Having the low tire pressure light flashing on your dash while you are driving and not knowing what caused it to come on can be stressful. How can you make the light go away? In this article, I’ll discuss BMW TPM malfunction – How to reset and fix this issue.
If you simply want to reset the BMW TPM malfunction, follow these simple steps:
- Check the tire pressure on all your tires.
- Reset the TPM of your BMW.
- Drive your car.
- Recheck your tires.
- If the TPM warning light does not go, you have to replace the TPM of your BMW.
The actual steps for resetting the TPM malfunction are as follows:
- Hold the reset button until you see the tire pressure warning light blinking three times. The reset button of the tire pressure monitor is located under the steering wheel.
- Then release the button.
- Start the engine and run it for around 20 minutes. This will reset the TPM sensors.
Read on to learn more about resetting the BMW TPM malfunction light and how you can fix this problem.
BMW TPM Malfunction – How to Reset
The steps in resetting your BMW’s TPM malfunction light are pretty simple. If you find that there is no underlying cause that triggered this warning light, follow these steps, and you’ll be able to reset this warning light:
- Check the tire pressure in all four tires of your BMW. Be sure their inflation pressures are all according to what is recommended.
- Push the reset button of the TPM light and hold it until it starts to blink three times.
- Release the button.
- Start the engine of your BMW and let it run for around 20 minutes.
- Your BMW TPM warning light is now reset.
- Now, go for a short drive to test if you have successfully reset the warning light. If you have followed these steps correctly, the TPM warning light will fade out from your dash.
You will find the BMW TPM reset button of the TPM light from the home menu on your dash, under vehicle status, then tire pressure monitor, and then tire settings. Your BMW vehicle must be at a full stop with its engine running before you can reset the TPM light and do it successfully.
Your BMW TPM warning light can malfunction for several reasons. Perhaps its sensor has stopped working, or the TPMS module cannot receive signals from the sensors because there’s a fault in the wiring connections or the antenna.
How Does the TPM Light Work on a BMW?
TPM is short for Tire Pressure Monitoring system. In Germany, where BMWs are manufactured, it is called Reifen Druck Kontrolle or RDC. Its function is to monitor or track the pressure of each tire on a BMW vehicle.
Its warning light turns on the dash if the tire pressure in any one of the four tires of the BMW car drops below 20% of the recommended value. Aside from the light turning on, you will also see a warning message.
The devices that monitor the tire pressure are sensors. They are installed on every wheel, so they can monitor continuously as you drive your BMW. These sensors relay the information wirelessly to the RDC or TPM module.
In turn, the TPM module relays the information from the sensors to your BMW’s computer unit or ECU and displays the information on your dash. If any data does not conform to BMW’s tire pressure standards, the TPM warning light will come on.
What Will Happen If You Ignore TPM Warning Light?
Admittedly, when the TPM warning light goes up on your dash, it is not as serious of an issue as the engine light on the screen. While this may be true, ignoring this light when it pops up on your dash is unwise.
There will be some repercussions if you will ignore the TPM warning light. You could suffer the following consequences if you do:
- Your safety on the road will be compromised because underinflated tires are prone to sidewall blowouts.
- You will lose control of your BMW.
- Your fuel consumption will increase if your tires are underinflated.
- You will reduce the lifespan of your tires. This means you’ll spend more on tire replacements.
If your car does not have an underlying issue, once you have inflated the right amount of pressure in an underinflated tire, the TPM Warning light will promptly go away. However, if the light persists on your dash, there could be a problem with the TPM system that needs further investigation.
Why Is the TPM Warning Light On?
The TPM light shows up on your dash when you have an underinflated tire or tires. If you put the correct pressure value in the offending tire or tires, this warning light should go off. However, your TPM system has other issues if it remains illuminated on your dash.
What are the usual triggers of the TPM warning light?
1. Not Working Sensor
The TPM warning light will pop on your dash because of a malfunctioning sensor. There is no problem with the tire pressure of your tires, but the sensor or some of the sensors are malfunctioning or no longer working.
