The tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) sensor in your vehicle is designed to help you know when your tire pressure is low. As with any system in your vehicle, sometimes it may malfunction or may not work exactly as it should. It may also give you false readings on occasion. When your tire light goes on, there are a few things you can do before you come in to Sun Auto Service just to make sure you really do have an issue we need to help with.
Light Is On When You Start Your Vehicle
If you turn on your car and the light comes on for a few seconds, this is normal and part of the system starting up. However, if it comes on and stays on, then you should do a little troubleshooting. Start with checking your tire pressure. Check each tire and ensure it is inflated to the PSI noted by the manufacturer. This is usually found in your owner's manual, and most vehicles also have a sticker inside the driver's door area that lists the PSI information. If any tires are low, then simply add some air. This should cause the light to go off.
Keep in mind the TPMS may take time to reset once you have corrected the issue. Drive around a bit, and if the light does not go off, plan to stop into one of our service centers so our technicians can perform an inspection checking for leaks or any other tire damage.
Light Comes On When Driving
There are a few things that could be wrong if the tire pressure monitor light comes on when you are driving. If there has been a drastic change in the outside temperature, such as going from 50 degrees to 30 degrees, the issue could just be your tires adjusting to this change. Usually, continuing to drive will help heat up the tires and return the pressure to normal, which will cause the light to go off. Generally, if the weather is to blame, your system will show all your tires are low on pressure.
A more serious issue could be a flat tire. You may have run over something that has led to a leak in your tire. This will usually show only one tire has an issue. If your system shows the problem is with just one tire, you should pull over and check your tires. Driving on a flat or very low tire can cause damage to your rims, which are much costlier to replace than a tire.
When No Physical Issues Are Present
If you have checked out your tires and they are properly inflated, but your tire light is still on, then the problem is most likely with the system or one of its components. It could be a power issue where the tire pressure system is not getting the battery power it needs. It could also be an issue with a tire pressure sensor or a wheel speed sensor, depending on the type of system your vehicle has.
Sometimes when the problem is with the system itself, the light will just blink instead of being steady. If you notice a blinking light, then just bring your vehicle in to us, and we’ll take a look. Sometimes all it needs is resetting.
The Importance of the TPMS
Tire pressure monitoring systems are standard on vehicles today. They are considered a safety feature because they alert you to low tire pressure. This is extremely important as driving with tires at the incorrect pressure could lead to accidents because they change the handling of the vehicle. In addition, the system can alert you to a flat tire, so you can pull off the roadway before a blowout occurs. Pay attention to the light because it may indicate something is wrong with either the tires or the system.
It is important to note that when the light comes on and it is not due to a slightly low tire pressure issue, it almost always will need a reset, which you cannot do on your own. You will need to bring it in to Sun Auto Service so we can reset it for you.