Depending on who you are and what you know, flashing lights on the dashboard of your car can be very scary or just annoying. When your tyre pressure light is on, it’s pretty easy to figure out what it means: your tyre pressure is probably low. But what about a tyre pressure light that blinks? Does that have a different meaning?
A blinking tyre pressure light usually means that something is wrong with your car’s Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). First, you have to check the TPMS. You can turn off the tyre pressure light once you’re sure it’s working well. That’s about all you need to know about a blinking tyre pressure light. Keep reading to find out what that tyre pressure light is trying to tell you. Let’s talk more about what blinking tyre pressure lights mean.
What a Blinking Tire Pressure Light Means
Tire pressure lights can either stay on all the time or blink for about 60 seconds before staying on. If this happens, you will need to look into a few things.
Here are a few things that could be making your tyre pressure light come on and flash.
A Blinking Tire Pressure Light Could Mean…
1. Low Tire Pressure or Slow Leak
Even though a slow leak or low tyre pressure will keep the tyre pressure light on your dashboard from blinking, you should still check the PSI of all your tyres just to be sure. This is the first thing to check when the tyre pressure light comes on.
Check the PSI of your spare tyre as well. Sometimes, the spare tyre also has a TPMS sensor that tells you when the spare is getting too low.
This might be all you need to do to keep the tyre pressure light from coming back on.
Punctures in the tyres cause slow leaks that need to be patched or plugged, but low pressure is a bit easier to fix. Normal use causes tyres to lose about a pound of pressure every month. If you fill them up to normal pressure, everything should be fine.
You can also expect to lose a pound of pressure for every 10 degrees that the atmosphere drops quickly. This means that the cold weather this week could make your tyre pressure light go off.
2. Monitoring System Issues
If your tyre pressure light is flashing, the most common reason is that there is a problem with the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS).
You might think you don’t need this system if you keep an eye on your tyre pressure yourself, but if your TPMS isn’t working, you’re putting your safety at risk.
Let’s talk more about the TPMS and how it keeps you safe.
The Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
Cars have not always had automatic monitoring of tyre pressure. Before TPMS, car owners had to look at their tyres to see if the pressure was low. But you can’t always tell if a tyre is low on air just by looking at it.
So, the most accurate way to check the pressure of your tyres by hand is to get down on the ground and use a pressure gauge on each tyre.
It was clear that not every driver did this as often as they should have. Because of this, many car accidents happened because the tyre pressure dropped without anyone noticing.
Because of this, the US government made it a requirement that all cars made after 2007 have a TPMS. Because of this, most cars made after that year have a TPMS.
TPMS works by measuring the air pressure in each of your car’s tyres either directly or indirectly. This is done by sensors in the tyres. If one of these sensors stops working, the whole TPMS system stops working.
This is what the blinking tyre pressure light on your car is trying to tell you.
Can You Drive With a Blinking Tire Pressure Light?
If your tyre pressure light starts blinking while you’re driving, you should check your tyres right away. Low tyre pressure is bad for your gas mileage, hard on your tyres, and could lead to blowouts and car accidents.
A car with low tyre pressure can be driven any distance or speed. It’s best to just stay away from it.
If you find that one or more of your tyres have low tyre pressure, you should pull over and get towed to a shop or your home. This keeps your car, especially the wheels, from getting hurt in any way.
But if you have to drive your car, you can do so with 10 PSI or less, depending on the size of the tyres and how well they are in shape. Just go very slowly and cover as little ground as you can.
How to Fix a Blinking Tire Pressure Light
Hope you fixed the low tyre pressure or made sure the Tire Pressure Monitoring System is working properly. But that annoying tyre pressure light is still blinking.
This happens sometimes, and you have to figure out how to reset it on your own. We have some things for you to try, though.
1. TPMS Reset Button
Some cars have a button that can be used to reset the TPMS. Most of the time, this button is under the steering wheel.
This is the most straightforward way to reset the TPMS. Check the manual for your car to find out how to use the reset button to reset the TPMS.
2. Deflate and Reinflate Tires
The TPMS in the tyres can sometimes be reset by changing the tyre pressure.
First, make sure your tyres have the right PSI (pounds per square inch). Then, let all the air out of the tyres. Fill the tyres up to the right PSI again, and then drive around at 15 mph.
You can also try pumping the tyres up to 3 PSI over the recommended limit, letting the air out, and then pumping them up again. Again, don’t forget about that spare!
3. Remove and Reconnect the Battery
If nothing else has worked, you could try taking the car’s battery out and then putting it back in.
This is like restarting your phone when you can’t figure out what’s wrong with it. Your car’s computer could be having a glitch, and taking out and putting back in the battery could fix the TPMS.
4. Drive the Vehicle at a Consistent 50 MPH
Sometimes, all the computer in your car needs to know is that the TPMS sensor is there and moving.
Start your car and go at least 10 miles at 50 mph. This might stop the blinking of your tyre pressure light!
5. TPMS Relearn or Reset Device
You could buy a TPMS reset or relearn tool at an auto parts store near you or online. This tool will turn off the light.
Make sure the device works with the TPMS system in your car before buying it.
After you get it, all you have to do is follow the directions, and with the push of a button, the problem could be solved.
6. Take Your Vehicle to Your Dealership
If you’ve tried everything and that annoying light is still blinking, it might be time to take it back to the dealership to make sure everything is still working.
It’s possible that something went wrong during installation or that the wrong kind of sensor was put in your car’s tyres.
Tire pressure can be tricky, but as we’ve seen, it’s important to make sure it’s in good shape. Low tyre pressure could cause your car to break down or, even worse, cause you to get into a bad accident.
We are lucky to have automatic systems that check tyre pressure to keep us safe. If your tyre pressure light is blinking, find out what’s wrong before you try to reset the whole system. If you don’t, you could be hiding a very big problem.