One of the most devices introduced to cars in the past decade is the tire pressure sensor because of how it is capable of giving us a good idea of the air pressure in our tires by simply looking at the monitoring system on our dashboard.
Even though the sensors (with “Direct TPMS” systems) are located on the wheels of the tires, is it actually possible for the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) to display the wrong tire on the dashboard when showing the tire pressure in each tire?
Can tire pressure sensor be incorrect?
It is possible for the TPMS to read the wrong tire but this can only happen if your mechanic has rotated your tires without relearning the TPMS. As such, if your tires were never rotated and were never removed, then it would be close to impossible for the TPMS to read the wrong tire.
When you have your tires rotated or changed, it is important to reset or to relearn the TPMS because the TPMS would be programmed to the tire setup before the tires were rotated or changed.
As such, the TPMS would still be thinking that the tires are still in their previous positions even though you already rotated the tires to another position.
This is where it is important for you to make sure that your mechanic actually relearned the TPMS.
Can a tire sensor be wrong?
When it comes to today’s auto tech, one of the systems that have been very useful for most drivers today is the tire pressure monitoring system or TPMS, which serves as a way for your car to detect the changes in the tire pressure of your cars in a way that is close to accurate.
And when it comes to accuracy, the “Direct TPMS” is the most accurate.
What makes the Direct TPMS accurate is that each wheel has a sensor that is capable of detecting changes in the air pressure of the tires.
That means that the sensors themselves are in direct contact with the tires and are capable of knowing how much air pressure the tires have.
From there, the sensors will transmit the readings to the TPMS, which should have a monitoring system on your dashboard.
The driver would then look at the monitoring system on the dashboard to tell whether or not the tires still have enough air in them.
But the TPMS would also notify the driver when one or more of the tires are reaching low levels of air pressure.
That said, when it comes to the sensors, you might be wondering if they could actually make mistakes.
After all, most devices are still prone to malfunctioning in one way or another. So, can a tire sensor actually be wrong in the sense that it says that the air pressure in one tire is low even though it still is within normal levels?
Yes, tire pressure sensors can still be wrong from time to time especially when they are already worn out or have become faulty due to wear and tear. And even when they are not worn out or faulty, they can still end up making mistakes from time to time.
That’s why, in relation to your tire pressure, it is better to rely more on a tire pressure gauge because it is more accurate than the sensors.
Still, as far as we are concerned, the direct TPMS is the most accurate real-time monitoring system we have today. It may make mistakes from time to time but it is still quite accurate.
Can a tire pressure sensor read the wrong tire?
Now that you know that your tire pressure sensors can make mistakes from time to time when it comes to reading the air pressure of your tires, what about reading the wrong tire?
Is it even possible for your tire pressure sensors to read the wrong tire?
So, if your car’s tires have never been altered, changed, or rotated, then that means that the TPMS will never make a mistake when it comes to reading which tire has the corresponding air pressure.
The reason for such is that the TPMS ties each sensor with a respective tire position.
As such, the system itself will only read the left front tires with respect to the sensor that is tagged to that tire. And the same goes for the left rear tire as the sensor is tagged to that tire as far as the system is concerned.
However, it becomes an entirely different situation when your tires have been changed or rotated.
That’s because, when you change or rotate your tires, the tires may change their position. This is especially true when it comes to tire rotation.
So, when you have your tires rotated, there is a chance that your TPMS will read the wrong tires especially if your mechanic failed to relearn your TPMS to the new tire positioning.
That means that, if your left front tire was rotated to the right front side, the TPMS will still recognize it as the left front tire because its sensor was tagged to that position.
As such, it is important for your mechanic to relearn your TPMS after tire rotation so that the system will be able to accurately tell which tire is which in terms of positioning.
That means that the system will no longer make a mistake when it comes to which sensor belongs to which tire.
Can tire pressure sensors be switched?
Meanwhile, another instance where the TPMS may end up reading the wrong tire is if the tire pressure sensors were switched.
This can happen if you changed your tires to new ones and you still reused your old sensors.
In such an instance, your mechanic can end up switching the positioning of the sensors such that the right front sensor might have been switched to the right rear tire.
In such a case, the same solution applies. As long as your mechanic relearns your TPMS and allows it to basically reset and tag each sensor with the right tire location, your system will once again work the way it should and will no longer read the wrong tire.
Of course, just to be on the safe side, it wouldn’t hurt to keep the right air pressure in all of your tires in case the TPMS reads the wrong tire.
That way, you will be sure that all of the tires have the right air pressure regardless of whether or not the TPMS is reading the right tire.
Mechanic base: 3 Signs of a Bad Tire Pressure Sensor (& Replacement Cost)
GM-volt.com: Low tire pressure alarm on wrong tire