What to Do When the TPMS Light Comes On

Your car’s tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) is a crucial safety feature that alerts you to potential issues. The TPMS light on your dashboard indicates if there is a problem needing immediate attention. Here’s what you should know about the TPMS light and the steps to take when it illuminates.

What Does the TPMS Light Mean?

The TPMS light signals that one or more tires are significantly under-inflated. Under-inflation can lead to poor vehicle handling, decreased fuel efficiency, and a higher risk of a tire blowout. Sometimes, the light indicates a problem with the TPMS itself rather than tire pressure.

What to Do When the TPMS Light Comes On:

  1. Check Tire Pressure Use a tire pressure gauge to check all your tires, including the spare. Compare the readings to the recommended pressure listed in your vehicle’s owner’s manual or on the sticker in the driver’s side door jamb.
  2. Inflate Tires to the Correct Pressure Inflate any under-inflated tires to the recommended pressure. Most gas stations have air pumps, or you can use a portable air compressor. Avoid overinflation, which can cause uneven tire wear.
  3. Inspect Tires for Damage While checking pressure, inspect each tire for cuts, punctures, or embedded objects like nails. If you find damage, have it inspected by a professional as soon as possible. Some damages can be repaired depending on their location and severity.
  4. Maintain Regular Upkeep Regularly check tire pressure at least once a month and before long trips. This can prevent the TPMS light from coming on and help avoid unexpected issues. Routine tire rotations, alignments, and inspections will extend tire life and improve vehicle performance.
  5. Consult a Professional If the TPMS light stays on after checking and inflating your tires or comes on frequently, there may be an issue with the TPMS itself. Have a professional mechanic inspect the system to diagnose and fix any problems, ensuring the TPMS light functions correctly.
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