Tire Pressure Sensor Faults (Causes, Symptoms, & Fixes)
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Tire pressure sensors are usually installed in a vehicle's tires to monitor the tire pressure.
Once the tire pressure sensor is bad, the system may not be able to monitor tire pressure, which means that you won't receive a notification when tire pressure is lower than necessary. This can lead to safety issues, such as reduced tire traction and increased blowout risk.
Various factors, including sensor damage, battery failure, or issues with the tire valve stem or sealing components, can cause the tire pressure sensor to go bad. It is essential to address any tire pressure sensor issues promptly to ensure the safety and proper functioning of the vehicle.
Let’s discuss everything you need to know about tire pressure sensor faults, including the causes, symptoms, how to fix it, etc.
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Table of Contents
- What Causes Tire Pressure Sensor Faults?
- Symptoms of Tire Pressure Sensor Faults
- How To Diagnose and Repair a Faulty Tire Pressure Sensor
- How To Prevent Tire Pressure Sensor Faults
- Tire Pressure Sensor Repair Cost
- Best Car Deals by Category
What Causes Tire Pressure Sensor Faults?
1. Malfunctioning Sensor
One common cause of tire pressure sensor faults is a malfunctioning sensor. Over time, the sensors may become damaged or worn, resulting in inaccurate readings or a complete failure to function.
2. Low Battery
Another common cause of tire pressure sensor faults is a low battery. Small batteries power the sensors for them to run correctly. If the charge gets weaker, the sensor may not be functional.
Tire pressure sensors usually last for many years before the battery needs changing to maintain the proper performance of the sensor.
3. Problem With the Tire Valve Stem
A standard cause of tire pressure sensor faults is an issue with the tire valve stem. This tire component holds the tire in place and allows air to enter and exit.
Over time, the valve stem may become damaged or worn, which can lead to air leaks and other issues that affect the performance of the tire pressure sensor.
4. Other Factors
External factors such as extreme weather, harsh road conditions, and accidents can cause tire pressure sensor faults. For example, a severe impact or collision with a curb or other object can damage the tire and wheel, leading to sensor malfunctions.
Similarly, driving on rough or uneven roads can cause wear and tear on the tire pressure sensors, leading to decreased performance over time.
Symptoms of Tire Pressure Sensor Faults
If the sensors fail or malfunction, you may not be aware of any tire pressure issues, which could lead to poor handling, reduced fuel efficiency, and even tire blowouts.
1. Warning Light on Your Dashboard
One common sign of a tire pressure sensor fault is a warning light on your dashboard. This light is typically shaped like an exclamation mark inside a horseshoe or tire and may flash or remain lit.
If you see this warning light, you must immediately check your tire pressure and take your vehicle to a mechanic.
2. Inaccurate Reading
Another symptom of a tire pressure sensor fault is an inaccurate reading. If your tire pressure sensor is compromised, it may not be able to give an accurate reading, resulting in either over-inflation or under-inflation of the tires, which can then impact how your vehicle performs on the road.
3. Car Pulling to the Side
With an affected sensor, you may observe your car pulling to the side, feeling sluggish, or sensing a bumpy ride and a lower grip while driving.
4. Uneven Tire Wear
In addition, improperly inflated tires can cause premature wear on one side of the tire versus the other. Uneven tire wear can be dangerous, leading to blowouts or other tire failures.
How To Diagnose and Repair a Faulty Tire Pressure Sensor
Like any other part of a car, tire pressure sensors can develop faults, which can cause various problems.
Fortunately, diagnosing and repairing these faults is relatively straightforward, especially with the help of a qualified mechanic.
Diagnosing Tire Pressure Faults
The first step in diagnosing a tire pressure sensor fault is to check for a warning light on the dashboard. This light, shaped like an exclamation mark inside a horseshoe or tire, may flash or remain lit.
If the light is on, it's essential to check the tire pressure immediately, as a tire pressure sensor fault is the most likely cause.
If the tire pressure sensor is not functioning correctly, it can lead to inaccurate readings, which can cause handling issues and reduced fuel efficiency.
A mechanic will take out a tire pressure gauge to measure the tire pressure and compare the reading to the one given by the sensor to ascertain if it's defective.
The tire pressure sensor must get repaired or replaced if it is faulty. Sometimes, the sensor may need recalibration, which involves resetting and adjusting it to provide accurate readings.
In other cases, the sensor may need to be replaced, significantly if it has been damaged or is not responding to recalibration attempts.
Repairing Tire Pressure Sensor Faults
Repairing or replacing a tire pressure sensor typically involves removing the tire from the wheel and accessing the sensor itself.
This process can be complex, especially on newer vehicles with advanced sensor systems. A qualified mechanic typically has the tools and expertise to perform this work safely and efficiently.
In addition to repairing or replacing the tire pressure sensor, a mechanic may also need to inspect the tires and the rest of the vehicle for any signs of damage or wear.
This can help ensure that the car is safe to drive and that any underlying issues that may have contributed to the sensor fault are addressed.
How To Prevent Tire Pressure Sensor Faults
To maintain optimal tire pressure and reduce the likelihood of tire pressure sensor faults.
Drivers ought to inspect their tires’ pressure with a tire pressure gauge or enlist the aid of a qualified service technician. Over or underinflated tires can cause harder sensors to run, leading to premature wear and tear. Therefore, proper tire inflation is essential.
Another essential step in preventing tire pressure sensor faults is to avoid harsh driving conditions.
Driving over rough terrain, through deep water, or in extreme heat can cause damage to the sensors or other parts of the vehicle, increasing the risk of malfunction.
To avoid these issues, drivers should drive cautiously and avoid driving in areas likely to put undue stress on their vehicles.
Regular maintenance is also vital to preventing tire pressure sensor faults. Drivers should have their vehicles inspected and serviced regularly by a qualified mechanic, who can check for signs of wear and tear damage or other issues affecting the sensors or other parts of the vehicle.
This can help catch potential problems early on and prevent more serious issues from developing.
Finally, investing in high-quality tire pressure sensors can also help prevent faults and ensure the vehicle performs at its best.
Drivers should look for durable, accurate sensors to withstand the rigors of everyday driving.
Tire Pressure Sensor Repair Cost
Repairing or replacing a tire pressure sensor can range from $40 to $100 per sensor.
One of the most significant factors affecting the cost of tire pressure sensor repairs is the type of sensor that needs replacing.
Some sensors are relatively easy to access and replace, while others may require more extensive work to remove and replace.
The cost of replacing some sensors may depend on the specifics of the car model. In addition to the cost of the sensor itself, fixing a tire pressure sensor glitch may involve a fee for labor if it’s in an unreachable area of the vehicle.
Additionally, there may be expenditures associated with pinning down the cause of the issue. All these additional costs add up to the total cost of the repair.
Replacing all tire pressure sensors at once may be more cost-effective than repairing individual sensors as they fail. This can help ensure that all the sensors are working correctly and can prevent additional repairs.
Working with an experienced technician is necessary when dealing with a tire pressure sensor issue. They can adequately assess the issue and provide a precise repair price estimate.
Looking into the aspects that impact repair costs can aid in making better decisions and ensure your vehicle runs smoothly.