What is a Service Tire Monitor System?
Whenever your car says service tire monitor system, this means that more than likely you have a bad tire pressure monitor sensor (TPMS). Don’t worry this light isn’t going to hurt your car at all.
This warning is just letting you know something is wrong with the TPMS. A TPMS or service tire monitor system, just lets you know when your tire pressure is too low or too high.
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The service tire monitor system is the sensor and the TPMS Module.
You more than likely just have a bad TPMS sensor or sensors. That’s right, I said sensors. Your vehicle has a total of four sensors. This is true if you are driving the standard four wheel vehicle (one per tire). You’re probably wondering where these sensors are located right?
Where is the Service Tire Monitor System?
These sensors are located either on your valve stem inside your rim, or on the rim itself on the opposite side of the valve stem. If located on the opposite side of the valve stem, the sensor is mounted on a band that’s wrapped around the rim. The TPMS sensor is located in each tire.
Before you put a new sensor in, it is recommended that you check your tires for correct PSI and then check the sensor.
Checking the sensor is super easy and affordable with a TPMS Relearn Tool. This tool properly tests the status of your TPMS sensor detecting if the sensor is good or faulty. With this tool you can feel safe knowing your tires are properly inflated and that your TPMS light is coming on when it should.
Can a Service Tire Monitor System Fault be Fixed?
You can fix a tire sensor fault. All you have to do is get a TPMS scan tool to figure out which sensor is bad or sensors. Then let all the air out of your tire(s) with a valve core remover tool.
If replacing your TPMS sensors does not fix the problem then you most likely have a bad TPMS module. A TPMS module going bad is really rare compared to how often TPMS sensors go bad.
However, if you just had your tires replaced and they put new sensors in make sure they programed your sensors to your car with your TPMS scanner.
Why is My TPMS Light On?
Your TPMS light comes on when your tire pressure is too low or too high. This light is basically there to alert you of unsafe driving conditions brought on by your car or truck’s tire pressure. However, the sensor itself could be faulty.
To fix this it’s simple, all you need to do is air up your tires to the correct pressure, indicated by your vehicle’s identification sticker, and retrain the TPMS sensors. Usually, all you need to do to reset this light is drive the car (after airing your tires), but sometimes your car may require a TPMS sensor scanner.
If you check your tires PSI and they are all as they should be, then your TPMS sensor is bad.
Always make sure you have the correct tire pressure in your tires. You don’t want your tires wearing uneven and risking the chance of having bad tires prematurely.
Why is My Low Tire Pressure Light on But My Tires are Fine?
If your tire pressure monitor sensor light is flashing or staying on but your tires are fine, this means you more than likely have a dead or broken sensor. If that is the case you will need to scan your TPMS sensors to see which sensor has gone bad. Using the best cheap TPMS scan tool this is super easy.
HOWEVER, if your sensor isn’t bad, and your light is solid and not flashing, you just need to check your air pressure, more than likely the sensor is doing its job and alerting you that your tire PSI is not correct.
That means the PSI for that tire is too high or too low. If your low tire pressure light is on and all your tires have equal PSI to each other, this means you probably just need to air up all your tires.
If there is a tire that is way lower than the rest you need to inspect the tire for a tire leak. Once you fix the tire leak and air up the tires, or if your tires are low and you put air in them, you need to retrain your TPMS sensors.
Sometimes, this means you just need to drive the car. Sometimes you need a TPMS scanner to reset the tire pressure monitor sensor light.
How Does a Service Tire Monitor System Go Bad?
Well there could be several reasons as to why your tire sensor is bad or is going bad. You could have a dead service tire monitor system. There is a battery inside your TPMS sensor that usually will die after six years. Sometimes, these batteries will fail prematurely.
The other reason your sensor could be bad is because when someone put your new tires on, they broke the TPMS sensor. If this is the case you need to take it back to where you had the tires installed and get them to replace the sensor they broke.
Note: To be clear, your TPMS sensor is the only thing that has the battery that goes dead. The module would just go bad due to age.
So, it is always a good idea to have the knowledge and proof of knowing if your TPMS light was working correctly before you took it in the shop to get new tires.
If broken during the tire change or replacement, the TPMS light will appear flashing on your dash shortly after leaving the shop (if it is not already upon re-entering your vehicle).
On the other hand, if you don’t trust the place you went to, or are planning on going to, you can scan and replace the sensors yourself. With the proper tools of course.
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How Much Does it Cost to Replace a Tire Pressure Sensor?
The price of a service tire monitor system can vary depending on brand and where you purchase the sensor. If you replace the sensor yourself you’re looking $50 or less for all four sensors. If you take it to a shop, it will probably be $100 for literally 5 minutes worth of work.
They will charge you to take off your tire (when they never actually take it off). They simply break the top bead of your tire and unscrew the sensor.
Why pay someone 1000’s of dollars to replace your tires and sensors, when you could do all of this yourself. Plus, you can save a ton of money by buying the parts you need online.
Can I Drive With My TPMS Light On?
This has always been a big question, is it safe to drive with a TPMS light on. The answer is yes, it is safe, BUT always make sure that your tires are aired to the correct pressure.
Also, be sure there isn’t something causing your tire to leak. It is always good safety practice to inspect your tires before driving. Learn to fix your tires yourself.
All the TPMS light is doing is making sure you know your tire pressure is either too low or too high. So, as long as your tires look fine and pass your tires recommended PSI, you’re safe to drive.
Be sure to air your tires up to the correct pressure. Also check/reset your TPMS light before driving to prevent a wreck.
How Long Does It Take For the TPMS Light to Go Off?
Resetting a service tire monitor system light is simple. Sometimes it’s as easy as just airing up your tires to the correct pressure and driving the car for 20 minutes.
In other cases, you will need a TPMS light scanner. This tool will reset the TPMS light for you all you need to do is adjust your tire pressure. If you are unsure of where to look for the correct tire pressure open your driver door and look at the door frame. There will be a sticker that will tell you the correct tire pressure for your car.
After you air up the tires, punch in your vehicle’s information in the scanner and the tool will walk you through the process. It’s that simple.
How to Test a Service Tire Monitor System Battery
In order to test your TPMS sensor battery, you need to get a TPMS scan tool. Simply scan the sensor through the tire. The TPMS scan tool will tell you how much battery life you have in your TPMS sensor.
Usually when your tire sensor is dead your TPMS light will be flashing, the tire pressure sensor fault/ tire monitor pressure system will display a fault. That fault will be written across the display screen.
Mechanic Mike Says:
“Sometimes when a tire sensor starts to go bad or is bad your tire light will cut on and off. Meaning its battery is dying.”
Symptoms of a Bad Service Tire Monitor System
Here are some symptoms of a bad TPMS sensor. Your tire light may come on and turn off randomly and your tires will be at the correct tire pressure. The TPMS light cutting off and on means your service tire monitor system battery is probably dying.
Your tire light flashing can also mean you just have a bad TPMS sensor. This means you do have a bad sensor somewhere. If you get a warning on your display screen that says tire pressure monitor system fault or TPMS sensor fault this means you have a bad service tire monitor system. You will need a TPMS scan tool to figure out exactly which TPMS sensor is going bad. Using the scan tool, program your new tire sensors.
- Service tire monitor system sensor (TPMS) light staying on/randomly on
- TPMS light flashing
- No TPMS light tires flat
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