TPMS light

So, long story short . . . bought custom wheels and new tires from Tire Rack last October for my daily driver, opted out of the tire pressure sensors, price was pretty high, friend does my yearly inspections, and I really DO CHECK my tire pressure often, like every 2-3 weeks. The TPMS light blinked forever so I put black tape over it until I could figure out how to disable the light, and now . . . VOILA! The light stopped coming on (I checked the tire pressure, spot on), no more annoying light. May have put 4,000 miles on her since new wheels. What happened? Rocketman

Light burned out? Just count your blessings…

Or the mechanic put them on and you weren’t billed for them.

My TPMS light came on yesterday. It was expected. Tires were rotated in September and inflated to 32psi when the Outside Air Temperature was 70 F. Yesterday OAT was 25 F. My TPMS keeps which tire is low a secret. When I checked tires last month they were 31psi when OAT was 55 F. Yesterday they were 29psi. This is about normal.

knfenimore, nope . . .the TPMS light was on for months, since I changed the tires myself directly from tire Rack. I’m thinking like you insightful, the light burned out. Rocketman

Wouldn’t it be a stretch for a TPMS light to burn out? Isn’t it almost certainly an LED? And even if it’s somehow a plain old incandescent bulb (doubtful), it still seems unlikely I think.

@auto-owner‌, why do you think that? Mine is an incandescent, and the airbag light that was going on and off for about a year burned out. It happens.

Mine is an incandescent, and the airbag light that was going on and off for about a year burned out. It happens.

Well then that just further mystifies me as to why incandescents get obsoleted by LEDs in certain applications and not others, especially when those others seem perfectly suited to LEDs.
For example, why do some vehicles have LED brake lights and incandescent turn signals? The signals have to do all that blinking, which is apparently much harder on bulbs than LEDs.
And why not LEDs for all dashboard warning lights? Can anyone explain any rhyme or reason to this stuff?

“…why do some vehicles have LED brake lights and incandescent turn signals?”

Like my Insight. I’d say it might be a cheaper bulb, and the cheapest blinker uses the current to the bulbs to operate the blinker itself. LEDs don’t use enough current to run the blinker.

The light should be on for a moment when you first turn the ignition switch on. This will show if the bulb is burned out. If the bulb is working, any chance you are now parking close to the old rims? If you are close enough the signal might be getting through and letting the system think all is OK. Depending on the response time of the sensors, you may be able to drive around for a while before they start to blink again. You may be back with the rims before it times out. Bit of a stretch but maybe …

My son-in-law has a 2008 Silverado without TPMS in the rims he keeps snow tires on. The light comes on when he puts on the rims and stops after a couple of months. Goes through the same cycle the next year.

@insightful: Almost every car these days uses an electronic module to blink the turn signals–it does not require current flow to heat up a bimetallic strip like the old days.

I would be extremely surprised if the OPs TPMS light burned out–the warning lights can burn out, but they typically outlast the car, and if it’s an LED, it might outlast the driver. Possibly the system is designed to deactivate the monitoring after xx times the car is started if it doesn’t see any input from sensors.

That’s exactly what happens to me. My wife’s car has a second on dash console up by the windshield with this warning light. The ambler passenger air bag light goes on there too with a passenger. So, two little amber lights are barely noticeable unless you obsess about them… No need to tape over them IMho, …unless you an are obsessive lights out freak. It’s unobtrusive Amber and not red for a reason. My goodness. A friend’s new gmc truck looks like a Christmass tree on the dash when running with the guages decked out in Bright colors. A little Amber light is barely discernible.

An update on my colder weather TPMS performance. The threshold for my TPMS appears to be 29 psi. Last week temperatures returned to 50s. I don’t think I mentioned my RR tire was 27 psi when others were 29. It was now 29 and others had returned to 31 which made sense. Of course TPMS light stayed on. I was not concerned about the 2 psi but that if I ran over a nail I would not know it until the tire was flat. Today I noticed a gas station with an air vending machine. I stopped to give RR a 25 cent squirt and discovered it was now a $1 squirt. I was “lucky” enough to have 4 quarters. It reminded me of domestic bottled water. in 1990 gas was slightly over $1 per gallon and people were crying the blues then going into the Mini-Mart and paying $.75 for a pint of bottled water ($6 per gallon)! I’m afraid P.T. Barnum’s estimate of 1 being born every minute was far to low. I slightly overfilled RR then adjusted down to 31 psi (My gauge). TPMS light went out. “I would buy that for a dollar”!

auto-owner wrote:
For example, why do some vehicles have LED brake lights and incandescent turn signals?

My understanding is that LED lights will light up a bit faster than incandescent bulbs. That makes them useful for brake lights for slightly improved safety.

sgtrock21 wrote:
I stopped to give RR a 25 cent squirt and discovered it was now a $1 squirt.

Buying an inflator for $20 or so that will give you hundreds of “squirts” seems like something you should consider.

For what it’s worth, a relative who owned a service station once told me that it cost much more to keep their air pump running due to accidental and deliberate damage than the amount they collected for using it.

lion9car A bicycle pump would have worked fine. I have 2 of them plus a small compressor buried in my storage unit. My next door neighbor has a commercial grade compressor in his shop. He is out of town for a few days. I could have gone to trusted tire shop where they would have happily done it for free but I would have felt guilty bothering them with something so trivial. I just happened to spot the air vending pump yesterday. $1 was a bargain to have even pressure in all tires and turn off the TPMS light. I was going to accomplish this menial task last Wednesday when I stopped for gas at my usual station. Their pump that I had used 10 years ago for 25 cents was missing. I’m certain for the same reasons your relative informed you of. Next time I am in my storage unit I will dig out a bicycle pump and stash it in my trunk. Of course that depends on my remembering to do so. LoL

Not sure @rocketman but my guess is the software engineer who programmed that tp warning light decided if it stayed on for a certain number of miles and the owner didn’t do anything about it, they never would, so it is programmed to turn off after so many miles, so as to not annoy the driver. This assumes the light comes on with the key in “on” but before the engine is started.

George, I doubt if the feds when they created the mandate for TPMS as a required safety system included in the mandate an allowance for the designers to build in a way for the system to shut itself off for those that ignore it. That would be unusual for a mandated safety system…

Without schematics I can’t even guess why the OP’s system is exhibiting the symptoms it is, but something’s definitely broke.

Now it’s back on, blinking at me all the time. The tire pressure is perfect, just a sensor wanting attention I guess. Time to put the black tape back on. Rocketman