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Drivers risk MOT failure if Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems go unserviced

Kwik Fit | Wednesday 29th April 2015 1:00pm

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If your car is fitted with a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (or TPMS for short), you’re no doubt benefitting from additional peace-of-mind knowing that a pressure sensor installed in each tyre air valve is diligently monitoring your tyres for any drop in pressure. TPMS is much more commonplace now since it was ruled that all new cars manufactured since 2014 must feature the pressure-monitoring technology. But did you know that your TPMS system could easily land you with an MOT failure?

New legislation was bought into effect on 1st January 2015 which states that a car displaying the TPMS warning light on the dashboard will result in an automatic MOT failure. While the legislation itself is a positive step that should see improvements in road safety as a result of greater tyre pressure awareness, the UK’s leading tyre safety organisation, Tyre Safe, is concerned that the changes have not been communicated to drivers.

Chairman of TyreSafe, Stuart Jackson, recently commented: “Although TPMS technology has been around for decades, its inclusion in new model vehicles has only been mandated in Europe since 2012 and on all new cars since 2014. This led to a gradual introduction into the market over a period of years and with little or no fanfare to help educate motorists.

“Our members have been telling us that they’re encountering a lot of customers who either aren’t aware of how these systems work (and need to be maintained) or just see them as an expensive luxury rather than the crucial safety feature they are.”

Any car registered after 1st January 2012 that is fitted with TPMS will fail its MOT if the TPMS warning light is displayed, which means that the first wave of three-year-old cars now needing an MOT to stay on the road are potentially falling foul of this change.

The simplest way to avoid a TPMS-related MOT failure is to keep an eye on your tyre pressures and manually check your tyre condition every month. If your tyre pressure drops by 6-7 PSI, your TPMS warning light will illuminate. Maintaining correct tyre pressure will prevent this from happening.

TPMS sensors are designed to last for many years; however, it may be necessary to have your TPMS serviced occasionally to ensure it continues to work correctly and to avoid an unnecessary MOT failure. At Kwik Fit we believe in preventative maintenance and your TPMS sensors should be serviced every time a tyre bead is broken. One of the most common TPMS sensor issues we see at our centres is battery failure. Each TPMS sensor is fitted with an internal battery which is designed to last 100,000 miles. The more miles you travel, the quicker the battery will deplete, but on average a sensor battery should last 5 to 7 years. TPMS sensor stems can also become corroded over time as they are open to the elements and take on everything the road throws at them.

Should you require a new TPMS sensor, at Kwik Fit we can supply a cost-effective replacement sensor which clones your existing settings for a fraction of the price of a dealership replacement.

To find out more contact your local Kwik Fit centre and ask about TPMS servicing.


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