A TPMS is a car feature that definitely helps minimise your risk of getting into road accidents. Chances are high that you’ve seen how useful it is, alerting you whenever your tire is underinflated or overinflated.
Now, how does the TPMS detect that your wheel’s air pressure level is off? It relies on the TPMS sensors in your tires.
What Are TPMS Sensors?
These are tiny devices designed to read the tire’s air pressure level. They are strategically mounted in the wheel, specifically the inner part of the rim.
These sensors transmit data to your vehicle’s computer system. Depending on the information that the devices gather, your TPMS warning light will turn on or stay off.
Aside from the air pressure level of your tires, the sensors transmit other types of data such as their unique sensor ID, temperature and battery life. But these capabilities are only limited to direct TPMS sensors as those used in indirect TPMS can only determine tire pressure levels.
To Spend or Not to Spend on Your TPMS Sensors?
Obviously, your TPMS cannot function without the sensors. So, if you want to use this safety device, then you’ll have to continue spending on your sensors.
What do we exactly mean by ‘spend on sensors’? Well, the sensors that came with your car won’t last forever. Over time, they will degrade which means that you’ll have to buy replacements. Also, it is not unusual for these devices to get damaged, and when they do, you’ll have to get new ones.
Another reason why you’ll need replacements is because of drained batteries. Like your TPMS sensors, the batteries have finite lives. When they are dead or dying, your TPMS will malfunction. To be more specific, the warning light will turn on even if the air pressure in your tires is within the recommended level.
The thing is that you cannot just simply buy a new battery for your TPMS sensor. Since it’s not detachable, you have to replace the sensor. In most cases, even if only one battery is dead or dying, the other sensors are replaced as well since their batteries may also be nearing the end of their service life.
Keeping Your TPMS Sensors Isn’t Cheap
Considering the length of their service life – 5 to 6 years, TPMS sensors are not that expensive. But keeping these devices is not cheap either considering the money that you’ll be spending on replacements over the years.
You also have to consider that you might need new ones earlier than expected, particularly when what you currently have gets damaged. Keep in mind, while they are built to be durable, sensors are not immune to damages, especially if they frequently get exposed to harsh driving conditions. So, if you always damage your sensors, then your expenses will be higher.
Aside from sensor replacements, you’ll also have to spend on TPMS programming and relearning. These are two crucial processes that need to be done each time you change your sensors. Many dealers charge hefty fees for these jobs.
Simply put, it can cost a lot of money to maintain your TPMS. But as they say, you can’t put a price tag on safety. So, if you can afford the maintenance expense, keep your TPMS. This is also a wise decision if you are not the type who diligently checks the pressure level of the tires.
On the other hand, if the cost is too much or if you’ve had enough of the TPMS malfunctions, consider bypassing your TPMS using an emulator. This is the proper way of ‘disabling’ your tire pressure monitoring system. It doesn’t require opening or making changes to your TPMS.
Moreover, it does not permanently make the device unusable. If you wish to use your TPMS again, all you have to do is to remove the emulator.
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