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2015 Outback 2.5i Limited Ice Silver Metalic
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Discussion Starter #1
Weird...I was going through the car wash and I noticed the TPMS warning light in the dash was blinking.

After I exited the tunnel, the light spotted blinking.

I checked all 4 tires and they all were at 32 PSI

Anyone else notice this phenomenon? :confused:
 

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2012 limited, white, no moonroof or nav
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1,696 Posts
Weird...I was going through the car wash and I noticed the TPMS warning light in the dash was blinking.

After I exited the tunnel, the light spotted blinking.

I checked all 4 tires and they all were at 32 PSI

Anyone else notice this phenomenon? :confused:
If your key was on, one of the items the system monitors is difference in tire rotation speed. In a car wash, where the car is dragged by wheel stop(s), the wheel speeds could be substantially different. As long as the light went off fairly quickly, I would not be concerned.

By the way, if your tire pressures were 32 when the car had been driven, they are likely low when cold. Warm pressures would be 4 lbs or so higher than dead cold. Just sayin'.
 

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2015 Twilight Blue Legacy Premium
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466 Posts
My 2012 Impreza did this when I ran it thru the carwash at work. The car does not get pushed along a track either. It would quickly go out though and I just attributed it to the brushes hitting it or the car rocking back and forth.
 

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2013 Outback Limited 2.5 EyeSight & 2010 Legacy Premium, 2010 OB Limited (traded)
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2013 Outback Limited 2.5 EyeSight & 2010 Legacy Premium, 2010 OB Limited (traded)
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If your key was on, one of the items the system monitors is difference in tire rotation speed. In a car wash, where the car is dragged by wheel stop(s), the wheel speeds could be substantially different. .
Are you sure about this? I thought that was just the previous generation TPMS that measured wheel rotation and all the systems with the pressure sensor in the tire measured actual air pressure but I could be wrong.
 

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Due to the possibility of paint damage, using a car wash is not a good idea.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
By the way, if your tire pressures were 32 when the car had been driven, they are likely low when cold. Warm pressures would be 4 lbs or so higher than dead cold. Just sayin'.
Forgot to mention I live a block away from the car wash.
The tire pressure reading was when the tires were cold.
 

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2015 Outback 2.5i Limited Ice Silver Metalic
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Discussion Starter #8
Found this in the manual.
<!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <o:AllowPNG/> </o:OfficeDocumentSettings> </xml><![endif]--> ...the low tire pressure warning light will illuminate steadily after blinking for approximately one minute.
This indicates the TPMS is unable to monitor all four road wheels.
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It refers to the condition when you have the spare on one of the wheels.

It might be plausible that the operation of the car wash is interfering with the wheel signal to the TPMS receiver.

Just a thought.
 

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2014 2.5i Limited
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Mine malfunctions on long trips. Has happened twice when traveling for more than a couple hours, tires pressures were set at 33 PSI...My car has never been through a carwash except at the dealer maybe.
 

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TPMS sensors can be subject to efi/rfi type interfrence. The huge electrical motors that run the wash brushes and blowers in the car wash must be putting out tons of interfrence. Kind of like trying to use your WIFI or cordless phone next to the microwave.
 

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TPM warning light came on and stayed on after driving through a blinding rainstorm. Tire pressures were all normal.
 

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Between car washes and hard/heavy rain, the sensors cannot calibrate quick enough from the cooling effect when tires/wheels drop temp too fast. Once it has time, it should recover knowing it's within spec, just too cool too quickly.

See this before on other TPMS systems. We've done it with CO2 to trip them off on one car to see if they reacted and once the car drove off within a short distance, everything shows normal.

And yes, the motors from some belt car wash systems along with blowers do have a slight impact, but not as dramatic as a quick temp hange all at once.

Deanski
 

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Lots of metal messing with the signals could easily cause this. For other situations where your just driving along. Always keep in mind that TPMS were added to tell people when they had a flat tire developing in hopes to prevent a blow out and accident etc.

The little device in each tire is very basic and a number of things can trip them up. Park your car for several months or depending on brand even a solid week add some cool weather and your TPMS light will probably be on when you drive the car again. Some cars might shut the light off in just a few miles others might take 100 miles before they get all sorted out and shut the light off.

Whats most important is that you know your tires are OK given you checked them and that the TPMS light on your dash is not some sort of pending end game disaster its just saying hey somethings up. If you checked the tires then give the system a chance to sort its self out.

My toyota Sequoia TPMS light comes on all the time and goes off after various number of miles if I posted about it every time I'd probably crash the forum server.
 

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Yes, never totally rely on the TPMS. Always use an accurate gauge dial or digital as long as it's accurate.

The sensors are good for issues if you are loosing air since most of us use accurate tire pressure gauges to keep them correctly inflated.

****, the Porsche has them with the pressure readout on the display, but never pay much attention to it. Only thing I look at is the digital oil "dipstick" and pressure of the oil. The TPMS is there in case something is going wrong and I need to get off the road NOW!

Deanski
 
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