Q: How does the tire pressure monitoring system work?

asked by on December 15, 2015

How does the tire pressure monitoring system work?

Your car’s tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) is designed to help you keep an eye on the tire pressure. If the system notices a drop in pressure in a tire below a specific threshold, it will turn on the Low Tire Pressure Light on the dash. This is your signal to check all four tires and add air. You should also inspect the tire for punctures or other signs of a leak.

The TPMS system works with a series of sensors inside the wheels. You have one tire pressure sensor per wheel. If the sensor is damaged, the system will turn on the TPMS light, rather than the Low Tire Pressure Light. If you have the message center in your car, it will also display a message about a sensor problem. If there is a problem with the TPMS system itself, the TPMS light will come on and message about a system fault will be displayed on the center screen.

Tip

If you’re driving with your spare tire installed, you will see the Low Tire Pressure Light and the TPMS Light. Eventually, the Low Tire Pressure Light will turn off and leave only the TPMS Light.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

What others are asking

There's a whining noise coming from the engine at idle and it goes away when you pull the oil dipstick out

If you are getting too high of suction in the crankcase what is happening is the engine is sucking in air through the crankcase ventilation hose in the air filter housing most likely due to an air filter that is...

My heater is not working

Hello. As you know, there are two main components to the heater in your vehicle. One is the heater core which uses the warm coolant passing through the motor (and the heater core), and the other is the blower motor...

The AC starts out cold but doesn't stay cold, blows out cool air after about 20min.

Hi there. Sometimes a compressor clutch failure or restriction from the low pressure side of the AC system can cause this type of problem. In other cases, it'll be due to a refrigerant leak. It's always a good idea to...

Oil pan covered in oil, but no dripping

If your oil pan is covered in oil, that means you have an active oil leak that may be coming from higher up on the engine. The valve cover gaskets may be leaking and running down to the oil pan....

steering has been stiff lately and there is a squeak coming from rack and pinion

I believe that the issue you are having is due to your rack and pinion. If you are hearing a squeaking sound from the rack and pinion, there is likely a restriction in your rack and pinion most likely due...

What does it mean if the Low Tire Pressure Light on the dash comes on?

Your car is equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). It checks that each of your tires has the right amount of air. If it notices a drop in pressure, it will turn on the Low Tire Pressure Light...

I have a 2008 Mustang GT w/ HVAC issues. I cant seem to get any air to blow out of it at all

If you can still hear the blower running but the air flow does not go where you want it then the most common cause is the blend door actuator but the door needs to be checked at the same time...

I hear metallic noises from front wheels while driving as well as a grinding when driving.

You should have the front suspension and brakes checked to see if the suspension has worn bushings and the inner brake pads are worn out grinding metal to metal indicating the caliper slides are seized. Or you may have worn...

How does the driver’s seat position sensor work?

The Driver’s Seat Position sensor helps keep the driver safe in the event of a crash. The sensor will adapt the airbag deployment to meet the needs of the driver. To understand the Driver’s Seat Position sensor. The Driver’s...

Related articles

Why Do New Tires Have Rubber Hair on Them?
There There are little rubber hairs that you see on every new tire. Technically, they are called vent spews, which gives away their purpose for being on the tire. Many people think these hairs play a role in noise reduction...
How Does My Car Monitor Tire Pressure?
You’re You’re driving home from work and your steering wheel begins to pull. It gradually gets worse, then you hear a thump-thump-thump noise. You stop on the side of the highway to investigate, only to find you’ve got a flat...
How Does My Car Monitor Tire Pressure?
You’re You’re driving home from work and your steering wheel begins to pull. It gradually gets worse, then you hear a thump-thump-thump noise. You stop on the side of the highway to investigate, only to find you’ve got a flat...