The reason vehicles have a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) is to alert you when your tire pressure is at an unsafe level.
The TPMS light is a horseshoe shaped indicator with a exclamation point in its center. If it’s lit, it means your tires could be under- or over-inflated. This is known to cause:
- Unnecessary tire wear
- Poor vehicle handling (especially in bad weather)
- Reduced load carrying capacity
- Lower fuel efficiency
- Tire failure.
Never ignore an illuminated tire light. Doing so could cause your tires to wear out sooner than necessary and make it more difficult to drive. Even worse, it could lead to a serious accident.
When the light goes off, find a service station as soon as possible. Check the pressure of all your tires and add air (or preferably, nitrogen, see below) until the pressure reaches the optimal level specified by the manufacturer of your vehicle.
Remember: The TPMS is not a replacement for regular tire pressure maintenance. It’s an emergency warning tool. Tires may drop below recommended inflation levels long before the TPMS warning light comes on.
How inertion keeps your TPMS light from going off.
A tire that’s inerted uses an inert gas, usually nitrogen, to fill it instead of unstable and dirty compressed air. Air is comprised of 78 percent nitrogen. The rest is made of approximately 21 percent oxygen, water vapor, carbon dioxide, and smaller amounts of gases such as neon and argon.
The combination of these gases impacts how the pressure of your tire changes at different temperatures. Air expands at warmer temperatures and contracts in colder environments. Tire pressure increases or decreases accordingly. When it comes to tire pressure, nitrogen has the edge over air, because it’s less susceptible to changes in temperature.
In addition to this, tires have microscopic holes that let small amounts of gas to leak out. Over time, this causes tires to deflate. Nitrogen molecules are bigger than air molecules, which makes them less likely to leak out of tires, which helps prevent deflation.
Inerted tires are more stable and far less likely to lose pressure. When you inert them, it’s less likely your tire warning light will go off.