What Do I Do When My Tire TPMS Light Comes On?

Your car’s tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) is a vital component that helps ensure your safety on the road. Since it is an essential safety feature, your vehicle is equipped with a TPMS light that lets you know if there is a potential problem. When the tire light comes on, it could be a warning that something needs your immediate attention. Below we will look at what you should know about the TPMS light, as well as steps you can take when you see that light on your dash.

Tire Pressure Monitoring System Dash Light

What Does the TPMS Light Mean?

The tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) light is designed to indicate when one or more of your tires is significantly under-inflated. This is important because overinflation can lead to poor vehicle handling, decreased fuel efficiency, and increased risk of a tire blowout. 

In some cases, the illumination of the TPMS light signifies a problem with the system itself, rather than tire pressure.

When see the TPMS light, do the following:

Check Tire Pressure

Use a tire pressure gauge to check the pressure of all your tires, including the spare if you have one. Compare the readings to the recommended tire pressure listed in your vehicle’s owner’s manual or the sticker on the driver’s side door jamb.

Inflate Tires to the Correct Pressure

If any tires are under-inflated, inflate them to the recommended pressure. Most gas stations have air pumps, or you can use a portable air compressor. Make sure not to overinflate, as this can also cause problems, such as uneven tire wear.

Inspect Tires for Damage

While checking the pressure, inspect each tire for visible damage such as cuts, punctures, or embedded objects like nails. If you find any damage, have it inspected by a professional as soon as possible. Sometimes a repair can be done, depending on the location of the damage and other factors.

Keep Up on Regular Maintenance

Regularly check your tire pressure, at least once a month and before long trips, to ensure they are at the correct levels. This can prevent the TPMS light from coming on and help you avoid unexpected issues. Additionally, regular tire rotations, alignments, and inspections will extend the life of your tires and improve your vehicle’s overall performance.

Call in the Pros

If the TPMS light remains on after you’ve checked and inflated your tires, or if it comes on frequently, there may be an issue with the TPMS itself. In this case, it’s wise to have a professional mechanic inspect the system. They can diagnose and fix any problems, ensuring your TPMS light is functioning correctly.


Understanding Hydroplaning: Causes, Prevention, and the Role of Tire Maintenance

Hydroplaning occurs when a vehicle loses traction and the driver loses control on a wet surface. It is a frightening experience and a serious hazard for drivers. It is important for drivers to understand the causes of hydroplaning and know how to navigate through it. It is also helpful to know how proper tire maintenance can significantly reduce the chances of a hydroplaning occurrence.

Vehicles Driving on Wet Road

What Causes Vehicles to Hydroplane?

Hydroplaning occurs when a layer of water develops between the tires of a vehicle and the road surface. This layer prevents the tires from making full contact with the road, leading to a loss of traction and control. Understanding hydroplaning includes recognizing factors that contribute to it:

  • Speed – Driving at high speeds reduces the tire’s ability to channel water away through its tread, making it more likely it is to hydroplane.
  • Water Depth – While even a small amount of water can cause hydroplaning, deeper water does increase the risk.
  • Tire Condition – Worn-out tires with insufficient tread depth cannot effectively disperse water, increasing the chances of hydroplaning.
  • Vehicle Weight – Lighter vehicles are more prone to hydroplaning.

Navigating Through or Avoiding Hydroplaning

To avoid or safely navigate through hydroplaning, drivers should consider the following tips:

  • Reduce speed on wet roads. Reducing speed gives the tires more time to scatter water and maintain contact with the road.
  • Avoid overreaction. Abrupt steering, braking, or accelerating can lead to loss of control. Gentle, gradual movements are safer.
  • Avoid areas with standing water when possible. Try to drive in the tracks of the vehicle ahead, where water has already been displaced. Avoid large puddles when possible.
  • Maintain a safe following distance. Increase the distance between your vehicle and the one ahead to allow more reaction time if the car in front hydroplanes.

The Role of Tire Maintenance in Preventing Hydroplaning

Keeping tires in good condition is crucial for safe driving in general. The following are some tire factors that can specifically affect your vehicle’s resistance to hydroplaning.

Tread Depth – Tires should have a minimum tread depth of 2/32 inches, though more tread is better for wet conditions. Deeper treads channel water more efficiently. 

Proper Inflation – Properly inflated tires maintain optimal surface contact and water dispersion.

Regular Inspections – Addressing signs of tire wear, damage, or uneven tread early helps to assure a safer ride.

Rotate Tires – Regular tire rotation promotes even tread wear, enhancing overall traction and reducing the risk of hydroplaning.

By understanding hydroplaning, knowing its causes, practicing safe driving techniques, and maintaining your tires, you can significantly reduce the risk of losing control on wet roads.

Five Essential Vehicle Maintenance Tips Every Driver Should Know

As a driver, taking care of your vehicle is essential not only for its longevity but also for your safety on the road. But with all the things we have on our minds, calendars, and to-do lists, vehicle maintenance is easy to forget. Unfortunately, if you put off taking care of your car for too long, it will remind you when it breaks down or has another issue. 

Man Driving in a Car

Proper vehicle maintenance not only saves you money in the long run but also ensures that your car performs optimally. To save yourself hassles down the road, pay attention to these five essential vehicle maintenance tips that every driver should know:

1. Monitor Tire Pressure

Correctly inflated tires not only contribute to better fuel efficiency, they also enhance vehicle handling and safety. In fact, underinflated tires can increase the risk of blowouts and reduce traction, especially in adverse weather conditions. Invest in a reliable tire pressure gauge and check your tire pressure at least once a month. 

2. Have Brake Maintenance Done

It is easy to understand why brakes are one of the most critical safety features of any vehicle. We all depend on them to perform properly every day, but in the meantime, brake components are subjected to wear and damage. Brake pads, rotors, and brake fluid levels should be regularly inspected. Squealing noises or a soft brake pedal are signs that your brakes may need attention. Addressing brake issues assures your car will be able to stop quickly, protecting you and your passengers from potential danger.

3. Schedule Regular Oil Changes

Oil is the lifeblood of your engine, keeping its components lubricated and running smoothly. It is easy to forget that oil degrades over time and requires proper maintenance. Neglecting oil changes can lead to engine wear and even failure, resulting in costly repairs. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for oil change intervals, typically every 5,000 to 7,500 miles.

4. Check Fluids Regularly

While you or your favorite mechanic are under the hood checking that oil, make sure the other fluids your vehicle relies on for smooth operation are where they need to be. These include transmission fluid, coolant, brake fluid, and power steering fluid. Check these fluids regularly and top them off as needed. Leaks or low fluid levels can cause mechanical problems and compromise vehicle performance.

5. Follow Your Recommended Routine Maintenance Schedule

Confused about what maintenance your car really needs and when it needs it. Who would  know better than its manufacturer? Always refer to the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule outlined in your owner’s manual. This schedule typically includes tasks such as replacing filters, inspecting belts and hoses, and checking the battery. Adhering to this schedule helps to keep your vehicle in peak condition and helps prevent unexpected breakdowns.

By staying proactive with your vehicle maintenance, you not only extend the life of your car but also ensure your safety and the safety of others on the road. Incorporate these essential maintenance tasks into your routine, and you’ll enjoy a smoother, safer driving experience for years to come.