A system for monitoring the tire pressure or TPMS is an electronic system which monitors air pressure in a vehicle tire. Air pressure is automatically transmitted to the car dashboard. Driver receives warning signal in form of TPMS light in case of low tire pressure and, in some cases, for excessive tire pressure.
Owing to the increasing number of car accidents due to low tire pressure, car manufacturers are directed to install Tire pressure monitoring system on all new European and American vehicles. Similar legislation is also introduced worldwide.
Since this is fairly new technology therefore many drivers could not figure out the meaning of TPMS indication. In this article we will explain different types of TPMS lights, its meaning and how to get rid of TPMS warning light.
HOW does the TPMS light looks like?
The TPMS warning light has the following appearance:
It appears in the dashboard of your vehicle (if TPMS installed in it).
There are two different types of TPMS indication. TPMS blinking and solid indication
Difference between solid and blinking tpms indicator
The modern drivers should know the difference between solid indication and blinking TPMS light. Because both have different meaning. If the TPMS warning lights continuously without any break, it is solid and mostly due to low tire pressure. If the TPMS indicator light on and off with short interval, it is TPMS blinking. It means there is some fault in the TPMS system. So some more diagnostic work is required.
Different Types/Combinations of TPMS indications
TPMS light turn on continuously without any flashing. Continuous solid indication.
TPMS light flashing for few seconds (30 to 90) and then lit up continuously. Blinking followed by solid tpms indication.
TPMS light continuously flashing. Alternatively if TPMS indication starts blinking after it was on continuously for some time. Only flashing or solid followed by blinking TPMS.
Understand different types of TPMS indications and how to respond them.
Previously we have described three types of TPMS warning indications. Now each of them has different meanings.
Solid TPMS light
If the TPMS light comes on and stays on while driving, this indicates a low pressure in at least one of your tires. It is pretty much straight forward. Park your car safely and check the pressure of all your tires to see which tire (s) lacks air. Inflate each tire to its recommended tire pressure. If you are not sure about recommended pressure, check car manual. It is also usually printed on tire as well.
When correct air pressure in maintained in each tire, TPMS light will turn off automatically.
TPMS light won’t go off after correct pressure?
In many cars, TPMS light won’t turn off automatically after inflating each tire to correct pressure. In this case, reset your car Tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) and drive your car for at least two minutes at more than 20 mph (32 km / h) to turn the light off.
If the light stays on even though the tires are inflatedproperly and the spare tire is not being used, contact your authorized dealer as soon as possible.
TPMS indicator after tire change
If the spare tire is being used, this light will come on. This is the case in most of the vehicles. Repair the damaged wheel and tire assembly and replace it in the vehicle to resume normal system operation. If the spare tire has TPMS installed than there is a special method of changing tire having TPMS.
Blinking followed by solid tpms indication
If TPMS light flashes for 30 to 90 seconds when you turn on the ignition and then turn on permanently, it means there is a fault in the TPMS itself. There may be loss of communication with the sensor, low battery or short circuit. Defective TPMS indication can also occur after a tire replacement. Mostly replaced tire prevents the TPMS from functioning properly.
When the malfunction indicator is active, the system may not detect or alert the low tire pressure. Get to TPMS specialist as soon as possible to correct any defects. If the TPMS fails, check the pressure of your tires before driving as an extra precaution
Continuous flashing or solid followed by flashing
If The TPMS warning light flashes, it indicates that the pressure of your tires is approaching their lower limit (20% below normal pressure). In such situation, try to check tire as soon as possible. Check for the tire puncture or other serious damage.
Add air until the required pressure is reached. Reset the Tire pressure monitoring system.
NOTE: In some cases, the car have two different TPMS indications. First is low tire pressure indication and second is TPMS indication. Low tire pressure indication show reduce air pressure in tires while TPMS light illustrates fault in TPMS system.
The tpms sensors are powered by a small batteries that provides an operational life of seven to ten years. These batteries are sealedinternally because the battery is not separately replaceable. The sensors must be replaced when the batteries near the end of their life. When the battery charge becomes too low the tpms indicator on the vehicles instrument panel will illuminate indicating a failure in the tpms system. At this stage the system no longer will monitor tire pressure. The driver will need to increase the frequency of their manual checks of each tires pressure and condition. Contact the specialist as he may use a tpms tool to determine the remaining battery life for each sensor. The battery cannot be replacedtherefore replacing whole sensor is mandatory.
TIP: If one or more of the batteries have a low charge, it is recommended to replace of all four sensors to avoid multiple dealer visits. It is because if one battery has a low charge it’s likely the other batteries are nearing the end of their operational life as well.
The tire pressure is in at least one tire is below the set points.Get you tire pressure checked and inflate each tire to recommended pressure.
At ignition, TPMS signal goes out with the other lamps.
TPMS is functional, tire pressure is correct.
No action needed.
TPMS signal lights up permanently (solid light).
The tire pressure is in at least one tire is below the set points.
Get you tire pressure checked and inflate each tire to recommended pressure.
TPMS indicator flashes and then lights up permanently.
At least one TPMS sensor is defective.
Contact the specialist. Replace the defective sensor.
TPMS warning light flashing continuously ( In some vehicles)
Tire pressure in at least one tire below min 20%.
Stop immediately and add air.
Introduction of Tire pressure monitoring system ensured driver safety reduces fuel consumption and most importantly avoid high tire wear. However the drivers still ensure regular tire service and maintenance.