Low Tire Pressure Indicator --- sensitivity?
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Thread: Low Tire Pressure Indicator --- sensitivity?

  1. #1
    Registered User PiroChu's Avatar
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    Question Low Tire Pressure Indicator --- sensitivity?

    Hi folks,

    Just had my first experience with the Low Tire Pressure Indicator on my recently-purchased '07 EX-L (my first vehicle with such feature), and I have some Q's, please.

    How sensitive is this monitor? The '07 manual says 35psi (x4 tires) for EX-L.

    Yesterday on an out-of-town trip, the tires (especially the front two) "looked" low, but I didn't do anything because the Indicator wasn't on. Then I drove home about 200-highway miles loaded with 4 adults + 1 toddler + lugguage back home, and the Indicator still remained off. This morning back at home, to get the air checked/pumped (just in case anyway), I turned on the car in the garage (just me inside), and the Indicator came on (my 1st experience with it), which I half-expected. It read 30psi (x4 tires), before I pumped 'em up to 35psi.

    #1 - Is it normal that it takes >5psi before the Indicator comes on?

    #2 - Did my indicator not come on yesterday because I had a fully-loaded car (which pushed up the air pressure for the monitor)?

    #3 - Was it significantly bad (ie. extra wear on tires, poor MPG, etc) that I drove like that (possibly 5psi less, and fully loaded) for 200 miles (or maybe 400 miles, if round trip), or rather negligible/insignificant?

    Thanks for your feedback in advance,
    - PiroChu
    '07 Honda Odyssey EX-L

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  3. #2
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    5psi is about normal for tpms. It's not there to help you keep them at optimum psi....as that would probably turn out to be a PITA to most folks. It's there to catch the tires before they go too low and could be dangerous. FWIW, I think these tires always look a little low, even when slightly overinflated. But you didn't hurt anything by running 5 pounds light and they obviously weren't that low the entire time or the light would have came on.

    The load isn't what changed your psi, it's the heat. PSI increases from driving the vehicle. So once the tires cooled down the psi decreased enough to set the light.
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  4. #3
    Registered User brokenarrow's Avatar
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    Also, tires will lose a few psi in the winter once the cold weather hits, but this might not be an issue in Nor Cal...

    Certainly is noticable here in Canada.
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  5. #4
    Registered User PiroChu's Avatar
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    Doh! The indicator came back on again this evening. Maybe I got a slow leak by a nail or something. I'll have to get it checked out tomorrow...
    '07 Honda Odyssey EX-L

  6. #5
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    TPMS indicator threshold info here:

    http://www.in.honda.com/Rjanisis/pubs/SN/A07110A.PDF

    According to NHTSA regulations, the low tire
    pressure indicator must come on when the tire
    pressure is 25 percent below the listed
    recommended cold inflation pressure. To guard
    against tolerance variations, the low tire pressure
    indicator in Honda vehicles with TPMS is set to come
    on when the tire pressure drops to around
    20 percent.
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  7. #6
    Registered User brokenarrow's Avatar
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    Originally posted by EE4Life
    TPMS indicator threshold info here:

    http://www.in.honda.com/Rjanisis/pubs/SN/A07110A.PDF

    Thanks for the post - this should stop the 'low tire pressure' threads...

    I like the TPMS on the touring, because it displays actual tire pressre on each tire, so you know exactly what is going on...

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  8. #7
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    Thanks for the link. The TPMS light came on in my '07 EX-L and I found all 4 tires were at 30 psi. I assume that all it takes is the pressure in one tire to drop to trip the light.

    Jay

  9. #8
    Registered User PiroChu's Avatar
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    Originally posted by EE4Life
    TPMS indicator threshold info here:
    http://www.in.honda.com/Rjanisis/pubs/SN/A07110A.PDF
    Thanks for this link, indeed. 20%-less of 35psi (EX-L recommended) is 28psi, which is close enough to the "rough" reading (by gas station pump) of 30psi that I saw with my tires.

    Just to report back briefly...
    After the Indicator came on the 1st time (with 4 tires down to about 30psi from 35psi, while out of town, per my original post), it turns out that I got a nail in my rear-right tire (once back in town) that triggered the Indicator for the 2nd time. Got it fixed, and all is well now.