The sensor or sensors send the wrong signals to the TPM module and then later to the electronic control unit of your car. So, the TPM warning light comes on even if there’s no tire pressure problem with your tires.
2. Faulty Wiring Connections
If the wiring connections of your TPM system are faulty, it cannot receive the signals sent by the sensor or sensors. Perhaps there is a loose connection somewhere along the electric circuit; the wires got entangled in one of the lines.
3. Dead Battery
The sensors are electrical devices. They are also connected to the power source of your car to be able to work. Your car’s battery is the primary power source of all the electrical devices your BMW uses as it operates.
If its battery is dead or malfunctioning, the TPM sensors will work intermittently or may stop working altogether.
4. Other Possible Causes
Still, there are other reasons why the TPM warning light will pop up on your dash. They include the following:
- Bad TPM fuse
- Water damage
- Failing sensor batteries
- Mechanical issues
Can You Drive Your BMW with Its TPM Warning Light On?
Indeed, you can still drive your BMW even if its TPMS warning light is on. As long as the pressure inside the tire is within the allowable limit that the tire and car manufacturer has prescribed.
However, it would be best to remember that the TPM warning light will not go off as long as you have not corrected the tire inflation pressure or fixed the underlying issue. The best thing to do is to drive your car to the closest car repair shop and get your tires to their proper inflated pressures.
However, if the TPM warning light flashes without letup, the issue is not just under-inflated tires but probably a problem in the TPM system itself. You can still drive your car safely but see that the underlying issue is diagnosed and fixed as soon as possible.
Does TPM Light Go Off Automatically?
On some car brands, the TPM warning light resets itself after the cause of the issue is resolved. This warning light will not reset itself without the underinflation issue or the underlying problem is corrected. The same is true with BMW cars.
You either have to correct the underinflation of the tire or apply the appropriate fix to the underlying problem and then push the BMW TPM reset button to make the light disappear from the dash.
More Details on Resetting the BMW Warning Light
Here are some elaborations that will help you understand how you can reset the BMW TPM warning light:
Takes Only a Few Minutes
The process of resetting will take only a few minutes of your time. If this issue occurs on the highway, your first move is to slow down and pull over to the side of the road. Then check if there are any flat tires or if the underinflation of a tire is visible.
Check All the Tires
If there is no sign of considerable pressure loss in any tire, you can safely drive your BMW to the closest tire service shop. Once you get there, add more air into the problem tire. Since you are already there, check all your tires, and inflate those underinflated ones to their proper air pressures.
Now that you have put the correct pressure in each tire, you can start resetting your BMW’s TPM warning light. Here are the details of the steps you need to take:
- Push the iDrive knob and select vehicle settings.
- Scroll down the display screen and choose Vehicle Tires.
- Turn the iDrive knob to select the TPM menu.
- Choose “Reset” and push the iDrive knob to activate the reset procedure.
- On the following screen, choose “Yes.” The screen will display “Resetting TPM.”
- Drive your BMW for a couple of minutes. You will see “Status” changing to “TPM Active.”
If you see these words displayed on the screen of your dash, it means that your reset is successful. The TPM system is again fully functioning on your BMW.
It is relatively easy to reset your BMW’s TPM malfunction light. The steps in doing this are pretty simple. If there is no underlying cause of this problem, follow these steps, and you’ll reset this warning light:
- Check the tire pressure on all four tires of your BMW. Make sure their inflation pressures are according to the recommendation of the tire and car manufacturer.
- Push the reset button of the TPM light. Then hold it until the warning light blinks three times.
- Now, release the button.
- Then start the engine of your vehicle. Allow it to run for about 20 minutes. The warning light will now be reset.
- Go for a short drive to check if you have successfully reset the warning light. If you followed these steps correctly, the TPM warning light will no longer appear on your dash.
If your BMW’s TPM Warning light comes on your dash and stays there, you can certainly just reset it by pushing the module’s reset button. However, the wiser thing to do is to investigate the real cause of the matter. Then fix that cause before resetting the TPM system’s reset button.