You may not have known this (we didn’t!) but since November 2014, all new vehicles have been fitted with tyre pressure monitoring systems as standard. Some manufacturers had been using the technology for quite some time beforehand, so you may well have an older vehicle which uses the safety system to make sure tyre pressure stays at an appropriate level, as well as checking for any unusual temperature changes.
The monitors work by transmitting data from a pressure sensor in the dust cap protecting the valve of each tyre to the dashboard. A warning light on the dashboard alerts the driver to any potentially concerning changes to the tyre pressure, such as low or imbalance pressure. Generally, the monitoring system will be programmed to transmit information of changes of at least 6-7 psi or around 20% of the tyre’s overall pressure. As you may expect, the monitoring system will need to be regularly checked and maintained, just as with any other piece of equipment in your vehicle. Replacement may also be required periodically.
Why install a tyre pressure monitoring system?
If you have an older vehicle which wasn’t equipped with a tyre pressure monitoring system as standard and are considering having one installed, you may be asking yourself what the benefits of doing so are. There is a good reason for manufacturers deciding to include the equipment in all new builds, meaning it is definitely worth fitting one if possible.
The benefits of a tyre pressure monitoring system include:
- Improved safety as properly inflated tyres result in shorter, more reliable braking distances
- Lower fuel consumption when driving on properly inflated tyres
- Reduced CO2 emissions achieved by driving on correctly inflated tyres
- Reduced risk of tears in tyre surface
Maintaining a tyre pressure monitoring system
If you do buy a new vehicle which has a TPMS installed as standard, or decide to fit one to your existing vehicle, bear in mind that the systems now form part of the MOT test. As such, a fault in the system will result in an “advisory” for vehicles produced before 2012, while a newer vehicle will fail MOT testing should the warning light be illuminated.
Your TPMS should be checked regularly and included as part of any service carried out on your vehicle. As a general rule of thumb, the system should last approximately 6 years or 100,000 miles before the valve pressure sensor batteries need to be replaced. Should a full replacement be required, most mechanics will be able to install a new sensor which clones existing information, or as near as possible.
TyrePal tyre pressure monitoring system
Our friends at TyrePal have provided us with the following information, explaining why tyre pressure monitoring systems are important for those towing caravans.
It is a known fact that blow-outs are a major factor in insurance claims especially with caravans - one insurance company reports that of their road traffic accident claims:
- 33% resulted from tyre blow-out
- 33% resulted from collisions with other road users
- 14% were caused by wheel loss
- 9% were caused by detachment of the unit from the tow vehicle
- 9% as a result of a snaking incident
- 2% due to unidentified causes
A TyrePal tyre pressure monitoring system monitors continuously the temperature and pressure of your tyres – and warns you when things are going wrong:
High pressure affecting braking distance, tyre wear and road holding
- Low pressure causing excessive fuel consumption and tyre wear
- Overheating which increases the possibility of a blowout or fire
Apart from giving you warning before a blowout, monitoring your tyre pressures can save money by reducing fuel consumption and tyre wear and it can help to reduce CO? emissions.
All that is required is for the user to replace their tyre dust caps with sensors which transmit pressure and temperature information wirelessly to a monitor in the cab. The cost of a TyrePal system is as low as £135 with 2 sensors for a caravan.
For more information on the TyrePal system, the manufacturer’s website has an in-depth FAQ section.
Checking your tyre pressure with TyrePal
If you would like to see how easy it is to work a TyrePal tyre pressure monitoring system, spend just over a minute watching this video we produced in collaboration with the Mobile Caravan Engineers Association.
Our Freedom and Evolve caravan insurance schemes offer a 5% discount to customers who have Tyrepal fitted to their caravans. Call our caravan team on 01480 402460 for more details.
If you are a Lifesure customer, you can get a 15% discount off the cost of TyrePal products. Login to the MyLifesure section of our website to get the code that you'll need.
Additional tyre safety with Tyron bands
Tyron bands are fitted to the wheel of a car, caravan or motorhome and work by locking the wheel and tyre together in the event of a blowout, preventing too much movement and allowing the driver to retain as much control as possible. The band also protects the wheel rim from the damage associated with driving on a blown-out tyre.
We have previously written an article on Tyron bands, which contains all the information you need as well as a short video. Those interested in the bands can find the article here.
For a great deal on your car insurance don’t forget to give us a call. We have already searched the market to find the best deals and have access to insurers that don’t appear on the price comparison websites. Call our team on 01480 402460 for a quote – you’ll be pleasantly surprised!