Picture this – you’ve just gotten into your vehicle in the morning and turned the key, only to have your TPMS light come on. Let’s get the bad news out of the way first: It isn’t safe to drive with this light on and is a warning that your tires need attention.
This is inconvenient and may require an awkward phone call or alternative arrangements but the bottom line is that it is unsafe to drive with low tire pressure – and that is precisely what your TPMS light is alerting you to.
With that said, there is some good news. It may not be an expensive fix – and even if it is a damaged tire or sensor – these are relatively inexpensive repairs and can be done quickly by an experienced professional. But don’t panic, you may not even need to worry about taking the vehicle to a mechanic at all.
In this article, we will walk you through what to do when your TPMS light comes on, and some ways to fix it. We will also explain some causes of your TPMS light being on – including some that have nothing to do with your tire pressure! Let’s jump in.
Investigating Why Your TPMS Light Is On
Alright, so you’ve done the right thing and are not driving with your TPMS light on – so, what’s next? Well, if you feel confident enough, you can investigate. You will need a few things:
- Tire Pressure Gauge
- Someone who knows how to take a reading and interpret it if you don’t know yourself
- Dish soap
- Spray Bottle
The first thing that you’re going to want to do is to check your tire pressure. That is of course what the sensor is there to detect. Check the tire pressure on all 4 tires. Make sure that you are parked on level ground and have not recently driven the vehicle. Tire pressure readings increase after the vehicle has been driven and the tires are heated up.
Verify the tire pressure reading with the label located inside your driver’s door jam.
Checking your tire pressure is going to result in one of two outcomes. Either you will have one or more tires that have low tire pressure, or you will find that they have even pressure. Here’s what to do in either event.
Low Tire Pressure
Okay, so the good news is that your TPMS sensor system works. The bad news is you have low tire pressure. Further investigation needs to be done to determine the best course of action. You need to know why the tire pressure is low, so the next step is to inspect the whole tire for leaks. You may wish to remove the wheel and tire assembly from the vehicle to do this.
To remove the wheel, consult your owner’s manual, or consult a professional. Inspect the tire for any foreign objects, punctures, or tears. If nothing is immediately visible it is time to get your dish soap, and water and put it into the spray bottle. Slowly spray some soapy water on the tire, section by section. If there is a pinhole leak, you will be able to detect it as the solution will bubble from the escaping air.
If a leak is detected, you will need to replace the tire or have it repaired (if the puncture is in the repairable area of the tire). If there is still no leak, the low pressure may be due to another culprit – such as cold weather.
When the temperature drops, everything shrinks a little bit, and that even includes the air in your tires. The air in the tire and the rubber that encases it do not shrink at the same level, and this can result in low tire pressure. If the weather has just turned and you find that you have multiple tires with low pressure – it is likely the case and you will only need to correct the air pressure – phew!
What If None of The Tires Have Low Pressure?
If your TPMS light comes on and you investigate your tires only to find that they all have even and optimal tire pressure, then your sensor may be having a problem. The good news is that it is probably okay to drive for now. However, you should have this issue addressed. It is never a good idea to leave faulty sensors unattended as they serve an important purpose.
If you are wondering why your TPMS light on my dash is on, call Jack Mobile Tire and we will help you to address all of your tire needs, from repairs to replacements, and help with your tire pressure sensors. If you are short on time or do not feel comfortable figuring out what the issue is with your tires, let the pros handle it. JACK Mobile Tire is already in your neighborhood daily and is ready to get you back on the road. Best of all, with JACK Mobile Tire, you don’t have to even go anywhere, as we come right to your home, office, or anywhere you are!