Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tire Pressure Monitors

An acquaintance called me last night. She was driving her Toyota RAV4 and the tire pressure light came on. Being the diligent person she is, she pulled over, looked at the tires, saw nothing amiss and checked the air pressure at the next gas station. One tire was 2lbs low, but that's usually not enough to set off the sensor. She added 2lbs of air anyway, but the light stayed on.

She went to her Toyota dealer that afternoon and had the light reset. The Toyota tech told her that it was "common" for cold weather to set of the TPM light. She asked me if the tech's answer sounded right. I had no idea because my cars are too old to have TPMs.
So off to the internet I went.

Sure enough, there are plenty of problems with cold air / air density setting off the TPM light. It not only affects Toyotas, but just about every other make, too.

This all begs the question, why put in a piece of technology that is so prone to false readings?

After too many false readings people will just ignore the thing. That's human nature. The benefit of having it will be gone.

I guess this post is more than just a lightweight rant about flawed technology, it's also a reminder... Manually check your tire pressure every few weeks. Don't rely on the idiot light. It takes two minutes or less and could save you some problems down the road (literally)

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