What does the tire pressure warning light do and why is it on?

The tire pressure warning light warns you when your tire pressure drops below a preset point. If it’s blinking or blinks when you first start the car and then goes solid, then there is an error within the tire pressure system and it most likely has a faulty tire pressure sensor.

Common reasons for this to happen

  • Low tire pressure
  • Flat tire
  • Faulty tire pressure sensor

Can I drive with the tire pressure warning light on?

You can drive with the tire pressure warning light on, but your first stop should be stopping at a service station or repair facility and setting your tire pressure or having it checked. If the light is blinking and you know the tire pressures are correct, then you most likely have a faulty tire pressure sensor. In this case, you can drive the vehicle, just keep an eye on your tire pressures with a tire pressure gauge. 

How do I fix a tire pressure warning light?

  1. Check your tire pressures and set them to the manufacturer’s specifications.
  2. If all the tires are evenly low, then it is most likely normal air loss over time. If one tire is lower than the rest by several psi have it checked for a leak or puncture.
  3. If the light is blinking when you first start the car and then stays illuminated solid or continues to blink you will need to take it to a repair facility to have the tire pressure system checked for error codes. The most likely cause is a faulty tire pressure sensor.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I inflate my tire pressures to?

  • Most vehicles have a sticker when you open the driver’s door on the b pillar (the section of the car next to your shoulder when you’re seated) which tells you what to inflate the tires to.

Can I use a fix-a-flat type sealant to fix a leaking tire with a tire pressure sensor?

  • The best thing to do is to have the tire repaired. Some fix-a-flat sealants claim to be tire sensor safe, but it is not guaranteed.

Is it normal for the tire light to turn on and off?

  • It is, oftentimes in the spring or fall when it’s cold in the mornings and warm in the afternoons the tire light will come on in the morning and turn off once the tires warm up. You should adjust your tire pressures when this happens. 

How do tires lose air?

  • It’s normal for tires to lose air over time; the same thing happens to balloons. Air slowly leaks out through the tire on a molecular level. If the tire has a puncture of some kind, this will cause it to lose air as well as if the tire pressure sensor o-ring is leaking.

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Comments 2

Roger Scales

May 1, 2020

Thanks. Loved fixed .It helps. Not always to the point to fix and get inspection quickley. Iam learning. Ex army aviation mech. Tire mech over 1yr.

Roger T Scales

May 1, 2020

Aviation mech army 1973.Can do if know what’s wronged exactly. Replaced many parts. Hi miles for a Chev.280,000.Need 1 more yr. Ran good with lighton. Then try to get lift out. Now runs Bradley an still light on!

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