Are you wondering how to handle a tire pressure warning light that displays on your Honda? If so, you've come to the right place! Here, we'll review the tire pressure warning light system of your vehicle and steps you can take to ensure that it's working correctly and that your tires are inflated to the proper pressure.
If you drive a Honda automobile or any other make of car built after 2007, it is likely fitted with a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). The tire pressure monitoring system's warning light will display on your car's instrument cluster when air pressure is low in one or more tires. The dashboard icon for the TPMS on most vehicles is identified by an exclamation point inside a U-shaped image representing a tire tread and sidewall.
The tire pressure monitoring systems utilized by auto manufacturers are designed to monitor the air pressure in a car's tires and alert the driver when the pressure falls out of a predetermined range. Underinflated tires can lead to a decrease in fuel efficiency and vehicle instability -- or even a blowout when a tire is dangerously low on air.
Your vehicle's TPMS dashboard indicator will light up when one or more tires are underinflated. These advanced systems use sensors within the tire or on the car to send information to one or several modules within the vehicle.
Your car may have one of two types of tire pressure monitoring systems: a direct or indirect TPMS.
Direct tire pressure monitoring systems utilize a sensor and transmitter on each wheel inside the tire's air chamber. Most Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) typically place the sensors on each tire's valve stem for easy identification and service. The TPMS sensors relay a signal to the vehicle's receivers and the information is then processed, triggering the dashboard indicator light when a pressure issue is discovered.
The direct tire pressure monitoring system's sensors alert motorists of underinflation when the air pressure falls below a certain level, which is often caused by either rapid air loss from a puncture or gradual loss of air from a slow leak. Many automobiles with direct tire pressure monitoring systems allow the driver to view the current psi (pounds per square inch) of individual tires from behind the wheel via the dashboard display.
Some automakers have installed indirect tire pressure monitoring systems to comply with federal laws established for all U.S. light motor vehicles built after 2007.
Indirect tire pressure monitoring systems utilize information from the wheel speed sensors that are part of the vehicle's anti-lock braking system (ABS). These systems rely on data from the wheel speed sensors to determine the size of the tire and its revolutions per mile.
A smaller wheel and tire rotates faster than a larger one, so underinflated tires are smaller than properly inflated tires. If one of the car's four tires is underinflated, its circumference changes enough to roll at more revolutions per mile than the other tires, which initiates an alert from the TPMS light.
Direct tire pressure monitoring systems are more accurate than indirect tire pressure monitoring systems and more detailed in the information they provide to the driver. For instance, indirect systems cannot tell the driver which tire is underinflated, so each one will need to be checked. Also, they do not alert the driver if changes in tire pressure during cooler outdoor temperatures like in the winter, when each tire's psi may decrease at a similar rate.
Indirect systems have also been known to generate false warnings, whether during cold weather or other driving situations. No matter which type of TPMS your car has, it's important to regularly check the tire pressure.
Drivers of all makes of cars, trucks and SUVs throughout the Seattle area can rely on the Honda Auto Center of Bellevue service center in Bellevue, WA, for professional tire maintenance, including tire pressure warning light service, pressure checks, tire inflations and more. Our team of skilled technicians will inspect your car's tires for slow leaks if you've noticed a consistent drop in psi on one or more tires.
We offer comprehensive TPMS service, no matter if your vehicle utilizes a direct or indirect system for monitoring tire pressure. Contact our staff or schedule your service appointment online now!