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False Tire Pressure Monitor Light
Old 07-22-2015, 05:00 PM   #1
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False Tire Pressure Monitor Light

Anyone ever had this problem? What was fix?

Measured tire pressures this AM w/ tire gauge. They were ok. Drove 12 miles and when I pulled into parking garage noticed the low tire pressure light was on. After finishing business, got into car and noticed light was still on. As I drove out of the garage and plotted what to do next, I noticed the light was off.
I don't really know when the light came on. If driving at night , I probably would have noticed it but during the day, a visual indicator could easily have been overlooked.

Went to Costco to fill gas and checked the pressures there.......they were fine.
What causes the system to give false signals like this?
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Old 07-22-2015, 05:04 PM   #2
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I don't know the cause, but there should be a reset button somewhere. Look in the manual or online for your make/model. I gather that it is not uncommon for them to "drift" from the correct setting and give a false notification like you had.

This happened about every other year with DW's old Buick, not yet with my GMC truck or the Honda Accord.
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Old 07-22-2015, 05:07 PM   #3
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you can use electrical tape to cover the light - that's what I do when I switch to my winter wheels that don't have the tpms


But seriously the signal comes from your wheels so you may have a tpms sensor going out. could be one or more of them. Tire shops will gouge you to fix this too.


[rant mode]not sure why we even have these stupid things on our vehicles - I mean how many of us drove hundreds of thousands of miles in our youth knowing to check our tires every time we filled up. just because someone didn't check and had an accident we have to deal with this - I hate tpms sensors[/rant mode]
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Old 07-22-2015, 05:22 PM   #4
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You need to do a search for your model. There are different systems out there (or at least there were, they may have standardized on one by now?), so the problems/solutions are different.

IIRC, one uses actual sensors with a transmit receive system, the other monitors relative tire rotation. A low pressure tire has a smaller effective circumference, so turns faster than the others, on average.

-ERD50
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Old 07-22-2015, 05:32 PM   #5
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I think all newer models use a transmit receive system. Maybe I'm wrong...
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Old 07-22-2015, 05:33 PM   #6
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The low pressure light on my Honda CRV has been on solid for the last 30K miles. It's a bad sensor on mine, maybe when I put on a new set of tires I'll get it replaced. My dealer hooked up their computer and told me which sensor (tire) was bad when I took it in for a regular oil change.
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Old 07-22-2015, 05:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big_Hitter View Post
you can use electrical tape to cover the light - that's what I do when I switch to my winter wheels that don't have the tpms


But seriously the signal comes from your wheels so you may have a tpms sensor going out. could be one or more of them. Tire shops will gouge you to fix this too.


[rant mode]not sure why we even have these stupid things on our vehicles - I mean how many of us drove hundreds of thousands of miles in our youth knowing to check our tires every time we filled up. just because someone didn't check and had an accident we have to deal with this - I hate tpms sensors[/rant mode]
Good electrical tape to cover a light is pricey , I use Duct tape LOL

Why TPMS ?

6 words, Ford , Explorer, Frestone, stupid engineering decisions

The early Ford Explorer Had a rough ride and tended to roll over at typical tire pressures like 32 psi. Short wheelbase, narrow track high center of gravity. Very understandable.

So those crafty Ford and Firestone engineers did some experiments, and found: if you run the tires down to 26 psi (on the raw edge of under-inflation),
Presto , softer ride and understeer, so the vehicle mushed/ slides out, rather than roll over.........BUT tires loose pressure, and people don't check pressure, so 26 pounds can turn into 18 without noticing, then Presto. overheated tire blows, vehicle rolls over at speed, Death, Quadriplegics, lawsuits paid out with sealed verdicts, until one family in Venezuela who lost loved ones said no to blood money.

Congressional hearings, more lawsuits, insurance industry pressure , etc. = mandated TPMS.

PS , I got a spike in a tire on a 2008 Honda with tpms. I herd it , and could feel the tire flopping. The light didn't go on until I was pulled over , tire nearly flat So much for TPMS
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Old 07-22-2015, 07:13 PM   #8
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Good electrical tape to cover a light is pricey , I use Duct tape LOL

Why TPMS ?

6 words, Ford , Explorer, Frestone, stupid engineering decisions

The early Ford Explorer Had a rough ride and tended to roll over at typical tire pressures like 32 psi. Short wheelbase, narrow track high center of gravity. Very understandable.

So those crafty Ford and Firestone engineers did some experiments, and found: if you run the tires down to 26 psi (on the raw edge of under-inflation),
Presto , softer ride and understeer, so the vehicle mushed/ slides out, rather than roll over.........BUT tires loose pressure, and people don't check pressure, so 26 pounds can turn into 18 without noticing, then Presto. overheated tire blows, vehicle rolls over at speed, Death, Quadriplegics, lawsuits paid out with sealed verdicts, until one family in Venezuela who lost loved ones said no to blood money.

