TPMS and what it means
TPMS is the shortened form of tire pressure monitoring system — this system is mandatory in all cars since 2008 in the U.S. The TPMs is a system that uses sensors, which are mounted on the wheel or the valve stem.
With the TPMS, you can know when your tire’s air pressure is below the recommended level by the manufacturer. On the dashboard, there is a warning light that will notify you.
There are also some advanced TPMs that will give you pressure readouts in real-time. This will be presented in the infotainment system of the instrument panel.
Why is the low tire pressure light on?
The tire pressure light can come on at any time. It could turn on while you’re driving or when you turn the ignition of your car. The main reason why the low tire pressure light comes on is because of a leak in one of your tires, which leads to the loss of air pressure. The light comes on when the remaining air pressure in the tires is below the recommended range.
The tire pressure light will be triggered when the pressure drops below 10 percent of the recommended air pressure by the manufacturer. This drop is small, and you might not notice its effect on your car. But for your safety and optimal performance, you need to inflate your tire immediately.
If your vehicle has an advanced tire-pressure monitoring system, you’ll be notified in real-time when your tire pressure is low, and you can also check the air pressure of all four tires in real-time.
Every month, tires lose a pound of pressure when there is a drop in temperature of about 10-degree. So during winter, your tire pressure could be low, which will lead to the low tire pressure light turning on.
If you notice that the low tire pressure light turns and off at different times in a day, it simply means there is a rapid temperature change. If the weather is chilly, it might turn on in the morning, then turn off later if the temperature climbs up. During a cold morning, you can drive your car around because driving it makes the tire warm. If the light goes off when moving, the temperature is white. However, you need to inflate your tire if it doesn’t turn offers.
How to fix low tire pressure
Before you start inflating the tires, there are certain things to take note of —
- The tires must be cold so you can measure and inflate them well.
- You’ll need a tire pressure gauge for measuring tire pressure
- You’ll need an air pump to inflate your tire (either automatic, foot/hand-operated)
Unscrew the cap on the valve system
You’ll find a plastic cap on the valve stem, unscrew it and store it in a safe place because you’ll screw it back.
If your car has wheel covers on its steel rims, you’ll need to remove the body as well.
Do everything with care so that your valve stem doesn’t get filled with dirt because it will affect the pressure measurement of your tires and their inflation.
Measure the pressure
You will measure the existing pressure in your tire with the aid of a tire pressure gauge.
Tire pressure gauges come with a hose. On the valve stem is where you’ll place the hose. Make sure it fits well, so it doesn’t produce hissing noise.
It will start reading. If it’s an analog gauge, it will automatically begin reading, but digital ones usually require the push of a button to start reading.
Know your tire pressure
Each car comes with a recommended tire pressure, and you need to know it to fix low tire pressure issues. You can find it on the sill of the car door. If it isn’t there, you’ll have to check it in your car owner’s manual.
You will compare the result of the pressure you measured to that of your vehicle’s recommended pressure. If both strains are the same, there is no need to inflate your tire.
Inflate the tires
You’ll need an air pump to inflate the tires. The hose of the air pump with go into the valve stem. Make sure it fits it perfectly so you don’t hear a hissing sound because if you do, your tire won’t inflate.
Start pumping the tires. Every 15-30 secs check the tire pressure. The tires shouldn’t get overinflated, or else their performance will be terrible when you drive. After inflating it to the pressure recommended by the manufacturer, you will place the plastic cap back on.
If the tire ever gets overinflated, you can just press the valve stem core with a sharp object so that it will start deflating.
Inflate at a gas station
If you don’t have the tool for inflating the tires, you can visit the nearest gas station. Gas stations have air pumps that will reach your car tires’ pressure automatically. Enter the recommended pressure of your car tires, then start pumping.
How to reset your tire pressure light
After inflating your tires, there is the possibility that the tire pressure light won’t turn off. If this happens to you, then you’ll have to reset it. Here are different things you can do to resolve this issue —
You’ll need to drive your car at 50 mph or more for about 10 mins. Doing this should reset the sensor after noticing that the tire air pressure is within the recommended range by the manufacturer.
Use the TPMS reset button
When your car is off, you’ll turn the ignition to the “on” position, not the “start” position. Now, you’ll press and hold the TPMS reset button. After some time, the tire pressure light will blink three times. When it blinks, release the button.
