Is it Safe to Drive With the TPMS Light On?

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The Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) alerts you when the tire pressure is too low by turning on a dashboard warning light. Proper tire inflation is crucial to tire performance, car handling, and carrying ability. A tire inflated to the correct amount will reduce tread movement for longer tire life, roll easier for optimal fuel efficiency, and increase water dispersion to prevent cases of hydroplaning. Low pressure and high pressure in tires can cause unsafe driving conditions.

Low tire pressure can cause the tires to wear prematurely, and lead to tire failure. An underinflated tire will turn sluggishly, negatively impact fuel economy, and build up extra heat. High tire pressure, or overinflated tires, will cause early wear in the center of the tread, poor traction, and won’t be able to properly absorb road impact. If the tire fails from any of these conditions, it could lead to a blowout that causes you to potentially lose control of the vehicle.

What To Do When the TPMS Light Turns On

As soon as the TPMS Light comes on, check the tire pressure in all four of your tires. If one of the tires has low air, add air until the pressure reaches the manufacturer’s specifications, which can be found on the inside of the driver's side door panel. In addition, the TPMS Light may come on if the tire pressure is too high. If this is the case, check the pressure of all four tires and deflate as needed.

The TPMS light may illuminate in any of the following 2 ways:

  1. TPMS light turns on while driving:If the TPMS Light comes on while you are driving, at least one of your tires has incorrect air pressure. Find the nearest gas station and check the pressure of the tires. Driving too long on underinflated tires can cause the tires undue wear, reduce gas mileage, and present safety hazards.

  2. TPMS flashes on and off: Sometimes the TPMS Light goes on and off, which can be due to fluctuating temperatures. If the pressure drops overnight, then increases during the day, the light may turn off once the vehicle warms up or once the temperature rises during the day. If the light comes back on once the temperature cools down, you will know the weather is causing the pressure in the tires to fluctuate. It is a good idea to check the tires with a gauge and add or take away any air as needed.

  3. TPMS light flashes on and off, then stays on: If the TPMS Light flashes for 1 to 1.5 minutes after you start your car, then remains on, this means the system is not functioning correctly. A mechanic should look at your vehicle as soon as possible. If you do need to drive, be careful as the TPMS system will no longer alert you of low tire pressure. If you need to drive before a mechanic can look at your car, inspect your tires with a gauge and add pressure as needed.

Is it Safe to Drive with the TPMS Light on?

No, driving with the TPMS Light on is not safe. It means one of your tires is underinflated or overinflated. You can find the proper tire pressure for your car in your owner’s manual, or on a sticker located on the door, trunk, or fuel door. This can cause undue wear on the tire, potentially lead to a tire failure, and cause a blowout dangerous to you and other drivers on the road. Be sure to refer to your owner’s manual for specific instructions for monitoring your TPMS system, as manufacturers may set their TPMS lights to trigger differently.


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Kevin

31 years of experience
234 reviews
Kevin
31 years of experience
Dodge Grand Caravan - Engine or Transmission Mount Replacement - Torrance, California
Kevin did a great job in a timely manner. He explained what he was doing and was very efficient. I would recommend him to anyone.
Honda Civic - Check Engine Light is on - Los Angeles, California
Kevin is the best.

Jacob

13 years of experience
74 reviews
Jacob
13 years of experience
Ford Flex - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Lawrenceville, Georgia
Very freindly and explained the services he proformed. great job. I would definelty ask for him again

Ricardo

21 years of experience
199 reviews
Ricardo
21 years of experience
Cadillac CTS - Car is not starting - Miami, Florida
He was able to come to appointment earlier than scheduled, professional, efficient and very thorough with explanation of what he did to the car. I received a full report of what needed to be done and prices within 30 mins. He was available for questions a few hours later for his expertise. I highly recommend this service and Ricardo.

Nicholas

19 years of experience
348 reviews
Nicholas
19 years of experience
Ford Escape - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Denver, Colorado
Very knowledgeable and courteous. His inspection helped me to make an informed decision about purchasing the vehicle.

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