If you have an older vehicle you may not be as familiar with TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitor System) as newer vehicles. Some may think that it is just another system and more electronics, but it can be a valuable addition.
Continuing our Tire Safety week articles TPMS was next on our list. We reached out to Todd Bergeson of Toyo Tires to find out some common misconceptions about TPMS and how it can be beneficial.
What are some misconceptions about TPMS?
Todd Bergeson: The most common misconception regarding TPMS is that as long as the TPMS malfunction indicator lamp is off, the tires are properly inflated. This is not always the case. The TPMS systems are only required to provide a warning when the pressure is significantly below the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended inflation pressure. Having TPMS on your vehicle is not a replacement for regular inflation pressure checks.
The TPMS systems are only required to provide a warning when the pressure is significantly below the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended inflation pressure. Having TPMS on your vehicle is not a replacement for regular inflation pressure checks.
Another common misconception is that it is better to overinflate the tires slightly since the tires will continue to lose pressure every month. You should never overinflate your tires. Instead, inflate your tires to the pressures provided on your vehicle’s tire pressure placard when cold. Additionally, you should check your tire pressures at least once per month and correct the pressures as necessary.
Another question we receive every now and again is”My TPMS system provides a readout of actual tire pressures on my dash. After I set the tire pressure to placard recommendations and set out on a drive the pressure increases, sometimes coming close to the max pressure of the tire. Is it safe to drive at near the max PSI?”
The answer is twofold; the “max psi” as indicated on the tire’s sidewall is in no way related to “burst pressure.” The max pressure and max load numbers indicate the pressure at which the tire will carry the maximum amount of weight. As long as you set your tire pressures to the placard requirements, the effects of heat or altitude change will not increase your pressure to an unsafe level.
What should you look for when selecting new tires and having TPMS?
TB: Regardless if your vehicle is equipped with TPMS, your replacement tires must meet or exceed the load rating of your original equipment tires. Installing a tire with a lower load rating will result in an overloaded and unsafe condition.
Toyo offers popular flotation sized tires in the Open Country lineup in F-load range, which were designed to carry a higher load at up to 80 PSI. These tires allow for 3/4-ton and 1-ton trucks to inflate to the placard pressures, so these tires have the ability to carry the full load capacity.
Does TPMS inhibit you from selecting certain tires?
TB: The theory behind TPMS is to provide drivers with a warning system to alert them when their tires are significantly underinflated. The TPMS system itself does not inhibit you from selecting tires. Your vehicle’s tire placard will inhibit you from selecting certain tires.
The placard not only provides required pressures, but it also tells you what size, load, and speed rating are needed for your vehicle. When selecting replacement tires, it is imperative that your new tire meets or exceed the placard requirements for load.
Once again, the F-load range tires offered by Toyo, offers the ability to meet or exceed the load requirements and has a max psi rating of 80 psi. These F-load tires are ideal for your heavy-duty 3/4 and 1-ton pickups.
What else is important about being safe on the road?
TB: When it comes to being safe on the road, your vehicle’s maintenance is a key factor. A good practice to work into your normal routine is to check your tire pressures at least once per month. While you are checking the tire pressures, it is a good time to also do a quick visual inspection and look for anything out of the ordinary.
If you simply don’t or won’t inspect your tires yourself, take your vehicle to a professional and have the pressures checked at least once per month. Many tire stores and dealerships will even offer this service for free.
For more tire care and safety tips, visit Toyo Tire’s website, and stay tuned for more tire safety tips all week long!