Most people don’t install TPMS on their winter wheels. Some people report that their car runs just fine without it.
All you’ll get is a dash light. Unless you have tpms sensors installed on your car, tire shops aren’t allowed to mount wheels onto your car. Although, you can just have the tires mounted on your rims, and you will have to install them yourself.
The question arises as to whether there is any harm (if any) to the system if steel rims are used with winter tires without the tire pressure sensors. There is one reason for my reasoning: The purchase price of the modules ranges from $60 to $75 per wheel. Whenever you switch from winter to summer, or vice versa, the thermostat must be reprogrammed, with reprogramming fees of up to $70 each time. If I do not use the sensors, the only negative effect I can see would be that the warning light will always be on.
The only issue with running tires without the tire pressure sensors is the constant warning light, as you point out.
In the past few years, Ford and Firestone have been initially blamed for a number of accidents caused by vehicles or tires. Following an exhaustive investigation, it was determined that driver/owner negligence was at fault, either overloading the vehicle or driving on underinflated or badly worn ties.
After the 2007 model year, light-duty vehicles (less than 10,000 pounds) manufactured in the United States must have safety devices that warn drivers when their tires are underinflated. As of today, Canada lacks such a regulation, but the vast majority of vehicles sold here are built to U.S. standards, which include tire pressure monitoring systems.
Direct and indirect TPMS are available.
These sensors are mounted inside the wheels and include a sensor and transmitter that provide a warning if any single wheel’s pressure drops more than 25 percent below a predetermined level. There is no pressure in the tire, which means the TPMS must be reset when a new or different tire is installed.
Indirect TPMS uses the sensors related to the ABS system, which measure the relative speed of the four individual wheels. Using this data, they can determine if one wheel is turning more rapidly than the others, as would be the case if pressure – and thus the rolling radius of the tire – dropped. The indirect systems are obviously not as accurate and are thus set to trigger a warning if pressure drops more than 30 per cent.
The readouts and warnings can also differ from a single light to individual pressures at each wheel.
Resetting most sensors requires specialized tools and training and the sensors can be damaged during a tire change, making it important to have the work done at a qualified shop.