What to Do If Your Car’s Tire Pressure Warning Light Is On

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If your car's tire pressure warning light comes on, check your tire pressure by removing the cap on the tire air valve and testing the pressure with a tire gauge. If the pressure is lower than recommended, you could be getting a flat. 
Your tire pressure warning light isn’t one you should ignore. You don’t want to be stranded on the side of the road, trying to replace a blown tire. Avoid future headaches by taking ten minutes to fill your tires when your tire pressure light comes on. 
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What is the tire pressure warning light on my dashboard? 

The tire pressure warning light indicates your Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). It tells you when your tire pressure is too low or too high. If your tires are overinflated or underinflated, you risk wearing down your tires faster and possible tire failure. 
Risks of overinflated tires:
  • Less traction on the road
  • Faster wear on your tires
  • Decrease in the tire's ability to absorb road impact  
Risks of underinflated tires:
  • Sluggish feeling while driving
  • Decrease in fuel economy
  • Extra heat buildup can cause tire overload
In both instances, there is a risk of a tire blowout due to either excess pressure (too much air) or excess heat (too little air). A tire blowout is incredibly dangerous and could jeopardize the safety of you and other drivers, so it's important to correct your air pressure if it is not in the suggested range.

What does the tire pressure warning light look like? 

Your tire pressure warning light or TPMS is a yellow light on your dashboard that looks like the cross-section of a tire with an exclamation point. Depending on your vehicle’s make and model, you might see the letters TPMS
This warning light tells you that there could be low pressure in one or more of your tires. 

What does the tire pressure warning light mean?

Most often, the tire pressure light will alert you if your tires are low on air pressure. The warning light may come on after your tires have already lost a significant amount of pressure. If the light is triggered, you should check your tire pressure right away because it is likely the tires are at dangerously low levels of air pressure.
When your warning light comes on, you should check your tire pressure with a manual gauge to confirm. If your tire is low, fill it to match the pressure parameters recommended for your vehicle—often found on a sticker on the inside of your driver-side door
If your tire pressure is too high, press on the needle in your valve to release air until the tire’s pressure is within the recommended range. 
You shouldn’t neglect regular tire pressure maintenance on your car just because you have a tire pressure monitoring system. Even without a leak, car tires can lose a pound of pressure each month. 

How to turn off your dashboard tire pressure warning

The tire pressure warning light will turn off when the air pressure in the tires is adjusted back to an acceptable range.
To do this, you should start by manually checking each tire’s pressure with a tire gauge. Then, fill your tires to the recommended pressure limits.
Keep in mind, if you live in an area with fluctuating temperatures, your tire pressure warning light may come on when it's cooler but turn off when it warms up. This is relatively normal—tires can gain as much as 3 pounds per square inch once they get warm. 
However, if your tire pressure light flickers for a minute or so after starting your car before staying on—even if you've adjusted the air pressure—you may have another problem. It is likely that your sensor mechanism could be failing. You should call a trusted mechanic for service

How to find affordable car insurance 

Just like solid tires, your
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FAQ

A light on your dashboard that looks like a cross-section of a tire with an exclamation point. It usually means that your tires pressure is getting dangerously low.

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