Proper tire pressure is very important because it saves gas, improves directional stability and grip for safer handling, and keeps stopping distances short. Not keeping the tires properly inflated could cost you more money in gas, additional tire wear and worse could cause you to lose control of the car resulting in an accident. Lots of factors can cause a tire to lose air pressure such as a puncture, change in temperature, or just a gradual leak over time. Be sure to keep your pressure correct and replace the tire pressure monitoring sensor if it breaks or malfunctions.
The tire pressure monitoring system is an important safety feature on cars and it is one of the newer automotive technologies. They first appeared for street use in the high-tech exotic Porsche 959 in the 1980s and were used on luxury models in the 1990s. The introduction of run flat tires made them important because it was difficult to tell if those tires had lost air. By 2007, they became a standard feature on cars sold in the US due in part to rollover accidents related to Firestone tires. Each tire has its own sensor and when the system picks up too high or too low pressure, it sends the information to a warning light in the dashboard. The warning light is usually an exclamation point with a circle around it. More modern systems are able to show a full diagnosis including the specific wheel that is affected and whether it is overinflated or underinflated. If the tire pressure monitoring system has failed, a doted circle will appear around the exclamation point and that means the sensors themselves have to be replaced.
The tire pressure monitoring system sensor and valve can be simply replaced but some vehicles may need to have the new sensors installed and programmed by a dealer or professional mechanic. Here are some basic instructions.