The tires are the only thing between your car and the road. While Tesla models may differ from ICE vehicles in many ways, they still have round rubber tires filled with air. If your Tesla is the king of the road, the tires are its royal jewels.
You want to keep them in the best form so you can enjoy motoring along. That’s where the Tesla tire pressure warnings come in. Sometimes you must reset the tire pressure sensors or warning light. Let’s learn how to do that.
Reset Tesla Tire Pressure Monitoring System TPMS
You must use the touchscreen menu to reset your tire pressure monitoring system. Follow these instructions:
- Press and hold the brake pedal
- Tap the car button
- Press the “service” menu marked by a wrench from the side menu.
- In the Service menu, tap “Reset TPMS sensors”
- A dialog box will open up, giving you two options. Choose and tap the “Factory Reset” button
- Drive over 15 miles per hour for at least twenty minutes
Now your TMPS sensors are reset. They will behave as if the car is brand new.
How to Reset Tire Pressure Warning Light in Tesla
If you reset the tire pressure monitoring system but see no change, you need to reset the tire pressure warning light. Resetting the light makes it disappear. To do so, you will need to restart the touchscreen display.
You can turn off the touchscreen display by pressing and holding the scroll-wheel buttons on the steering wheel. The screen will go black. After a few seconds, the Tesla logo will appear on the screen, and the screen will restart in the next thirty seconds.
If everything is alright in the tire department, the tire pressure warning should be gone once the screen restarts.
How to Check Tire Pressure in Tesla
You can check your tire pressure by checking the “card” on the screen. To do that, you need to swipe left on the main screen of the Tesla touchscreen display. You should see the tire pressures per the sensor’s readings for all four individual tires.
If the tire pressure is too little or too much, the numbers will show in orange. There will be a warning on the top left part of the screen. If you start your car from a parked position, the tire pressures will not show.
To see them, you will need to start moving. You will instantly see the readings on your screen. If they do not show up immediately, they will once you drive faster than 15 miles per hour.
If you want to check the tire pressures manually, you can use a tire pressure gauge. The gauge is attached to the tire’s air nozzle, similar to when you inject air into it. A measuring rule pops out on the other side of the pressure gauge and lets you know the pressure reading.
Why Reset Tire Pressure in Tesla?
Generally, once you’ve inflated or deflated your tires, the TPMS automatically updates the tire pressure readings on the screen. If not immediately, then after you drive faster than 15 miles per hour for twenty minutes. That is the way things are expected to go.
However, sometimes things don’t go as expected. You could check the tire pressure externally, which would be correct, but the car might not pick up on it. Such glitches aren’t that big of a deal since you can easily reset the TPMS using the touchscreen.
You need to restart the touchscreen display if the new pressures don’t update even after resetting the Tire Pressure Monitoring System or TPMS. Restarting the display allows the system to recheck everything and rectify any errors.
Sometimes the TPMS acknowledges the new pressures, but the tire pressure warning light or icon doesn’t go away. If that is the case, the solution is also restarting the screen. Once you continue the screen, the warning should disappear.
If you are facing issues with the TPMS or continue to see warnings despite following these instructions, you should go to your nearest Tesla service center.
How Do You Know How Much Pressure Is Recommended?
The recommended tire pressure for the front, back, and spare tires are mentioned on a sticker inside the passenger door. You can also find the information online and in the owner’s manual.
It’s alright if the pressure in the tire ends up a few PSI higher or lower than the recommended tire pressure. It’s a common misconception that the tire pressure mentioned on the tire is the recommended pressure. That’s incorrect. It is the maximum tire pressure and usually much higher than the recommended tire pressure.
Benefits of Properly Pressurized Tires
If your tires are appropriately pressurized according to Tesla’s recommendations, they will behave predictably. When tires are over or under-pressurized, the contact patch with the ground is different. Here are the benefits of tires with the correct internal pressure.
When your tires are low-pressure, they flatten where they touch the ground. This distortion takes energy that is better used to push the car forward. Since the energy is wasted, you would need more battery power to cross the same distance you would with properly pressurized tires.
You want to make the most of each charge while driving your Tesla. Some people believe that electric cars cost nothing to fuel, but that’s wrong. It does show up on your electricity bill. Save money and make sure your tires are properly pressurized.
Michelin performed a study in which one bar drop from the recommended pressure increased the rolling resistance by 30% and fuel expenditure by 3.5%. That information applies to ICE vehicles, but it gives us an idea about how much difference tire pressure makes regarding the amount of energy needed to move the car.
