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What does this symbol indicate?

Story on Yahoo today. Schrader (manufactures tire pressure monitoring equipment) conducted a survey to see how many people correctly identified the message from the “low tire pressure” indication symbol. Turns out only 46% knew what the symbol indicated.

Tire pressure monitoring equipment will become standard equipment soon.

As owner’s manuals already are.
But hey…
Who read those anyway ?

Even my wife, ( I’ve been in auto parts biz 35 years ) will simply say
" there’s a light on , on the dash “
” go drive my truck "

TPMS systems are already mandatory. You can send your letters of appreciation to Firestone and Ford, specifically the Explorer division. TPMS systems were made mandatory in response to the Explorer rollover fiasco.

It’s really just more of the same, so to speak.

If a survey was done regarding the “oil” light on most dashboards, what percentage of owners would correctly identify the function of that warning light? Based on the parade of folks in this forum who think that it just means “add oil and drive on”, the percentage of folks who can’t identify that warning light is probably just as high as the stats on the TPMS warning light.

The bottom line is that you can lead a horse to water (providing a manual written in English at the 8th grade reading level), but you can’t make him drink (read the manual).

Some folks are just not educable–at least on the topic of how their cars work.

I wonder if Yahoo printed an "old’ article? perhaps they needed some filler type material

I’m with VDC Driver, without a frame of reference, how are we to tell that the symbol is the problem!

Many years ago the results of a geography test given to high school seniors was published. One of the questions was: “What country lies directly south of the US?” The obvious answer is Mexico, but for a large portion of the US, Mexico is not directly south of them. They marked Cuba as the wrong answer! - and I contend it is correct given the way the question was worded.

Personally the symbol was a very poor choice. Why not show a tire graphic that looks low/almost flat with air poofing out? Or may added some English to it?

If a cryptic symbol is used a standard placard(non removable) should be placed in vehicle in a SINGLE page explaining it.

Owner’s manual’s do not get opened. Personally I have never read mine except when I had to look something up. It is a reference not a novel.

Of course some people aren’t familiar with the symbols on their dash, but there are a very large percentage of drivers whose vehicles don’t have TPMS, or who have not had the light come on. Nothing surprising here.

that is a new one for me
but I had a friend once who taped a business card over the abs warning light on his dash because it bothered him while driving at night
and his brakes finaly locked the rotors had completely warn through to the vents
and and he said OH! thats what that light meant

The first time my low-tire-pressure light came on I had to get my manual out to see what it meant. Once I found it then it was obvious to me…but the first time I saw it I was confused.

At least I know how to use a tire gauge and keep one in my truck at all times.

The icon is poorly designed. Unfortunately we can’t “idiot proof” graphic artists or other professionals who design vehicle pieces and parts. This goes for engineers as well although I know they are all hobbled sometimes by budget constraints. The least they could do is is label all the icons but I know that makes too much sense so it will probably never happen. It would help also if “all” drivers would quit texting or talking on the cellphone, read their owners manual and just pay attention. I know…pie in the sky.

"Personally the symbol was a very poor choice. Why not show a tire graphic that looks low/almost flat with air poofing out? Or may added some English to it? "

Isn’t that what the symbol is? The cross section of a tire with the sides poofing out or am I just seeing things?

Labeling–in English–of warning lights is mostly a thing of the past, I think.
Due to the international nature of car sales, most car companies do not want to manufacture different facia for the area housing the warning lights, hence “international” symbols.

Unfortunately, a lot of these symbols are not clear to people speaking any of the world’s many languages!

I understood mine immediately upon seeing it. It seems obvious. I’m getting from this thread that perhaps it’s only obvious to those of us with some awareness of TPMS systems. But, then, how are we to judge if the symbol is good or not? Perhaps the symbol was selected after showing a series of possible choices to a group of uninformed laypeople. How do you come up with a symbol that someone who knows absolutely nothng about how a car works will understand?

My 11 year old nephew just drew a picture of what he thought a flat tire warning icon would look like. It’s a picture of a tire and wheel side view (round) with the bottom of the tire drawn in a horizontal (flat) position. The problem with the icon that the auto industry is using is that the tire is seen from the front/rear and is not even flat. My nephew is smart but I consider him a genius compared to the person who created the TPM icon.

You don’t want to imply the tire is flat when it is only low by some psi, scaring people by making them think they have a flat will bring a manufacture more grief than confusing half of them with an odd icon.

Good point…I keep forgetting that the driving public is involved in this.

You did make a good point, Missleman, that the general public perhaps does not recognize a cross-sectional view of a tire. Your nephew just might have drawn a better symbol.

Yahoo prints these kinds of things because they want to paper over what is really happening in the news, such as the military industrial take over of the US govt.

I thought they started that last year.