Flats, blow outs, skids and longer stopping distances can all be the result of driving on underinflated tires. Now, it's hard to tell when a radial tire is underinflated.The tire may not look low until it gets below 20 pounds – which is significantly underinflated.
Your newer vehicle or light truck might be equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). This technology has been used by race car drivers for years. They are able to head off problems from underinflation by closely monitoring tire pressure on the track.
Obviously, TMPS systems don't come free. U.S. government studies have estimated the net costs of the TPMS system itself, maintaining the system, replacement of worn or broken parts and tire repair cost increases. The costs are partially offset for drivers by savings in fuel and tire wear. There's also a saving in property damage and travel delay. The net cost is estimated to be between $27 and $100.
The government predicts fewer fatal accidents. They estimate that is will cost between three and nine million dollars for every life saved. This new safety equipment will help motorists avoid the most common vehicle failure and possibly a catastrophic accident.
If you vehicles TPMS warning light is on, don't wait to get it checked out.