Gearing up for that much awaited road trip? Make sure that you are not forgetting the most important thing – your car’s safety! You have to ensure that your car is properly serviced before you embark on a road trip.
The job of informing us that our car’s tires are under-inflated by 25% is done by a capable TPMS installed in them. TPMS, or Tire Pressure Monitoring System, is a system which alerts the driver about the dangers of having under-inflated tires. It’s a must in all cars today as per the TREAD (Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation) Act of 2000, which is a federal mandate.
2) Proper tire safety for a smooth, safe ride
Tire pressure is important because it affects the car’s performance, the brakes, lifespan of the tires, and ultimately, the safety of the experience. Translated, the TPMS in vehicles aims at driving safely, ease in vehicle handling, fuel efficiency, and life of the tires.
The Tire Pressure Monitoring System’s battery lies in the sensor and has a lifespan of 5-10 years and therefore has to be replaced accordingly. You will get the most accurate tire pressure reading when the tires are cold.
Your car’s TPMS will do the following when the tires are not within the manufacturer’s standards and safety measures:
- An alert light comes on to indicate an under-inflated tire. This can be simply taken care of by filling air and re-checking your tire pressure sensor before resuming travel
- When the alert light blinks on and off it means that the TPMS has malfunctioned and needs immediate action. Any car mechanic could help you with this. If ignored, it could result in a flat tire or even worse, a blowout which could cause a serious accident.
That said, you should only hand over your car to a certified professional with the necessary equipment and know-how to service the TPMS of your vehicle.
3) Tire safety tips
Poor weather conditions can just turn any situation into an ugly one, especially when one is travelling for long hours by road. You can help yourself by guaranteeing the safety of your car’s tires.
Some tips to do this effectively:
- Tire pressure check – do this before your journey starts and, for an accurate reading, preferably when the tires are cold.
- Pay attention to the alert sign of the TPMS installation – whether the light comes on and stays on or then is blinking off and on, it must not be ignored and the tires must be looked at by a professional immediately.
- Checking your car’s tires at a safe destination – If your TPMS alert is on, pull out from the ongoing traffic and get to the nearest gas or service station to address the problem.
- Keep your spare handy and well checked – Before you leave for that road trip make sure you check the air pressure for leaks or tears in your spare tire.