Frequently Asked Questions
If you buy a new vehicle which has TPMS installed as standard, or decide to fit TPMS to your existing vehicle, bear in mind that the systems now form part of the standard MOT test. As such, a fault with your TPMS will result in an “advisory” for vehicles produced before 2012, while a newer vehicle will fail its MOT should the warning light be illuminated during the test.
How often do sensors require servicing?
All manufacturers recommend that TPMS sensors should be checked regularly and serviced every time a tyre is changed or the sensor is removed. As a general rule, sensors should last for approximately 7 years before the battery will need to be replaced. However, sensors can become faulty or fail completely as a result of weather damage, corrosion or accidental damage caused when changing tyres. To ensure the sensor remains in good condition, most manufacturers recommend servicing them (i.e. replacing the valve cap and core components) every time a tyre is changed.
Why is it important to service a sensor when it is removed from the wheel rim?
The components that provide a seal have a “memory” of where it was placed and the amount of clamping force. When the old seal is taken off the rim, it is deformed and will not properly reseal when retightened. The installation of a new service kit will provide the sealing components for each applicable sensor (Clamp-In or Snap-In).
Which parts of the sensor require replacement when servicing?
Components that require replacement when servicing sensors are highlighted below:
When fitting sensors, does the workshop need any specialist tools?
A calibrated Torque tool is required as TPMS valves are made of a softer metal (aluminium), which is susceptible to damage if the correct tool is not used.
When replacement sensors are fitted to your vehicle, your tyre fitter may need to program the new sensor to the car using specialist diagnostic equipment. If your TPMS sensor does develop a fault, under no circumstances should this be removed and replaced with a ‘standard’ non-TPMS type valve. Removing the sensor will not only reduce your safety on the road, but will also result in your car failing its MOT test.
Why do we have TPMS?
The EU introduced laws concerning TPMS in 2012, with the aim of increasing road safety on our roads, as well as to help combat global warming and lower CO2 emissions.
It is thought that only 4% of people drive with all four tyres properly inflated – however figures from the EU show that under-inflated tyres are a contributory factor in 9% of all fatal road accidents and 41% per cent of road accidents resulting in serious injuries.
The figures also estimate that worldwide, 20 million litres of fuel are burnt unnecessarily each year due to low tyre pressure, releasing two million tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere annually.