Motorists could face higher repair bills as new legislation ensures a vehicle with a tyre pressure monitor cannot pass its MOT if the system fails, TyreSafe has confirmed. The not-for-profit safety organisation added that new cars must have a pressure monitor by law, so the new regulation could impact upon millions of motorists.
How A Tyre Pressure Monitor Works
A monitor incorporates a sensor within each wheel. If the pressure is to high, or to low, the motorist is informed via a message on the dashboard. A basic system has a warning light that confirms there is a problem with one or more tyres, whereas a sophisticated system confirms which corner(s) to inspect. The motorist can then confirm the diagnosis using a manual gauge and adjust accordingly.
Important Safety Feature
A system of this nature is an important safety feature as tyre pressure influences how a car brakes and corners. Incorrect pressure also prematurely wears a tyre, increases fuel consumption, and ensures a vehicle produces more pollutants. On this basis, it seems fair that any malfunction is an MOT issue (despite the cost).
A monitor should work reliably for years but every system requires maintenance and repair. Typical problems include a flat sensor battery or failure due to corrosion. Parts can also be damaged when changing a tyre. On this basis, some motor manufactures recommend replacing the valve cap and other core components at this point.
Monitor Cannot Be Removed
A motorist might be tempted to remove the monitor to bypass MOT issues. This is a false economy. If the vehicle had a monitor when it left the factory, it must be present and working to pass.
TyreSafe Discusses Monitoring Systems
TyreSafe Chairman, Stuart Jackson, explained that monitoring systems have been gradually introduced “into the market over a period of years and with little or no fanfare to help educate motorists”. He added that repair stations are “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”.
Video Explains Tyre Pressure Monitors
TyreSafe – that strives to make the roads safer by informing motorists about a range of tyre-related issues - has produced a brief video to “help motorists understand the safety features of this technology.”