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All 2008 model year and newer cars, mini-vans and trucks in St. Paul come with a tire pressure monitoring system. Many slightly older vehicles around St. Paul have these systems as well. A tire pressure monitoring system – called TPMS – consists of sensors on each wheel that measure tire pressure.

If tire pressure drops 25 percent below the manufacturer’s recommended pressure, the sensor sends a signal to a monitoring unit that causes a warning to light up on the dashboard. When you see the warning light, it’s time to put some air in your tires.

There are many benefits to driving with properly inflated tires around St. Paul. First is cost savings. Running at the correct air pressure improves fuel economy. Driving on under-inflated tires is like driving through sand – it drags down your fuel economy. You’ll see longer, more even tread wear so your tires will last longer.

Another important benefit of properly inflated tires is increased safety. Under-inflated tires become hotter and that heat can actually lead to tire failure – possible resulting in an accident. Your car and the tires themselves will perform better and more safely with properly inflated tires.

TPMS systems carry a cost. The systems themselves are added into the price of the car. The batteries in the sensors will have to be replaced from time to time. Parts may break and need to be replaced. In the cold Minnesota winters, ice and salt are frequent causes of failure.

In addition, there are other behind-the-scenes costs to be aware of. Every time a tire is replaces, repaired, rotated or balanced, the mechanic has to deal with the TPMS system.

Since there is no uniformity among manufactures, mechanics need to be trained on several TPMS systems. These behind-the-scenes costs are very real to your service center.

Sensors will need to be removed and reinstalled. Even a tire rotation will require that the monitor be reprogrammed to the new location of each tire. When a car battery is disconnected, the TPMS system will need to be reprogrammed.

When you start to see the cost of tire changes, flat repairs and rotations going up, please keep in mind that it’s because of he new safety equipment to keep you safe on the road. We are committed to keeping you safe at a fair price.

Remember, TPMS warnings only come on when a tire is severely under-inflated. You’ll still want to check your tire pressure on a regular basis, once a month at least.

Is your car due for a check-up? Schedule your auto appointment today!