Tesla has cornered the market in smart cars, taking the guesswork out of the simplest things. For instance, tire pressure. So, when an advanced piece of engineering like a Tesla starts flashing tire pressure warning lights, you take notice.
Why do you keep getting tire pressure warnings on your Tesla? The tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) will alarm if your tire pressure dips below a safe level. The low point is around 39 pounds per square inch (PSI) for most Tesla models. An alert is triggered if your tire is punctured, the rim is bent, or the sensor is broken or inaccurate. A flat tire or bent rim needs to be repaired by a Tesla mechanic. Tire pressure dropping slightly in cold weather can also cause an alert.
Don’t ignore a low tire pressure alert. If your sensor has gone bad and you ignore it, you won’t be alerted when you have an actual low tire pressure. If you’ve been having issues with your Tesla giving you tire pressure alerts, you’re in the right place. In this article, we will tell you why this is happening and how you can fix it.
Why You’re Getting Tire Pressure Alerts
Many people report issues with their tire pressure alarms in their Tesla. The urgency to fix this is heightened when you realize most Tesla vehicles don’t have a spare tire. Here are three main issues people encounter with their Tesla tire pressure:
- Puncture to the tire
- Dent to the rim
- Cold weather
Puncture to Tesla Tire Causing Pressure Alarm
A flat tire is a safety hazard. This is the first thing you want to rule out when you see a low alarm – flat tires can cause you to lose control of your Tesla.
The most common causes of a flat tire are nails, screws, sharp rocks, and any other jagged debris in the roadway. If your Tesla tire pressure alarms began to sound while you were driving, follow the steps below.
The fix: First, pull carefully to the shoulder of the road. When traffic is clear, and conditions allow, here are three things to do:
- Look at your tire and compare it to the others. If it appears abnormally flat or bulging, then you shouldn’t drive until it is repaired.
- If the tire is not flat or bulging, take a closer look at the tread of the tire. Start at one end and look as far around the tire as you can. You may spot the culprit of the flat – usually some small metal object.
- If the tire doesn’t look flat and you can’t find an object puncturing it, ask these questions. Is this the first time this has happened? Did you hit a bump before the gauge alarmed? How old are your tires? Don’t do anything you’re uncomfortable with. Call Tesla’s roadside assistance line – you should be able to find this number within the Tesla computer or in the owner’s manual.
Dent to Tire Rim Causing Tesla Tire Pressure Alert
Tesla is not made for any rugged or off-road driving. It’s strictly a street vehicle. That is, of course, until the new Cyber truck is available for purchase. This means that large potholes and hard bumps could damage your Tesla’s tires.
There have been instances where people hit a large pothole and dent the actual rim of the tire. The dented rim pushes in on the tire, causing it to alarm.
This isn’t a highly likely issue, but it’s a possibility. Be careful if your Tesla takes you over any bumpy roads. If you think you may have a dented rim, see below for a fix.
The fix: The dented rim probably won’t be visible from the outside. If you’ve checked for other issues and still can’t find the culprit of your tire alarm, then it’s time to bring your car to a local Tesla certified mechanic. Your rim will probably need to be replaced. This can be a costly but necessary repair.
Cold Temperature Causing Low Tire Pressure Alarm in Tesla
The cold air causes the air to contract. If you live in an environment where temperatures plunge below freezing, then you will likely see this have some effect on your Tesla tires.
Most of the time, pressure alarms caused by colder weather will self-correct once you start driving your car; however, if your tire pressure was already on the low side, then you could see a loss in your tire traction.
The fix: The first idea is to store your Tesla in a climate-controlled garage. Not only will this help with your tire pressure, but it will also keep you comfortable as you get in your car on a chilly morning. However, if you can’t control the Tesla in a warm space, there are other options.
You can also increase your tire pressure to a cold-weather level. Keeping an emergency battery box with tire inflator in your sub-trunk is a lifesaver on this one. This is usually just keeping them on the higher side of their standard PSI. You want to avoid exceeding your vehicle’s maximum recommended tire pressure.
Consult the owner’s manual for your model to find the cold weather tire pressure. You can also contact your Tesla dealer for more questions regarding maximum tire pressures.
Other Reasons You’re Getting Tire Pressure Alerts
The reasons noted above are the most common issues for why your Tesla is giving you tire pressure alerts. However, they’re not the only reasons. The following reasons aren’t as prevalent but still have been reported frequently enough that they should be noted, too.
High altitude can be a factor in your tire pressure. If you live several thousand feet above sea level, then you’re going to be filling your tires with relatively less pressure than those who live at a lower altitude. What does this mean?
It means that as you descend from a high altitude, you may see a drop in your tire pressure. It’s good practice to keep a personal air compressor in your car at all times so that you can remedy this issue at any time.
Faulty Tire Sensor
A bad tire sensor will undoubtedly result in a tire pressure alarm. This is more likely if your Tesla is incredibly old. Don’t be quick to dismiss an alarm as a bad pressure sensor. Rule out all other options before falling back to this one. It will keep you safer in the long run. In addition to carrying an air compressor, you should have a reliable tire pressure gauge, and you know how to use it.
Old tires will lose their initial luster. This can take several forms. First, a car with old tires and the worn tread is more likely to experience failure since there isn’t adequate rubber between the rims and the road.
Second, old tires are more likely to develop a slow leak. This type of leak is not going to be initially noticed – like a large nail in your tire. Instead, you will find yourself filling up your tires regularly.
Finally, old tires won’t do as well with pressure changes. They are more likely to alarm in the cold weather and will be slower to correct. You should check your tires every 10,000 miles.
Get regular tire rotations and alignments. Get in the habit of looking over your tires for any dings. Some old tire will develop a bubble in the side. These bubbles are highly likely to fail if left uncorrected.
Taking your Tesla to the mechanic is the best way to ensure your vehicle is in good working order.
There are a few different reasons that your Tesla is giving you tire pressure alerts. In most cases, it’s a simple issue that you can remedy on your own. However, if your Tesla’s tire pressure alerts continue, even after you’ve investigated the cause, it’s time to go to a Tesla mechanic to have sensors and tires checked out.