Tire Pressure Light Blinking – Causes & How to Fix It

When it comes to the myriad of blinking lights on our car’s dashboard, it’s easy to feel a sense of panic and confusion. Amidst this sea of warning signals, one morning stands out as relatively mild – the tire pressure light. While its appearance may not be as alarming as other dashboard indicators, such as the dreaded check engine light or the exclamation mark surrounded by parentheses, it should never be ignored.

Understanding why your Tire Pressure Light Blinking can save you from potential mishaps on the road and even extend the lifespan of your tires. So buckle up and prepare to delve into this illuminating journey that demystifies the significance behind that seemingly innocuous but ever-important tire pressure indicator!

3 Causes of a Tire Pressure Light Blinking

Tire Pressure Light Blinking

 Low Battery

When you see the tire pressure light blinking, it might not be your immediate thought that the issue stems from the battery. Surprisingly, a blinking tire pressure light often indicates a low battery. The Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) functions on the battery. If your battery is drained or lacks sufficient voltage, it can cause problems with the TPMS.

A dead battery cannot provide enough power to sustain the TPMS, resulting in a blinking tire pressure light. It’s important to understand that this isn’t related to actual tire pressure but rather a sign of a faulty system.

To rectify this issue, verify if your vehicle’s battery is low or on the verge of dying. Checking the battery voltage with a voltmeter is an effective way to assess its condition. If necessary, consider charging or replacing your car’s battery.

Neglecting a low battery can have consequences beyond the TPMS malfunction. It may impair other electrical components in your vehicle and render it inoperable if left unaddressed.

Faulty TPMS Sensor

A faulty TPMS sensor can be another reason for the blinking tire pressure light. In a vehicle, each wheel has its own TPMS sensor responsible for monitoring tire pressure. If one of these sensors starts malfunctioning, it can trigger the system and result in the blinking light.

It is essential to note that a faulty TPMS sensor may only cause intermittent blinking, not constant light. This means that the light may blink on and off intermittently or randomly instead of staying continuously illuminated.

When a TPMS sensor malfunctions, it may no longer accurately measure the tire pressure or send signals to the onboard computer. As a result, the system gets confused and displays the blinking light as an indication of an issue. To confirm if a faulty TPMS sensor is causing the blinking light, it’s recommended to visit a professional mechanic or tire specialist who can diagnose and replace any defective sensors if necessary.

If left unattended, driving with a faulty TPMS sensor could pose safety risks as you won’t receive accurate alerts about low tire pressure levels. 

Low Tire Pressure

Low tire pressure is often the main culprit when you see the tire pressure light on in your vehicle. If the light blinks instead of remaining solid, it indicates a different issue. A steady tire pressure light usually signals a problem with the tire pressure. Still, if it blinks for about 60 to 90 seconds before staying continuously illuminated, it means there is an underlying problem with your vehicle’s tire pressure monitoring system.

While low tire pressure is relatively easy to detect and fix by adding air to the tires, issues with the monitoring system are more complex. This system comprises sensors that measure the air pressure within each tire and send alerts to your vehicle’s computer if there is any abnormality.

Do You Need To Fix a Tire Pressure Light?

Tire Pressure Light Blinking

The tire pressure light in your vehicle may not be as critical as other automotive problems that require immediate attention. Not all cars even come equipped with a tire pressure light. So, you might wonder if it matters if the one on your vehicle isn’t working. Repair shops may argue that it is essential to fix it, but the reality is that you don’t necessarily need this system.

It’s advisable to do a manual check of your tire pressure instead. This can be quickly done with a simple tire pressure gauge, available at most auto supply stores. You can ensure optimal driving performance and safety by monitoring and maintaining your vehicle’s appropriate tire pressure levels.

While the tire pressure light can be a convenient indicator of potential issues with your tires, relying solely on this feature may not be necessary. Regularly inspecting your tires for signs of wear and tear, punctures, or bulges will help identify any imminent problems.

Understanding how to properly inflate your tires and knowing the recommended air pressure for your specific vehicle is crucial. This information is typically found in the owner’s manual or inside the driver’s door jamb.

3 Easy Steps to Troubleshoot a Blinking Tire Pressure Light

The blinking tire pressure light on your car dashboard can be alarming, but it doesn’t always mean there’s a severe problem. Here are three easy steps to troubleshoot and resolve the issue before panicking.

