Drivers should not rely solely on their Tyre Pressure Monitoring System to ensure safety of their tyres, tyre safety experts have warned.
While this valued technology has been proven to improve road safety by advising of a change in tyre pressure, drivers still need to check that their TPMS is working.
TPMS is now mandatory on all new cars sold, and vehicles first used after 1 January 2012 and equipped with a TPMS fitted by the vehicle manufacturer must have a functioning system to pass the MOT. While typically very reliable, drivers do need to check their TPMS on a regular basis to ensure it is working (as the system can fail and batteries in the wheel-mounted sensors can run out) by checking that the TPMS symbol comes on with all the other warning lights when the ignition key is turned and goes out after the engine starts. Any alerts displayed by the system should not be ignored.
Regrettably, however, too many drivers are ignoring the warning lights as the number of MOT failures due to faulty TPMS rose by over 200% between 2015 and 2016.
In fact, defective tyres now account for over a quarter of all MOT failures, strongly suggesting that drivers need to pay more attention to other essential tyre checks which a TPMS cannot alert them to. These include checking the tyre for visible damage and that the tread depth is above the minimum legal limit of 1.6mm.
“The introduction of TPMS was a valuable step forward in tyre safety, but drivers should be more aware of it and the warnings it is capable of producing,” TyreSafe Chairman Stuart Jackson said. “Don’t have a Bad Air Day, double-check that your TPMS system is working as it should.”