There are several best practices that should form any standard procedure on tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) service. However, “Test Before You Touch” is one of the most important.

In this post, we’ll explain what “Test Before You Touch” means and examples of it is in practice.

What is Test Before You Touch?

In the simplest of terms, “Test Before You Touch” is that when a vehicle enters a garage or other service centre with working a working TPMS system then it should leave with a working TPMS system.

The basis for this is that a service centre cannot knowingly disable a working TPMS and that in the UK even one faulty TPMS sensor can fail an MOT test.

To ensure this doesn’t happen and that service centres are following this provision, “Test Before Touch” has become a standard best practice all over the world and is recommended by just about every car manufacturer. This also has the added benefit of helping to reassure customers and can be used as a vehicle to educate them on TPMS.

It Protects Your Business

Some may find “Test Before You Touch” uses too much valuable time and may be tempted to skip it as step. However, failing to check a customer’s vehicle whether they have a working TPMS can result in liability issues, particularly as a faulty sensor can result in a failed MOT test. Customers could claim that there was no TPMS light on their car’s dashboard when they brought the car for a service.

If the TPMS light is displayed, you can then discuss options and the benefits with your customer. Some of these will include benefits such as:

  • Properly inflated tyres grip road surfaces better and can mean not having to break as early
  • Wear down slower, reducing the need to replace, which minimises comebacks and saves money
  • A faulty sensor, if left faulty, will result in an immediate MOT test failure as per UK legislation, regardless of the car’s condition

Educating Your Customers

TPMS has been mandatory on all new vehicles manufactured in the EU since 2014 and as already mentioned legislation UK was passed that results in immediate MOT failure, which came into force a year later.

Ensuring Test Before You Touch offers a great opportunity for you to build trust and relationships with your customers and talk to them about TPMS. They will feel they are in good hands, that you are an expert and are equipping them to make better and more informed decisions.

A good opportunity to start is to share the results of the preliminary audit, if they are present. It can be a good time to explain that the battery on one or more of their TPMS sensors is failing and needs to be replaced, so they won’t have to make a second trip.

You could also explain how a rubber valve cap is a better solution at minimising corrosion than a metal valve cap, for instance. It’s also best to be open that if the service you’re performing could break off rather than after. It can also help minimise misunderstandings that there are suddenly extra costs and understand why they’re being charged for a new sensor kit.

You may find nothing wrong with their TPMS system, but it’s still a great opportunity to demonstrate the level of detail and care you have towards the vehicles of your customers.

How to Conduct a Test Before You Touch

Test Before You Touch should be conducting every time a vehicle enters your service centre. And it consists of these four steps.

  1. Check the TPMS light on the dashboard of the vehicle
  2. Evaluate the valve caps. Replace metal valve caps with rubber caps that stand up better to corrosion. If you encounter defects, make sure you share these with your customer
  3. Using a diagnostic tool, check the TPMS sensors for remaining battery life and that the sensors are functioning
  4. Either print or send the preliminary audit to your customer via email and discuss the result. This is a good opportunity for them to ask you questions.


While it can take time to carry out a “Test Before You Touch”, it in the best interests of your business and your customer. It also offers great opportunities to build rapport.