Service Tire Monitor System (Meaning, Causes & Solutions)

Your low-mileage car may leave you believing that you’re immune to car troubles. However, even when you have regular maintenance checks and keep your car tidy, things can still go wrong.

We can all relate to feeling a bit nervous when we see a warning on our dashboards.

However, these days at least most problems are taken care of first by issuing specific error codes over devices such as display signs or meters alongside your speedometer, which will allow you to pinpoint the exact issue with your car.

But unfortunately, sometimes we cannot figure out exactly how to fix it, so we take our vehicles in for further inspection.

Many people know the “check engine” light indicates a problem and will undoubtedly require that you stop your car and check it out right away; However, what about other warning lights?

For instance, what does service tire monitoring system mean? Are your tires in need of replacement? Do you have a low tire? Are you in need of a new monitor?

Keep reading to find out what the service tire monitor system light on your dashboard means and how to fix it.

The tire pressure monitor system (TPMS) can be found on most vehicles nowadays and is responsible for letting you know when the pressure within your tires is too low or too high. As soon as your tire runs out of air, you will receive a notification.

For example, the message center at the bottom of your dashboard or a pop-up message on your screen will inform you that one of your tires is running low, and it gives you an estimate of how much it needs to be topped up.

When the tire is low, the light comes on, and then it goes off when it is filled. Nevertheless, if the light remains illuminated, it mostly indicates that the tires have 25% less air pressure than recommended.

You have no idea that your tires need air until you go for a drive. Then, something will give it away, whether it’s a rattle from the wheels or just seeing that the treads are getting low on air.

Of course, air pressure could be leaking out of the tire and into the atmosphere, but whatever has caused it will show up on these “tire monitors.”

The tire pressure monitors have tiny sensors inside them, much like electronic devices. Even shaking or bumpy roads can cause wear and tear on these sensors over time.

Over time these sensors can lose effectiveness if it goes through too many bumps and vibrations, and this will cause the service tire monitor system warning to come on.

Service Tire Monitor System vs. Tire Pressure Light

Service Tire Monitor System

Your tire sensor can display two different messages. The first message signals that a sensor has detected low pressure.

When this message displays, it’s commonly accompanied by an orange icon on the vehicle’s dashboard.

Most drivers refer to this as the “tire light,” an indication from your tire sensors that something is wrong with the tires.

If a warning light for a service tire monitor system illuminates, it indicates something different. A service tire monitor system message signifies a problem with your TPMS.

The service tire monitor system message signifies that one of the batteries of your tire sensors is dead.

A tire sensor battery is a lithium-ion battery that can last about five years before losing its charge and being replaced.

When one of the sensor batteries dies, likely, the others will also fail shortly. So you should replace them altogether rather than going back to a mechanic whenever a sensor needs a new battery.

Although buying brand new tires is costly, if you are replacing them individually, two of the four tires will have worn at differing rates, and your driving experience will be severely compromised!

And this also means you’ll still have to replace the other two and end up spending more money than if you’d just replaced them all at once.

Also Read: Walmart Tire Installation Cost (Everything To Know)

What Causes Service Tire Monitor System Message to Come On?

What Causes Service Tire Monitor System

If the service tire monitor system message shows up when all of your tire batteries are still functioning properly, you need to make some extensive diagnosis on your car.

We notice a problem where some clients are adding tire sealant to a flat tire to try and fix it. Unfortunately, a tire sealant’s consistency is thick, and they usually inject it through the tire’s valve stem.

There are tire sensors that come with valve stems, which means the tire sensor may become clogged if you put a sealant in it.

The sensors will become misaligned when this happens, causing the service tire monitor system warning on your dash to go off.

You need a special tool to calibrate the tires and register the sensors in their new positions.

A service tire monitor system light will come on if the TPMS sees that the front sensor has moved to the back of the car but is not registered there.

It is also common for TPMS to malfunction in vehicles built with TPMS before they become mandatory.

For example, the service tire monitor system message appears when an older car gets a tire rotation but doesn’t calibrate the sensors.

Calibrating tires can be a tricky task that requires special tools to re-register the sensors.

When the TPMS notices that a sensor has moved from front to back but is not registered in the new spot, it will activate the service tire monitor system light.

The service tire monitor system will appear on older vehicles after a tire rotation without recalibrating the sensors.

