It’s so important to keep your tires properly inflated.
For one, it helps your tires last longer and wear evenly.
More importantly, properly inflated tires help you handle your car better, maintain a shorter braking distance, and prevent blowouts.
Properly inflated tires are so important that the federal government actually passed a law requiring tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) on all cars made after 2000.
The TPMS is made up of tire sensors that trigger warnings to you when your tires are not properly inflated.
Faulty tire sensors may not be able to give you that warning, which could result in dangerous driving on tires with low air pressure.
You should get bad tire sensors replaced. The good news is that this replacement is one of the least expensive car repairs.
What does the Tire Sensor Do?
Tires sensors are installed inside your car’s tires.
Most tire sensors are designed to warn you when your tire reaches a certain level of air pressure.
Typically, the sensor triggers a warning light on your dashboard to let you know that you need to check your tires’ air pressure.
Estimated Cost to Replace your Car’s Tire Sensors
The cost of replacing a tire sensor on your car depends on the car you have.
You can expect to pay somewhere between $80 and $150.
Typically, parts make up about $30 to $50 of that total cost, with labor accounting for the rest.
Symptoms of Faulty TPMS
There are two big signs that pretty much certainly mean you are dealing with a faulty tire sensor.
The first and most common symptom you may come across is your warning light for low tire pressure coming on when the tire, in fact, properly inflated to the right PSI.
This happens because the system is designed to trigger the light when it’s not getting readings from the sensor.
The second symptom is kind of the opposite of the first.
You might find that a tire has low pressure, but the warning light has not turned on.
If you experience either of these symptoms, have your mechanic check your tire sensors and replace them if necessary.
How Long Should Your Tire Sensors Last?
Generally speaking, tire sensors are fairly rugged and do not need to be replaced very often.
A tire sensor could remain functional for as many as 10 years or more.
You likely will only ever replace one of the TPMS sensors after it breaks.
Tire sensors are generally not replaced for preventative maintenance purposes.
Is it ok to drive with bad tire sensors?
Tire sensors do the important job of keeping track of the pressure in each of your car’s tires.
You can technically drive with a bad tire sensor; however, you should consider that the job the sensor does should be done by you.
That means you should keep a close on tire pressure while you are driving around with a bad sensor.
It’s not the best idea to drive for a prolonged period without a tire sensor.
You may eventually be driving around on a tire that is not properly inflated without knowing it, causing extra wear on the tire, and possibly even a disastrous blowout.