December 2006 - Wishing you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2007!
Remember: The life of your car depends on its engine. Your life depends on your wheels, tires and brakes.

Rim And Wheel Works Newsletter:
The Tire Pressure Monitoring System Law

In this issue of our quarterly Newsletter:


Several people have called asking about Well, we all know about the joys of getting up a web page especially a back end design web page. We're scheduled to launch mid-February now. The page is up but not final edit. If you get a chance, take a peek and tell me what you think at

Remember you can still get snow and ice tires: The advantage of Nokian tires are that you can get them all year round as opposed to most winter tires which are already out of stock. Not to mention the fact that they last years longer and are, in our humble opinions, the best snow and ice tire in the world (and sold worldwide).

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This info-email is the first in a series of three on the Tire Pressure Monitoring System Law, it's background and it's impact on you.

 Introduction to TPMS

According to a Federal law newly in effect, as of 2007, all new vehicles of 10,000 pounds GVW or less must include a tire pressure monitoring system. If your vehicle is older, you dont have to retrofit it. However, every vehicle you buy will need to have one of the systems. Its important you understand the law and how it works and how much its going to cost you. I have prepared this article; the first of a three-part series, to give you the information you need to know.

What is a tire pressure monitoring system? A tire pressure monitoring system is a system that allows communication between your tires and an on-board computer in your car. What is being measured is the pressure in your tire. Under inflated tires are the cause of many traffic accidents, injuries, and deaths annually. The intention of the law is to prevent these accidents, injuries and deaths. Historically, the first vehicle that used this system was the 1986 Porsche 959. Systems such as these have been in use in many high high end vehicles, such as BMW, Porsche, Corvette or Mercedes, often in conjunction with run-flattires.

  Types of Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems
There are presently two major types of TPMS systems, Direct and Indirect. In the Direct system, a sensor (which senses your tire pressure) with a battery built in, is in constant communication with your vehicle. If any tire is under or over inflated by 25%, a signal is sent to the car and a light somewhere on the dash (depending on the make) indicates to you exactly which tire is under-inflated.

The Indirect system has the tire communicate through your ABS (Anti-lock Braking System). With the indirect system, you only know that at least one tire is under-inflated, but you dont know which one(s). The final system is a hybrid system which uses the your ABS system but has some of the features of the Direct systems and is mostly still under development.

  FYI and VIP

FYI: The sensors on the Direct System are expensive and not well constructed. They can cost between $80 and $250 (most closer to $80) As a result, it is smarter for you to carry a couple in your car. Most installers (us included) are unwilling to be responsible for the monitors and so far very few stock them. See if you cant negotiate for a couple of extra when you purchase your vehicle, or keep one or two in your cars glove compartment or tool kit.

VIP: (Very Important Point!!!): The valve core for the Direct System sensors is nickel plated. You cannot use the older non-nickel plated cores in your sensor. If you do, it will freeze and youll have to buy/ install a new one. Whenever anyone changes your tire(s), make sure they use the nickel plated cores and be sure to remind them in advance of their changing your tire(s).

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