    Cheers,
    - PiroChu
    '07 Honda Odyssey EX-L

  10. #9
    Registered User JyRO's Avatar
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    as an added note...

    We drove our Touring over to the in-law's house just after Christmas. 295 miles and averaged very very close to 29 mpg (just thought I'd throw that in! )

    Anywho, my muddah-in-law's '05 EX-L looked to have a low RR tire. Her and I took it for a drive into town, it drove just fine. Got back to the house and put my 60 psi pressure gauge on it. (I bought the 60 psi gauge because it has the same swing as the 90 psi, but larger gaps between the tick marks & since ~35 psi is close to the center of the gauge it should be very accurate).

    I checked the pressure on the RR and it was 18 psi! The rest of the tires were right at 36 psi. Her TPMS system made NO ALERT to the low pressure. I aired it back up.

    My Touring displays the pressure at all 4 tires at the push of a button. I love it ... and it's spot on with my gauge!

  11. #10
    Registered User PiroChu's Avatar
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    extra wear on tires ?

    On somewhat-related subject but with a focus on tire wear this time, I have another question.

    Since the Indicator is designed to come on at 20%-less air (as noted above), does that mean in general that tires don't "excessively wear out" within that PSI range?

    Or, put it another way, how much less air % will actually make the tires "wear excessively"? (Say, over a few hundred miles?)

    Thanks,
    - PiroChu
    '07 Honda Odyssey EX-L

  12. #11
    Registered User JyRO's Avatar
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    Re: extra wear on tires ?

    Originally posted by PiroChu
    Or, put it another way, how much less air % will actually make the tires "wear excessively"? (Say, over a few hundred miles?)

    Thanks,
    - PiroChu
    That's kind of a loaded question. Too many variables, and no way to answer it directly. I'd say tire wear may be a fairly linear scale. Ranging from low tire wear at max rated air pressure, to tire damaging wear at maybe 7 or 8 psi and lower.

    "Excessive" wear depends on one's opinion. Personally I think you won't have what I consider "excessive" wear until, oh I don't know ... maybe 25 - 30 psi range, or lower.

  13. #12
    Registered User PiroChu's Avatar
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    Re: Re: extra wear on tires ?

    Originally posted by JyRO
    I'd say tire wear may be a fairly linear scale.
    ...
    maybe 25 - 30 psi range, or lower.
    Hi JyRO,
    You're right, excuse my over-generalized question. Yet you still provided me with the perfect answer that I was seeking, thanks much!
    - PiroChu
    Last edited by PiroChu; 01-07-2009 at 04:40 PM.
    '07 Honda Odyssey EX-L

  14. #13
    Registered User 08exl's Avatar
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    I have a question about spare tire pressure. It's recommended to periodically check the pressure, which in the case of my Accord, should be at 60 psi. However, if I fill it unmounted, won't the pressure change once I mount it and has the vehicle's weight on it?

    Always wondered if I need to mount it before filling it up.
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  15. #14
    Registered User JyRO's Avatar
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    Originally posted by 08exl
    I have a question about spare tire pressure. It's recommended to periodically check the pressure, which in the case of my Accord, should be at 60 psi. However, if I fill it unmounted, won't the pressure change once I mount it and has the vehicle's weight on it?

    Always wondered if I need to mount it before filling it up.
    08exl - The "recommended" pressures are recommended to be set at cold tire condition. Meaning, not warmed up from having been driven on. If you can reach an air hose into your trunk and air the tire to 60 psi, that's the ideal condition to set the pressure (not because it's in the trunk necessarily, but because it's not been driven on ... which gives that tire a cold tire condition).

    As for your question, will the tire pressure increase when you put the cars load on it. If you have a gauge that measured to something like 4 digits (very accurate), you may see some pressure increase (I'm guessing). But with a regular tire pressure gauge you would not be able to notice any difference. When the tire compresses at the contact patch, the amount of tire displacing vertically is countered by the side walls deforming outward. So basically the amount of volume between the wheel and tire will not effectively change.

    So, to answer your question, the pressure will not change after mounting and putting the weight on the tire.

    I'm not an expert, the above is just my opinion.

  16. #15
    Registered User 08exl's Avatar
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    JyRO,

    This makes sense! Thanks!
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