Tire pressure sensor giving false warnings

I am just very frustrated with my 2010 Mazda3. I liked the added safety of sensors that could tell me if my tires were low on air or let air out if they happen to get overinflated. Unfortunately the valve stems and other components that came from the factory perform terribly. Is there an easy fix for this? The light on my dash is annoying and inspection is coming up, I don’t want a big expensive repair at 42,000 miles old.
Experienced mechanics share their insights in answering this question :
Hello, the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) is an important system. It has helped reduce blowouts due to low tire pressure. The battery life of a tire pressure sensor is estimated to be five years. The battery life is reduced if you have tires replaced, or a blowout. The tire pressure sensor battery in each wheel can be checked with a scanner connected to the OBD port or a tire pressure monitor tool that can read data independently at each sensor. If you have to keep correcting tire pressure due to leaks you should have the tires, rims and valve stems checked for leaks. If the valve stems are leaking you might be covered under Mazda warranty technical service bulletin TSB 02-001/12 which covers the valve stems if they have neck breakage, hairline cracks, or the valve nuts have breakage. Mazda only recommends plastic caps. If the cap is made of metal or has a metal insert that will void the warranty due to galvanic corrosion causing more force needed to remove and install the cap causing strain on the valve stem.

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The TPMS light may be illuminating due to a faulted sensor giving a false reading, and unfortunately, these are difficult to track down without replacing all of the sensors at the same time (which can be pricey).
The problem could be a damaged or shorted antenna near the wheel, or a wiring fault between the antenna and the module. If you suspect the TPMS module is not receiving a good signal from one or more sensors, check the antenna wiring for continuity and problems such as shorts, opens or high resistance.
The most common reasons a Mazda 3 tire pressure warning light stays on are a leaking tire, a wheel that no longer holds air, or a faulty tire pressure monitoring system.
Low battery power and age-related wear and tear can cause the TPMS sensor to malfunction and cause the low tire pressure light but tires are a fine issue.
When your tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) warning light comes on, flashes repeatedly, and then turns off, this indicates a malfunction with the vehicle`s TPMS system. If the TPMS comes on and stays on, it means your tire has a dangerously low level of air pressure.
TPMS Calibration

Any time you inflate, change, or rotate one or more of the tires, you need to recalibrate the system. The calibration process requires approximately 30 minutes of cumulative driving at speeds between 30–65 mph (48–105 km/h).

If your TPMS light remains on after inflating the tires to the proper pressure, try these steps: Drive the car at 50 mph for about 10 minutes. This should reset the tire sensors, and the next time you start the car the TPMS light should be off.
The first step is to use a tire pressure gauge to get a second reading to ensure that the air pressure in the tire is correct. If the tire pressure warning light on your dashboard remains on after a long while, it`s an indication that one or more of the tires is leaking air.
Unexpected weather changes will often see this situation in the sensor. Specifically, the sudden change in temperature from the desirable area to the cold area causes the sensor cannot adapt in time. It is the reason the widget sounds an alarm even though the condition in the tire is stable.
With the vehicle off, turn the key to the “on” position, but don`t start the car. Hold the TPMS reset button until the tire pressure light blinks three times, then release it. Start the car and wait 20 minutes for the sensor to refresh.
The batteries inside these sensors will last for about 10 years. Direct TPMS systems reset automatically after tire inflation or rotation. You do need to have these sensors resynchronized when you get new tires, which requires a special tool.
TPMS sensors are designed to last for many years – 5-10 years is a likely lifespan. Given their cost, most drivers will be inclined to replace TPMS sensors on an “as needed” basis – in other words, only once their batteries have expired, or other TPMS components have failed.
When the TPMS warning light comes ON and stays ON, this indicates a low tire pressure condition in one or more tires. Inflating the tire to the recommended tire pressure found on the door placard should cause the light to turn OFF.
Turn on the vehicle and honk the horn for roughly three seconds. This will discharge any residual power still stored in your car and should also reset the TPMS sensor light system when you re-engage the vehicle battery.
Snap-in TPMS sensors that have a rubber stem are as easy to replace as any conventional valve stem. No special tools are needed. But hex nut stems do have to be carefully tightened to specific value with an accurate inch-pound torque wrench or TPMS valve stem tool.
For any motorists that swap their tires out for changing seasons, it`s crucial that the TPMS sensors are reactivated and recalibrated each time. If this is not done, the vehicle`s TPMS will not perform properly and may cause the TPMS light to turn on.
Is It Possible to Turn Off Your TPMS Light Off Permanently? One of the solutions to “turn off” the TPMS light is to cover it with black tape. It is a crude method but preferred by many as it does not require tinkering with the vehicle`s wires or ECU.
Keep in mind, your TPMS does not replace routine tire pressure maintenance. It`s a tool that can help alert you when pressure is low, but a tire may drop below proper inflation long before the TPMS warning light comes on. The TPMS light comes on when the tire pressure gets too low or too high.
The TPMS malfunction indicator is combined with the low tire pressure telltale. When the system detects a malfunction, the telltale will flash for approximately one minute and then remain continuously illuminated. This sequence will continue upon subsequent vehicle start-ups as long as the malfunction exists.
MAZDA3 Tire Pressure: 36 psi.
Press and hold the TPMS Reset button on the left side of the dashboard below the steering wheel until the TPMS light flashes three times. Release the button. Start the car, then wait for about 20 seconds to see if the TPMS light goes off.
You don`t need to replace your TPMS sensors when buying new tires, but it`s often convenient to do so if the sensors are more than a few years old. Most TPMS sensor batteries last five to ten years, so older sensors may not last as long as your new tires.
Such systems are usually accurate to within 1 psi. Current direct systems use a gauge mounted to the wheel or tire valve. This gauge sends a signal to the car`s computer. How the data is interpreted and displayed in the car with a direct TPMS depends on whether it is a low-line or high-line unit.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

lost all oil pressure, replaced the oil pump, low oil sensor, oil pressure sensor, oil pan gasket,
ANSWER : The fuel pump will not stay on if you loose oil pressure. This is why it is shutting off. The loss of oil pressure may be from bad crankshaft bearings or camshaft bearings. The engine oil pan should be removed and the oil pump needs to be checked to ensure that you put in the pick up tube seal to the pump and connected the pump to the block. Then remove at least one main bearing cap and inspect the bearings for excessive wear and crankshaft damage. If you need some help with this, consider YourMechanic, as a certified technician can help diagnose the issue with your oil pressure firsthand and help you fix it accordingly.