Additionally, new sensors may have been replaced but are not correctly calibrated with the TPMS tool, resulting in the service tire monitor system message.

Tire monitors are relatively easy to install in tires. However, new TPMS sensors are more complicated to register because some cars usually need you to set your vehicle in “relearn” mode.

The relearn mode usually means pressing Some vehicles to require you to put the car in ‘relearn’ mode, which involves pressing a series of buttons on the dashboard.

For instance, you might need to turn on the ignition, turn it off again about three times, press the brake pedal once, and flash your headlights.

Your car will now be set to relearn mode, and you can begin walking around it as you register every sensor into your computer.

While this sounds easy, it isn’t easy knowing if you did the steps the right way, as there is little feedback until you check that your message has gone away after completing them.

Since many mechanics follow a guide, they believe the process has been completed. But as soon as they start up the vehicle, the service tire monitor system message appears.

You will see the service tire monitor system message on your dashboard primarily because of the dead lithium-ion battery. Therefore, you shouldn’t be alarmed by the message.

The service tire monitor system messages sometimes cause people to believe their tires are damaged.

However, this is not the reason the message appeared. Instead, it is probably because the sensors need to be replaced as their batteries are dead. A good replacement sensor will take about one hour to install.

Also Read: Brake Light Blinking (Causes & How To Fix)

How to Fix the Service Tire Monitor System?

How to Fix the Service Tire Monitor System

Checking your tires every time you get in your car is incredibly annoying and time-consuming. So it’s a good thing you can easily resolve the problem with your service tire monitor.

To fix your car’s service tire monitor system, all you need to do is reset it. However, sometimes your car’s sensors need a little assistance, and two methods can be used to reset your car’s system.

If you notice the service tire monitor system light illuminate, the first thing you ought to do is get into your car and go for a drive.

Next, you should switch on all four corners and drive at just above-average speed. If the light goes away during your ride, it was a malfunction in the TPMS system that has been corrected.

However, if the light stays on, it means you might have an issue with one or more of your tires. So to reset it, we’re going to follow these steps:

  1. Initiate the ignition but do not start the engine.
  2. You need to find where the TPMS button is located, then keep pressing it until the alert blinks or fades away. Hold it down until the flashing or disappearing alert appears.
  3. Take your car for a drive for a couple of minutes, then shut it down, wait a few minutes, and start the engine again.

If all the solutions mentioned above fail, you may need to take your car to a professional mechanic so the service tire monitor system can be adequately serviced.

Also Read: AC off Due to High Engine Temp (Causes & Solutions)

Frequently Asked Questions – Service Tire Monitor System

What Does It Mean When It Says Service Tire Monitor System?

Anytime you see your car’s service tire monitor system message, it means that there is most likely an issue with the Tire-pressure monitoring system (TPMS). Although the service tire monitor system message shouldn’t hurt your car, it will alert you to a problem with one of the TPMS sensors in your tires.

How Much Does It Cost to Service a Tire Monitor?

Typically, a wheel service kit costs between $5 and $10. Also, you will need additional tools and more time to inspect and reset your sensor system. If pressure sensors require replacing, replacement prices range from $50-$250 per sensor, depending on the type of car.

Is It Safe to Drive With a Service Tire Monitor System?

Driving with your TPMS Light turned on is harmful. It is an indication that your car has a tire that is either underinflated or overinflated. To determine your vehicle’s exact tire pressure, it is best to refer to your car’s owner’s manual or the label on a door jamb, trunk, or gas door for your tire pressure rating.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a TPMS Sensor?

According to the type of vehicle, TPMS sensors can cost between $50-$100 each if they need replacement.

Can I Replace Just One TPMS Sensor?

It is possible to replace a TPMS sensor individually if one fails. Nevertheless, if the TPMS sensor failed because the sensor battery died, the others will likely suffer the same fate soon enough.

Where Is the TPMS Sensor Located?

The TPMS sensor is located in the tire but attached inside the rim. A little cylinder will protrude out if you remove the tire from the rim; that is the tire pressure sensor!

Scott Greene is a seasoned automotive technician for over 5 years and has been deep into advanced automotive diagnostics for a couple of years. He Loves writing about Automotive Diagnostics and Repair, Trouble codes, Buyer guides for various car parts and accessories, and lots more. 

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