Ask a Mechanic....A problematic TPMS

In today’s column we discuss a glitching TPMS.

By Nida Zafar Wheels.ca

Nov 20, 2021 3 min. read

Article was updated 2 years ago

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Every week, we take your questions about what is going on under the hood of your vehicle and pose them to a knowledgeable mechanic in the Greater Toronto Area. In today’s column we discuss a glitching TPMS.

Dear Ask a Mechanic,

My wife and I drive a 2014 Honda CR-V with 105,000 kilometres on it to date. When we drive at highway speeds, the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) on the dashboard lights up, which is worrying to us. We’ve been complaining to our Honda dealer every time we go in for service, but no one at the dealership seems to know what is causing this, and we are told every time not to worry and just to stop the car and push in the TPMS switch which turns the light off. Even after doing that, the problem continues to occur, which is annoying and dangerous on a busy highway, especially at night. This happens regardless if we have our summer or winter tires on, which are always correctly inflated. Is this a common problem with all 2014 Honda CR-V’s or is it an isolated problem with our vehicle only? Should we ignore the TPMS system light and drive on, hoping that nothing will happen? – Failing TPMS

Dave Kwan, owner of Markham’s Defcon Automotive, said the TPMS is an important indicator to let drivers know about tire pressure. To him, it doesn’t sound like there’s much to be worried about, but that doesn’t mean the dealer should be brushing this off. According to the owner’s manual, the TPMS in this vehicle monitors and compares the rotational speed in each wheel to see if one or more of the tires is underinflated, triggering the TPMS indicator to come on. Kwan recommends drivers go old school and complete a tire pressure check in the manner done before TPMS was widely implemented. This means measuring the tire pressure before driving anywhere, and then measuring again after completing the drive once the tires have cooled down. Tire pressure will increase while driving due to the air inside rising in temperature; heated by the flexing tire or even brake heat from the wheel. If the pressure has changed, it might mean the tire is damaged and may need to be plugged, or completely changed, depending on the situation. If it’s at a similar level, it could mean there’s possibly a glitch in the system and that a professional should have a look at it.


Ask a Mechanic is written by Nida Zafar, a reporter who grew up in a house full of mechanics in Scarborough, and occasionally poses your questions to her dad or brother. You can send your questions to wheels@thestar.ca. These answers are for informational purposes only. Please consult a certified mechanic before having any work done to your vehicle.




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