Congressional hearings, more lawsuits, insurance industry pressure , etc. = mandated TPMS.

PS , I got a spike in a tire on a 2008 Honda with tpms. I herd it , and could feel the tire flopping. The light didn't go on until I was pulled over , tire nearly flat So much for TPMS
This summaries the history pretty well... mandate TPMS is just another government sponsored cluster-f. I'm in the group that would ignore it until I needed tires.
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Old 07-22-2015, 07:17 PM   #9
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I'd find a forum specific to your make and model and either do a search there or post a question. Especially if it is a common problem, you'll get a better answer with more actionable information.

Not that this isn't a great group, but the thread topics do tend to wander.......
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Old 07-22-2015, 07:21 PM   #10
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We have two Altimas and had a van before that. The sensors on all three were constantly lit. We had them reset several times at dealer/tire stores. The sensors just don't work right. But the dealers will replace them at $250-$350 per wheel! How nice of them!

I just ignore the lights and check the air and keep the tires rotated on schedule. Chalk those sensors up to well meaning government regulation before the technology is adequate to really work. Quite frankly, I wouldn't trust that a lack of a warning means you really have adequate air in your tires.
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Old 07-22-2015, 07:40 PM   #11
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I guess that I am one of the 'silent majority' who does not have a problem with them....

So far, whenever they lit up, tire pressure was down... now, two of my cars have the dumb ones where they do not tell which tire.... but all have worked perfectly for me....


I have also had tires replaced on one of the cars... the other two are still with original tires....
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Old 07-22-2015, 07:52 PM   #12
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Had this problem for 5 years on our sienna minivan. Figured it was a bad sensor so I just ignored it. Replaced the front struts recently and it's totally gone away.

Guessing the extra motion from the aging the struts was tripping the sensor.
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Old 07-22-2015, 08:00 PM   #13
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I've had this problem off and on when the temperature goes up and down a lot. Tires look and read fine on manual checks, but the sensors get confused. I guess it makes me check, so it's sort of doing it's job.
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Old 07-22-2015, 08:07 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krotoole View Post
........
Guessing the extra motion from the aging the struts was tripping the sensor.
Or the mechanic found a loose wire or poor connection and fixed it while doing the struts.
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Old 07-22-2015, 08:31 PM   #15
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I've had this problem off and on when the temperature goes up and down a lot. Tires look and read fine on manual checks, but the sensors get confused. I guess it makes me check, so it's sort of doing it's job.

Are you checking your tires cold? The first time I had a light DW came home and told me... went and checked and tires were OK... then checked again the next morning when cold and they were low...
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Old 07-22-2015, 08:47 PM   #16
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I second doing an Internet search for a forum on your make and model and then searching for your specific vehicle year. We have a Dodge Grand Caravan that two TMPS sensors have a failed seal that triggered the light (the tire was slowly leaking air) . My trusted repair shop owner has the same year and model van for his wife. He said he had to replace all 4 sensors twice because the seals keep failing.
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Old 07-22-2015, 09:22 PM   #17
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Most of the TPMS sensors run off of a non-replaceable 3V lithium battery that has an expected lifespan of about 5-7 years. Also, the TPMS rebuild kit that most tire dealers recommend when buying new tires doesn't replace the sensor, just the valve portion.
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Old 07-22-2015, 10:53 PM   #18
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Are you checking your tires cold? The first time I had a light DW came home and told me... went and checked and tires were OK... then checked again the next morning when cold and they were low...
Cold, warm and in between. When the light is on, I check before driving anywhere and after driving there. I check before and after my trip to the garage to pump them up a pound or two, hoping that will fix it despite being in range. It will eventually turn off when the outside temp stops fluctuating as much. Adding air to the tires never seemed to help. Nuisance.
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Old 07-22-2015, 11:06 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
You need to do a search for your model. There are different systems out there (or at least there were, they may have standardized on one by now?), so the problems/solutions are different.

IIRC, one uses actual sensors with a transmit receive system, the other monitors relative tire rotation. A low pressure tire has a smaller effective circumference, so turns faster than the others, on average.

-ERD50
Right. The 2006 Federal TPMS standard required a system that actually measured tire pressure. There were previous systems out that inferred tire pressure by rotation, comparing among all four tires.
Our early 2000 Buick had an inferred system that used the ABS wheel speed sensors as inputs to the algorithm. On that car, there was a reset switch on the right end of the instrument panel, that could only be physically accessed with the front passenger door open.
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Old 07-22-2015, 11:32 PM   #20
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Some vehicles have a warranty for these as they were defective, Nissan was one of them.
So check "bing it" to see if your model is affected and you can get them done for free.

Otherwise, I agree they are one of the stupidest things ever to put on a car.
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