One of the most common malfunctions with Ford vehicles is a faulty tire pressure sensor that gives false readings, but how do you troubleshoot this issue?
How Do I Fix A Faulty Tire Pressure Sensor In My Ford?
To troubleshoot a faulty tire pressure sensor on a Ford car, use a PSI checker to confirm the pressure of your tires. If the PSI of your tires is correct, you either need to reset the TPMS system in your vehicle or replace components such as the tire pressure sensors or TPMS battery.
After extensively researching automotive repair forums, I have gathered enough information to determine what causes tire pressure sensor faults on Ford vehicles. In this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at how you can troubleshoot the faulty tire pressure sensor of your Ford car to ensure that you are driving at the correct PSI.
What is a Tire Pressure Sensor Fault?
Most modern Ford cars are designed with a convenient feature that lets you know when your tires are not at the correct pressure (PSI). There should be a tire pressure sensor designated for each one of your tires that will monitor the pressure of the tire when the engine is on.
If the sensor detects the tire pressure of your Ford vehicle is not at the correct PSI, it will trigger a warning letting you know that you need to inflate your tires.
Alternatively, if your car has too much air in its tires, the sensor will pick this up as well, notifying you that you need to deflate your tires.
As convenient as this feature is, many Ford drivers have reported that their tire pressure sensors and Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), do not always respond the way they’re supposed to.
The tire pressure warning symbol will appear on the speedometer of the vehicle as an exclamation mark. This is not to be confused with the check engine light, as these are two separate warning features.
Fixing a tire pressure sensor fault requires additional diagnostics, as there can be several different factors contributing to this problem.
What to Do When You Get a Tire Pressure Sensor Fault
When you get a tire pressure sensor warning on your Ford vehicle, it’s best to resolve it as soon as possible.
This is by no means the most detrimental mechanical issue that you can experience with your car, but it does pose some potential safety risks, implying that you should take care of it sooner rather than later. Here’s what you should do when you get a tire pressure sensor fault:
- Check tire pressure
- Reset the tire pressure sensor
- Replace faulty sensor and TPMS components
Resetting the tire pressure sensor or replacing any faulty components will be required if the sensor is actually malfunctioning. However, before you go out and buy parts for your Ford car, make sure that the sensor is actually faulty.
It can be easy to confuse a faulty sensor with tires that are improperly inflated. Using a tire pressure checker, confirm what PSI of your tires to see if the sensor is giving a false reading.
For most Ford vehicles, a PSI of 32 to 36 is generally considered to be standard. With that said, you should always confirm what the recommended PSI is for your Ford vehicle based on the manufacturer’s instructions.
You can check which PSI is ideal for your car by looking in your vehicle’s manual. Fill the PSI to the correct level and see if the problem goes away.
If the tire pressure sensor still shows a warning, then it’s likely faulty and will need to be replaced.
What Causes Ford Tire Pressure Sensor Fault?
When you get a tire pressure sensor warning on your Ford vehicle it usually means that your PSI is off or that the TPMS components are faulty.
If you’ve already ruled out the possibility of your tire pressure being incorrect, it’s safe to say the issue is likely connected to faulty or malfunctioning parts. These are the most common reasons for a tire pressure sensor fault in a Ford vehicle.
Tire pressure sensors notoriously go bad. Sometimes this happens after 50,000 miles of driving, but it can also happen much sooner if the component was faulty, to begin with.
The sensors are powered by batteries and they can run out of juice or get damaged over time. With that said, tire pressure sensors are also not designed to last forever. On average, most sensors last around 60,000 to 70,000 miles before needing to be replaced.
If you have an older Ford car, there’s a good chance the sensors are simply old and need to be swapped out.
Did the tire pressure sensor fault appear right after you changed your tires? If so, this could potentially be causing the sensor to trip and give you a false reading.
Many drivers who swap out their tires seasonally experience this issue, and it’s generally quite easy to resolve. Installing a new set of tires requires you to reset the pressure sensor each time. A new set of tires can confuse the sensor, resulting in a faulty pressure warning.
How to Fix Ford Tire Pressure Sensor Fault
The process for fixing a Ford tire pressure sensor fault can vary depending on what’s causing the problem. If the sensor is simply malfunctioning due to a tire change or a minor technical glitch, a reset should solve the fault.
However, if the TPMS components such as the sensor are damaged, then replacing these parts will be necessary to fix the faulty sensor warning.
Reset the Tire Pressure Sensors
When the tire pressure warning triggers, you should always try to reset the sensors before replacing any components. Follow these steps to reset the tire pressure sensors and TPMS system on your Ford vehicle:
- Make sure your vehicle is at the correct PSI
- Drive your vehicle at 50 mph for 10 minutes
- Park your car and turn off the engine
- Wait for 20 minutes (with the engine off)
- Turn on the car (with the engine off)
- Press and hold the tire pressure sensor button
- Wait until the pressure sensor fault blinks three times
- Add an additional 3 PSI into each tire (above what’s recommended by Ford)
- Deflate the tires
- Re-inflate the tires to the correct PSI
If this reset method did not work, you may need to reset the actual sensors one by one using a TPMS sensor tool. This tool allows you to reset each of the tire pressure sensors manually.
Replace Tire Pressure Sensor and TPMS Components
If neither the reset method nor the TPMS tool was able to resolve the faulty sensor, then you may need to replace the components.
This can be difficult to predict given that the fault could be attributed to one of the sensors or to the entire TPMS battery, which controls all of the sensors.
You can use the TPMS sensor tool to check the pressure reading of each sensor, which you will then have to confirm with a PSI pressure checker. If the PSI checker gives a different reading than the TPMS sensor tool, you will have isolated the faulty sensor.
Replacing a TPMS sensor is not very expensive, with most mechanics offering this service for around $50 to $100 per sensor.
However, if multiple tire pressure sensors need to be changed or if the issue is connected to the TPMS battery, you may end up having to pay anywhere from $400 to $500 for the repairs.
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- To troubleshoot a faulty tire pressure sensor on a Ford car, use a PSI checker to confirm the pressure of your tires.
- If the PSI of your tires is correct, you most likely need to reset the TPMS system and its pressure sensors.
- If resetting the TMPS system did not work, you will need to replace components such as the tire pressure sensors or TPMS battery.