Service tire monitor warning, tire pressure a bit high
ANSWER : This is likely due to the fact that the person who changed your tires may have broken your TPMS sensor in that particular wheel. If the pressure sensor is not giving a signal at all, this would mean that the sensor has failed or is broken and would require replacement. As long as your tire pressure is correct, it is certainly safe to drive your vehicle as long as the light doesn’t bother you.

The sensor will need to be replaced in order to make the light go off. I would recommend going back to the place that installed your tires and inquire as to why the sensor is no longer working, especially when it worked just fine before the tires were replaced. They may replace the sensor for free.

If they are unable to help you get it fixed or you simply want a second opinion on this, contact a professional mechanic who can diagnose your TPMS light firsthand and fix it accordingly.

My car has low oil pressure. I’ve already changed the oil pressure sensor 3 times.
ANSWER : If you have replaced the sensor three times and it did not fix the problem, then you may have problems with the oil pressure being low at idle due to wear in the engine bearings. The reason it would be fine sometimes and not others may be due to engine load and temperature changes. Have the oil pressure tested at the sensor port to see if it is low and needs engine repairs.

I recommend having a certified mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, come to your location to perform an inspection to determine why the Oil Pressure Light is on.

The message center in my dashboard keeps saying "TIRE PRESSURE SENSOR FAULT".
ANSWER : Hello There,
Unfortunately, this is a tough battle when it comes to the tire pressure monitor sensors and large fluctuations in weather temperatures. For every 10° drop in air temperature outside your tires will lose about 1% in PSI or inflation. As you may know, as the temperature of the air changes the density of the air changes as well causing the tire pressure to be impacted by this. When this happens, the sensors in the wheels will detect this change in tire pressure and cause the tire pressure light to come on. Aside from replacing faulty tire pressure sensors, another way to help prevent this type of fluctuation in tire pressure is by the use of Nitrogen in your tires rather than regular air. As you may know, air is approximately 78% Nitrogen, 21% Oxygen and the rest is water vapor and some other small concentrations of gases. Nitrogen is much less likely to migrate through tire rubber than oxygen. This will maintain your tire pressure much more consistently during large temperature fluctuations. I would recommend keeping a small tire pressure gauge in your car to use to check tire pressure as needed. Generally, the car is safe to drive assuming there is not a large drop in tire pressure (+/- 3-5 psi), however you will want to be sure to keep up on this as tire pressure can be critical when driving at highway speeds relative to steering ability and overall control of the vehicle.

Malfunction of the tire pressure monitoring system
ANSWER : That is a rather complex tire pressure monitoring system used by Audi. Using multiple sensors, antennae, and control module, this may require the Audi manufacturer’s scan tool to communicate with in order to diagnose. A tire service center (that is very well trained and well-tooled) may be better equipped to help you in this scenario. Audi issued a technical service bulletin (TSB # 44-08-17) that mentions of an update to the TPMS module, so you may also want to check in with your dealer to see if A8 Quattro is covered.

Tire pressure sensor giving false warnings
ANSWER : Hello, the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) is an important system. It has helped reduce blowouts due to low tire pressure. The battery life of a tire pressure sensor is estimated to be five years. The battery life is reduced if you have tires replaced, or a blowout. The tire pressure sensor battery in each wheel can be checked with a scanner connected to the OBD port or a tire pressure monitor tool that can read data independently at each sensor. If you have to keep correcting tire pressure due to leaks you should have the tires, rims and valve stems checked for leaks. If the valve stems are leaking you might be covered under Mazda warranty technical service bulletin TSB 02-001/12 which covers the valve stems if they have neck breakage, hairline cracks, or the valve nuts have breakage. Mazda only recommends plastic caps. If the cap is made of metal or has a metal insert that will void the warranty due to galvanic corrosion causing more force needed to remove and install the cap causing strain on the valve stem.

Hi! I had a flat tire this morning and o am driving on my spare, the "low tire pressure sensor fault" light came on.
ANSWER : If you have used a tire pressure gauge to confirm that the pressure in each tire is at 32 PSI cold, you need not worry. If the spare tire is of the space saving type and thus has a higher required inflation pressure (often as much as 60 PSI; read tire sidewall), simply use a tire pressure gauge to be sure it is set to the higher pressure as printed on the tire sidewall. With regard to the sensor, it may be that pressure is too low in the spare or the sensor in the spare in missing or broken. If you believe the TPMS (tire pressure monitoring system) is malfunctioning, please request a warning light diagnostic – TPMS and the responding certified mechanic will get this taken care of for you. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

TIRE PRESSURE SENSOR FAULT: How do you determine which sensor is faulty?
ANSWER : Depending on the vehicle and tire pressure system you can find out what sensor is defective by scanning the TPMS system to isolate the failed sensor. Another way is to use a sensor activator scanner near each wheel to test each sensor’s output.