Tires and Rims

Is Your Tire Pressure Light On? It Might Be The Cold Weather

Winter weather can cause your tire pressure to fall below recommended levels.
Winter weather can cause your tire pressure to fall below recommended levels.

Has your tire pressure monitor light gone off recently? All vehicles sold in the United States as of 2007 feature this bright yellow indicator light. As today’s the first day of winter, it wouldn’t be unusual if your tire pressure monitor light triggered this morning. That’s because your car is telling you that your tires need more air to handle the chilly cold weather this time of year. Here’s what’s happening.

  • Your tire pressure monitoring system triggers a dashboard warning light whenever the air in your tires drops just a few PSI below the recommended level for tires.


  • For every 10 degrees Fahrenheit that the outside temperatures drop, your tire pressure will also decrease by about 1 PSI, and vice versa. If you last adjusted your tire pressure during the day or after coming off the road, the air pressure would have been in accordance with 90 degrees Fahrenheit temperatures. Now that temperatures have dropped significantly, your tire pressure will have also dropped by about 5 PSI, enough to certainly trigger the tire pressure warning light.


  • So how do you solve the low tire pressure light problem? Simply head over to your local gas station for an adjustment to the air pressure on your tires. A decent shop won’t charge you much, if anything, to adjust your tire pressure.


  • Let your mechanic know that the tire pressure light was on during the morning when it was cold outside. If you’ve driven your car to the local shop, friction will have caused the tires to heat up and increase the tire pressure from where it was. You want to make sure your tire pressure is properly maintained to ensure the longevity of your tires.


  • Typically, the tire pressure monitoring system light will deactivate shortly after your tires have been properly inflated. If not, you may have an underlying problem with your tires and you will need to take your vehicle in for servicing.


Remember, you shouldn’t ignore the tire pressure warning light on your vehicle. Tires that are under inflated mean a lower fuel economy, reduced safety and faster tire wear.

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