What You need To Know
by Scott Waldrop
As vehicle technology continues to evolve, so does the maintenance required to keep everything running properly. Take oil changes, for example. The price for service has gone up over the years, but it is likely you only need your oil changed every 10,000 miles rather than every 3,000 miles. Another traditional maintenance item is drive belts. If you’ve purchased a new car in the past few years you may have noticed that some manufacturers have moved away from the use of belts which eliminates the need to replace them. So, sometimes maintenance updates save owners money, and other times they can be more costly.
A new maintenance requirement that you may not be aware of are tire pressure sensors (TPS). TPS have replaced traditional tire valve stems on many modern vehicles, and they conveniently communicate the pressure level in your tires to the dashboard and warn you if one or more of your tires are running low or have too much air. These sensors help prevent you from driving around with a nail in your tire or worse, a flat tire you may be unaware of. Some TPS are more advanced and even show you the exact amount of pressure in each tire, including the spare. There is nothing worse than getting a flat only to find out your spare doesn’t have air either.
How do TPS operate? These sensors require power so they can communicate with the rest of the vehicle and send the data from the tires to the warning lights on your dash. A small button-style watch battery keeps the sensors working properly but eventually, these batteries die and that’s when a tire pressure sensor needs to be replaced. Your dash light will come on and stay on until a new sensor is installed in your tire and then programed for your car to communicate with it.
TPS batteries last anywhere from three to five years. Kenny Guillory, Service Manager at Lake Charles Toyota, says, “If any of your sensors fail in the first three years, it may still be covered by the factory warranty. After that, maintaining the TPS becomes regular maintenance.” It is also common that when one TPS stops working, the others are likely to fail soon after.
If you have any questions about tire pressure sensors or general vehicle maintenance, email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or text them from their website, LakeCharlesToyota.com.
Scott Waldrop is the Marketing Director at Lake Charles Toyota.