What is my Tire Pressure Monitor All About?

Vehicle problems always come at the most inopportune times. When you’re commuting to work, on a road trip, or just running behind getting the kids in the car on the way to school. That’s when you find the oil leak, the car won’t start, or you have a flat tire. And that’s precisely why tire pressure monitor systems were developed. You’re probably aware that your Acura has a tire pressure monitoring system, or TPMS for short. You know that it keeps track of your tire pressure for you, but do you know how it works? Do you know what the indicator means? Take comfort — most people don’t.

What a Tire Pressure Monitor System Does

In the most basic form, the TPM system tells you when your tire pressure is low so you can avoid driving on a flat tire. It may come on while you’re driving or when you’ve just started your car. That’s how it works though — it performs real-time monitoring.

How It Works

Each tire has a sensor inside it attached to the valve stem. The sensor detects your tire pressure and transmits the information via radio frequency identification (RFID) to a module inside your Acura. It compares the values from each tire against a programmed value that the pressure should be at. If the pressure is very different from the set parameters, the computer turns on your tire pressure monitor light and gives you a warning on your dash.

How Do I Know Which Tire is Low?

Most vehicles now use direct TPMS systems, identifying on your dash which tire is low, and probably even the tire pressure. A few models still use indirect TPMS systems, only indicating when a tire is low but not telling you which one. Whether your system tells you which tire is low or not, it’s prudent to actually check your tire pressures with a pressure gauge whenever you get a TPMS warning. If you have a leaking or flat tire that needs to be repaired or replaced, or if you have more questions about how your Acura’s Tire Pressure Monitoring System works, call or drop in at Jay Wolfe Acura. We’re always here to help!