Tyre pressure warning light: What is it?

tyre pressure warning light

Has a tyre pressure warning light appeared on your dashboard? The yellow symbol looks like the cross-section of a tyre with an exclamation mark inside. But what does the warning light mean, and what should you do about it?

Tyre Pressure Monitoring System

What is the tyre pressure warning light?

The warning light is an alert message to the driver that there may be a loss of air pressure from one or more of the vehicle’s tyres. It comes from the Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), an active safety technology that has become a legal requirement for all newly launched and factory updated passenger cars sold in Europe since November 2014.

Tyres represent the only contact your vehicle has with the ground, so maintaining the correct tyre pressure has many safety and efficiency benefits. These include:

  • Prevents accidents caused by a critical decrease in tyre pressure
  • Helps the vehicle perform predictably
  • Saves fuel
  • Reduces emissions
  • Optimises tyre wear

How does a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System work?

There are two types of TPMS: direct and indirect. Direct systems are installed in the majority of Toyota’s current passenger car line-up, and this method uses a battery-powered sensor integrated into the valve assembly (see images below) to physically measure air pressure from within the tyre cavity itself.

Tyre Pressure Monitoring System

Data from the sensor in each wheel is transmitted wirelessly to a control module connected to the car’s central computer, which prompts a visible alert for the driver if any of the tyres lose pressure. The control module is programmed with the unique serial numbers of the valves within the car’s system. This ensures that the TPMS assembly in each wheel only communicates with its host control module.

Tyre Pressure Monitoring System

The only exception within Toyota’s passenger car line-up is the Proace Verso MPV. This model is equipped with an indirect system, which uses the existing wheel speed sensors within the anti-lock braking system to ‘measure’ tyre pressure by detecting differences in the rate of wheel rotation. A tyre with less air pressure will have a smaller circumference and therefore spin at a faster rate than a wheel that has not lost air pressure.

Data from the wheel speed sensors is communicated directly to the ABS control unit, which prompts a visible alert for the driver if any wheel speed abnormalities are detected.

What should I do if the tyre pressure warning light comes on?

If the tyre pressure warning light comes on, the air pressure in at least one of your tyres will have dropped below a minimum tolerance level – often a deflation of around 20-25%. This may indicate a leak, puncture, or some other kind of damage.

Dramatic changes in ambient temperature, such as driving from a snow-capped mountain to a warm and sheltered valley, can occasionally cause direct systems to prompt an alert until the temperature has stabilised. Similarly, indirect systems can occasionally mistake uneven tyre wear for a fluctuation in tyre pressure.

Irrespective of the circumstances, if the TPMS warning light comes on you should pull into a safe area and visually check the tyres. If any appear to be deflated yet undamaged you should try to re-inflate them to the correct pressure and reset the TPMS (see subheading below).

If the tyre has sustained more serious damage, it will be necessary to either continue your journey on the spare wheel, carry out a temporary repair using a tyre repair kit, or call an emergency breakdown service for a lift to a tyre centre.

tyre pressure warning light

How do I turn off the tyre pressure warning light?

Use the box below to identify the type of TPMS fitted to your car (only current models are listed below). You will also need to know whether the reset function is accessed via a button or sub-menu within the main display.

Once you have accessed the right sub-menu, instructions for resetting the TPMS will be shown within the main display. For those with a physical button, you simply need to turn the ignition on, then press and hold the TPMS button. The warning light will flash a couple of times and then extinguish, at which point the system has been reset.

Aygo XDirectSoftware menu Vehicle Settings menu on Multi-info Display
YarisDirectSoftware menu Vehicle Settings menu on Multi-info Display
Yaris CrossDirectSoftware menu Vehicle Settings menu on Multi-info Display
CorollaDirectSoftware menuVehicle Settings menu on Multi-info Display
Toyota C-HRDirectSoftware menuVehicle Settings menu on Multi-info Display
bZ4XDirectSoftware menuVehicle Settings menu on Multi-info Display
RAV4DirectSoftware menuVehicle Settings menu on Multi-info Display
RAV4 Plug-inDirectSoftware menuVehicle Settings menu on Multi-info Display
GR86DirectButtonLower dashboard on passenger’s side
GR SupraDirectSoftware menuVehicle Status menu on Supra Command
Land CruiserDirectButtonUnder dashboard on driver’s side
HighlanderDirectSoftware menuVehicle Settings menu on Multi-info Display
Proace VersoIndirectSoftware menuDriving Functions menu on Pro-Touch display
MiraiDirectSoftware menuVehicle Settings menu on Multi-info Display

What should happen if I replace any tyres?

Direct: The condition and function of the TPMS valve and sensor assembly should be checked each time the tyres are replaced. This will involve a physical inspection and electronic diagnosis using a proprietary technology (example device in image below).

The integrated battery has a life expectancy of around ten years and cannot be replaced. Electronic diagnosis should reveal the health of the battery, which will help you decide whether to replace the entire unit at the same time as the tyre.

Although the main valve assembly is robust, parts exposed to the atmosphere can deteriorate over time. So if the battery level is adequate and the main unit is being retained, it would still be wise to have the grommets, washers, collars and cores (see image below) replaced as a matter of course.

Indirect: As this system is not directly related to the tyres, no further measures are needed, assuming the tyres are being replaced on a like-for-like basis. However, it is always wise to replace the valves when changing tyres.

Will changing the wheels affect the TPMS?

Not if your car features indirect TPMS measuring. In which case, you can switch to and from winter tyres with no additional system programming.

Due to the accuracy and complexity of direct measuring, the TPMS control module is designed to recognise and communicate with only one set of wheels at a time. So if you regularly switch to and from winter wheels it will be necessary for a qualified technician to reprogramme the control module through the vehicle’s OBD port.

