Drake Auto of Sterling, Virginia is proud to be using the state-of-the-art Ateq VT-56 tire pressure monitor repair system. Tire pressure monitoring systems became mandatory in September 1, 2007 on all vehicles under 10,000 pounds. You may have seen the tire pressure light on your dash and thought I have survived all these years without it. If its on what can it hurt. Well actually the way modern cars are designed there are crush zones in the vehicle made to bend and flex in the event of an accident. These soft crush zones are designed around the fact that all the vehicle systems are functioning properly. Anti lock brakes are the first system affected by tire pressure. Improper tire to road contact or traction will alter the way the car skids. Or hopefully does not skid since that is the purpose of the “anti lock” brake system. There are also yaw rate sensors that tell when the car is leaning like at an exit ramp on the highway, as well as steering angle sensors and ride height sensors. All these systems are directly or indirectly affected by tire pressure.
There are mainly two types of TPMS systems. Direct and Indirect. A direct system has a monitor in each wheel that uses a transmitter and battery setup similar to your bluetooth headset. This battery is activated by the rotation of the wheel usually above 5 mph so it may last many years even if the car is sitting. They can go into sleep mode after just a few minutes of sitting still. Indirect tire pressure monitor system actually use the anti lock brake wheel speed sensors that are on each wheel already for the ABS brake system. The ABS sensors are so sensitive they can tell the difference in wheel rotational speed caused by a tire with low air pressure being a different circumference. There is some debate with this type of system since all the tires may be low on pressure at the same time and the handling would be affected but there would not be a difference in tire circumference so the light would not come on. This may happen on seasonal changes like summer to winter when the air pressure changes volume due to air temperature.
Whenever you have a tire mounted or even a tire rotation many manufacturers require that the TPMS system be reset since each wheel has a unique identification code. Here at Drake Auto we are fully capable of all types of repairs and resetting of any type of Tire pressure monitoring system TPMS. Each manufacturer uses a different procedure but with our Ateq VT-56 we can reset with ease and even give you a printout of the results. Often there will be a drive cycle procedure after the reset to get the light to finally clear. This may involve driving over 5 mph for up to 20 minutes or 20 miles depending on manufacturer. It is critical that TPMS repair is done properly. Something as simple as using a TPMS torque wrench on the valve stem is very important since replacement tire pressure sensors can cost from $50 to $150 each. Valve stem caps are also important with a tire pressure monitor. Replacing a corroded or leaking tire valve stem in an old style tire used to be simple and cost effective compared to removing the tire and replacing a $60 valve stem. We have replacement valve stems in stock as well as common replacement parts for TPMS systems. We are serving Sterling, Ashburn, Leesburg, Herndon, Reston and all surrounding towns in Loudoun and Fairfax counties.
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