The other day I got into the car and there was a light on the dashboard I hadn’t seen before, after a quick look in the manual I discovered it was the tire pressure light! When it comes to our cars, steep temperature drops can trigger a sign of winter that we don’t welcome: a yellow or orange low tire pressure warning light.
When your light comes on, your car is simply telling you that you need more air in your tire and this time of year, the warning is usually related to chilly nights.
Here’s what’s happening:
Several vehicles that are 2000 and newer cars and trucks are equipped with a Tire Pressure Monitor System which triggers your dashboard warning light when the air in your tires drops just a few PSI below the recommended tire psi.
Your tire pressure will decrease about 1 psi for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit the outside air temperature drops. (Likewise, it increases about 1 psi for every 10 degrees when the temperature rises.) If your tire pressure was last adjusted during the day or after just coming off the road, the air pressure could be related to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. So now, the temperature drops over night overnight temperature hits the low 40s, your tire pressure will drop down by 5 psi, almost certainly turning on the tire pressure warning light.
To remedy your low tire pressure light, a simply check or adjustment of the air in your tires is all that is required. You can do this at a local gas station, or bring it to your local mechanic.
Make sure you let your mechanic know that the tire pressure light was on in the morning when it was cold. If you drive your car down to the local shop, the tire pressure will rise from where it was in the morning because the tires will heat up. Parking the car in the afternoon sun will also boost the tire pressure falsely.
In most vehicles, your TPMS light will turn off once the tires are properly inflated, according to the Car Care Council. So make sure your tires are properly inflated this time of year and as always DRIVE SAFE!!!
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