Bridgestone South Africa

Bridgestone offers TPMS tips

Mar 25, 2015
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Vehicles equipped with run-flat tyres should always be fitted with a Tyre Pressure Monitoring
System (TPMS). This is the word from Bridgestone, which has recently launched its DriveGuard
run-flat tyre suitable for fitment to vehicles which were not originally manufactured with run-flat
tyres.

"The advantage of a run-flat tyre is that the driver can continue driving for some distance after a
puncture until a safe location is found to repair the tyre," said Bridgestone's General Manager for
Field Engineering and Technical Services, Hiroshi Nakanishi. "But if drivers fit run-flat tyres to a
vehicle which doesn't have a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System, they will not be alerted when a
puncture occurs, since these tyres do not show much change in handling characteristics after
pressure loss."

Nakanishi said the danger was that the driver would continue to drive on the punctured tyre at
normal speeds for long distances instead of being alerted to reduce speed and change the tyre
as soon as possible. This could damage the tyre, possibly causing it to disintegrate and even
leading to loss of control. "A correctly-installed TPMS is a vital piece of safety equipment on cars
which are fitted with run-flat tyres," he said.

Vehicles which are equipped with run-flat tyres at the factory are fitted with a TPMS as standard,
but when run-flats are fitted to other vehicles, a TPMS must be installed at the same time. The
TPMS units installed in vehicles to which Bridgestone DriveGuard tyres are fitted include lightweight
sensors for each wheel and a control unit which displays the system status.

"The TPMS must be correctly set up so that it is able to monitor each tyre for pressure loss,"
Nakanishi commented. "The setup procedures for factory-fitted systems are given in the vehicle's
owner's manual and the procedure for the TPMS fitted with DriveGuard is explained to the
vehicle owner when the tyres are fitted," he added. The TPMS must be re-set whenever the tyre
is replaced or rotated.

"The most important thing to remember is not to drive a car which has run-flat tyres unless it has
a functional TPMS," Nakanishi explained. "At best you could damage a tyre beyond repair and at worst an overstressed punctured tyre could disintegrate and cause you to lose control," he
concluded.

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Bridgestone South Africa

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