My tire pressure warning light came on recently. What does that mean?

When the TPMS or Tire Pressure Monitoring System light comes on, it means your vehicle’s tire pressure is low or is going flat. The dashboard warning light, turns on when the tire pressure is below 20% of what the vehicle manufacturer recommends. So if your recommendation is for 35 psi (pounds per square inch), the light will come on when your pressure falls to 28 psi.

Pro-active auto owners can check their tire pressure at least once a month, instead of waiting for the TPMS system to activate.  20% below recommended pressure is significantly under-inflated. This means that you will be experiencing degraded handling and that your tire will be running hotter than it should. This can not only be a safety hazard, but your tires will wear prematurely and could even suffer a heat related failure.

Some vehicle owners mistake the tire pressure printed on the side of the tire as the recommended pressure for the vehicle. This is not the case. The information on the tire is the range the tire can handle. The correct pressure for your vehicle is on a plate or sticker on the driver’s side door or door jamb. This is the pressure your tires should have to match the engineered handling capacity of your vehicle. Please note that the pressure may be different for your front and rear tires.

The batteries in the sensors mounted in each wheel will eventually die, activating the warning light and you will need to replace the sensor. Sensors can also be damaged by road salt and other contaminants.

Some TPMS systems indicate tire pressures for individual wheels which will tell Brooklyn Park auto owners which tire is low – as long as the system has been reset after rotating the tires. Other systems will simply give a warning and it is up to you to check all your tires (including the spare). For more information, talk to your AutoPro Auto Service service professional.

The automotive professionals at AutoPro Auto Service in Brooklyn Park recommend that you have your tire pressure checked at least once a month to maintain your safety and increase tire life.

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