A Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) is an essential safety feature in modern vehicles. It alerts drivers to significant changes in tire pressure, allowing them to address issues promptly and avoid accidents caused by underinflated or overinflated tires. However, like any other automotive component, TPMS sensors can fail or become faulty over time. This article will outline common signs of a failing TPMS sensor to help you stay ahead of potential problems.
- Frequent TPMS Warning Light Activation
One of the most apparent signs of a faulty TPMS sensor is the frequent activation of the TPMS warning light on your dashboard. This light typically illuminates when your tire pressure is too low or too high, indicating a potential safety hazard. If the light comes on frequently, even after you have checked and adjusted your tire pressure, it could be an indication that the TPMS sensor is not working correctly.
- Inconsistent Readings
If your vehicle’s TPMS displays individual tire pressure readings, inconsistencies between the displayed values and the actual tire pressure could indicate a faulty sensor. For example, if the TPMS indicates that one tire has significantly different pressure than the others, yet manual checks reveal consistent pressure across all tires, the sensor may need to be replaced.
- Failure to Reset After Tire Pressure Adjustment
When you adjust your tire pressure to the manufacturer’s recommended levels, the TPMS warning light should turn off. However, if the light remains illuminated even after you have correctly inflated your tires, it could be a sign that the TPMS sensor is not functioning properly. In this case, you may need to have the sensor checked by a professional.
- Tire Pressure Warning Light Fails to Illuminate
A malfunctioning TPMS sensor may also fail to activate the tire pressure warning light when tire pressure is outside the recommended range. This can be particularly dangerous, as you might not be aware of a tire problem until it’s too late. Periodically check your tire pressure manually to ensure your TPMS is accurately alerting you to pressure issues.
- Battery Failure
TPMS sensors are battery-powered, and the batteries typically last between 5 to 10 years. If your TPMS sensor is nearing the end of its battery life or has already expired, the system may not function correctly. In some cases, a failing battery can cause intermittent or erratic readings. If you suspect your TPMS sensor’s battery is nearing the end of its life, consult a professional for replacement options.
A functioning TPMS is crucial for maintaining the safety and performance of your vehicle. Recognizing the signs of a faulty TPMS sensor can help you address issues promptly and avoid potential hazards on the road. If you notice any of the above signs or have concerns about your TPMS, consult a qualified mechanic to diagnose and resolve the issue.