Why Is My Tire Pressure Light Blinking: Dashboard Warnings

As a driver, I always take the indicators on my dashboard seriously. They are the primary means by which my vehicle communicates vital information about its condition. Recently, I started wondering, “Why is my tire pressure light blinking?” This question is crucial because it relates to the TPMS system, a … Read more

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Written by: Mohammad Sameer

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As a driver, I always take the indicators on my dashboard seriously. They are the primary means by which my vehicle communicates vital information about its condition.

Recently, I started wondering, “Why is my tire pressure light blinking?” This question is crucial because it relates to the TPMS system, a critical safety feature in modern vehicles.

My exploration into this topic not only clarified the importance of the Tire Pressure Monitoring System but also shed light on how I can ensure my vehicle continues to run safely and efficiently.

“Why is My Tire Pressure Light Blinking”

The tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) light blinking in your car indicates that one or more of your tires is significantly under-inflated. This could be caused by a slow leak or puncture in the tire allowing air to escape over time.

My Tire Pressure Light Blinking because tire pressure drops 25% or more below the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended specification, the TPMS sensor in that wheel can no longer accurately monitor pressure. This triggers the TPMS warning light to start flashing rather than stay solidly illuminated.

image of car dashboard which Tire Pressure Light Blinking
image source: blog.johndow.com

TPMS: What Is It and Why It Matters

The Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) is an automated system designed to monitor the air pressure inside pneumatic tires.

Developed for my safety, the system alerts me if the tire pressure falls below a certain threshold.

This threshold is carefully calculated based on manufacturers’ recommendations for optimal performance, safety, and efficiency.

If my tire pressure is too low, my vehicle may handle poorly, consume more fuel, and the tires may wear out faster. This is why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration(NHTSA) mandates that all new vehicles be equipped with TPMS.

The Function of Blinking vs. Solid TPMS Lights

When I notice the TPMS light on my dashboard, there are two distinct signals to look for a solid light or a blinking one. A solid TPMS light usually indicates low tire pressure, which is a relatively easy issue to address.

However, the more perplexing question arises when I see my tire pressure light blinking.

Typically, a blinking TPMS light points to a more severe situation such as a malfunction within the TPMS system or sudden pressure loss, which can be dangerous.

NHTSA Standards and Public Awareness

Since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s regulation, public awareness of the TPMS system has increased, but there is still a significant portion of the driving population that cannot identify the low tire pressure warning light.

It’s also concerning that some choose to ignore this critical warning.

To me, understanding my vehicle’s TPMS is not just about avoiding inconvenience; it’s a crucial aspect of ensuring safety on the road.

Decoding the Blinking Tire Pressure Light

Causes of the Blinking TPMS Signal

Extreme temperature variations can dramatically affect tire pressure, causing the TPMS warning light to blink.

Low tire pressures, rapid pressure losses due to punctures, and TPMS sensor malfunctions are also prevalent causes.

Still, the question remains, “Why is my tire pressure light blinking?” when there seems to be no immediate cause. This situation has often led me to deep dive into sensor diagnostics.

Temperature Fluctuations and Tire Pressure

The reliance of tire pressure on temperature is undeniable. Cold weather may cause the air within the tire to contract, leading to a lower-than-desired pressure, whereas hot weather can have the opposite effect.

A blinking light serves as a critical prompt for me to check my tires amidst fluctuating temperatures.

Consequences of Disregarding the TPMS Warning

Ignoring a blinking tire pressure light is taking a significant risk. The Low tire pressure can cause severe handling issues, particularly when driving at high speeds or navigating sharp turns and can lead to disastrous tire blowouts.

For me, seeing a blinking TPMS light means it’s time to act, not procrastinate.

Proactive Measures and Sensor Maintenance

Regular Tire Pressure Checks and How-To

I have found that performing regular tire pressure checks works wonders in preventing unnecessary stress caused by the TPMS light.

By using a simple tire pressure gauge, I make sure that the tires are inflated to the vehicle manufacturer’s specifications.

Moreover, this action is something that I can conveniently do at home or a nearby service station.

Recognizing Battery Failure in TPMS Sensors

An often overlooked aspect of TPMS systems is that its sensors are battery-powered.

After nearly a decade, it’s not uncommon for these batteries to fail, which leads to inconsistent communication between the sensor and the receiver.

I need to recognize this and replace the TPMS sensors or their batteries as necessary.

Best Practices for TPMS Sensor Replacement

When replacing TPMS sensors, I ensure to consult with professionals who are capable of recommending high-quality replacements.

It’s also a practice of mine to opt for sensors of reputable brands that promise longevity and reliability, reducing the chances of frequent failures.

Strategies for Addressing a Blinking TPMS Light

Immediate Steps Upon Noticing a Blinking Light

Why is my tire pressure light blinking? When I find myself asking this question, I make it a priority to pull over to a safe location and conduct a visual and manual inspection of my tires. If I cannot ascertain the problem, I visit a professional tire shop without delay.

The Importance of Professional Tire Inspections

I have learned through experience that professional tire inspections are invaluable. They can discern issues that are not apparent to the naked eye and provide expert advice on whether the problem lies with the tires or the TPMS system itself.

Options for TPMS Sensor and Battery Replacements

Fortunately, replacing TPMS sensors and batteries is now a straightforward process. Many tire shops offer this service, often including a quick reprogramming of the sensors to communicate with my vehicle’s onboard computer system correctly.

FAQs

Can I drive with a blinking tire pressure light?

While it may be possible, I avoid driving with a blinking tire pressure light as it often indicates a serious issue that needs immediate attention.

Is it OK to drive with TPMS light on?

Driving with a TPMS light on is not advisable. Even if the light is solid, it means the tire pressure is low, which can compromise my safety and vehicle performance.

How do I reset my tire pressure light?

To reset my tire pressure light, I ensure my tires are inflated correctly, and then I use the reset button located on the dashboard or follow the instructions outlined in my owner’s manual.

How do you check a tire sensor?

To check a tire sensor, I use a TPMS tool that communicates with the sensor to ensure it’s working correctly, or I consult a professional who uses specialized equipment to diagnose sensor health.

How do you fix tire pressure?

I fix tire pressure by adjusting the air to match the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended PSI, which is typically found in the owner’s manual or on a sticker within the driver’s side door frame.

Conclusion

Ultimately, my investigation into “Why is my tire pressure light blinking?” reinforced the importance of the TPMS system for safe driving.

I learned that a blinking TPMS light is not a signal to be ignored; it is a beacon urging me to take swift action to prevent potential harm and unnecessary expense.

By maintaining regular tire pressure checks and addressing TPMS alerts promptly, I can continue to enjoy a secure and smooth driving experience.

Reference

  1. Is your TPMS light blinking or solid? Here’s the difference.
  2. What It Means When the TPMS Light Is Flashing
  3. TPMS light flashing then solid, no changes to tires – Tacoma World
  4. Why is My Tire Pressure Light Blinking? – HEART Auto Care

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About Mohammad Sameer

My name is Mohammad Sameer and I have over 3 years of hands-on experience repairing cars, motorcycles, and trucks. Ever since I operated on my first engine in 2018, I’ve been passionate about all things automotive. In 2021, I launched my blog “Motoring Mastery” to share my knowledge with car enthusiasts and DIY mechanics.