AKRON — Roughly four in 10 U.S. drivers are unable to recognize the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) warning symbol on their car's dashboard, according to a study commissioned by Goodyear Auto Service and its affiliated Just Tires retail network.
The lack of awareness of the TPMS symbol — an electronic system designed to monitor the air pressure of a vehicle's tires — is a clear sign that many drivers are in the dark on what the light means and what to do when it's triggered, Goodyear said.
Possible causes for the TPMS light's illuminating include a tire puncture, leaking tire due to rim damage and fluctuating temperatures as seasons change, Goodyear said. Improper tire pressure can lead to uneven treadwear, decreased gas mileage and poor handling.
In the hope of attracting customers to Goodyear Auto Service and Just Tires, the Goodyear retail businesses are offering free tire care checks, including free tire, air pressure and TPMS inspections.
Younger drivers (millennial/Gen Z) are more than 1.5 times more likely to be able to identify popular emojis correctly than the TPMS symbol, Goodyear's research shows. In fact, nearly half of younger drivers — and 39 percent of drivers overall — were unable to recognize the TPMS warning symbol in the survey of more than 1,000 U.S. drivers.
The study also found that most drivers surveyed are not taking precautionary actions to prepare their cars for winter. Among drivers who live in areas with usually cold winters, fewer than half (42 percent) get their tires checked in advance of the winter season.
And almost two in five drivers in winter-weather regions (37 percent) do not take any action at all to prepare their cars for winter unless they have an issue. As a general rule of thumb, drivers should check their tires monthly, especially during temperature shifts of 10 degrees or more, Goodyear said.