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A recent survey conducted by Schrader International found that 46% of drivers couldn’t figure out what the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) “idiot light” on their dashboard really was. Seems consumers can’t interpret the art – that U-shaped icon with an exclamation point on the inside.
Schrader found a third of survey respondents didn’t know what a tire pressure monitoring system even is, and 14% thought the warning light was for something else altogether! 
While almost all of the survey takers agreed that driving with underinflated tires is a serious safety issue, only 44% said they rarely check their tire pressure.
Other survey results include:
* The majority of drivers say they do not have TPMS in their vehicle. And after reading statements about the role of TPMS, only four in 10 report that they would purchase one.
* Male drivers are significantly more likely than female drivers to know if their car is equipped with TPMS.
* Male drivers are significantly more likely than female drivers to say that the dashboard alert icon shown is a tire pressure warning (73% vs. 34%).
* Younger drivers are significantly less likely than their older counterparts to correctly identify the tire pressure warning alert icon (Gen Y (18 to 29), 29%; Gen X (30 to 45), 46%; Baby Boomers (46 to 60), 62%; Silent Generation (60+), 64%.
* Drivers of model year cars 2008 or later are significantly more likely than drivers of model year cars 2007 or before to report that the dashboard alert icon shown represents a tire pressure warning.
How knowledgeable are your customers concerning tire pressure monitoring systems? Are you and your employees constantly educating them about the technology? Are replacement TPMS sensors a hard sell?
Schrader can give you some help. Following their survey, in which 2,229 people aged 18 and older participated, they created a couple of Web sites that provide information about tire pressure monitoring systems.
One site --  – helps explain to consumers what to do when they see the alert light (and includes a nice, clear illustration of what it looks like). The site also covers how TPMS helps make driving safer, saves drivers money, improves their carbon footprint and how TPMS works. It includes a drivers’ forum and has helpful links to sites from the Tire Industry Association and the Rubber Manufacturers Association, among others.
The other site covers technical aspects of TPMS and is geared toward vehicle manufacturers and others .
The company wanted to "take the lead in educating consumers about TPMS," says a company spokeswoman.
Plus, on the consumer site, there is a section for those involved in the aftermarket. It covers TPMS servicing, how TPMS can spell opportunity, offers TPMS sales materials. (Schrader makes the EZ-sensor programmable tire pressure monitoring sensor and the AirAware brand TPMS.) The site also has a section for OEMs.
Included are many TPMS facts, among them one from a Modern Tire Dealer survey that found that 84% of our readers have broken a TPMS sensor while servicing vehicles.

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