Modern-day cars are equipped with all sorts of sensors and systems that ensure that the car is functioning properly at all times. Given the fact that current consumer-grade cars travel at speed in excess of 70mph regularly, these systems are a crucial aspect of life-saving technology. As such, you need to know what they are what you should do if you encounter these warning lights on your dashboard.
What Is A Service Tire Monitoring System?
A tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) is designed to constantly gather data about the air pressure within your tires. If the system deems that one of your wheels has low tire pressure, it will flash a warning light on your dashboard. However, these systems are known to cause issues after a while because they are susceptible to all sorts of potential mishaps.
Tire monitoring systems are commonly situated within the tire which means that they might fail if you go over a bad pothole or because the sensors have worn out. More often than not, the “service tire monitoring system” warning light means that you ought to replace faulty system components in order for the system to continue gathering data as intended.
What Can Cause My Service Tire Monitoring System Warning Light To Come On?
- Battery issues
- Deflated tires
- Faulty sensors
- Aggressive potholes
All in-car electronics are being powered by the battery which works in conjunction with the alternator to constantly provide power to all car accessories, but not the TPMS. This is because the TPMS is situated within the rim, and there is no effective way how one can connect the battery to the system.
This is why a TPMS sensor usually comes with its own small battery that is completely independent of the car’s main battery. As all batteries tend to discharge over time, the one found within the TPMS sensor housing is also going to die eventually. An average lifespan of a TPMS sensor battery is around 5-6 years.
The most common reason why the TPMS light comes on is that your tires are not inflated enough. Most tires fail to maintain proper tire pressure slowly over time which means that these systems are designed to spot that. This can easily be fixed by simply airing up the tires and restarting the car. If the warning light persists, your tires are most likely not the issue.
This can also happen if you have a slow puncture. That’s why you should always inspect your tires for damages whenever this light comes on.
As mentioned in the beginning, these TPMS tire sensors are also known to fail from time to time because they are constantly operating under stress, especially if you often drive on unpaved roads. Because they are situated directly on the inside of the rim, they are susceptible to increased levels of vibrations.
This is one of the most common reasons why the service TPMS light comes on and it can easily be repaired by simply replacing the sensors. Experts believe that TPMS sensors should last anywhere between 5-10 years depending on how much driving you do over that period.
Because these sensors are so close to the ground, they are constantly being shaken while driving. This is why they can sometimes misread the data they are collecting because you went over an aggressive pothole. Such strong disturbance can fool the tire sensor into thinking that your tires are not properly inflated.
This issue is usually resolved by simply restarting the car. However, if the issue persists, chances are that the tire sensor has been damaged or that your tires really are deflating due to blunt force impact.
How Much Does It Cost To Replace A TPMS Sensor?
If you want to replace all four TPMS sensors at the same time, you are looking at a $50-$100 bill including labor. It all depends if they are able to replace the TPMS sensor without having to take the entire wheel off. This is rare with most cars out there, but if you have a car on which you can change the TPMS sensors without taking the tire off, you are probably going to pay less.
Your car’s make and model year are also fairly important when it comes to replacing TPMS sensors because not all cars use the same technology.
Can I Drive With My Tire Monitor System Light On?
You are able to drive with your TPMS light on if you carefully inspect your tires. As these systems often fail due to many air-pressure unrelated things, you can drive the car even when this light is on. However, if you decide to do so, you should constantly monitor tire pressure.
On the other hand, if your tire is indeed deflated, you should not drive the car if not absolutely necessary. Sometimes a tire might experience a slow puncture that tends to release air slowly, but that does not mean that the tire is completely safe.
What Are The Benefits Of Properly Inflated Tires?
All modern cars are designed with a specific air pressure level as this is essential for both safety and performance. If your tires are underinflated your will suffer from worse fuel economy, your levels of traction are not going to be even and you are much more likely to experience tire blowouts.
Furthermore, you will not be able to reach significant speeds and your load rating is going to drop severely. If you overinflate your tires you are risking an explosion while also making the ride a low more uncomfortable.
The service tire monitor system means that your tire pressure monitoring system is not working as intended. This can be due to countless different reasons ranging from a tire filled to an incorrect pressure, faulty sensors, dead sensor battery, or because you aggressively went over a pothole.
The TPMS sensor is known to fail which means that replacing them is more or less regular maintenance. The costs of replacing the TPMS sensors vary depending on the make and model year of the car and if you need to take the wheels off in order to replace them.