Step 1. Check the tire pressure:

Start by consulting your vehicle’s manual to determine the recommended tire pressure for your car. Use a tire pressure gauge to measure the air pressure in each tire individually.

Compare the readings obtained with the recommended values, ensuring they are within an acceptable range. If any tire has significantly low or high pressure, inflate or deflate it as necessary until all tires are properly inflated.

Step 2. Check the voltage on the battery:

A weak battery can cause issues with various electrical systems in your vehicle, including the TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System). Connect a voltmeter to the battery terminals and check its voltage. A healthy battery should ideally show around 12.6 volts.

If the voltage is lower than expected, it might be time for a battery replacement or recharging. Inspect all connections and ensure they are clean and secure before replacing or charging the battery.

Step 3. Check the TPMS sensors:

Inspect each wheel to locate the TPMS sensor. These sensors monitor tire pressure and transmit signals to your car’s computer system. Ensure none of these sensors have been accidentally damaged or disconnected from their designated wheels.

Look out for any signs of corrosion or dirt buildup on the sensors, which can interfere with their functionality. Consider having a professional scan tool used by mechanics to diagnose any potential issues with TPMS sensors accurately. If necessary, replace malfunctioning sensors according to your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations.

Traction Control Light Won’t Turn Off

Cost to Replace a Battery

The cost to replace a car battery can vary depending on the quality and lifespan of the battery you choose. Lower-end car batteries, typically priced between $60 and $100, are more budget-friendly. It’s important to note that these batteries may last less long, typically averaging 3 to 5 years. On the other hand, higher-end batteries offer better performance and longevity, with a lifespan of 7 years or even longer. These premium batteries can come at a higher price point, ranging from $150 to $350.

When considering replacing your car battery, it’s essential to consider factors beyond the cost. Evaluating aspects such as cold cranking amps (CCA), reserve capacity (RC), and maintenance requirements is crucial in making an informed decision.

Lower-end batteries may seem appealing due to their lower upfront cost but they may require replacement sooner. Over time, you may pay more for multiple replacements than investing in a high-quality battery up front.

Cost to Replace a TPMS Sensor

The cost to replace a TPMS sensor depends on various factors. When you hire someone for the job, expect to spend between $110 and $250 per sensor. This cost is primarily due to the labour involved in accessing the sensor. To replace it, the technician must remove the tire from the rim and reattach it, adding approximately $60 to $100 in labour expenses.

Doing this task yourself without a tire machine is labour-intensive. Additional costs may be associated with purchasing the new sensor itself. It’s important to factor in these potential expenses when considering replacing a TPMS sensor.

 DIY options are available, but it is generally recommended to rely on professional assistance due to the complexity of the process and the potential damage that could occur if not done correctly. Considering all costs involved, weighing your options and determining which approach suits your budget and expertise best is crucial.

Final Thoughts

A blinking tire pressure light should not be ignored or taken lightly. It indicates that something is wrong with the tires, and immediate action is required. Ignoring this warning could lead to potential safety hazards such as tire blowouts or reduced fuel efficiency. It is essential for drivers to regularly monitor their tire pressure levels and address any issues promptly.

Always Remember that maintaining proper tire pressure ensures a smooth and safe ride and contributes to the overall longevity of the tires. So, if you see your tire pressure light blinking, don’t delay – take action and get your tires checked as soon as possible. Your safety and the health of your tires depend on it!

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I reset my blinking tire pressure light?

To reset the TPMS on most vehicles, locate the TPMS reset button (usually positioned near the steering wheel) and hold it down until the indicator light turns off and then back on again. Refer to your vehicle’s manual for specific instructions.

Can I drive with a blinking tire pressure light?

It’s generally safe to drive short distances with a blinking TPMS light. Still, addressing the issue as soon as possible is crucial to maintain optimal control over your vehicle and prevent further damage or accidents.

Will my vehicle fail inspection if the tire pressure light blinks?

Inspection requirements vary by jurisdiction, but in many cases, a malfunctioning TPMS or constant flashing of the warning indicator will result in inspection failure. It’s best to resolve any issues before attempting an inspection.

How often should I check my tire pressure to avoid a blinking light?

It’s recommended to check your tire pressure at least once a month and before any long trips. Regular maintenance helps prevent low tire pressure issues and minimises the chances of encountering a blinking TPMS light.

Anam Naz