Follow These Tips and Stay Safe When Your TPMS Light Goes On
First and foremost, a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) is not a replacement for routine tire maintenance. It is, however, a good supplemental emergency warning system that you should take seriously. While these systems do have significant limitations, a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) warning light indicates a potentially serious problem.
What it Means When Your Tire Pressure Warning Light Comes On: Malfunction vs. Real Problem
When your tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) warning light comes on, flashes repeatedly, and then turns off, this indicates a malfunction with the vehicle’s TPMS system. If the TPMS comes on and stays on, it means your tire has a dangerously low level of air pressure. The air loss detected by the TPMS could be the result of a slow leak that finally meets the warning threshold, or it could mean a sudden tire failure. Remember, manufacturing and design defects could cause tire failure at any given time.
What to do when your Tire Pressure Monitoring System Warning Light Turns On
One of the largest tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) manufacturers in the world, Schrader International, has provided helpful advice in the event your warning light turns on. First and foremost, find a safe place to get away from traffic so you can safely stop and get out of your car to check your tires. Slowly decelerate your vehicle and pull off on the side of the road.
Once you have stopped the vehicle in a safe location, get out your tire gauge and check the air pressure in each tire on your vehicle. Compare the pressure of the tires to your manufacturer’s recommended psi. This information can be found in your owner’s manual or on the placard label located just inside the driver’s door. If you are not comfortable checking the tire pressure on your own, carefully proceed to a professional tire technician. If you have AAA or roadside assistance, contact the customer support department and request assistance. This way you do not have to move your vehicle to a tire facility.
If you do not have a fast leak or a completely flat tire, carefully drive your vehicle to the nearest filling station or tire repair facility. NOTE: Do not drive on a flat tire. If you drive to a filling station, fill each tire to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure level. If you drive to a tire repair facility, have them check your tires for leaks and fill your tires with the necessary air. If repairs are necessary, have the tire repair facility perform the repairs. Once your tires have been repaired (if necessary) and inflated to their proper pressure, the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) light should go off. If it is the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) system that is acting up, have it serviced at your local service facility as quickly as possible.
Have Your Tires Checked Properly
If you filled your tires yourself and have not yet had the tires inspected by a reputable service facility, you need to do so as soon as possible. Even if you think that the problem has been solved, it is imperative that a service facility check your tires and your tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) system after a TPMS alert has occurred.