You may have heard of this acronym and you may have also heard that I'm not a fan of acronyms! So let's unfold this one before we go any further:

Tyre Pressure Monitoring System.......got it? Let's crack on then.

This acronym is one that you will start to hear more and more frequently, the reason being that from the 1st of November 2012 all new vehicles manufactured will have to be fitted with a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System. So what exactly is this system and what does it do?

The short answer is it does exactly as the name would suggest, it monitors the air pressure within the tyre. This information is then relayed to the driver in a number of different ways. Some systems will display a warning light to alert the driver if the pressure falls below a pre set amount, this is normally 10% above or below the correct pressure. More advanced systems will allow the driver to see the pressure and temperature of individual tyres and may display the information as a graphic display on the dash board.

As we all know a car tyre has an optimal pressure that it will offer the best performance and safety for the driver, this is documented in the owners manual. We also know that the tyre pressure should be checked every week to ensure that it is at the correct level. That being said how many people actually check their tyres?

Under inflation causes increased fuel consumption, increased tread wear and in the worse cases can cause a rapid deflation or 'blow out' of the tyre. TPMS has been introduced as a safety measure to alert the driver if the tyre pressure drops below a certain level. Just like the oil warning light which illuminates to warn you of low oil level, the TPMS light will warn you of low tyre pressure.

If the light illuminates you should stop where it is safe to do so and check your tyres. It may be difficult to feel a difference in vehicle handling with a RunOnFlat tyre, so you should always make a visual check. If it is safe to do so, drive on and check your tyre pressure at the next opportunit