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Flashing TPMS light in snow?

flopkaflopka Posts: 22
I know that a flashing TPMS light usually indicates a sensor problem, but are there any circumstances where snowy driving might cause it to flash?

My TPMS light actually worked properly a few weeks ago when I had a low tire situation (since corrected), but today after I did some maneuvering on snow in a parking lot, the TPMS light started to flash just before I shut the car off. This doesn't indicate a tire pressure problem, does it? Just a sensor issue?

I haven't had my tires changed since I got the car.


  • fandcfandc MinnesotaPosts: 51
    Check your tire pressures. The tire pressure will drop (or raise, depending on the direction of the temperature change) about 1 psi for every 10 degrees F, as a rule of thumb. It's snowy, so I would guess that the temperature has dropped.

  • flopkaflopka Posts: 22
    edited February 2013
    Yeah, but the light is flashing... and according to the book, it doesn't do that for a low tire pressure situation. It flashes because of a sensor malfunction, supposedly.

    I had a low tire pressure some weeks ago, and the light came on steady only (it didn't flash), so I don't think that's the problem. I mean, I'll check the tires as soon as I can, but I don't think that's what the sensor is trying to tell me in this situation due to the flashing.

    I was wondering if snowy conditions can ever cause the sensor to malfunction.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 13,092
    I'm no help here, because I swap out my stock wheels (with the TPMS sensors) with winter wheels when the snow flies, and I don't have TPMS in the winter wheels.

    But, if your tire pressures are good, I wouldn't worry about the light until you've had more time to observe it. If it continues to flash, and you have relatively easy access to a heated garage, you might try thawing out the car in there and see if it makes any difference. If not, and you really want that system operational, a service visit is in order.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • flashing light then steady does not mean low tire pressure. it means something is wrong with the system. anyone do anything with your tires recently and broke a sensor? thats usually the number one cause.
  • flopkaflopka Posts: 22
    As I said in my initial post - nothing has been done with the tires since I got the car - except, of course, putting air in them, but that was several weeks ago.

    The flashing light did not recur when I started the car after my day at work. This leads me to believe that it was a temporary sensor malfunction triggered by excess snow/ice buildup around my tires, or somehow affecting wherever the sensor is located. It was a very snowy day (several inches on the ground) and I had just done some back-and-forth maneuvering in a parking lot when the light started blinking.

    I thought it worth posting here because I don't ever see snow/ice buildup mentioned as a factor in TPMS malfunction indicator. Maybe it was some other cause, but everything seems fine now, which leads me to suspect it was the snow.
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