Are you tired of seeing the TPMS light on your car’s dashboard? I understand the frustration of having to deal with it every time you start your car.
Fortunately, fixing the TPMS light is easier than it seems. In this comprehensive guide, I’ll take you through the steps you need to know to turn that warning light off and keep it from coming back on.
Whether you’re an experienced mechanic or a novice in vehicle maintenance, my step-by-step instructions and tips will help you troubleshoot and fix the issue.
I’ll cover everything from the basics of the TPMS system to diagnosing the problem and replacing faulty sensors. So, let’s get started and get that TPMS light turned off for good!
What is TPMS?
A tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) is a safety feature that monitors the air pressure inside a vehicle’s tires. The system alerts the driver if the pressure in one or more of the tires is too low or too high.
This helps prevent accidents caused by underinflated or overinflated tires, leading to poor handling, reduced fuel economy, and tire failure.
Most modern cars come equipped with TPMS as standard, and it is mandatory for all new vehicles sold in the United States since 2008 to have TPMS.
Properly inflated tires make driving safer and improve fuel economy, extend tire life, and reduce carbon emissions. Therefore, checking and maintaining your vehicle’s tire pressure regularly is important.
Different types of TPMS
Two types of tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) exist: direct and indirect.
a) Direct TPMS
Direct TPMS uses sensors in each tire to measure the air pressure. These sensors transmit the pressure data wirelessly to a receiver in the vehicle. Direct TPMS provides accurate and real-time pressure readings for each tire, allowing the driver to identify underinflated or overinflated.
b) Indirect TPMS
Indirect TPMS, on the other hand, uses the vehicle’s anti-lock braking system (ABS) to measure changes in tire rotational speed. If one tire is underinflated, it will have a smaller diameter and rotate at a different speed than the other tires. The ABS system detects this difference and alerts the driver with a warning light.
Both direct and indirect TPMS have their advantages and disadvantages. Direct TPMS provides more accurate pressure readings, but the sensors can be expensive to replace if they fail. Indirect TPMS is less expensive, but direct TPMS may only detect pressure changes slowly.
Can TPMS fail? What causes TPMS light? (Faults)
Yes, a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) can fail. Despite being an important safety feature in modern vehicles, TPMS components can wear out or malfunction over time. Here are some common reasons why a TPMS may fail:
- Dead or low battery
Direct TPMS sensors have a battery that can eventually run out of power. Depending on the manufacturer, these batteries typically last 5-10 years.
When a sensor’s battery dies, the TPMS may stop working or provide inaccurate readings. The only solution is to replace the sensor, which can be expensive.
- Sensor damage
Direct TPMS sensors are mounted inside the tire, which can be damaged by road debris, potholes, or curb impacts. If a sensor is damaged, it may stop working or provide inaccurate readings. If you notice any physical damage to your tires or wheels, you have the TPMS inspected by a qualified mechanic.
- Faulty wiring or receiver
The wiring that connects the sensors to the receiver or the receiver itself can fail or become damaged, causing the TPMS to stop working.
This can happen if the vehicle is involved in an accident or the wiring is exposed to extreme temperatures. If the wiring or receiver is faulty, it must be repaired or replaced.
- Incorrect tire pressure calibration
During installation, TPMS sensors must be calibrated to ensure that they provide accurate pressure readings. The system may work as intended if the TPMS is calibrated properly and the tire pressure is set correctly.
This can result in false alarms or failure to detect actual pressure issues. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when installing new tires or TPMS sensors.
- Interference from other electronic devices
In some cases, interference from other electronic devices, such as cell phones or radios, can disrupt the wireless signals that the TPMS uses to communicate.
This can result in false alarms or failure to detect actual pressure issues. Try to keep electronic devices away from the TPMS receiver to avoid interference.
- Environmental factors
Extreme temperatures or humidity levels can affect the accuracy of TPMS sensors. In hot weather, the air pressure inside the tires can increase, causing the TPMS to trigger false alarms.
