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What Does TPMS Mean on a Car?

  • Cars Explained
  • Barrett Mohrmann
  • 3 minutes

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Your day might be going great until you see that flashing symbols appearing. The letters ‘TPMS’ has appeared on your car’s dashboard. Should you be concerned? Don’t be worried because, unlike other serious warning lights, the TPMS light isn’t that serious. The TPMS light probably indicates that you need more air in your tires. This is mostly a safety feature in premium cars.

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TPMS stands for Tire Pressure Monitoring System. The tire pressure sensors built into your vehicle’s tires tracks their air pressure. If one of your vehicle’s tires isn’t at the suggested pressure, the sensor goes off, and the light on your dash alerts you to add air to your car’s tires. This usually occurs when one or more of the tire’s air pressure has fallen below at least 25% below the recommended air pressure level. These tires usually come with an integrated tire pressure sensor. The TPMS warning light will also appear in the event of a rapid deflation–the result of a blowout or a flat–but in these cases, you’ll probably notice the issue itself before you notice the dash light! 

What is TPMS used for? 

TPMS is primarily used for tracking air pressure, under-inflation, and low pressure. TPMS is also a convenient feature that reduces the need for timely air pressure checks. 

How does TPMS work? 

Most premium cars come with a standard TPMS, and each of your tires will come equipped with an integrated air pressure sensor. The sensor keeps assessing the pressure on a time interval basis. So you can be aware of the changes as soon as they occur. The TPMS light will only come on if any one of them has low air pressure. The warning light may also flash on if the tire loses pressure due to a puncture or other external damage. You should pull over and check your tire pressure to see if the light comes on and stays on. 

How is TPMS shown? 

Some cars will display a symbol that looks like a flat tire with an exclamation mark in the middle 

What to do if the TPMS indicator comes on? 

Most gas stations and workshops will fill your tires for a small fee. Check the tire pressure and make sure it’s at the recommended levels.  You can also try changing with the spare tire. If that doesn’t work, schedule a service for your vehicle 

Why do the tires keep losing air pressure? 

The gradual loss in air pressure is completely natural. The level of air pressure loss depends on the environmental condition in which the tires are being used. 

Should I check the air pressure of my tires? 

It’s advisable to check your tire’s air pressure at least once per month. 

Benefits of properly inflated tires 

  • Reduced tread wear and better movement. 
  • Higher average fuel economy 
  • Improved traction 
  • Reduced risk of fat tires. 

 Find the right insurance for your car

Car maintenance is often expensive, but the costs can be reduced with an insurance plan. Way.com can help you get premium insurance at affordable rates. Way.com consumers can compare rates from more than 200 different reputable insurers when choosing an insurance.

Save on car insurance

Get an insurance quote today.  By comparing auto insurance quotes on Way.com, you can save as much as $971 yearly. 


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