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I've never owned a car with a TPMS, and will be taking delivery in early January '06 for a new prius, and would like understand what this system does. Is there just a good/bad sensor "idiot light", or is there an actual tire pressure displayed somewhere on the dash?

Cheers!
-Ray
 

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TPMS

Prius have had individual wheel speed sensors at least since 2001, as part of the antilock braking system. The 2004 model change was to have included tire pressure monitoring based on this, but it was not implemented in the US (or elsewhere?). If the 2006 model relies upon this system, I expect you will have a single "wheel outline" light on the upper display, alerting you to inspect all the tires.

DAS
 

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Re: How does the tire pressure monitor system work on the 06

RED said:
I've never owned a car with a TPMS, and will be taking delivery in early January '06 for a new prius, and would like understand what this system does. Is there just a good/bad sensor "idiot light", or is there an actual tire pressure displayed somewhere on the dash?

Cheers!
-Ray[/quote

Here's the technical details on how they actually work
http://www.sensorsmag.com/articles/1101/40/main.shtml

There are two implementation - one is the idiot light - which will come on if some preset pressure is not in the tire. The other implementation actually show the PSI in each tire. I don't know what is implemented in the Prius.
 

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From what I gather it is the idiot light system. I have not seen any manual pages which indicate that the car is aware of the actual pressure in each tire. With this system it basically senses a difference in wheel speed or resistance with the road and that indicates that a tire might be lower pressure than is desired. If you get the light then you need to check al tires because the vehicle doesn't specify which tire has the problem.
 

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Yeah, its the idiot light. It looks like a tire with the tread on the bottom and the sidewalls on the left and right, and they are partially deflated and there is an ! in the middle of the tire between the sidewalls. Seems like you can inflate to whatever pressure you want and then hit set and it will still alert you when they get below some pre-determined level.
 

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Paradox said:
Yeah, its the idiot light.
Are you sure that's the only indicator, or assuming that? I would expect to have at least a dash light, but it seems the Prius would be especially well suited to show tire PSI in one of the MFD screens on request.

Also, I don't think the sensor is the wheel spin speed type from what I've been able to glean. Apparently each wheel has an internal pressure sensor which wirelessly connects to the car. What data it transmits, and whether that data is hooked to the MFD, I don't know. I would assume they'd use an off the shelf short range wireless technology like bluetooth though, since those chips are now so cheap to make en masse.

Assuming each wheel isn't individually programed to know the correct PSI (front and rear being different) then the smart part that reads the PSI may be centrailized, and could therefore be linked to the MFD presuming it has data I/O capability.
 
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