What To Do When the TPMS Light Comes On

Whenever an unfamiliar light or symbol appears on your dashboard, you might feel a level of concern or even panic. Most of the time, they are easy to read and self-explanatory. Other times, you may have no clue. One warning indicator that our customers tend to ask us about is the TPMS light, or tire pressure monitoring system light. 

The TPMS light looks like a horseshoe with an exclamation mark, and it can appear when your tire pressure is too low in one or more of your car’s tires. Here is every step you should take following the appearance of this light:

Step 1: Look Up What Your Tire Pressure Should Be At

Every manufacturer has a labeled pressure, usually in the units of psi, for your front tires and rear tires. It can be found on a sticker on the driver’s door jamb. If not, you should check the manual.

Step 2: Measure Tire Pressure Manually

Next, you will want to check each tire’s pressure using a tire gauge manually. You can go to a local gas station, where they can sometimes be free to use along with a tire-filing machine. However, we recommend investing in buying one, so you have one on hand at all times. 

Step 3: Fill the Tires Up With Air

Once you locate the underinflated tires, make sure to pump them up to meet the manufacturer’s specified psi range. Be careful not to overfill them either. Once you fill your tires up, the light should completely dismiss. It may take several minutes of driving or a couple of startups later for the light to disappear.

What If the Light Stays on Or Is Blinking?

If the TPMS light does not shut off, you may be dealing with a larger issue. For example, a flashing TPMS light means that there is something wrong with the TPMS itself. This usually involves the sensors in your tires.

To be completely sure, we recommend bringing your car to Tom’s Auto Center for a thorough assessment. Our technicians will look at each tire and its sensors thoroughly to pinpoint the problem. Please visit our auto repair shop for all your automotive needs!


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