TPMS Indicator Light behavior

By Greg Iorfida

Blinking Light – A blinking indicator light means the TPMS has malfunctioned. One or more sensors may have failed or lost communication with the ECU. Replace or relearn the TPMS sensor or sensors.

Solid Light – A solid indicator light means that one or more tires is operating at an unsafe pressure. Tire air pressure has dropped below the OEM recommendation placard pressure. Reset TPMS sensor pressures to the recommended door placard. Cold weather can affect the tire pressure with expanding contracting tires.

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The final rule establishes a Federal motor vehicle safety standard (FMVSS) requiring installation of a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) capable of detecting when one or more of a vehicle’s tires is significantly under-inflated.

This final rule responds to a mandate in the Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability, and Documentation (TREAD) Act. This final rule requires installation in all new light vehicles of a TPMS capable of detecting when one or more of the vehicle’s tires, up to all four tires, is 25 percent or more below the manufacturer’s recommended inflation pressure (placard pressure) or a minimum activation pressure specified in the standard, whichever is higher.

An independent TPMS study found that 42 percent of drivers are unable to identify the low tire-pressure warning light on the instrument cluster. Roughly the same percentage of those polled admitted to rarely checking the tire pressure.

For those who do recognize the TPMS light, 21 percent said that when they stop to check the low tire, they only give it a visual inspection rather than using a tire pressure gauge, the study said. Worse yet, roughly 10 percent admitted to ignoring the light altogether.

Understanding what the TPMS light is telling you may save your life!

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