There are occasions when it may be necessary to drive on a wheel that is not equipped with a TPMS valve, such as after a puncture when the spare wheel is fitted. Under such circumstances, the warning light will remain illuminated. The vehicle or tyre monitoring system will not be damaged but the vehicle cannot pass its annual MoT test if the warning light is on.

Do I still have to check my tyres manually?

Although TPMS is designed to deliver a safety alert in the event of a significant loss of tyre pressure, it does not replace manual inspections. Each tyre should be regularly checked to see if it is inflated to the correct air pressure and has sufficient tread depth.


  1. My 2022 Yaris Cross has a flat battery every time you leave for 10-14 days, leaving us stranded at the airport car park on our return. This has happened three times forcing us to buy a £90 battery pack for emergency use. Is this a recall issue for Toyota to consider or are we unlucky with the battery not holding charge.

    1. Hi William,
      The electricity stored in the 12-volt battery will discharge gradually even when the vehicle is not in use, due to natural discharge and the draining effects of certain electrical appliances.
      If the vehicle is left for a long time, the 12-volt battery may discharge, and the hybrid system may be unable to start.
      The 12- volt battery recharges automatically while the hybrid system is operating whilst you are driving the vehicle.
      We hope this helps.

    2. Initially told by Toyota the same answer as you got, however the AA man who came out to me twice said this issue seemed to be a growing problem and the only answer was to fit a new battery – which we did and, touch wood, no problems since.

  2. I have a Toyota CHR 23 plate. My tyre pressure light keeps coming on, even after resetting it. I’ve brought the car to Toyata 4 weeks ago and was told nothing is wrong. I was told when it’s cold and the car is not being driven then this can happen. If this is the case how will I know when there is something wrong with the tyre. I’m getting stuck and tired of this. I’ve never brought a car with such problems before.

    1. Hi there,
      We sincerely apologise for our delay in getting back to you.
      Is this query something you still require assistance with?

    2. I have the same proplem n/SF tyre going down I have been to Kwik fit twice Toyota Tamworth twice still got a flat tyre overnight it’s going back for 5th time Monday

  3. My Yaris manual says 32 f and 29 r WHEN COLD, if i have driven to the garage they will be warm ! So i have to put in more pressure than required, drive home, wait for the tyres to cool down an hour or two, then use a pressure gauge to let out air until correct pressure is obtained. I have no means to inflate tyres at home ( same as most customers i guess ), is this not a silly idea, why do you not advise tyre pressures when warm, so as to avoid this situation ?

    1. Hi Chris, thanks for getting in touch.

      Thank you for your feedback, this will be passed on to the relevant teams and is greatly appreciated.


  4. I have a 201`7 Auris Sports Tourer.
    I had a couple of new tyres fitted and now the TPMS light wont go off.
    The fitter checked the pressures several times checked the output from the TPM sensors all good.
    There is a reset button in the glove box, which has no effect.
    The symptoms are this.
    On ignition the light flashes for about 30 seconds then stays on
    What to do next?

    1. My TPS light won’t go off on my Toyota Aurius even though we have had the pressure checked. I have also tried resetting the button but it just dashes for a while but doesn’t go off. Any suggestions on what to do next and is the car safe to drive

  5. My Yaris 18 months old has a flat battery again after not being used for over 2 weeks (now on charge} this the 3rd time .The last time this happened after I charged it and took it to the garage for a check up the remedy was an 8 hour charge . Question is this common if the car is not driven for 2 weeks or is it a sign of a bigger problem .

    1. Hi Roger, thanks for getting in touch.

      We are sorry to hear you have been experiencing these issues.

      Please provide your vehicle registration so that we can look into this for you and advise you on your vehicle specifically.


    2. Initially told by Toyota the same answer as you, however the AA man who came out to me twice said this issue seemed to be a growing problem and the only answer was to fit a new battery – which we did and, touch wood, no problems since.

  6. Hi Rav 4, tyre light came on , my tyre dealer suggested replacing all sensors, this I did.
    Since have flashing tyre light. Tried pressing panel point doesn’t work, thoughts please?

    1. Hi Geoff, we’re sorry to hear this.

      Your local Toyota Centre is best placed to look into this. We are not able to advise without seeing the vehicle in person.


      Toyota UK

  7. I need help with one of my classic Toyotas. 1992 Toyota Carina e Gti. There seem to only three left on the road. My Engineer tells me it needs a new ECU but cannot find a replacement anywhere. Are you able to assist please as this is a treasured car I’ve had from new.

      1. Hi,

        Many thanks for your reply. I believe my Engineer has exhausted all possible normal avenues for this specialist part for such a rare 32 year old Toyota of which there are only three left on the road as I said. I was hoping Toyota GB might have had extra resources to help keep this classic and treasured Toyota Gti from scrap as without the ECU it is finished.

        Regards, James

      2. Hi James,
        Unfortunately, there are no further steps we can take to assist further with this.
        We can only apologise for any disappointment this caused and wish we could provide a more favourable resolution.

  8. I am quite disappointed that the might of Toyota cannot help one of their rarest cars. I hope my 37 year old 1987 MK 1 AW11a MR2 (featured in EVO magazine on behalf of Toyota) and my 20 year old Yaris, both also owned from new, don’t develop problems. Apologies for my tone.


      1. Thanks for this link. I’ll forward to my engineer if my ECU reconditioning idea fails. Apologies again for the tone of my last message.

        Regards, James.

  9. Hi

    I saw this error when one of my tires had a puncture and it was repaired temporarily. Do I need to contact Toyota for a full puncture as this error is still existed?

    1. Hi Afshin, thanks for your comment.

      It may just be that the TPMS needs to be reset, your local Toyota Centre can double check this for you.


      Toyota UK

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