In cold weather, the tire air pressure can decrease, causing the TPMS to trigger false alarms or fail to detect actual pressure issues. Make sure to check your tire pressure regularly during extreme weather conditions.
- Improper repairs or modifications
If the tires or wheels have been repaired or modified, the TPMS may not work as intended.
For example, if the tire was repaired with a plug instead of being replaced, the TPMS may not be able to detect a slow leak. Always use a qualified mechanic for tire repairs and modifications.
If you suspect that your TPMS is not working correctly, let it be checked by a qualified mechanic. Remember, a properly functioning TPMS is an important safety feature that can help prevent accidents and extend the life of your tires.
Why if my TPMS light is on but tires are fine?
If the TPMS light comes on, but the tires are perfectly fine, the TPMS may malfunction. Here are some potential reasons why this might occur:
- Dead or low battery: As mentioned before, TPMS sensors have batteries that can eventually run out of power. If a sensor’s battery is dead or low, it may send incorrect readings to the TPMS module, which could trigger the light.
- Sensor damage: If a sensor is damaged, it may send incorrect readings or fail to send any readings at all. This could cause the TPMS light to come on even if the tires are properly inflated.
- Incorrect tire pressure calibration: The system might work better if the TPMS sensors were calibrated correctly during installation. This can result in false alarms or failure to detect actual pressure issues.
- Faulty wiring or receiver: The wiring that connects the sensors to the receiver or the receiver itself can fail or become damaged, causing the TPMS to stop working.
- Interference from other electronic devices: As mentioned earlier, interference from other electronic devices, such as cell phones or radios, can disrupt the wireless signals that the TPMS uses to communicate.
If the TPMS light comes on, but the tires are properly inflated, it is important to have the system checked by a qualified mechanic. They will be able to diagnose the problem and determine the best course of action. Ignoring a malfunctioning TPMS can put your safety at risk and result in unnecessary tire wear and tear.
How to fix TPMS light in Honda CR-V
The methods for fixing the TPMS light in a Honda CR-V can vary depending on the cause of the issue. Here are some possible ways to address the TPMS light:
- Inflate the tires
If the TPMS light comes on, the first step is to check the tire pressure with a tire pressure gauge. If the tires are underinflated, inflate them to the recommended pressure level as indicated in the owner’s manual or on the driver’s door jamb placard.
Once the tires are properly inflated, the TPMS light should go off after a short drive.
- Reset the TPMS
If the TPMS light remains on even after inflating the tires, try resetting the system. To do this, turn the ignition to the “on” position, but do not start the engine.
Press and hold the TPMS reset button until the TPMS light blinks twice. Release the button, and the system should reset. If the light continues to stay on, there may be an issue with the system that requires further inspection.
- Check the TPMS sensors
The TPMS sensors could be faulty or need to be replaced. The sensors are located inside each tire and are responsible for sending pressure readings to the TPMS module.
If a sensor is damaged or not functioning correctly, it can cause the TPMS light to come on. A qualified mechanic can test the sensors and replace them if necessary.
- Check the TPMS module
If the TPMS sensors are functioning correctly, the issue may be with the TPMS module itself. The module could be damaged or malfunctioning, preventing it from receiving accurate sensor readings. A mechanic can diagnose the issue and replace the module if necessary.
- Check the wiring
Faulty wiring can also cause the TPMS light to come on. If the wiring that connects the sensors to the TPMS module is damaged or disconnected, it can cause the system to malfunction. A mechanic can inspect the wiring and repair or replace it if necessary.
It is important to address a TPMS light as soon as possible, as it can indicate a problem with the tire pressure or the system itself. Ignoring the light can result in unsafe driving conditions and unnecessary tire wear. (Source)
Is it safe to drive with TPMS light on?
