In this day and age where most of the newer cars come with tires that have tire-pressure monitoring (TPMS) sensors in them, the TPMS has become one of the most useful systems a car can have.
Nevertheless, it is also just as important to keep a spare tire around in case one of your tires gets blown out. So, if that is the case, does it also follow that your spare tire has a TPMS sensor installed in it?
Spare tire and TPMS
In most cases, spare tires do not have a TPMS sensor because there is no legal requirement for them to have it. You may add a sensor to your spare tire if you want but take note that this can be quite expensive because you would only end up spending more on the tire and the sensor itself.
The spare tire is what it is, and that is spare.
As such, this only means that your spare tire is only a spare tire and doesn’t require to have a TPMS sensor installed.
While you can have a sensor in your spare tire if you want and if you can afford it, it still is useless to do so because there is no need for you to monitor the air pressure of a spare tire in real-time and because a spare tire isn’t something you are going to use anytime soon.
Do spare tires have TPMS?
When it comes to your car, one of the best systems that you can use to make sure that you are safe and secured while driving is the TPMS.
The “Direct TPMS” works through sensors that are installed in each of your tires. These sensors are responsible for directly reading the air pressure in their respective tires and then send the signals back to the monitoring system on your dash board.
All that said, your TPMS works mainly due to the sensors. Without the sensors, you won’t be able to tell the air pressure in the tires. That means that your tires should have a sensor in them so that the TPMS will actually work.
But what if you have a spare tire at the back of your car?
We all know that spare tires are lifesavers because we can never be certain when we need to change one of our tires. Yes, you can simply go to a nearby gas station to keep the air pressure up in one of your tires in case one of them goes flat.
But the spare tire is there to make sure that you have a tire that works in case one of your tires goes flat or actually blows out and there is no nearby gas station for you to inflate air back into the tire.
Now that you are aware of how important the spare tire is, should it also follow that the spare tire has a TPMS sensor installed in it?
After all, when you do change your tire with a spare during an emergency, you would probably need to monitor the air pressure in the spare tire as well.
That said, having a sensor in a spare tire is a choice but, by default, a spare tire doesn’t have a TPMS when you buy it.
This means that it is entirely up to you to add a sensor to your spare tire if you want to do so. However, there is no need for a spare tire to have a sensor. We also recommend that you don’t do so because of how expensive that can be.
Adding a TPMS sensor to a spare tire may be useful in case you do need the spare tire but it’s just going to be useless and expensive in the long run.
That’s because the sensor would have to be operating the whole time unless you don’t want to monitor the air pressure in the spare tire.
So, if the sensor is operating the entire time, its battery will run out at the same time as the batteries of the rest of your sensors even though the spare tire isn’t in use. And because sensor batteries cannot be replaced without replacing the entire sensor, this can only add more expenses on your part.
Another thing you need to note here is that the spare tire isn’t meant to be the main tire but should only be a spare.
That means that there is no certainty that you would end up using your spare tire. And even if you do end up using your spare tire somewhere down the line, you can simply move the TPMS of your blown-out tire to the spare once you have the time and the means to do so.
As such, there is no need for the spare to have a sensor.
Is it mandatory that spare tires must have TPMS?
Now that you know that spare tires don’t have TPMS sensors, you should also know that there is no law that mandates that your spare tires should also come with TPMS sensors. That’s because not all cars even have a TPMS, to begin with.
As such, it is perfectly alright for the spare tire at the back of your car to have no TPMS sensor because there is no law that requires it to have one.
That’s because, again, the spare is only there as a backup in case of an emergency. There is no certainty that you would end up using the spare, and having a sensor in it would only prove to be a useless expense down the road.
Can I use tires without TPMS?
So, what if you actually ended up using your spare tire and it doesn’t have a TPMS sensor, is it alright for you to actually use tires that don’t have a sensor? Will any officer pull you over or fail your safety inspection if one of your tires doesn’t have a sensor?
Yes, there is no problem running with tires that don’t have a TPMS sensor even if your car does have a TPMS. That’s because the TPMS is not a mandated part of the car in terms of its safety features. There are even plenty of different cars that don’t have a TPMS.
In other words, the most important part here is to make sure that your tires have enough air pressure in them.
The TPMS is not the important part of the equation as you can still make sure your tires have enough air as long as you do your part in checking up on them and maintaining the air pressure in them.
As such, you don’t even have to have TPMS sensors in all of your tires as long as you make sure that you are running with tires that have the right air pressure.
YourMechanic.com: Driving with spare tire
Siennachat.com: Easy way to check pressure
Reddit: Can a spare cause TPMS light come on