What is that light on the dashboard? Your tire pressure monitoring system may be trying to tell you something. When the weather turns colder you may notice the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) light on your dashboard lights up more frequently. Check your tire pressure regularly during the winter to help keep the TPMS light off and your vehicle safe.
You may get TPMS warnings and get worried about your tires. Maybe you see this in the morning when it's coldest and you are on your way to work - a stress you don't need. If the temperature warms as you are on your way, the light could turn off but it's likely that tires will still be a few PSI under inflated. This is why it's important to check tire pressure regularly.
Here are some numbers:
According to the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association, for every 10 degree drop in temperature, tire pressure decreases one to two pounds per square inch (PSI). Checking the tire pressure is important for vehicle safety, tire life and gas mileage. Incorrect tire pressure can lower gas mileage by 0.3 percent for every one PSI drop in pressure of all four tires and improve fuel efficiency by up to 3.3 percent when the correct tire pressure is maintained. Check your tire pressure monthly. Know that newer cars with tire pressure monitoring systems may not alert you until the tire is significantly under-inflated, so you may want to check it more often.
Valve stem covers:
Check tire pressure whenever there is a significant weather change and more often during the winter months. If you drop or misplace a valve stem cover while checking your pressure you can buy replacements at an auto parts store or the auto aisle in a big box store - they are conveniently all one size.