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TPMS stands for Tire Pressure Monitoring System. In 2005 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ruled that by the 2008 model year, all light duty vehicles must be equipped with a tire pressure system capable of detecting when a tire is significantly under inflated.
TPMS utilizes an electronic sensor in each tire, which wirelessly transmits data to the OE-ECM receiver. The tire pressure light is then illuminated if the system needs attention.
Basic tire pressure systems meet DOT standards by simply providing a warning if a tire is 25% or more below the manufacturers recommended inflation pressure. More advanced systems measure tire air pressure and temperature and can report real-time values to the driver.