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Can You Rely On Your Tyre Pressure Monitoring System?

Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) found in modern cars cannot always be relied on to display accurate readings, vehicle diagnostic experts, OBDeleven, can reveal.

Motorists uncovered over 50,000 issues with a vehicle’s TPMS during a three-month period of last year alone, by using OBDeleven’s pocket-sized diagnostic tool.

This comes in the wake of concerning Department for Transport (DfT) statistics revealing that a staggering one-in-four (25 per cent) of road accidents were caused by poorly maintained or defective tyres, where a vehicle fault was cited as a contributing factor.

A TPMS, which is mandatory on all new cars, consists of small electric sensors fitted to each wheel of the vehicle to monitor tyre pressure and feeds this data back to the car. Should one, or more, tyres see a change in air pressure, the system will show a yellow warning light on the dashboard to alert the driver.

But OBDeleven warns that this system can often fail, and batteries in the wheel-mounted sensors can run out. In such cases, drivers will be unaware that their tyres are not inflated to appropriate levels – unless they take the initiative to physically check them.

According to The Highway Code, drivers should check their tyre pressure weekly, and it is also recommended that these checks are conducted more regularly in winter months, as tyre pressure is likely to drop during cold snaps.

Juozapas Preikša, vehicle diagnostic specialist at OBDeleven, commented: “While the widespread adoption of TPMS in modern cars has been a positive safety development, they should not completely replace traditional tyre pressure checks recommended by the Highway Code. Where possible, drivers should also use a diagnostic tool, which will inform them when their monitoring system may be faulty, giving them extra security in knowing their tyres are, safe.”

Karl Naylor, commercial director at Yokohama Tyres added: “Yokohama Tyres supports OBDeleven’s call urging drivers to make appropriate tyre checks. As the critical connection between your vehicle and the road, maintaining optimal tyre conditions is paramount not only for peak performance, precise handling, and effective braking, but also for adherence to legal standards.”