Hello, and welcome to episode 159 of the EPST podcast. I’m your host, Larry Snow.
The topic for this week’s episode is Cold Weather and Tire Pressures, Understanding the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). Click the play button below to listen to the podcast.
I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. Here we are at the beginning of December and only a few weeks until Christmas, the days are getting colder and the nights shorter. Colder weather can trigger a vehicle’s tire-pressure-monitoring system overnight, sending nervous drivers to dealers and service centers.
For example, about 20 customers visited a Chevrolet dealership because their tire-pressure-warning icons were illuminated. Here’s why a cold snap affects tire pressure and sets off the tire-pressure-monitoring system (TPMS) warning light.
What is TPMS?
At some point, almost everyone has seen the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) warning light appear on the dashboard. Its purpose is to warn you that at least one or more tires is significantly under-inflated, possibly creating unsafe driving conditions. The tire pressure readings are provided by pressure-sensing transmitters mounted inside each tire and sent to a central computer (ECU) for display on the dashboard.
Tire-pressure-monitoring systems have been required on new vehicles since 2007. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration requires the TPMS to display an alert when tire pressure drops 25 percent below the recommended psi. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 138 (FMVSS 138), requires original car manufacturers to equip all new vehicles with monitoring of tire pressure in all four tires.