How TPMS Affects Tire Life

By Greg Iorfida

The NHTSA (National Highway Transportation Safety Administration) has estimated that tires wear down between 10%-50% faster than normal, when they are underinflated. Because of the physical laws of motion, a higher amount of friction occurs when an underinflated tire rolls on a surface, leading to a significant reduction in the life of the tire.

Premature Tire Wear Dangers
Premature tire wear caused by underinflated tires has been shown to negatively impact vehicle safety. Premature wearing of tires caused by under-inflation can make the steering wheel on a vehicle shake, resulting in a loss of control. Additionally, when tire under-inflation leads to premature tire wear, stopping distances can also increase on wet surfaces, sand and gravel. Worn tires can also make a vehicle more prone to hydroplaning in wet conditions. Worn tires caused by tire under-inflation ultimately lessen overall control of a vehicle, making a driver more likely to be involved in an accident.

TPMS Plays a Critical Role in Avoiding Premature Tire Wear
The NHTSA has estimated that an onboard TPMS reduces by more than half (56%) the likelihood of having one or more severely underinflated tires. Fortunately, TPMS units are now standard equipment for most passenger vehicles sold in the U.S. today, providing the majority of car owners with an early warning about underinflated tires.

For vehicle owners with cars made before TPMS became legally required, aftermarket TPMS units are available. Aftermarket TPMS solutions provide many car owners with the same intelligence provided by factory installed TPMS units. Regardless of when it is installed, a TPMS is the best defense against underinflated tires and the premature tire wear that tire under inflation causes.

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