Q: What does the “tire pressure sensor fault” mean in the message center?

asked by on December 15, 2015

What does the “tire pressure sensor fault” mean in the message center?

The “tire pressure sensor fault” message is an indication that there is a problem with the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). A tire pressure monitoring system is required for all motor vehicles manufactured after 2007. The pressurized air inside the tire is monitored by the TPMS. The TPMS consists of tire pressure sensors which are placed inside each wheel. These sensors provide the driver with information regarding the actual tire pressure of each tire in real time.

All car tires are tubeless, unlike bike tires that have an inner tube that when filled with air inflates the rubber tire. Tubeless car tires have an inner core that is filled with pressurized air. The tire should be filled based on the manufacturer’s specified PSI. This can usually be found on a sticker on the driver’s side door or trunk. If the tire is overinflated or underinflated, this could cause damage to the tire and/or hazardous driving conditions.

Problems that are possible when a tire is overinflated:

  • Shorter lifespan of the tire
  • Broken tire belt
  • Uneven wear on the tread
  • Bad traction-specifically in the rain and snow
  • Difficult to steer and/or maneuver (it may feel as if you are driving on ice)
  • Decreased friction
  • Driver may experience a harsh ride
  • Could cause damage to the suspension
  • Tire may blowout/explode

Problems that are possible when a tire is underinflated:

  • Shorter lifespan of the tire
  • Make cause the tread to separate
  • Premature wear on the tread
  • Decreased fuel economy
  • Difficult to steer and/or maneuver (it may feel harder to turn with precision)
  • Increased friction
  • Tire may blowout/explode
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