What To Do When Your TPMS Light Comes On

When you start the car does your TPMS light flash for about a minute, then stay on solid? Or does it come on and just stay on solid? 

The Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) warning light comes on because you have a problem, but doesn’t always mean you have low tire pressure or a leaking tire, there could be a problem with the TPMS sensors.

Here’s how you can tell — 

Tire Pressure Monitoring System warning light

  • If the TPMS warning light comes on and stays on, you’ve got one or more low tires.   Could be anything, leaking tires come in all ways and it’s always best to get them checked out asap before they develop into a real problem that could leave you stranded. 
  • If the TPMS light comes on and flashes for about a minute, then stays on, you’ve got a problem with the TPMS system itself.  You may have low air pressure too, but you’ll never know because the system is not working. In most cases, it’s a bad TPMS sensor and/or calibration. Check your tire pressure and get it diagnosed at your local tire shop. 

I’ve seen so many flat tires in my 30 years at Kenwood Tire, I can tell you that the TPMS system works and should not be ignored. Just like the ABS and seatbelt lights, it is a vital safety feature of today’s cars. 

Hope this helps you next time you see the TPMS warning light on your dash. 



Michelin Tire Cracking Chart

Dry-Rot & Tire Cracking Explained

If you have seen cracks on the sidewalls or between the treads of your tires, it may be dry-rot and that’s not good.

When is it time to replace cracked tires? Check out this handy chart from Michelin —

Just like us tires weather and age, their rubber becomes brittle, breaking down and creating cracks in the sidewall, tread, and around the rim.

Dry-rot is also known as weather cracking, and ozone cracking.

Tire manufacturer warranties will cover tire cracking and dry rot, as well as other defects, but most warranties expire after 6 years.

Most tires will wear out before cracking becomes a warrantable condition.

That’s because antiozonant, the rubber additive manufacturers use to resist tire cracking and tire-blooming too, is only released as the tire is being used, going through its normal heating and cooling cycles. That’s why RV, trailer, and classic car tires don’t get used that much, so cracking and dry-rot appear faster. 

There is no way to fix dry-rotted and cracked tires, but you can slow down the process by using a tire cleaner and protectant.

I use Superior Products Dark Fury to clean wheels at the shop, but for occasional use, I recommend Chemical Guys Diablo Wheel Gel – Used with a soft brush, both of these are awesome at dissolving brake dust without hurting the wheel finish.

And to keep your wheels looking good after cleaning, you can use a non-solvent protectant Wizards Tire and Vinyl Shine.

Check out examples of dry-rot in tires –  If you’re concerned about your tires, e-mail me some pictures and I’ll give you my honest opinion. 

Thanks for visiting, let me know if you have any questions or comments – 

Check out some more of my favorite wheel cleaning products on Amazon – (As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases).