Cars are equipped with a TPMS (tire pressure monitoring system) to guarantee the proper actions. When this system has strange things, the blinking tire pressure light is the signal to alert users that there are some issues with the vehicle’s tire. You can check the reasons below carefully and find a suitable solution for your car! Don’t ignore the warning light blinking.
In this article:
How Does TPMS Work?
TPMS is a system with an electric sensor to monitor the state of the vehicle’s tires and transmit the data to the car. The yellow light will flash on the dashboard if the data shows problems. There are two types of TPMS.
The indirect TPMS measures the pressure through tire rotation speed. If the tire pressure is low, the tire circumference is smaller. That leads to the tire rotation speed being faster because the smaller tire circumference makes the wheel spin faster.
By using a wheel speed sensor (WSS) to compare tire rotation speed with the wheel, indirect TPMS can determine the lack of air in one or two tires.
There is a more popular type of TPMS called direct TPMS. Direct TPMS measures tire pressure accurately in each tire by banding the TPMS sensor to the center of the wheel. Then the data will be communicated to the TPMS module using radio signals.
TPMS is used to follow the tires to reduce risk from low tires, protect tires from tire wear and contribute to saving fuel.
Why Is My Tire Pressure Light Blinking?
There are some reasons for this problem, but the most popular is low tire pressure and faulty TPMS. On some vehicles, the warnings display by giving the direct pressure readings in the dashboard or other ways. Some mistakes can be overcome by inflating tires or resetting the system, but some need to be headed to the repair center.
Low Tire Pressure
This is a common reason for a blinking tire pressure light.
Many causes make the tires have less air than the manufacturer’s recommendations. The air inside may discharge with time, so you must regularly check the air in your tires. Sometimes, your tire may be flat because of a leak.
Sudden changes in weather and temperature may hasten the speed of losing air because the pressure increases in high temperatures or vice versa. Notice the light flashing on and off with these factors.
If you are driving and see the warning light, you should first pull over. Using a gauge to measure the amount of air in both 4 wheels can give you direct results.
You can use a tire inflator to top off the low-pressure tire or replace it with a spare. Finally, drive a short distance to make sure the car is normal.
However, if a leak causes it, or you aren’t skillful at repairing a car, you should find the nearest service center to improve it.
TPMS System Problem
Faulty TPMS can make the warning light flash. This common reason is harder to diagnose, and you can follow some clues to know.
Your tires are safely inflated, but the light is flashing or not generating a warning light when you have flat tires. In some cases, the warning light starts from 60 to 90s after driving and then stays illuminating.
These point out a problem in TPMS or components. Cars with direct TPMS can have the flashing light because of a dead battery, faulty TPMS module, or faulty sensor.
The wrong type may install both direct and indirect TPMS. Ensure your car has the correct system, and look for a reliable service center for maintenance.
With the TPMS problem, best if you schedule a tire shop appointment to have your car repaired. Because the TPMS system of vehicles has many auto parts, it will be easier to replace any spare parts of your vehicle there.
There is a reason called failure to initialize. This problem occurs more frequently in older indirect TPMS, but some modern vehicles still require this before use.
Initialization means users have to initialize TPMS each time they adjust the tire pressure or remove the wheels from the vehicles. This action can set the detection threshold so that the car’s warning system accurately indicates the problems.
Don’t forget to reset the TPMS correctly; you can follow the initialization procedure directions in the owner’s manual.
Flashing Tire Pressure Light: How To Reset the TPMS sensor?
Adjust The Tires
If the tire pressure light is on because of low tire pressure, you should pump up your tires carefully; the sooner, the better. You can use a gauge to add air to a suitable amount, and the problem is done.
With a faulty TPMS, there is a way to reset the TPMS sensor by changing the air in your car’s tires. Filling your tires over 3 PSI compared to their recommended range, then deflating the air entirely. Don’t forget the spare tires because they may also have a sensor.
Re-inflate your tire at the right amount after some minutes at a low speed of around 15 MPH. This will calibrate the sensor for the next time you start your vehicle.
Using Your Car’s TPMS Reset Button
In most cars today, the TPMS reset button is often located underneath the steering wheel.
With the car off, you must use the key to turn the battery on, but don’t start the vehicle. Don’t leave your hand on the TPMS reset button. You’d better hold it until the tire pressure sensor blinks at least three times, and release it.
Start your car, and wait about 20 minutes to refresh your car’s TPMS. Some vehicles have the reset button in different places, and you can consult the settings or the manual.
Driving At A Certain Speed and Distance
A simple way to reset the TPMS sensor is driving at or above 50 mph for at least 10 minutes. The tire pressure system has reset the next time you start your vehicle.
With some cars having big loads, the speed should be higher.
Removing And Reconnecting the Battery
You should have your car off and safety equipment like gloves to remove the battery. Pop the hood and find out the battery’s location.
The positive terminal has a plus (+) sign.
Before turning the car on, you need to disconnect the positive battery cable, and then press the horn for more than three seconds to discharge all the stored power. Finally, reconnect the battery to check whether the warning light goes off.
Why Is My TPMS Light Flashing, But My Tires Are Fine?
If your tires seem fine, the problem may occur in the TPMS of your car, or one of your tires has a small leak.
You should also notice whether your vehicle requires initialization steps.
Can I Drive With A Tire Light Flashing?
No, it would be best if you didn’t drive with a tire light flashing because it is unsafe for your journey.
One or more tires underinflated or overinflated makes your vehicle out of control because the center of gravity tilts over. This may increase the heat in your tires and lead to tire failure, which causes blowouts or accidents for you and other drivers.
Low tire pressure also hastens the speed of tearing tire wear and consumes more fuel.
How Long Can I Drive With A Flashing Tire Pressure Light?
It would help if you never drove.
When you have this trouble in the middle of the road, turn the hazard light on and pull over to check your tire pressure.
If the problem is a little down tire, you can drive at the lowest rate carefully to the nearest mechanic shop.
If the tire is flat, and you don’t have any spare to solve the problem, you should turn the hazard light on and call the rescue team. Driving, in this case, makes the wheel contact with the ground and leads to a more expensive fee to repair or replace.
How Much Does It Cost To Replace TPMS Battery?
Today, most batteries are molded into TPMS sensors, so you must change all the systems to replace the dead or run-down battery. Depending on your vehicle and the types of TPMS, the cost may fluctuate between $50 to more than $150.
Do I Need To Buy New TPMS With New Tires?
No. You don’t need to buy a new sensor with new tires because TPMS sensors last for many years – about 5 to 10 years.
This vehicle’s component costs a rather high price, so you can have a new one when its battery has expired, or it has seriously damaged parts of the system.
A blinking tire pressure light alerts users about the tires’ state and expresses whether your vehicle has faulty TPMS sensors. So don’t ignore this light.
Remember to check your tire pressure first to ensure your safety if you see this warning light. It is good for you to take some car spare during the journey.
There are many ways to reset TPMS, and your car may be suitable for some of those. You can try them before going to the repair center.
See more: Why Does My Tire Keep Losing Air?