Category Archives: tire pressure sensor light

Why is my TPMS light on?


TPMS light on dashThe TPMS warning light is just another annoying dashboard warning light that can be ignored, right?

The answer: no. Not if you want to be safe and NOT stranded on the side of the road.

What is the TPMS light for?

The TPMS warning light is a dashboard warning light that alerts you, the driver, to low tire pressure in one or several tires. ‘TPMS’ stands for tire pressure monitoring system. Basically, your car or truck has sensors in the tires that alerts you when the tire pressure is low.

What should I do to make the TPMS light turn off?

When the TPMS light is on, check the tire pressure of each tire (use these directions for checking tire pressure).  Fill up the tire or tires with air to the proper tire pressure recommended by your car’s manufacturer. The proper amount of pressure (noted as psi) for your vehicle can be found in your car’s owner manual or on a decal that is on the frame below you as you climb in the driver’s side door.

Your TPMS warning light comes on when your tires are 20% or more below the recommended pressure. By that time, your tire pressure is dangerously low—and dangerous to drive on. If your TPMS light comes on regularly, schedule a mechanic to see if your tire has a leak that needs to be fixed or to check for an error in the system.

The pressure of your tires rise and fall with the weather and road conditions. Make checking the tire pressure a regular part of your schedule. You can also have your mechanic check at every oil change.  Don’t rely on a quick glance or the tire pressure monitor on your dashboard; sometimes your tire can be low on tire pressure and you cannot tell from looking at it. If your tires are low on tire pressure often, contact your mechanic to find out if the tire can be fixed or if you need a new tire.

Why do I need a TPMS system? Why should tires be kept at recommended tire pressure?

Maintaining proper tire pressure in your car’s tires is more than just a means to keep the TPMS dashboard warning light off. Proper tire pressure is also safer and can save you money over the life of your tires.

Tires kept at improper tire pressure can cause handling and traction issues, which can be extremely hazardous during our cold Wisconsin winters and on our hot Wisconsin roads in summer. Overinflated or underinflated tires can lead to a flat tire, which can cause an accident, leave you stranded, and cost you more as you replace tires.

Tire pressure also affects the handling of the car. Overinflated tires give you a bumpy ride. Tires low on air guarantee a soft ride but can cause handling issues.

Improper pressure can also cost you more money in the short- and long-term. Tires with too much or too little air can decrease gas mileage, costing you more in gas the longer you own the car. Both underinflated and overinflated tires need to be replaced more often because it increases the rate of tire tread wear. With an overinflated tire, less of the tread makes contact with the road, wearing down selected sections of the tire tread more quickly. More of an underinflated tire comes in contact with the road, wearing down all of the tire tread. A tire not wearing properly leaves you vulnerable to blown tires and more frequent tire replacement.