You’ve probably seen a yellow signal pop up on your dashboard, alerting you to check your tire’s pressure. You’ve also wondered about it, trying to figure out how your car achieves such a feat, right? Well, it’s all done by the magic of technology, specifically by a gadget known as the TPMS, which we’ll be discussing in-depth below.
What is it?
TPMS, also known as a tyre pressure monitoring system is an advanced piece of technology, monitoring the tires of vehicles, consequently, evaluating the air pressure inside of them. It informs the driver if there is a pressure difference in any of the tires, comparing it against the level needed.
The air pressure inside of a tire is important for the smoothness of the drive, affecting the safety of whoever is behind the wheel. If the tire is underinflated, the journey will be very bumpy, possibly causing the driver to find himself in an accident. And, if the tire is overinflated, it may explode, which is very dangerous if it were to happen mid-drive.
As mentioned, the system monitors the pressure inside of the tires, comparing it to a set level that is unique for each vehicle type. The driver is only alerted if the pressure inside of a tire is very different from the predetermined value, allowing for an acceptable range above and below it. If you’re wondering how the driver is alerted, it is through a signal on the dashboard of the vehicle-it is a yellow horseshoe with an exclamation mark above it. This is standard for vehicles, becoming the universal signal for drivers to check their air pressure.
Now that we’ve discussed how the TPMS works, let’s talk about the different types of tire pressure monitoring systems present.
Indirect Pressure Monitoring Systems
This type of TPMS does not use technology that directly monitors the pressure inside of a tire but does it by analyzing other components in the vehicle, computing the data to figure out the air pressure present. It typically analyzes the data received by the wheel speed sensors, using it to conclude how fast the vehicle is moving. This allows for the interpretation of the tire size of the vehicle. With this in mind, the system ultimately computes whether the tire is moving faster or slower than it should be doing. If it is, that means there is something wrong with the air pressure inside of it. Now, the driver is alerted.
Direct Pressure Monitoring Systems
This type of tyre pressure sensors uses technology that directly monitors the level of air pressure in each tire. It is the standard method of monitoring air pressure, and is used in most vehicles.
It is placed inside the tires, sending data back to a CPU, wirelessly via radio signals. This information is compared to the threshold value. If the values are off, the driver is alerted via the signal on the dashboard. As it is wireless, and directly monitors the pressure inside the tires, it is the most expensive option of the two sensors.
In conclusion, they are a technological wonder, truly showcasing how far mankind has developed. Learning about them puts into perspective how complex it is inside a vehicle, allowing you to truly appreciate the skill behind vehicle manufacturing.