the TPMS sensors from premature wear and potential failures.
Since the 20th of May 2018, A faulty or malfunctioning tyre pressure monitoring system is regarded as a significant shortcoming if detected during a car inspection. This kind of issue generally leads to an inspection failure, which will prevent your registration from being renewed and oblige you to schedule another inspection for your vehicle, though in this case giving you a much more limited period of time to have the problem fixed.
The standard TPMS light normally has three kinds of status:
The TPMS light is off: the system works properly.
The TPMS light is blinking: system error, e-g. one or more sensors cannot be identified. In this case, the vehicle should be checked by professional staff as soon as possible.
The TPMS light is on: the current tyre pressure does not match the standard values. In this case as well, the vehicle should be checked by professional staff, the wheels and the TPMS especially (you might consider contacting an authorised breakdown service provider if you are en route). Depending on the actual circumstances, driving safety might no longer be guaranteed.
If your vehicle has an indirect system there is nothing to worry about, as mounting a new set of wheels will have no consequence on that type of TPMS. If it is a direct system instead, it is required for the new wheels to have a set of suitable TPMS sensors installed. We also recommend you consider the requirements which may be contained in the type approval certificate for your new wheels. Our service includes the fitting of the wheels and the programming of the TPMS sensors.
Since the 1st of November 2012 Since the 1st of November 2012, all newly type-approved vehicles in the EU are required to be equipped with a tyre pressure monitoring system.
On the 1st of November 2014 On the 1st of November 2014, the new EU regulation regarding tyre pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) for newly type-approved vehicles came into effect. However, the EU regulation ECE-RC4 does not specify which kind of tyre pressure monitoring system is necessary. This means that indirect and direct systems equally satisfy the requirements in effect. Similarly, both OEM and aftermarket TPMS sensors are allowed, provided that they have been properly installed and are fully functioning.
Since the 20th of May 2018 A faulty or malfunctioning tyre pressure monitoring system is regarded as a significant shortcoming if detected during a car inspection. This kind of issue generally leads to an inspection failure, which will prevent your registration from being renewed and oblige you to schedule another inspection for your vehicle, though in this case giving you a much more limited period of time to have the problem fixed.
Order with confidence: TPMS at wheeloutlet
Are TPMS sensors included in the price? Yes, they are. If you own a vehicle with direct TPMS and place an order of complete wheels, TPMS sensors are already part of the package. For orders containing alloy rims only, TPMS sensors can be added to the shopping basket as an extra product.
Are TPMS sensors delivered as already installed and pre-configured? Orders of complete wheels include the installation and programming of the TPMS sensors, they only need to be activated once the wheels have been mounted on your vehicle. Detailed information related to the sensor activation procedure is contained in the vehicle's manual.
Question: which system is my vehicle equipped with? If it is not possible for our system to determine the kind of TPMS installed on your vehicle with the information provided, we will obviously take no unnecessary risks and ask you directly. If, on the contrary, our system establishes that your vehicle has direct TPMS, a set of suitable sensors will automatically be included in your wheel-and-tyre package.
Which sensors are the right ones? All the TPMS sensors shown in the shopping basket are suitable for your vehicle and are usually available in different colours and from different brands. On our shop you can find OEM replacement sensors as well as universal ones.
Configuration for your vehicle