Now, you’ll turn the key to the “start” position and let the engine run for 20 mins so the sensor will reset.
Disconnect the positive battery cable
When your car is off, you’ll disconnect the positive battery cable. After the disconnection, you’ll turn on the vehicle and press the horn for 3 secs. Any power that is still stored in your car will be discharged. You can now reconnect the battery.
Low tire pressure causes
Several reasons could lead to low tire pressure. Some are due to terrible maintenance, while others are caused by nature. Here is a list of all the possible causes —
Bent Wheels or Rims
When they get bent, air will be able to escape from your tires. If you don’t resolve this issue on time, it will damage your tires badly and lead to more significant problems.
You’ll need to repair the wheel and rim. Some technicians will help you improve them so your tire can retain air pressure. Other benefits you’ll enjoy apart from optimal tire performance are fuel economy and so on.
Changes in temperature
If there is a significant temperature change, it will affect the air pressure of your tires. However, this is not an issue that should get you worried because it is not disastrous. This situation occurs during the winter because the cold will make your tires lose their density, which will lead to deflation.
All you need to do is to refill your tires. If you utilize the expertise of a mechanic, they will help you put into account the possibility of further fluctuation in temperature.
Nail in tire
This is a common occurrence. One of the objects most likely to puncture a car’s tires is a nail. If there is a nail in your tire, air will gradually escape until the low tire pressure light turns on.
To repair this, visit an expert. They will help you remove the nail in your tire, and then they will patch up the leaking area. Afterward, the tire will be filled to the recommended air pressure level for smooth performance.
All the components of a car have a lifecycle, including tires. Once they get old or worn, they won’t keep air pressure as they once did. If this is the case, you need to replace the tires with new ones.
You can get new or used (but still good) tires at an auto parts store or online. When you get your tires, you can fix them yourself. If not, then visit the auto repair store to have the attendant fix it for you.
Why do I have TPMS in my vehicle?
TPMs is an abbreviation for “tire pressure monitoring systems.” It was made mandatory by the federal government. In 2008, the United States Department Of Transportation required all new passenger cars, trucks, buses, and multipurpose passenger vehicles to install a Tire Pressure Monitoring System. The reason. It was made mandatory was because of deaths caused by under-inflated tires. TPMs will detect and alert drivers when the tire’s pressure is low compared to the OE-specified percentage.
When should I inspect my tire pressure?
You can inspect your tire pressure once a month. It’s not until your tire gets damaged by wear and tear or it gets punctured that it will make it lose air. Naturally, as time passes, your tire’s air pressure will start reducing, and it’s unnoticeable until it reduces to the point where it needs to be reinflated or changed.
Other conditions that will make your car tire lose its pressure are changes in temperature, terrible road conditions, and bent rim or wheels. When inspecting the tire pressure, make sure you check the pressure in spare tires too, so when you need them, they will be useable.
Why does my TPMs light flash or solid?
This light comes on when one of your tires or multiple tires is below the air pressure value recommended by the manufacturer. The TPMs light can turn on in two different ways —
Solid — a solid light signals that one of your tires or multiple tires pressure is unsafe. This will turn on when you start the car.
Flashing — this light signals, writing that the TPMs are malfunctioning because a sensor or multiple sensors are no longer working hand in hand with the ECU. The light might flash for 30 secs to 90 secs.
How do I service my direct TPMS?
The sensors are the main component of direct TPMs that will wear within a short time because of exposure to water, salt, extreme temperature, and so on. First, inspect them for physical damage. If you did not notice any damage, you could test the battery strength with the help of a TPMs tool. If it is low, you’ll need to remove it from the rim, then install a new one.
The new sensor in your tire might have a different ID, so you’ll need to register it with your vehicle module so the TPMs will work. Without writing it, your vehicle will not work hand in hand with the sensor, so you won’t be notified when your vehicle needs tire replacement.
Can I disable the TPMS system?
You cannot disable it as it is a crime. Before you can disable it, you need to notify the government, then they will give you the go-ahead, or they’ll caution you against it. As you can guess, the answer will most likely be a “no.” The TPMs are installed in cars for your safety. Taking them out will endanger you and others on the road.
TPMs is a technology that curbs the occurrence of driving with under-inflated tires on the road. If you notice you have low tire pressure, you need to fix this issue. Everything you need to know is covered in this article in an easy-to-understand manner.