3365 Hwy 12 E
Directions PO Box 4489
Helena, MT 59604

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TPMS and You

All drivers in Helena, Montana are familiar with the various dash lights that sometimes seem to light up for no reason. The most infamous of these is the ambiguous "check/service engine soon" light, which even most mechanics can rarely reliably explain. However, one light you should never ignore is your TPMS light.

What’s TPMS? TPMS, or tire pressure monitoring system, is a set of sensors required on all vehicles after 2007, though many older vehicles have had them added as well. The light almost always looks more or less like a semicircle with stylized tire tread underneath, with a clearly visible "!" symbol in the center. It does exactly what it sounds like – it monitors tire pressure in various ways.

Why does it light up? Sometimes, this light will come on briefly when you first start driving on cold mornings. This is because air reduces in volume as it grows colder, literally meaning a quantity of air has less pressure the colder it becomes. In fact, for every 10 degrees below average the weather is, the "target" tire pressure of a vehicle should be raised by 1-2 lbs as a result.

If it remains lit for any real length of time, immediately check your tire pressure and inspect them for damage. This light is serious. Of course, check your pressure regularly anyhow, as this sensor is no substitute for a pressure gauge reading.

To learn more about how TPMS works, visit us at our auto repair facility in Helena.

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