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Tire pressure monitoring is crucial for driver safety and the longevity of a vehicle. Most drivers monitor their pressure by keeping an eye on the tires and checking them if they appear to be low, adding more air as necessary. However, small changes in tire pressure not visible to the naked eye can have an immense impact on safety and handling. As a result, many high performance cars integrate tire pressure monitoring systems to alert drivers to any change in tire pressure. In the first years of the 21st century, the United States House of Representatives passed a bill mandating the installation of tire pressure monitoring systems in all new vehicles.
Wireless tire pressure monitoring systems are a further refinement of tire pressure monitoring systems, allowing for rapid installation of the sensors and base unit to receive transmissions. There are a number of types of wireless tire pressure monitoring systems, ranging from a version in which the sensor is embedded in the tire and read with a handheld device to a system that updates in the cab of the vehicle while driving, keeping the motorist constantly aware of changes in tire pressure.
Tire blowouts caused by improperly inflated tires cause over four hundred deaths annually, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Because most changes in tire pressure are gradual and caused by small leaks, drivers may be unaware of a potentially dangerous change in tire pressure. Driving on an under-inflated tire causes the walls to flex more, elevating the air temperature inside the tire and potentially leading to tire failure. Under-inflated tires also lose traction ability, and without a tire pressure monitoring system, drivers may not realize why their vehicles are handling poorly.
Wireless tire pressure monitoring systems that interact with a handheld receiver are usually mounted on the wheel, or sometimes in the valve for introducing air to the tire. The user can walk up to each tire and take a manual reading when the car is stationary.
More sophisticated systems ingrate a sensor that is installed on the wheel before the tire is put on and inflated. The sensor is strapped to the wheel so that it remains fixed inside the wheel and tire assembly. Wireless tire pressure monitoring allows these systems to be installed with a minimum of fuss, because no wiring is required. A receiver mounted on the dashboard allows all of the tire pressure monitoring systems installed to transmit data to the driver.
Tire pressure monitoring systems are highly recommended to all drivers for the improvements they make in safety, life of the vehicle, and life of the tire. All drivers should check their tire pressure regularly and be aware of the manufacturer’s recommendations for tire pressure.