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2009 Chevrolet Malibu - 81PSI?

My tire pressure keep reading 81 on my front left tire what can that mean

Either the tire is WAY over pressure or the pressure sensor in the tire has failed. You can check the pressure yourself and any tire store can replace the sensor.


Obviously we need to know the actual pressure in the tire. What is it?

1 Like

You have to clarify where that reading is coming from.
Is it from the vehicle’s TPMS?
Is it from a tire pressure gauge?

Is it possible that the tire is actually overinflated to that extent?
If the answer to my last question is “yes”, then you need to use a reliable tire pressure gauge to deflate the tire to the level specified on the door jamb label before driving it.

It does say 81 psi, correct?
What are the readings on the other tires?
Are you checking because you got an alert message?

If it says 81 kPa and the DIC is set to metric units mode then it’s only got about 12 psi and the tire is very low on air and possibly leaking air, not safe to drive.

It is easy to set the display to English units.

:palm_tree: :sunglasses: :palm_tree:

My money’s on a bad tpms sensor

And it might not even be the front left

If the tires were rotated at some point in time without reinitializing the system using the proper procedure, the system may be flagging the front left as the problem, when in fact it’s the left rear, for example


It’s the right time for the batteries in the TPMS sensors to start failing. I replaced a TPMS sensor on my 2010 Cobalt a few months back. Now the other sensors are failing one by one. I use a dial type pressure gauge to check the tire pressures individually until I get around to replacing the other sensors. I suggest you invest in a tire pressure gauge for your peace of mind. Something like these:

I paid ~$90 to replace one sensor at an independent tire dealer. I believe it would cost around ~$150 per tire at a dealership.

Ed B.

That means you better get that check ASAP. Most likely something wrong with the pressure sensor in that wheel, perhaps battery about to die or already dead.

Should 81psi be a true reading, it’s just a matter of miles before you can have a catastrophic blowout.