Why is the TPMS Flashing?

By Greg Iorfida

A flashing TPMS indicator light on a vehicle’s dashboard is a sign that the TPMS is experiencing a system malfunction. There are several points in the TPMS to examine, to decipher the problem.

The first thing to consider is whether or not the tires on the vehicle were recently serviced. If so, the tires should be inspected by a tire technician, to determine if any damage to the tire pressure sensors occurred during the most recent tire service.

If all tire pressure sensors are undamaged and properly mounted, the next thing to check is the functioning of the TPMS sensors themselves. TPMS tire pressure sensors may fail prematurely due to corrosion or damage from certain kinds of collisions.

TPMS sensors will eventually fail no matter what, when the battery inside the TPMS sensor assembly dies. In any event, when a TPMS sensor requires replacement, the TPMS warning indicator will continue to flash until TPMS relearn programming has been completed.

The TPMS may also be flashing for other reasons that may be more difficult to uncover. One example of this is a lost signal from a TPMS sensor. This scenario could occur for a number of reasons including RF (radio frequency) interference from other devices, or a failing TPMS control unit. For less obvious TPMS faults such as these, a visit to an auto repair shop is a must, to properly diagnose the problem.

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