What to Do When Your TPMS Light Goes On
TPMS stands for “Tire Pressure Monitoring System”. This is a function that all passenger vehicles, weighing under 10,000 pounds and sold after September 1, 2007, must have according to the TREAD Act of 2000.
Why Your Light Is On
The light primarily alerts the driver when the tire pressure is too low or too high. Both cases can be bad for your vehicle due to tire pressure being integral to tire performance. A correctly inflated set of tires extends the life of your tires, promotes optimal fuel efficiency, and protects your vehicle from hydroplaning.
Another reason the TPMS light may come on is due to an error in your vehicle’s TPMS sensor. Typically, a TPMS vehicle’s sensor system should last for about ten years before replacement. You may find that the sensor goes out first in your right rear tire – this is the tire farthest away from the main system.
Check Your Pressure
The first thing you should do is check your tire pressure. You can purchase a manual pressure gauge from most stores or online. It is very easy to do a quick Google search for places that sell them near you. Gas stations with air compressors will have them on the hose. After locating a gauge, find the optimal psi level recommended for your vehicle – this can be located on the inside of the driver’s door. You should also check the max psi capacity of your tires. Then, simply use the gauge to read the air pressure.
Inflate/Deflate Air From Tires
Depending on the psi reading from the gauge, you may have to inflate or deflate your tires. To inflate, you will take an air compressor, either from your home, auto shop, or a gas station, and fill it up to the recommended psi level. If you need to deflate your tires, you can simply press down the center of your tire valve to release air. This can be done with an object that is small enough to fit inside the valve. Be careful not to release too much air! Check your air pressure after both of these tasks. If the TPMS light goes off, then you’re good to go. However, if it remains on, there could be a problem with the sensor so it would be a good idea to take it to a trusted auto shop.
Go to Your Local Auto Shop
If you are unable to fix the air pressure yourself, leave it to the professionals before doing more damage. They will let you know if your vehicle’s sensor will need to be replaced and will check your tire’s tread and pressure. We are more than happy to help you with this step. Don’t let this light stay on for too long, bring your vehicle to us!