TPMS or Tire Pressure Monitoring System is an electronic system which measures the air pressure in pneumatic tires. This system was made mandatory in the US due to the increased number of road accidents due to abnormally inflated or deflated tires.
TPMS Systems are of two types. One is direct TPMS, in which sensors are in tire pressure valves. These act as an antenna and transmit the information to an onboard processor. Another one is indirect TPMS, where the sensors are located within the ABS braking system. They monitor the speed of the rotation of the wheels for any change and reflect their findings on the dashboard.
Why is tire pressure sensor on?
If there is low tire pressure in your system, the TPMS warning light will turn on. If it turns on while you are driving, you must pull over your car on the side and check for various instances that could have turned the light on. Driving with this warning light on can be hazardous to you, and other patrons walking on the road.
It could also happen due to cold weather. The cold temperature tends to lower the pressure in your tires and may cause the TPMS dashboard warning light to turn on. In this case, you only need to add more air to your tire, but not too much as it can cause the tire to explode.
Resetting your tire pressure sensor system
When you see the TPMS warning light is on in your car, then you should check for below possibilities in the sequence they are presented and take the necessary steps to reset low tire pressure light.
Check the pressure in your tires and inflate them.
First and most obvious reason for the TMPS warning light to be on is low air pressure in your tires. You must check the air pressure in all the four tires of your vehicle with a pressure gauge. And fill the tires with the required amount of air as prescribed by the manufacturer. You can get the more information online about the best tire pressure monitoring system.
You can get the recommended amount of air pressure for each tire either in the manufacturer’s manual, or it’s also mentioned on the drivers-side door panel of your car. In winters, you can add a little extra air to your tires since they tend to show low air pressure due to cold weather. This needs to be done with caution, since too much of air may cause tires to burst as they become warm with motion.
If you have filled the appropriate amount of air in your tires and still the TMPS indicator is on, then you should take your car for a ride for around ten to fifteen minutes. Sometimes the indicator takes time to recalibrate the inflated tires, and this is expedited by moving tires.
Check for leaking tires.
Once all your tires are properly inflated, then you need to set the TPMS sensor back to zero. To do this, depending on the make of your car, you may have to push a related button on your dashboard simply, or it may need to be reset with a magnet, or just a scanning tool from your car’s a dealer or manufacturer of the car.
In case, you have added enough air however TPMS indicator is still on then you should check your tires for air leakage. In this case, you need to get your tire fixed or replaced. You can check more information online about best spare tire covers.
Check your TPMS System.
Your car may be having direct or indirect TPMS system installed in it.
If you have inflated your tires well, have also checked for leakage in your tires, and everything seems alright then you must check for malfunctioning of your TPMS system. It could be because the battery is dead or some internal fault in your TPMS system. It is recommended to replace your battery in every five to six years. Also, the old battery can cause a threat of leakage which can harm other parts of your car.
Direct TPMS system installs sensors inside each tire to gauge and transmit the information to the central control module. The sensors read pressure and temperature on each tire and analyze them against set thresholds. This information is sent to vehicle information system to turn on or off the related indicator. Since these sensors are exposed to direct weather, they get eroded very easily and may cause malfunction of the TPMS system to give false alarms.
Check your wheel transponder’s calibration.
As explained above, the TMPS system has installed a transponder for each of the four working wheels in your vehicle. The TPMS system needs to re-calibrate with the new settings after any change is made in the location of these transponders. These transponders may change their location due to rotation of the wheels and the TPMS system must learn their new location and calibrate itself per these changed locations.
The procedure for this calibration may differ from car to car and is available in your car manual. You can even search for the online videos which the manufacturers upload to explain the step by step process.
It is often recommended to get new valves when you get your tires changed. This is especially to be done if your valves also act as your TPMS sensors.
Use the magnet method to reset your TPMS indicator
To reset your indirect TPMS system, you may require using the magnet method. To do this, just key-in your ignition key without turning on the engine. Turn on the lock and the unlock button. Start the initial chirp and then hold a magnet just above the valve stems on each tire. This needs to be done unless horn chips for each valve stem. And you need to follow this sequence – left front tire, right front tire, right rear tire, and left rear tire.
Verify the pressure readings that are being displayed on vehicle information dashboard match the required level.
In case none of the sensors is being changed, then you can also use a scan tool to reset your TPMS indicator. You may get all the steps in the car’s user manual for this procedure.
Hope you find the above information useful and worthy. These are general instructions which will help you to handle all kind of TPMS system of almost any car and any make.
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