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What does the “Tire Pressure Sensor fault” message mean?

Posted by on April 28, 2018 | 0 Comments

You are driving your car and suddenly the message “Tire Pressure Sensor fault” appears on your instrument cluster. What does it mean and is it going to be expensive to repair it? Can I just fill the tires with air to fix the problem? In this article, you will learn what it means and how you can fix it the best way.

 

ProblemSymptomsCausesSolutions
Tire Pressure Sensor fault on the cluster displayWarning light

Higher fuel economy

Wear on the tires
Low tire pressure

Faulty TPMS Sensor

Programming Fault TPMS Sensors

Not reseted TPMS

TPMS control modul fault
Check and fill tire pressure

Reset TPMS

Reprogram TPMS Sensors

Replace TPMS control unit

 

What does it mean?tire pressure sensor fault

The “Tire Pressure Sensor fault” message is displaying when there is an error code in your TPMS ( Tire pressure monitoring system ). The error code can say that there is too low air pressure, too high air pressure, a wiring fault or a defective tire pressure sensor. The easiest way to find out is to read the trouble codes from your TPMS control unit with an OBD2 scanner.

The most cheaper OBD2 scanners can only read the engine control unit. If you want to get an OBD2 reader that can read your TPMS system you have to check for a bit more expensive OBD2 scanners that are compatible with your car. If you want to learn more about OBD2 scanners you can check out our OBD2 scanner review.

Possible Causes

  • Too low/High Tire pressure (Most common)
  • Defective Tire pressure sensor
  • Faulty Tire pressure sensor coding
  • TPMS control unit defective
  • Wiring issue to the control unit

 

How does a TPMS system work?

A TPMS system can work in two different ways. If you have a car after 2007 you will most likely have your car equipped with a TPMS system. Some cars have sensors inside each tire on your car. The sensors are feeling what tire pressure you have and send that information to your TPMS control unit. If the tire pressure is too high or too low or the control unit can’t communicate with your sensors, the “Tire Pressure Sensor Fault” message will occur on your dashboard.

Other cars do not have sensors in the tires, they use the ABS sensors to calculate the rotation of your wheel. If you have low pressure the car will “Become smaller” and have to rotate faster to obtain the same speed as the vehicle. If the speed of one wheel is different than the others the car will store it as an error code in your TPMS or ABS system. That is why you have to drive for a distance before the car will show the tire pressure for you. It is just a calculation and not the exact tire pressure.

 

How to fix a Tire pressure sensor fault code?

First, you should make sure that you have the right tire pressure in all your tires. To find the right pressure you should have you can often find it on a label on the body behind the driver door. You can also find it in your repair manual. You should always fill a bit more pressure than the label says if the tires are warm. The tire pressure can differ a lot depending on the temperature of the tire.
If the label says 220 kpa tire pressure the TPMS system will store it as an error code if it goes below this pressure. If you fill it to 220 kpa when the tires are hot, it may go down to 200 kpa when the tire is cold and it will trigger the error code. In this case, it is better to fill a bit more than the label is telling you.

After you have filled your tires with the correct pressure, you do often have to reset the system manually. Some cars do have a reset button and some cars you should drive for ~15 mins to get the light to go off. Check your repair manual of how to reset the TPMS system on your vehicle.

If the fault still occurs, you have to read the error codes of the TPMS system to see what the trouble codes are. It could be a communication error with one of your tire pressure sensor or a damaged tire pressure sensor. Sometimes the sensors are losing the communication with the control unit and you have to try to reprogram them with a TPMS activation tool that is compatible with your vehicle.

 

Summary

  • If the Tire pressure sensor fault message occurs on your dashboard, make sure that you have the right tire pressure and reset the TPMS system first
  • Always fill a bit more tire pressure than the label says if your tires are not cold.
  • Sometimes you have to activate/reprogram your TPMS sensors with a TPMS activation tool
  • Read the trouble code memory with an OBD2 scanner to find out why the tire pressure sensor fault message is occurring

If you have any other questions about the TPMS system or want to tell us about how you solved your problem, comment down below and I will answer as fast as possible. If you have any other car questions you want answers for, you can ask us for free at our homepage.

 

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