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A tire pressure monitoring system for your car

Updated:
New government rules requiring tire pressure monitoring systems on all passenger cars will make your new car safer, and more fuel efficient.

News on 6 reporter Rick Wells takes a look at these new systems and how they work.

When was the last time you checked the air pressure in those tires you're driving on? If you're like most of us, you can't remember the last time. It can affect your gas mileage and worse it can be dangerous. Chris Shew with Firestone: "Especially in the summer season, you get out on the highway, low tire pressure can cause the tire to get very hot and it can even come apart.” That causes accidents. Remember all those SUV roll-overs; some were the result of under inflated tires.

The government is going to help; they've mandated tire pressure monitoring systems on all new passenger cars by next year. Chevrolet already has tire pressure monitoring on many of its cars and light trucks. Joe Gibson the service manager at Jim Glover Chevrolet says there are two kinds. The smaller one is actually inside the tire. "This is an electronic sensor that measures how much PSI per tire and sends it back to a module on the car."

The second type is mounted on the inside of each wheel. It senses tire pressure by measuring tire rotations, an under inflated tire turns slower. In both cases the driver would be warned a tire is low on air.

Knowing the correct amount is easy it's printed on a panel inside the driver's door. Checking is easy too, with an inexpensive gauge.

If you need air, no problem, most gas stations and convenience stores have pumps, some are even free. The next great invention will be one that does everything for you.

If you're interested in what the new requirements are you can find them at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's web site.
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