No, driving with the TPMS light on is not considered safe. The TPMS light is a warning indicator that one or more of the tires may have low pressure, which can affect the vehicle’s handling, braking, and overall safety. Low tire pressure can also cause the tires to wear out faster, leading to poor fuel economy.
Driving with underinflated tires can increase the risk of a blowout, which can be very dangerous, especially at high speeds. Also, low tire pressure can cause the vehicle to handle poorly and make it more difficult to control, especially in emergencies.
If the TPMS light comes on, it is important to check the tire pressure and inflate any underinflated tires to the recommended pressure level. If the light remains on, it could indicate a problem with the TPMS system, and a qualified mechanic should inspect the vehicle.
To sum it all up, driving with the TPMS light on is unsafe, and it is important to address the issue promptly to ensure safe driving conditions.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Which TPMS is best? Internal or External?
Both internal and external TPMS have advantages and disadvantages, and the best option depends on the driver’s specific needs.
Internal TPMS sensors are installed inside the tire, and they measure the pressure and temperature of the tire.
This type of TPMS is more accurate, as it directly measures the pressure of each tire and is also more aesthetically pleasing since the sensors are hidden inside the tire. However, they can be more difficult to install and may require specialized equipment.
External TPMS sensors are attached to the tire’s valve stem and are easier to install than internal sensors. They are also less expensive and can be transferred between vehicles.
However, they are less accurate than internal sensors since they measure the pressure of the air inside the tire rather than the pressure of the tire itself.
In general, internal TPMS may be the better option for drivers who prioritize accuracy and aesthetics. At the same time, external TPMS may be a better choice for those who prioritize cost and ease of installation.
How Do TPMS sensors get power?
TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) is powered by a small battery that is mounted inside each TPMS sensor, which is usually placed on the valve stem of each tire.
The battery is typically a long-life lithium battery that can last up to 10 years or more, depending on the sensor model and usage.
The TPMS sensor is designed to transmit information wirelessly to the vehicle’s onboard computer or TPMS control module. The sensor sends a signal that includes the tire pressure, tire temperature, and a unique identifier code that identifies the specific sensor.
This information is then analyzed by the TPMS control module, which can alert the driver if the tire pressure is too low.
The TPMS sensors are designed to be low power and only transmit data when the vehicle is in motion. When the sensors detect a change in tire pressure or temperature, they send a signal to the TPMS control module, which sends a warning signal to the vehicle’s dashboard display.
Overall, TPMS sensors are powered by a small battery that is designed to last a long time, allowing them to continuously monitor tire pressure and temperature without requiring frequent maintenance or replacement.
How often does the TPMS needs to be replaced?
TPMS sensors are designed to last for several years, typically between 5-10 years or more, depending on the sensor model and usage.
However, the lifespan of the TPMS sensors can be affected by various factors such as temperature changes, exposure to water or road salt, and physical damage.
In general, it is recommended to replace TPMS sensors every time the tires are replaced, which is typically every 60,000 to 100,000 miles or every 5-6 years. This is because the sensors may become damaged during the tire replacement process or may wear out over time.
Additionally, if the TPMS warning light is illuminated on the dashboard and the tires have been properly inflated, it may indicate a problem with the TPMS sensors that require replacement.
It is important to note that TPMS sensors can be expensive to replace, and the cost may vary depending on the vehicle’s make and model. However, it is crucial to ensure that the TPMS sensors function properly to ensure safe driving conditions and avoid potential tire damage or blowouts due to underinflation.
What Can Damage a TPMS?
Several things can potentially damage a TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) sensor, including exposure to water, dirt, and road debris, high temperatures, low temperatures, and physical damage caused by hitting a curb or pothole.
Additionally, incorrect sensor installation or the wrong type of sensor can cause it to malfunction or fail. Over time, the battery in the sensor can also wear out, causing the sensor to fail.
It is important to check tire pressure regularly and inspect the TPMS sensors if the warning light appears on the dashboard to ensure that they function properly and avoid potential damage.