Is changing my TPMS sensor really that important? Do the benefits of TPMS outweight the associated costs? There's no doubt that a question of value lingers in the minds of customers when asked to replace a defective sensor(s). In 2011, the Tire Industry Association work together with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to address scenarios that tire dealers and service bays commonly face when performing service on vehicles with equipped defective or dead TPMS sensors. It is infact, illegal to disable a TPMS system, regardless of whether replacements are cost-prohibitive for the customer. This legality falls under Title 49, U.S. Code 31022(b) of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act (MVSA): "Prohibits a manufacturer, distributor, dealer, or motor vehicle repair business from knowingly making inoperative any part of a device or element of design installed on or in a motor vehicle in compliance with an applicable motor vehicle safety standard."
The tire pressure monitoring system is designed first and foremost as a safety system. TPMS regulates the air pressure in all four tires and informs the driver if the pressure in one or more tires is 25% or more below manufacturers recommended values. A preventative safety system like TPMS helps reduce the chances of a tire blowout and loss of control over the vehicle. Properly inflated tires reduces tire tread wear rate, improves vehicle handling, and can play a major role when navigating through dangerous road situations.
It is up to service bays and tire shops to educate consumers on the importance of TPMS and why things like replacing the service kit everytime the tire is removed from the rim is recommended. Proper TPMS education is essential for both the business and the consumer and for the sake of road safety, should not be ignored.