Modern cars use an electronic TPMS (Tyre Pressure Monitoring System) to detect if the tyre pressure of one or more of your car’s tyres goes below recommended levels. If the system detects a pressure abnormality it will trigger a warning light on your car dashboard or instrument panel. There may also be a beeping or warning sound.
From all of the car warning symbols, the tyre warning light is perhaps not the most serious, but it’s something that you should see to as soon as possible.
If your tyre pressure warning light comes on and stays on, here’s what to do:
Step 1. Find the recommended tyre pressures of your car (you’ll find them in the manual or often inside the driver’s door)
Step 2. Check your tyre pressures of all four wheels when your tyres are cold
Step 3. Add air as necessary to the correct levels – at most larger service stations you should be able to find an air hose with a pressure gauge.
Step 4. Press and hold down the tyre pressure warning light button until it goes out (and beeps on some models)
In most cases, that will resolve the issue.
There are several factors that can cause tyre pressure to fluctuate such as temperatures – either from the weather or generated while driving. If this fluctuation brings the pressure below the sensor’s set limits, this will cause the light to come on. And of course if the pressure increases, even only very slightly, then the light will turn off.
In any case, this is a sign that you should check your tyres following the procedure above.
Sometimes the warning light flashes for a few seconds then goes off. This is an indication that the TPMS system has a fault, and so you should take your car to a main dealer garage. They will be able to identify the problem and make the appropriate adjustment or repair.
Unless you have a completely flat tyre, yes you can continue to drive with the warning light on. But don’t leave it too long before you follow the checking procedure. Driving with under-inflated tyres is definitely not recommended.
• Premature tyre wear • Increased rolling resistance, increasing fuel consumption • Reduced road holding and overall performance • Increased heat build-up and tyre overload • Possible damage to the tyre and wheel • Increased risk of accidents due to tyre failure
Of course, if you are in any doubt about your car’s tyres, or if you’d prefer some specialist advice about tyre pressures, simply head to a local main dealer garage such as Brayleys.
We always have a great selection of offers on tyres where we won’t be beaten on price. You may also be interested to find out about our servicing offers.
The condition of your tyres is a vital part of regular car maintenance. Ideally, you should check the condition and pressure of your tyres every week. And although the TPMS system is there to ensure your safety, it shouldn’t mean you ignore the importance of periodic car care.
For more information about tyres and tyre pressure issues, contact us today