What does the tyre pressure warning light means and how to reset it?

Owning a car means being prepared for dashboard warning lights. So, if your tyre pressure light has come on, don’t panic. It’s usually simple to fix—and we’ll show you how. We’ll run through what the light means, what to do if it’s flashing, and how to reset the tyre pressure light.

What is the tyre pressure warning light?

The tyre pressure warning light is part of your car’s tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS). The TPMS consistently tracks the air in your tyres and notifies you if there’s a drop in pressure, a puncture, or if they’re underinflated.

If the tyres are running low on air, you’ll see the amber warning light on your dashboard. It’s there to warn you, so you can reinflate the tyres and avoid unsafe driving, accidents, or tyre failure. The pressure warning light also helps maintain the tyres for longer because it ensures they always have optimal pressure—so you can avoid problems and additional hazards further down the line.

Why does the tyre pressure warning light turn on?

If the tyre warning light is illuminated, it’s most likely due to a drop in pressure. This could be caused by gradual pressure loss over time or a sudden puncture.

Sometimes, the warning light comes on even if your tyres are perfectly fine—this could be triggered by a faulty TPMS or even a drastic change in temperature. Usually, you can tell whether it’s a fault or if you need air in your tyres by the way the light appears on the dashboard. Let’s explore this in more detail.

Flashing tyre pressure light

If the tyre warning light flashes when you start your engine and stays on while driving, it’s probably a TPMS sensor fault. The sensor is likely picking up on issues that aren’t there, but you should still get the vehicle checked if the TPMS isn’t working correctly. Head down to your local Halfords garage to get your car serviced and fix the TPMS sensor.

Intermittent tyre pressure light

Sometimes, the tyre pressure light may flash intermittently. A drop in temperature usually causes this. For example, if the air in your tyres is cold, it might cause the TPMS to pick up a pressure drop. However, as you drive the car and the air heats up, it should expand and return to the correct level. Regardless, you should still visit a local petrol station or garage to check your tyre pressure.

Constant tyre pressure light

If the pressure light is on constantly, this is because the air in your tyres is low and needs topping up—or you could have a puncture. You should check the air pressure as soon as possible to avoid unsafe driving. Check your dashboard first, as it may tell you which tyre is flagging the issue.

If you pump air into the tyre and the light still doesn’t turn off or turns off briefly only to appear again soon after, you may have a slow puncture, so you’ll need to find a nearby garage to fit a new one.

What should I do if the TPMS light turns on?

  • If the tyre warning light comes on, the first thing you should do is reduce your speed if possible, to avoid further damage to the tyres.
  • Usually, you can tell if you have a flat tyre or just need air. A puncture will make handling the vehicle more difficult, especially at high speeds or in wet weather—so drive with caution. You may find your car naturally pulls in one direction. If that’s the case, pull over when it’s safe and stop the vehicle.
  • Give the tyres a visual check to see if you can detect any tears, holes, or other obvious signs of damage. If you have a flat tyre, you may need to use your breakdown cover or drive slowly to a nearby Halford’s garage so we can replace it for you.
  • For extra air, head to a local petrol station to use the air machine. You’ll need the optimal PSI for your tyres, so either look on your dashboard or your vehicle handbook (check in the glovebox). If the TPMS light doesn’t go off, it could be a slow puncture, or something may be wrong with the TPMS itself. Pop into a local Halford’s garage, and we’ll be happy to check this for you.

Can I drive if the tyre pressure warning light is on?

Yes, you can legally drive even if the tyre pressure warning light is on. However, you should slow down and drive cautiously to avoid damaging your tyres further.

Continue driving until you find a safe place to stop. If you’ve checked your tyres and don’t think it’s punctured, go to the nearest petrol station to inflate them as soon as possible.

How do I check my tyre pressure?

  • Firstly, check your tyres visually for any obvious damage or punctures.
  • Next, check what your vehicle’s tyre pressure should be, as it is different for each car. You can also refer to the vehicle handbook or manual to see what the pressure should be—if it’s not in your car, you can find it online. More modern vehicles may show the tyre PSI on the dashboard. Often, it will display what the PSI currently is and what it should be, so you know how much air you need.
  • To add air to your tyres, use a gauge or the machine at the petrol station. You’ll need to set the PSI for your tyres and add air as needed. Wait for the machine to beep, so you know when it’s reached the optimal PSI.

How do I reset my tyre pressure warning light?

Once you’ve added air to your tyres, the TPMS light should go off. If it doesn’t, ensure that the tyres are at the correct PSI. Even if you’ve inflated the tyres, the light will stay on if they’re not at the optimal PSI level.

Check the vehicle handbook, as there may be different instructions for specific car models. If you need to reset the light, some newer vehicles allow you to do so using the dashboard computer. In addition, you can usually find the TPMS reset light under the steering wheel.

If you’ve exhausted all options, it could be down to a faulty TPMS system. It’s best to get your vehicle checked at a local Halford’s garage. Our technicians will be more than happy to look over your vehicle and advise you of any necessary repairs.

Same day tyre fitting

Did you know that we now offer same-day tyre fitting service across our garages nationwide? Simply book online before 1 pm and we can replace your tyres the same day to help you get back on the road safely and swiftly. Please note that availability varies by location. 

Same day tyre fitting

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