Driving fast with unfit tires constitutes a large percentage of daily road accidents. That’s why, as a mechanic it horrifies me when you ignore the Toyota Prius tire pressure light blinking.
The TPMS triggers a warning light when the tire isn’t at optimum pressure level (below 32 psi). You might have a small leakage or a flat tire. It can also occur if you are not using authentic Toyota Prius tires with warning valves.
If the tires don’t fulfill that pre-set requirement, you will have warning lights go on and off. But what are the solutions to each of these causes? Keep reading to find out.
What Causes Prius Tire Pressure Light Blinking?
There are basically two ways the TPMS (tire pressure monitoring system) warns you. The first one is when the Prius tire pressure light starts blinking continuously. Let’s start by listing why the TPMS might blink in your Toyota Prius.
- Under-inflated Tires.
- Air Leakage
- Flat Tire
However, this issue has another version. For example, the Toyota Prius tire pressure light sometimes blinks for one minute and then stays turned on for the rest of the drive.
If you are a new user, it’s possible you didn’t know about the difference in these signals. This form of warning is not even specific for the Toyota Prius.
I have handled cases where the Mazda CX 5 Tire Pressure Light Keeps Coming On and the reasons are somewhere similar. Check out the reasons for non stop flashing in your tire pressure display:
- Using a spare tire without a tire pressure warning valve installed in it.
- Installing a non-genuine tire. The ID isn’t registered in the TPMS.
- Damage within the TPMS
Troubleshoot Guide For The Blinking Tire Pressure Light- (Toyota Prius)
Hiring a professional is the best and quickest way to fix any Prius tire pressure light blinking. But if you prefer doing it alone, here are four ways to get rid of the TPMS blinking or flashing warning light.
#1. Fixing Under-Inflated/Flat Tires- Adjust The Tire Pressure
The first thing I inspect after receiving such complaints is an under-inflated tire. It makes sense because the main purpose of this monitoring system was to keep you updated about the tire’s internal pressure.
You should check the tires every month for possible low pressure. Nobody tells you that you don’t need a nail on the tire to lower the air pressure.
The pressure can decrease by one psi if the temperature drops by 10 degrees Fahrenheit. So, if you live in a cold area, you will face more flat tires.
My only solution is adjusting the tire pressure (of course). For that, check the manual first. As per the manufacturers, Toyota Prius tires should have at least 35 to 36 psi on the front and rear tires.
Here’s how you can measure and adjust the tire pressure in Prius Toyota.
- Start by removing the cap on the pressure valve.
- Once the cap is out, get the digital pressure gauge and check the reading.
- If it’s below 35 psi, you need to inflate the tire a bit.
- Let the air in for 5 seconds. Then, check the pressure again.
- Repeat the process until you are at the desired level.
- Finally, put the cap back on.
Note: You can also use an analog Toyota Prius tire pressure indicator. I personally liked the simplicity of a digital gauge.
#2. Fixing Air Leakage- Use Tire Sealant
Lower tire pressure can be caused by a minor leakage as well. When the leakage is severe, you get a punctured tire. I usually detect it with the naked eye.
However, suppose a nail got stuck into the tire. Air will seep out through this small crack. Losing 2 to 3 psi of tire pressure each day is possible. That’s a lot.
Such leakages occur due to corroded or rusted pressure valves as well. Even though tires are well-built, unfortunately, the valve stems are easy to corrode. Any damage in this tiny part will let air out from the tire.
Now, let’s move on to the solution. If you are not afraid of DIY tricks, get yourself a tire sealing kit (available in any local store). It comes with two hand tools (which look like nails) and two packets of sticky plugs. Here’s what you have to do.
- Jack up the vehicle.
- Remove the tire with the leakage issue.
- Locate the hole.
- Get the hand tool (the bigger one) and push it inside the hole.
- Hold it inside for at least 1 minute.
- Get the tool out. It’s time to push the plugs in.
- Keep inserting the sticky and gooey sealant until you reach halfway.
- Then, remove the tool and leave the plug like that.
- Get a blade and cut the excess portion.
Over time, the sealant will become flat. That’s how I usually like to repair any leakage in the tire. It’s affordable and easy. Of course, if you are not good with tools, use the spare tire from the trunk until a repairer fixes the leakage.
#3. Fixing The Non-Genuine Toyota Tire Issue- Get Help From The Dealership Store
You will be surprised If I tell you how common this practice is. Many people mistakenly install third-party tires without any warning vale or transmitter into their Toyota Prius.
Since the new tire is not connected to the pressure monitoring system, it will stay undetected. Hence, the flashing tire pressure light Prius will be on the dashboard.
It’s super important to replace tires from a registered Toyota dealership store. Third parties won’t be able to provide the ID that comes with each tire produced in the Toyota factory.
The same thing happens when you use spare tires after sending a tire for repair. Normally, the spare ones don’t have warning valves as well since they are not meant to be used permanently. So, keep that in mind.
I would suggest you hurry to your nearest dealership and replace the non-genuine tire with a real one. Don’t forget to get the ID and make it registered in your vehicle’s TPMS.
#4. Fixing The TPMS Itself- Reset The System
As I said, if the warning light stays on, it must be something more than a flat tire. Check each tire using a pressure gauge. If the reading is within the recommended range, the TPMS itself is causing this issue.
One reason why it might happen is the pre-set program. Suppose you chose to deflate the tire a little, which is not unsafe, for whatever reason.
The TPMS won’t have the information until you reset the system. The module would still compare the current pressure to the previous one and show warnings.
- Check under the steering wheel.
- A “set” button should be right next to the data port.
- Press it, and don’t release it just yet.
- Check the display. The warning light will beep three times before disappearing for good.
- Now, release the switch.
You can follow this instruction for the 2013 Prius tire pressure reset. It will also work on the older models.
Now, I know what some users complain about. The reset procedure doesn’t seem to work after following the exact steps. Well, that’s because they might have missed the most crucial part: inflating or deflating the tire to its ideal pressure level.
Once you ensure every tire in the vehicle is at an optimum pressure level, you can reset the TPMS switch. It took me a little while to understand. So, hope you got that.
The Prius tire pressure light blinking tells us there’s something wrong with one of the tires, most probably a low air pressure.
And what an under-inflated tire does is increase the rolling resistance of your Toyota Prius. Yes, it will take more fuel or gas to cover the same distance as before.
Not just fuel economy, it’s overall dangerous for you as well. You don’t know when an accident might occur. Tires carry the vehicle’s weight, including you. It would be foolish to take chances with your safety.
Certification: BSc in Mechanical Engineering
Education: Mechanical engineer
Lives In: 539 W Commerce St, Dallas, TX 75208, USA
Rasel is an auto mechanic student and writer with over half a decade of experience in the automotive field. He has worked with top automotive brands such as Lexus, Quantum, and also owns two automotive blogs autocarneed.com and taxiwiz.com.