by Vincent Labbate
dashboard with speed meter image by robert paul van beets from Fotolia.com
Tire pressure sensors work with the tire pressure monitoring system in many passenger vehicles. These sensors show the driver the PSI (pounds per square inch) of pressure in each tire by displaying the readings on the vehicle’s instrument panel. There are a couple of ways to check the system. First, the system can be digitally verified by looking at the reading on the electronic display. Second, the system can be checked by removing the tire and checking the stem of the electronic valve.
Visual check of sensors
Start the vehicle by turning the key in the ignition. This will allow the tire pressure monitoring system to start up and immediately read the pressure from each tire.
Select the option to view the tire pressure sensors on the dash. If the PSI numbers match the correct amount of PSI in each tire, the sensors are working properly. If the tire pressure monitoring system warning light is on, the tires should be checked.
Remove the tire valve caps from each tire by turning them counterclockwise. Check each tire manually using the tire gauge. The PSI of a tire must be inflated to the correct amount, which is listed on the side of the tire or in the vehicle owner’s manual.
Fill each tire with the proper amount of air with the air compressor. Periodically check the PSI with the tire gauge. Screw in each valve cap.
Drive the car around the block. This will allow the tire pressure monitoring system to recalculate. The system must show the correct amount of air in each tire.
Removing the tire pressure sensors
Place the lug wrench on each wheel nut to be removed. Press down on the lug wrench with your foot to loosen each lug nut. Do not remove the lug nuts until the car is lifted. Do this before lifting the car to prevent the wheel from spinning while suspended in the air.
Place the jack under the chassis of the vehicle, closer to the wheel that is being removed. Raise the car high enough to remove the wheel. Unscrew the nuts by hand and set aside for future use. Remove the wheel from the vehicle. Roll the wheel to a workbench or an area where the tire can be removed.
Remove the valve cap from the tire stem by turning it counterclockwise. Press the center of the valve stem down to deflate the tire. Unscrew the bolt with the pliers if there is one holding the tire pressure sensor in place. This bolt must be removed to remove the valve from inside the tire to avoid damaging the system.
Remove the tire from the rim with the lever. Take the wheel to an auto mechanic if the tire cannot be easily removed.
Remove the tire pressure sensor from inside the tire. Check the sensor to see if it is cracked or damaged. Replace the sensor if it is damaged. Tire pressure sensors can be purchased from your vehicle dealer or an auto parts retailer.
- Check tires manually during cold weather. Tire pressure sensors sometimes don’t work properly in cold weather.
- Raise the vehicle on a level surface to prevent the jack from sliding out from under the vehicle.
Articles will need
- Pressure gauge
- Air compressor
- Nut wrench
- Car jack