What does the Tire Pressure Light Mean? | How to reset Tire Pressure Light?

The tire pressure is very important for the smooth running of the vehicle. Your vehicle’s tires must have sufficient pressure. The vehicle contains a tire pressure monitoring system, or TPMS, that is used to measure when any of your tires are either under or overinflated. When the tire pressure becomes lower than a specified limit, the tire pressure light or TPMS light starts to illuminate. This article describes how to reset the tire pressure light.

What Does the Tire Pressure Light Mean?

The Tire Pressure Monitoring System, or TPMS, is a feature that alerts drivers through a dashboard warning light when tire pressure falls below a safe level. This system is designed to help prevent uneven tire wear and potential tire failure by ensuring that tires are properly inflated.

When the tire pressure warning light starts to illuminate on your vehicle’s dashboard, it typically indicates that the vehicle’s tires have insufficient air pressure and may pose a risk to your safety while driving.

Tire Pressure Light

The tire pressure light is generally amber or yellow in color and resembles a tire cross-section with a yell point or the letters “TPMS.” This light is usually positioned in the gauge cluster of the vehicle’s dashboard.

Some people have reported that the TPMS warning light continues to blink even after they have properly inflated their tires. If this issue continues, it may need further attention to ensure that the TPMS system is working efficiently and precisely reflecting the tire pressure.

Types of TPMS

TPMS has two types:

  • Direct TPMS
  • Indirect TPMS

1) Direct TPMS

A direct Tire Pressure Monitoring System contains a series of sensors installed on the rim or pressure valve of your tire to gather information on tire pressure levels, which is then transmitted to the vehicle’s main computer.

The main issue with this type of TPMS it is prone to malfunction in extreme weather conditions. This type of TPMS is commonly used in vehicles in the US.

2) Indirect TPMS

This type of TPMS utilizes sensors installed on the anti-lock brake system (ABS) or wheel speed sensors to detect changes in wheel rotational speed that indicate underinflation because underinflated tires move much faster than regularly filled tires. This TPMS system is most commonly used in vehicles in Europe.

How to Reset a Tire Pressure Light

To reset the tire pressure warning light, you need to fix one or more of the following issues:

  • Check tire pressure
  • Press and Hold the TPMS Reset Button
  • Drive at 50 mph
  • Disconnect and Reconnect the Battery
  • Use a TPMS Reset Tool

1) Check Tire Pressure

Before attempting to reset your TPMS light, always make sure your car has sufficient tire pressure. You need to verify the tire pressure by using a tire pressure gauge.

Check Tire Pressure

Inflate each tire to the recommended PSI, then deflate them completely. Afterward, inflate the tires once more and drive your vehicle for a few minutes at 15 mph to calibrate the sensors manually.

2) Press and Hold the TPMS Reset Button

The latest vehicle models with direct TPMS systems usually contain a reset button positioned under the steering wheel, which allows for easy sensor re-calibration. The exact location of this button may vary depending on your vehicle’s make and model, so consult your owner’s manual for guidance.

TPMS Reset Button

To reset the tire pressure light, insert the key into the ignition switch and rotate it to the “on” position, but don’t try to run the vehicle. Press and hold the reset button for approximately 3 seconds or until the TPMS light starts flashing. Now, turn on the vehicle engine and perform a test drive for around 18 to 26 minutes before turning off the ignition.

3) Drive at 50 mph

This method may be the simplest, as it only requires driving the vehicle at 50 mph for roughly 11 miles. After ensuring the tires are at the correct pressure, the tire pressure sensors will automatically adjust themselves.

However, some cars might need to drive at a higher speed, and utilizing cruise control may help maintain a consistent speed. This approach is typically effective for car models that utilize an indirect method of measuring tire pressure.

4) Disconnect and Reconnect the Battery

Almost all vehicles contain a vehicle control computer that may occasionally experience bugs. The most effective method to resolve these issues is resetting the computer by disconnecting and reconnecting the battery.

negative terminal on battery

To perform this reset, open the hood of your vehicle and locate the negative terminal of the battery. You need to just detach this negative terminal to disconnect the battery and then turn on the radio or headlights of your vehicle to discharge any residual power. Reattach the negative terminal of the battery, and the TPMS warning light should disappear.

Read More: How to reset Airbag Light

5) Use a TPMS Reset Tool

Numerous TPMS reset tools are available on the market. You may need to reprogram the sensors in some conditions if they’ve lost their data. You will need the TPMS reset tool for this task. You may also reset the illuminated TPMS light with a simple press of a button by using a TPMS reset tool.

TPMS Reset Tool

Additionally, you may use an OBD-II scanner to reset the TPMS light. Always ensure the tool is well-matched with your car before purchasing it.

TPMS Reset Button Location

The location of the TPMS reset button can vary according to the vehicle’s make and model. The TPMS reset button is most commonly situated joined into the vehicle’s information display system or under the steering wheel.

TPMS Reset Button Location

FAQ Section

What does the Tire Pressure Light Mean?

The tire pressure warning light indicates that the vehicle’s tires have insufficient air pressure which may create unsafe driving conditions.

Can I drive with the TPMS light on?

Yes, it is possible to drive with an illuminated TPMS warning light, but it is not advisable, as you may lose the facility to check tire pressure without manually checking it. Addressing this issue promptly is essential, as driving with underinflated tires may result in increased wear and tear, poor acceleration, and reduced fuel efficiency. If your tire pressure light illuminates during driving, find a safe location to pull over and properly inspect the air pressure of your tires.

When should you reset your TPMS?

You should reset the TPMS when changing your tires. The reason behind this is that maximum TPMS systems determine the current tire pressure according to the weight and size of the original tire. If you use a different set of tires, your TPMS system will not provide a precise reading.

Do I have to reprogram TPMS sensors when changing tires?

It varies according to your vehicle model. Reprogramming of a TPMS is usually needed when changing tires. The reprogramming is required because the sensors will deliver wrong tire pressure data if not properly adjusted to the new tires. For other vehicles, just resetting the TPMS using the reset button might be adequate.

Why is my tire light on if my tires aren't flat?

If the tire pressure warning light on your dashboard remains illuminated for an extended period, it indicates that at least one tire is losing air. A flashing tire pressure light, cycling on for 1 second and off for 3 seconds, signifies issues with one or multiple sensors.

How may I know which tire is low?

To assess tire pressure manually, press your thumb down on the tire. If your tire doesn’t have sufficient air pressure, it will feel soft. However, if your tire has sufficient pressure, it will feel very rigid. Proper tire pressure is achieved when the tire is neither too stiff nor too soft.

How is it feel when driving with low tire pressure?

If you observe your car gradually feeling more sponge-like or softer while driving, it’s a clear symptom of low tire pressure. When the air pressure of your tires reduces, the tires start to flatten, causing a larger portion of the tire’s surface area to contact the road and produce a spongy sensation.

Can I drive with Tire Pressure Light?

Yes, you can drive with the illuminated tire pressure light but it is not recommended. However, it is risky to drive with this light.

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