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TPMS – a hot topic for the future in the aftermarket

  • After becoming law in the USA, the mandatory use of tire pressure monitoring systems in cars is to be phased into the European Union as well.
  • Continental offers motor vehicle garages and tire service shops a growing portfolio of TPMS spare parts and appropriate diagnostics devices under the VDO product brand.

Frankfurt am Main, 11 September 2012. As more vehicles are equipped with TPMS with each subsequent model year, the demand for Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) sensors and for motor vehicle garages and tire service shops to install and service these sensors will increase dramatically in the future. This is the result of a regulation by the European Union requiring tire monitoring systems for all new category M1 vehicle models as of 1 November 2012, and for all new registrations in vehicle category M1 as of 1 November 2014. Vehicle category M1 comprises all vehicles used for passenger transport, with no more than eight seats, excluding the driver's seat.

This legislation pursues two primary goals through maintaining proper tire inflation: The reduction of climate-harming CO2 emissions and improved road safety. A positive side effect for drivers is that they save money, because driving with insufficient tire pressure increases fuel consumption and improves the service life of the tires, among other impacts.

Direct TPMS solutions employ one sensor per tire to establish the prevailing air pressure (as well as the temperature in some applications) directly from the tire, both quickly and precisely – at all times, in any driving situation and at any speed. In contrast, indirect systems do not actively measure the pressure, but instead compute it from information from the wheel speed sensors. As one of the world's leading suppliers of production TPM-Systems, Continental is convinced that the direct measurement systems will gain the upper hand in the marketplace. A look at the United States of America, where TPM-Systems are firmly established in the market owing to legislation passed in 2005, supports this view.

Increasing numbers of new vehicles are being equipped with TPM-Systems. This involves changes for dealers and workshops. The proper functioning of the tire pressure monitoring systems for use both in summer and winter tires can be most conveniently realized with an additional set of sensors. But professionally performed tire service which includes the replacement of specific components and the checking of sensor functions also will be a task of the workshops.

Under the VDO product brand, Continental offers everything garages need to service vehicles equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system. Continental offers a complete line of TPMS products including, TPMS replacement sensors and service kits, is continuously expands this offering. Parallel to this, with ContiSys Check TPMS VDO offers a diagnostics device specially tailored to tire service needs. With a specific TPMS module, it can read out important sensor data directly and wirelessly and relearn the replacement sensors to the vehicle.

Another look at the USA proves that innovations geared to market needs can generate keen interest in the aftermarket too. With the VDO REDI Sensor, Continental has been enjoying great success in the North American market since 2010. These TPMS sensors can replace various manufacturer-specific TPMS sensors, helping to drastically reduce the number of replacement sensors that must be stocked by shops for full coverage. For the European economic region there will be comparable solutions in the future. At Continental, the development of this innovative new product is being driven jointly by Series “OE” Production and the Automotive Aftermarket.

 

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Eva Appold

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E-Mail: eva.appold@continental-corporation.com

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