Seeing your Toyota RAV4 tire pressure light blinking sure raises lots of questions. When this happens, it’s easy to doubt your car’s performance and reliability. But the problem is often easily fixable, and a proper fix starts with understanding the root causes.
So, why does your Toyota RAV4 tire pressure light keep blinking? The leading reasons include:
- Incorrect tire pressure
- Battery Issues
- Problems with the TPMS sensor
And most of the time, filling up the tires with the proper pressure fixes this problem. However, sometimes you may need to reset the sensor or replace the battery or even the entire TPMS module. Let’s walk you through each step of the troubleshooting process.
What Is Tire Pressure Light in Toyota RAV4 and How Does It Work?
So, let’s first understand what’s the deal with your Toyota RAV4’s tire pressure light. Technically, the light is a part of your car’s TPMS, short for Tire Pressure Monitoring System. And it does exactly what it sounds like.
This system is designed to warn you when your tires are not inflated as they should be. The module detects this with the help of a sensor placed in each tire, which consistently calculates the tire pressure. When the sensor relays the information to the in-car computer, it starts blinking the light.
What Does Blinking Tire Pressure Light Mean on Toyota RAV4?
Usually, you can encounter two types of indications from your TPMS light. It will either keep blinking continuously or blink for ninety seconds before going solidly lit. And each of these displays has a unique meaning.
Light Blinking Continuously
Your Toyota RAV4’s tire pressure light can blink in two ways. When it flashes solid, pauses for a second, and then flashes again, it means one or more of your tires are underinflated.
On the other hand, when the light blinks continuously without solid pauses, this indicates a battery issue or issues with the wiring within the electrical system. It also suggests that the TPMS is not getting accurate readings from the tire sensor.
Light Blinking Then Becoming Solid
Now, this is a bigger issue. When your TPMS light blinks for a minute or ninety seconds before going steady, it points to a significant issue with the module itself. This can mean you have one or more broken sensors or the entire TPMS module has become faulty.
how to fix Toyota Rav4 Tire Pressure Light Blinking?
Okay, so now you know what your TPMS light is trying to tell you, let’s look into the causes behind these pestering blinking lights and how you can resolve the underlying issues.
1. Incorrect Tire Pressure
As we’ve outlined already, TPMS lights are meant to monitor the pressure in your tire, and it flashes or blinks as they sense any incorrect pressure. Now, why wouldn’t your tires be at the right pressure? Here are some potential reasons.
- Improper inflation process
- Damage to the tire
- Weather changes
Notably, driving at high altitudes or in extremely cold weather can impact the tire PSI and trigger the TPMS.
Now, how would you know if your tires aren’t inflated properly? Here are some telltale signs.
- Handling problems or a decrease in car performance
- Uneven tire wear
- Low fuel efficiency
- Increased stopping distance
If you have underinflated tires, inflating them to the manufacturer’s recommended PSI should resolve the problem in no time. Here’s how you can proceed.
- Step-1: Check the recommended PSI for your tires which can be found on a label inside your driver-side door or in your vehicle’s manual.
- Step-2: Use a reliable tire pressure gauge to check the pressure in each tire.
- Step-3: If any of the tires are underinflated (below the recommended PSI), fill the tire to the correct pressure using a tire inflator.
- Step-4: Once all the tires are correctly inflated, drive your car for a while and check if the problem has gone.
You can easily find a tire pressure gauge at around $50-$80 in auto part stores or online and a tire inflator at anywhere between $50 and $300.
2. Battery Issues
Isn’t it normal for the batteries running systems as heavy as car electricals to get worn or depleted over time? Yes, that’s absolutely normal – it’s part of a car’s regular life cycle.
And that’s why a blinking TPMS light can sometimes represent a battery problem. However, besides an empty battery, there can be other electrical issues, such as:
- Loose battery connections
- Corroded terminals
- Faulty wiring
And if the battery is indeed the problem, here’s what you can expect.
- Other electrical systems of the car (radio, dashboard lights, etc.) also show signs of being faulty or sporadic.
- Your car might take longer to start, or it might not start at all.
