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TPMS Technical Info

Old 04-28-2011, 04:51 PM
Miles@TireRack.com's Avatar
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Exclamation TPMS Technical Info

Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems and Aftermarket Wheels

A direct tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) will be standard equipment on every vehicle sold in the U.S. after September, 2007. The criteria for TPMS standardization is that the vehicle must have only four wheels (no dual-wheeled trucks or motorcycles), and weigh less than 10,000 lbs.

Audi has had TPMS on some American cars since 2004. Beru sensors are used and are in stock at the Tire Rack for all Audis up to the current model year. The size of the sensor shouldn’t be a problem for many wheels, but if the valve hole is in the middle of the wheel’s barrel, the sensor will not fit properly. Wheel manufacturers are aware of the issue and are rushing to get most of their wheels TPMS-compatible.

The Tire Rack's fitment specialists have carefully determined which wheels that are currently available will be compatible with the system installed on your vehicle.

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If you have any questions about the wheel you're considering, call or post your question for confirmation that it will be compatible with your TPMS.

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TPMS Facts

Direct TPMS use a sensor in the wheel/tire to wirelessly relay pressure back to the driver via a display inside the vehicle. Some vehicles have a digital screen that continuously shows all four tire pressures (five if spare has sensor). Others simply flash a "low tire pressure" light on the dash. Additionally, there are two different styles of sensors for a direct system: a valve sensor and a strap/band sensor. The valve sensor is common place in most Audis. If you bought an aftermarket SmarTire TPMS, its sensors are held on by a strap around the barrel of the wheel as are some of the Ford systems.

Indirect systems are also common on Audis and work in conjunction with the ABS wheel speed sensors that “count” the number of revolutions of each tire. If the right front tire is low (25psi) it will spin faster than the left front tire (35psi). The ABS system will recognize this change and alert the driver with a flashing light and possibly a loud chime. Indirect systems do not affect the fitment of aftermarket wheels.

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