My car is fitted with a tyre pressure monitoring system. It often shows some minor disparity in pressure. How crucial is it for me to get each and every tyre inflated to the exact, same pressure?
A tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) is a useful feature that will warn of a slow leak, or uneven wear due to defective wheel alignment, which is detected through a change in overall diameter of the tyre.
Whenever you notice a mild variation in the figures displayed, it would be prudent to observe if the trend continues and whether it is one particular tyre. While a 5 percent difference is not critical, bigger variations should be checked without delay.
Keeping all four tyres to their specified pressure is a routine that should not be neglected.
There are no rules as to how often you should check tyre pressure, but make it a routine to do it at least once a month if your car does not have an in-built monitoring system.
As drivers, we should know the danger of tyre air leaks, which can destroy the tyre/wheel or lead to a dangerous blowout. Under-inflation is less of a danger, but it’s a money waster in terms of fuel consumption and premature tyre wear.
Aftermarket tyre pressure monitoring systems use pressure sensors mounted to the tyre valve stems where you pump the air in. Said sensors have self-contained batteries of the CR2032 “button” type and last for two to three years. These systems could be bought online, and installed in just minutes by someone with no special training.
Another category of aftermarket TPMS uses in-tyre/wheel sensors, but it lies beyond the scope of a DIY kit.
Typical TPMS sensors need to be removed in order to pump air into the relevant tyre, which can be a pain if the wheel lock nut is affixed. Thankfully, a good and intact tyre doesn’t needed refilling that often.