- You see the battery warning light illuminating on the dashboard.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and suspect your Toyota RAV4 has a battery issue, it’s time to check your car battery. Here’s how:
- Step-1: Turn your car off and wait at least an hour for the engine and electrical systems to cool down.
- Step-2: Locate your car’s battery under the hood and inspect for wear and tear, including loose connections, leakages, or corrosion.
- Step-3: If necessary, re-secure or replace the battery cables. You can use WD-40 or baking soda mixed with water to clear any corrosion.
- Step-4: Now, if the battery is very old, replacing it is your best bet. Yet, it’s a good idea to cross-verify it using a multimeter or seeking help from a professional.
If you’re thinking about the cost of a battery replacement, the average price ranges from $200 to $300, including both labor and parts.
3. Malfunctioning TPMS Module
In some cases, the blinking tire pressure light may stem from a more complex issue – a malfunctioning TPMS module. And if you’re wondering how your TPMS would go bad, here are some common reasons:
- Incompatible module
- Physical damages due to various impacts
- Worn out components
- Faulty wiring
- Digital system error
When the TPMS module stops functioning, the only sign you can expect would be the tire pressure light itself. As we’ve already said, it’ll start blinking and go solid after 60-90 seconds.
Repairing a faulty TPMS module or replacing it is no DIY job, and you must leave it to a professional. However, it’s not uncommon among Toyota RAV4 owners to encounter TPMS failures due to system glitches, usually resolved with a simple reset. And it’s the only fix you can do on your own.
Here’s how to reset your Toyota RAV4’s tire pressure monitoring system.
- Step-1: Drive for about 10 minutes at 50 mph or above.
- Step-2: Now, turn off the engine, but let the key stay put in the ‘ON’ position, without starting the vehicle.
- Step-3: Then press the TPMS button down (found under the steering wheel). Hold it until the tire pressure light flashes and blinks three times.
- Step-4: Now, release the button, start your car, and give the sensor about twenty minutes to refresh itself.
- Step-5: After that, inflate all four tires (the spare, too, if there’s a sensor) by 3 PSIs more than the recommended level.
- Step-6: And then, let them completely deflate before filling them up again. Only this time, fill them with the recommended pressure.
- Step-7: While the vehicle is still turned off, use a wrench to disconnect its battery’s positive cable.
- Step-8: And finally, start the car and blow the horn for three seconds before reconnecting the battery.
Now, if resetting the TPMS doesn’t help, you might need to replace the entire TPMS module. And for this, you’re looking at somewhere between $600 and $800, including parts and labor.
Is It Safe To Drive a Toyota RAV4 With a Blinking Tire Pressure Light?
If your tire pressure light is blinking, it’s best not to ignore it. While it might seem to be a minor issue, there’s no ruling out serious repercussions. These include:
- An underinflated tire can result in an imbalanced grip and control over your car, increased tire wear, and reduced fuel efficiency. All of these can lead to unsafe driving conditions.
- In case of a battery issue, a drained or old battery can cause all sorts of electrical system failures. There’s no telling if you’ll be able to start your car at all. Or worse, these malfunctions can happen while you’re driving.
- Further, a damaged TPMS module can leave you fully oblivious to tire-related issues since the system won’t alert you before a potentially dangerous situation.
Therefore, if your tire pressure light blinks, you must address the issue immediately and avoid driving your Toyota RAV4 until you resolve it.
Toyota RAV4 Tire Pressure Light Blinking – FAQs
Do you have further queries regarding tire pressure light blinking issues on Toyota RAV4? Here are some common questions and answers that might help.
In most cases, no. Wheel alignment typically doesn’t affect tire pressure unless it’s so off that it causes uneven and excessive tire wear. However, it can indirectly trigger your TPMS if your tires aren’t rotating evenly, creating abnormal heat and pressure levels.
As the cold constricts the air inside your tires, it reduces the pressure and causes the TPMS light to turn on. If you’re certain your tires are properly inflated to the recommended level, drive for a little while until the tires warm up. Usually, the light should turn off after a while.
As a rule of thumb, you should check your tire pressure at least once a month. But in situations where your TPMS light comes on, check pressures on all the tires immediately. Also, check your tire pressure before long trips to avoid any troubleshooting on the road.
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.