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Tire Pressure Monitoring System

A Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) is designed to monitor the air pressure in a vehicle’s tires and to report potential inflation problems to the driver, usually through a yellow, orange or red indicator light on the dashboard.  

The TPMS have been in use for many years, but they have only recently become a mandatory safety system. The Transportation Recall Enhanced Accountability and Documentation (TREAD) Act requires that all vehicles sold in the U.S. after September 1, 2007, come equipped with a TPMS.

How does it work?

When the tire air pressure is not at the manufacturer recommendations for your vehicle, the TPMS sensor will trigger a warning to your vehicles on board computer and the low tire pressure light will illuminate on your dashboard.

What if the warning light comes on in my vehicle?

The first thing you should do if the tire pressure warning comes on is check your vehicle’s tire pressure. Be sure you check all four tires and set them at the manufacturer specifications. You can find the manufacturer specifications either in your owner’s manual or on the placard that is inside the driver’s side door jamb. 

Example of placard on the inside of the driver's side door jamb. 

 If you find one or more tires low, make an appointment at a service station as soon as possible to check for tire leaks.

After inflating all the tires to the proper pressure, the TPMS light may need to be reset. In some cases, you can follow the instructions in your owner’s manual and do it yourself. In other cases, you may need to bring it to a qualified technician to reset the light. 

If all the tires are properly inflated and the TPMS light comes on, it is possible that you have a problem with one or more of the TPMS sensors or on board computer system in your vehicle. In this case, you should make an appointment to have a qualified technician diagnose the problem as soon as possible.

In addition, whenever you replace the tires on your vehicle the TPMS should be serviced by a qualified technician. On occasion a TPMS sensor may need to be replaced if it is deemed unserviceable.

At Sullivan Tire and Auto Service, we have invested in the tools and technicians to diagnose a TPMS problem on just about every vehicle on the road today including BMW, Audi, Toyota, Nissan, Mercedes Benz, Buick, Ford, Chrysler, Dodge, GMC, Kia, Mazda, Lexus, Infiniti, Lincoln, Volvo, and many more.

xample of TPMS sensor and depiction of warning light.

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