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A Complete Guide to Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems – Matrack Insights

image showing a tire pressure monitoring system

Underinflated tires release more than 300 billion pounds of carbon monoxide every year. It is harmful to the environment and we should do our part to control it. 

Maintenance of underinflated tires significantly reduces emissions and improves fuel economy. Overall, there is a decrease in operational costs when tires have optimum pressure.

But how are you supposed to monitor it? You should use tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) for this purpose. It helps prevent dangerous blowouts, improves vehicle handling and stability, and even shortens stopping distances in emergencies. 

In this blog, we will provide a comprehensive and detailed guide as to how TPMS works, what are its benefits, and how to utilize it to its maximum potential.

What is a Tire Pressure Monitoring System?

TPMS is an electronic device that uses sensors to determine air pressure in the tires. It is compatible with various vehicles, such as trucks, passenger cars, public buses, and more. These sensors use lights, gauges, or pictures to alert the driver if the pressure reaches a dangerous level. This real-time alert system urges the driver to promptly address the issue at hand. Ultimately, it results in fewer accidents and improves overall safety significantly.

How Does Tire Pressure Monitoring System Work?

A Tire Pressure Monitoring System has sensors usually placed inside the tire, sending data to modules in the vehicle. These modules come pre-set with a specific tire pressure range which notifies you if any tire goes beyond that. Some systems may identify issues like temperature deviations, leaks, or cross-axle faults. 

There are two main kinds of tire pressure monitoring systems. Let’s talk about them in detail.

Direct TPMS

Direct TPMS gauges tire pressure with waterproof hardware sensors in each tire or on the valve stem. Each wheel has a battery-powered pressure sensor sending pressure data to a central control unit. 

This unit then relays about high or low tire pressure and temperature to the vehicle’s information system. Sensors may be on the valve stem or in the wheel hub. 

Indirect TPMS

Indirect TPMS determines air pressure using software-based systems instead of physical sensors. The software might use existing vehicle sensors, such as wheel speed sensors or accelerometers. 

In this type of TPMS, the antilock braking system is utilized to monitor air pressure. The ABS calculates tire pressure information by measuring the variance in the diameter of each tire.

When choosing a TPMS tracking solution, look for one that can work with either sensor type to provide flexibility.

Benefits of Using TPMS

Do you know that the US government has mandated the implementation of a TPMS in your vehicle? 

Now that we know the basics, let’s have a quick look at some of the many features TPMS provides:

1. Improved fuel economy

Trust us when we reiterate that tire pressure significantly influences your vehicle’s fuel economy. Keeping the correct is vital for saving gas.  Insufficient air in the tires leads to increased rolling resistance, forcing the engine to exert more effort to propel the vehicle forward, which escalates fuel usage. When the tires don’t have enough air, they create more resistance when rolling. Because of underinflated tires, your vehicle’s fuel efficiency takes a hit. 

To fix it, you should use a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). If the air pressure gets too low, the TPMS automatically sends out alerts. These quick notifications help you take fast action.

2. Extended life of the tire

Every fleet management would agree on the importance of having lower operational costs. Thus, having tires with extended life does wonders for them. 

Fixing a flat tire costs a fleet a lot, considering the time the driver and vehicle are not working and the money spent on a new tire. This cost might be even higher for big vehicles like trailers and tractors. 

The cost of tire maintenance adds a lot to the overall budget for the maintenance of fleets. Tires without enough air are a big reason for problems like cracking, parts coming apart, or the tire bursting. Even if a tire is just 20% under-inflated, its lifespan can drop by 30%.

On the other hand, if your tires have too much air, they might be more likely to get damaged by things like debris or potholes. 

Therefore, with your tires at the correct air pressure, you can avoid problems on the road and extend their longevity.

3. Environment-friendly

Referring back to the first sentence of this blog, we know that underinflated tires are responsible for releasing over 300 billion pounds of carbon monoxide. This fact alone provides a compelling reason to monitor tire pressure diligently. 

Why is it important? Maintaining proper tire pressure diminishes the release of harmful pollutants. Consequently, by ensuring your tires are inflated correctly, you’re contributing to a healthier environment and improving safety for other drivers on the road.

4. Improves overall safety

Tires that are either under-inflated or over-inflated can lead to tread separation and tire failure, significantly increasing the risk of accidents and impacting road safety.

Hence, maintaining the proper tire pressure ensures the vehicle remains stable and brakes efficiently. Adequately inflated tires offer better traction, reducing the likelihood of skidding or losing control, thereby enhancing safety for the driver and all road users. 

What Are the Risks Associated with Ignoring the TPMS Sensor?

Disregarding your TPMS sensor is not just an oversight; it’s an invitation to risk for you and your vehicle. Remember, the TPMS is your frontline defense, alerting you to shifts in tire pressure that could lead to accidents or breakdowns. Neglecting these alerts can lead to under-inflated tires, setting off a chain of unfavorable outcomes: 

  • increased resistance, 
  • diminished fuel efficiency, and 
  • a heightened risk of tire blowouts. 

Moreover, constant ignorance of TPMS alerts can cause uneven tire wear, adversely affecting your vehicle’s handling. Hence, it’s imperative to notice and act on TPMS warnings. Regular attention and corrective measures for these alerts ensure your tires remain in prime condition, safeguard your safety, and enhance your driving experience.

How to Respond to TPMS Alerts?

Getting a TMPS is not enough; your work begins when the system generates an alert. It is when you must dive deep to reach the root cause of the alert and fix the problem. 

Here are a few things you can do:

  • No matter how well-maintained your truck is, always be ready to see and alert. If you receive it while driving, stop, park your vehicle on the side of the road, and then take a thorough look at the alert.
  • Once you check the validity of the alert, it is time for a visual inspection of the tires. Use a tire gauge to check and adjust the air pressure, if necessary. While you tend to the tires, remove debris or foreign objects if visible. This small step will often help resolve the issue.
  • If the alert is still on, consider resetting the TPMS system, as there might be an error. 
  • Seek professional assistance if issues persist.

Regular and active responses to TPMS alerts contribute to a safer and more efficient driving experience.

Opt for Matrack Fleet Management Solutions To Stay Worry-free

Do you know what is a convenient solution to schedule maintenance and monitor your fleet? It’s Matrack fleet management software. How? Keep reading to find out.

With Matrack Trailer and asset tracker, you can schedule timely maintenance of your CMV using our Maintenance monitor. Moreover, using our fleet management system helps you monitor the safety of your vehicle. The software will instantly notify you if our dash cam predicts a possible collision. Also, the fuel card lets you keep track of your fuel consumption which significantly lowers your operational costs. 

With such easy-to-use features and quick real-time alerts, your focus stays on the road and expansion of the business, not on worrisome concerns like maintenance and stealing or keeping track of routine checkups.

Invest in Matrack products now to experience the best fleet management at a nominal cost. Your safety is our priority, and we work hard to achieve just that.

Bottom Line

Now you know how to avoid accidents and ensure maximum safety for yourself or your loved ones. Make it a habit to monitor the TPMS alerts and take prompt actions to secure the vehicle to the fullest. 

Unmaintained tires cause severe problems for your fleet. They are the third-highest cost. If you don’t keep an eye on them, they may hurt your company’s financials a lot.

We hope that these Matrack Insights helped you attain the right knowledge needed to maintain your fleet correctly. Contact Matrack to order our fleet solutions and safeguard your fleets correctly.

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