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July 25, 2014

Tire Safety
By Bob Storck
Buoyed by public interest in tire safety, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is requiring automakers to include tire pressure warning systems in their cars beginning in 2003.

The systems have been available as an option and will signal the driver whenever a tire reaches its under inflation limit. One system uses a sensor in each wheel that sends a warning message whenever inflation pressure falls 20% below the recommended pressure. This system usually informs the driver which tire is losing pressure.

The cheaper alternative uses the antilock braking system and measures wheel speed, which changes when a tire deflates and changes effective diameter. This system does not identify which tire is deflating.

NHTSA says that 71% of drivers check their tire pressures less than once per month.



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