Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: My car's tire pressure monitoring system lights come on when the tire pressure is normal

asked by on

On occasion, my esc light has gone on in the last few years, but would soon go off. All of a sudden I have all sorts of issues.

Recently, the tpms showed pressure issues with the front driver's side tire. My husband checked and added a little air, even though his gauge didn't show a need. That light went off, and now it is showing 2 other tires are low.

In addition, my heater keeps turning on by itself even after I turn it off. Any help with resolving these issues would be great!

My car has 101000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Your car is equipped with wheel speed senso...

Your car is equipped with wheel speed sensors on each of the four wheels which monitor wheel speed while relaying this information to the ABS and traction control system (ESC) which are controlled by the car's ECU. When the ECU senses an abnormal speed given specific conditions, it engages the ABS or traction control as needed to control the vehicle. Occasionally, these sensors can fail or only work intermittently, sending inaccurate signals to the ECU. When this happens, you may experience the symptoms you have described. The ABS or traction control system may be inadvertently activated by these false or inaccurate signals.

Your TPMS system works the same way in that there are sensors that monitor the tire pressure relaying this to the car's computer. These sensors are known to go bad occasionally. Keep in mind this can also fluctuate easily with changes in air temperature, as this changes the density of the air which will affect the way these sensors read tire pressure. With regard to your heater turning off and on, this may be related to the blower motor relay which is what directs power to the heater blower motor. When this is faulty, this may cause the blower fan to work intermittently or sometimes not at all. I would suggest having a professional, such as one from YourMechanic, diagnose your ABS and traction control system to determine the cause of this.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Dashboard lights on, car runs fine

These lights on together indicate there is a problem in the anti-lock braking/stability control system. This could be anything from a failed sensor to a faulty module. The first thing to do is retrieve the diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) associated...

Q: What does the Low Tire Pressure warning light mean?

Your Altima is equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). It’s designed to keep track of the amount of air in your tires. If one of them drops below the threshold, the system turns on the Low Tire Pressure...

Q: Speed sensor keeps going bad and Check Engine Light is on.

This may potentially be related to a faulty transmission control module. As you may know, every time a gear change is required, the car's computer activates a transmission solenoid, which directs transmission fluid into the valve body to engage the...

Related articles

P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.