What Does Tpms Mean On A Car?

TPMS is an acronym for Tire Pressure Monitoring System. Thus, it serves as a tool that allows you to check and monitor your tire pressure from your dashboard. If you have a problem your TPMS light will turn on. It usually flashes to signify that it’s time for a checkup. 

If you have a modern car then the TMPS must be there. A sensor was installed by manufacturers on each tire. This helps to monitor the air pressure and warns you when the pressure of the tire deviates from the normal range. While driving, if you notice your TPMS light turns on, it’s because air pressure has dropped and may cause unsafe driving.

Like most drivers would ignore, the TPMS remains on until the issue is resolved. It is very important to maintain proper air pressure in your tires at all times. Under-inflated tires may accelerate tire water and make your car run inefficiently. This may pose a risk to tire failure.

Most drivers don’t give much attention to their tire pressure. But since your tires stand between your vehicle and the road, it’s important to give them proper attention. Your Tire Pressure Monitoring System makes it easy, by letting you know immediately when there’s a problem!

What Causes TPMS Lights To Come On?

Some people may see a TPMS light come on and may not know the reason. Well, if your TPMS light flashes when you start your car and turns off back seconds later, no panic here, it’s quite normal. But if the light continues flashing or starts flashing when you’re driving, then, there could be a problem.

Again, this often comes up when there’s a problem with the tire pressure. A flashing tire pressure light could indicate that there’s a problem with the sensors or the sensor battery. Besides, the TPMS Light may come on if the tire pressure is too high.

Is It Safe To Drive With TPMS Lights On?

When the tire pressure is low, it activates the TPMS light. This can contribute to premature tire wear and tire failure.

Now, would it be safe to keep on driving on seeing the TPMS light on? Well, no! Driving with the TPMS Light on is not safe. It means one of your tires is underinflated or overinflated. You can find the proper tire pressure for your car in your owner’s manual. 

This problem can cause undue wear on the tire, potentially lead to a tire failure. And cause a blowout which is dangerous to you and other drivers on the road. Ensure you refer to your “owner’s manual” for specific instructions on monitoring your TPMS system, as manufacturers may set their TPMS lights to trigger differently.

How Do I Get The TPMS Lights To Go Off?

As soon as you observe the TPMS Light comes on, check the tire pressure in all four of your tires. If one of the tires has low air, add air until the pressure reaches the manufacturer’s specifications. The TPMS light may be illuminated in any of the following three ways:

a. TPMS light turns on while driving

If the TPMS light comes on while you are driving, at least one of your tires has incorrect air pressure. Find the nearest gas station and check the pressure of the tires. Driving too long on underinflated tires can cause the tires undue wear, reduce gas mileage, and present safety hazards.

b. TPMS flashes on and off: 

Sometimes the TPMS Light goes on and off, which can be due to fluctuating temperatures. If the pressure drops overnight, then increases during the day, the light may turn off once the vehicle warms up or once the temperature rises during the day. If the light comes back on once the temperature cools down, you will know the weather is causing the pressure in the tires to fluctuate. It is a good idea to check the tires with a gauge and add or take away any air as needed.

c. TPMS light flashes on and off then stay on: 

If the TPMS Light flashes for 1 to 1.5 minutes after you start your car, then remains on, this means the system is not functioning correctly. A mechanic should look at your vehicle as soon as possible. If you do need to drive, be careful as the TPMS system will no longer alert you of low tire pressure. If you need to drive before a mechanic can look at your car, inspect your tires with a gauge and add pressure as needed.

What Is The Lowest Tire Pressure You Can Have And Still Drive?

We’ve already established why it isn’t advisable to drive with low-tire pressure. Moreover, if you should have standard passenger tires (ninety percent of vehicles do). The lowest tire pressure you can generally drive with is 20 pounds per square inch (PSI). Anything under 20 PSI is considered a flat tire and puts you at risk for a potentially devastating blowout.

Why Is It Important To Check Tire Pressure?

Checking your tire pressure and keeping your tires properly inflated should be a regular duty. It’s much easier than dealing with the consequences of under-inflated tires. Low tire pressure can negatively affect the handling, tire wear, fuel economy, and most importantly, safety. 

Conclusion

Note, it is a good idea to check your tires early in the morning before use. It helps you know if the tire pressure is low or not. At times the pressure might not below but the TPMS light remains on, and probably the fault is from the sensor.  It isn’t common, but it does happen. 

On the other hand, if you find that the pressure is low when the tires are stone-cold, then that’s the problem. Filling the tires to the cold specification, when they are cold, will almost certainly get rid of the issue of a TPMS light coming on repeatedly in the cold winter weather.

Incidentally, this is also the reason that it’s a good idea to check and adjust tire pressure throughout the year. The idea of putting “fall air” or “spring air” in tires may seem like a joke, but accounting for pressure swings due to the ambient temperature as the seasons change can head off issues with tire pressure monitor lights.