what is a tire pressure warning light?
The purpose of the TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) is to alert you when your car’s tyre pressure is too low. this system will cause a tire pressure warning light to illuminate if a fault is detected.
Under-inflated tires can create unsafe driving conditions due to increased rate of wear and increased chance of total failure.
Although a wide range of new car manufacturers use a tpms on their models, the problem is that they all react differently and may have a light on your dashboard for different reasons.
This guide will walk you through the likely reasons why your low pressure warning light has come on and how you can correct it.
reasons the tire pressure warning light might be on include:
your tire pressure is low
There’s nothing like stating the obvious; but when the tire pressure warning light comes on, most of the time it is because the tire pressure is really low.
Manufacturers typically set the tpms on their cars to activate the light when pressures drop below 75% of the car’s recommended specs. as a result, you generally have plenty of time to correct the problem.
Leaving tires under-inflated will cause accelerated and uneven tire wear, increased fuel consumption and reduced driving stability. We always recommend checking your tire pressure regularly to make sure you (and other road users) stay safe when driving.
change in weather temperature
Have you ever come to your car after a freezing night and found the tire pressure warning light had come on? this is most likely due to the ambient temperature dropping overnight.
You may already know that cold air is much denser than warm air. well, even though there are fewer molecules in warm air, they carry much more energy and therefore can exert more pressure on their surroundings.
on the other hand, cold air carries less energy and therefore cannot exert as much pressure. As a result, as the temperature drops, so does the pressure exerted on the inside of the tire.
how do I fix this?
Read more: Seasons in Spain: Weather and Climate
It’s always worth double checking tire pressure in this case, especially if cold weather persists. alternatively, if you just checked the pressures recently, then taking it for a spin and warming up the tires a bit will solve the problem.
the tpms sensor is faulty
Although this is not always the main problem, it has been known to surprise some motorists who cannot figure out why the light stays on despite inflating the tires to the manufacturer’s specifications.
Typically a faulty tpms sensor will flash for a period of time and then stay lit (confirm this with your vehicle manual as every car is different). Prevention is always better than cure, so it’s a good idea to check your tire pressure.
If the problem persists, we recommend that you reserve your car at your local stratstone dealer, who will have a qualified technician fix the problem for you.
you have something in your tire
is there anything worse than going out and finding that your car has a nail in the tire? sometimes you get lucky and uncover the nail early so you can sort it accordingly, other times you don’t.
if you notice your tire pressures constantly dropping (which activates the tpms), then you should visually check the offending tire to see if you can spot any nails, stones, or sharp objects protruding from the tread.
If you find something on your tire, then it is imperative that you visit your local stratstone dealer, who will be able to repair or replace the tire for you.
still not sure? talk to the experts
If you’ve tried all of the above and still have a warning light, it’s worth taking your car to a reputable dealer to have the tires checked by a professional.
At stratstone, our vehicle health check service will not only check the condition of your tires, but also the other important components that keep you safe on the road.
We also offer tyre mounting and repair services, if necessary.