TPMS System Q&A

My TPMS Light Is On, What Does It Mean?
— Wondering What to Do About It

tpmsBerning’s Auto Repair Answer:

If your TPMS light is on, it means that one or more of your tires has low air pressure. The dashboard warning light, which looks like a cross-section of a tire with some lines in it, comes on when the tire pressure is 20% below what the auto manufacturer recommends. So if your recommendation is for 35 psi (pounds per square inch), the light will come on when your pressure falls to 28 psi.

It’s vital to note that 20% below recommended pressure is significantly under-inflated. This means that you will be experiencing degraded handling and that your tire will be running hotter than it should. This can not only be a safety hazard, but your tires will wear prematurely and could even suffer a heat related failure.

Even though the idea is a great concept, in reality, drivers should not use their Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) warning light as their trigger for checking their tire pressure. They should still check their tire pressure at least once a month.

Some TPMS systems indicate tire pressures for individual wheels which will indicate which tire is low – as long as the system has been reset after rotating the tires. Other systems will simply give a warning and it is up to you to check all your tires (including the spare). For more information, talk to your friendly Berning’s Auto Repair service professional.

You TPMS does not have a regularly scheduled maintenance interval. However, be aware that the batteries in the sensors mounted in each wheel will eventually die, illuminating the warning light and necessitating replacing the sensor. Sensors can also be damaged by road salt and other contaminants.

The automotive professionals at Berning’s Auto Repair in St. Michael recommend that you have your tire pressure checked at least once a month to maintain your safety and increase tire life.

READ MORE INFORMATION ABOUT TPMS SYSTEMS & TIRE PRESSURE HERE

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