If you follow the manufacturer’s instructions and keep your tires at the proper pressure, your tires will wear more evenly. If the pressure is too high, the contact patch with the ground will be thin and along the center of the tire. That means the tires will wear out from the center.
In contrast, when the tire pressure is too low, the outer edges of the tire are in contact with the ground while the center is lifted. In that case, the tires will wear out from the outer edges.
Properly pressurized tires have an even contact patch, and that’s why the tire wears more evenly. That means your tires will last longer and provide better grip.
When you have the correct tire pressure, the chances of your tires slipping on wet surfaces are dramatically reduced. That is because when the pressure is the recommended amount, the contact patch of the tire and the ground is minimal. The minimal contact patch easily pushes the water to either side of it and grips the ground.
If the pressure is too low, the contact patch between the tire and the ground will be larger. It is easy for water to flow underneath the tire. That makes it more likely to slip and slide. If you want a better-wet grip, ensure your tire pressure is never too low.
Did you know that low-pressure tires mean you aren’t making the most of regenerative braking? Tire pressure means that your tires will not flatten much under the weight of your heavy electric vehicle.
The rounder the tires remain, the less rolling resistance they have. Electric vehicles use tires with less rolling resistance for regenerative braking.
Less rolling resistance means tires will roll forward more with less energy than tires with high rolling resistance. That means once you lift your foot off the accelerator, the tires with less rolling resistance will roll much farther before coming to a stop. That energy is used for regenerative braking and gets back into the battery.
If your tires aren’t adequately pressurized, the part in contact with the road will flatten slightly under the car’s weight. The distortion in shape increases the rolling resistance.
Tires designed for electric vehicles are meant to have less rolling resistance anyway. However, you will not be able to benefit from the qualities of these expensive tires if their pressure is too low.
How Does Tire Pressure Change With Temperature?
The pressure law of gasses tells us that a specific amount of gas in a container exerts more pressure on the container as the temperature increases. You may hear that for every ten degrees, your tire pressure increases by 1 PSI. That is a reasonable estimate to keep in mind.
Also, as you drive your car, the pressure will increase by one PSI in each five-minute interval during the first twenty minutes as your tires warm up.
So what does burning rubber have to do with tire pressure? The air molecules inside the tires get more energized when the temperature increases. They hit the walls of the tire with more force and more times.
That increases the pressure on the tires. If you are driving from a warm place to a colder place, the tire pressure will drop with the external pressure. Using this knowledge, you can calculate when to stop and increase the tire pressure.
This is why car manufacturers instruct you to wait for your tires to get cold to get the most accurate reading. Also, remember that there should be a reasonable margin between the car’s recommended tire pressure and the maximum tire pressure of the tires you buy.
This way, you can account for any pressure increase with temperatures while driving fast or on a hot day.
Units of Tire Pressure
Are you confused about Bars, PSI, or kPa units of measurement? Don’t worry! Let’s go over each to understand how these relate to each other. You must already be used to PSIs, but you might scratch your head when faced with bars or keys.
PSI stands for pounds of force per square inch. Just as the name suggests, it is the force applied in pounds over the area of the tire’s inner surface. This unit is standard in countries that use the imperial system, like America.
One PSI is equal to 6,895 Pascal, the scientific unit of pressure. PSI is used to measure the pressure of anything, not just tires.
Bars are a unit developed by a Norwegian scientist to measure atmospheric pressure. This unit is more common in countries that use the metric system. A single Bar is equal to 14.5 PSI.
kPas or kilo Pascal is equal to 1000 Pascal or newton meters. It is the scientific unit of measuring pressure. A kPa is equal to 0.14 PSI.
Why Kicking Your Tires Does Absolutely Nothing
You may have heard about the tire kick method. You kick your tires hard to see if they buckle under the pressure. People use this method instead of checking the actual tire pressure.
All this tells you is that the tires have more or less pressure than your kick. You do not know how much pressure your kick exerts, either. So the only information you get is if your tires are too low on pressure or not.
We recommend manually checking the tire pressure monthly using a pressure gauge instead. Of course, if Tesla gives you a warning before then, you won’t have to.
This isn’t to say you shouldn’t kick your tires for fun. For some people, it’s a necessary ritual after filling their tires with air. As long as you don’t rely on it to gauge the tire pressure, it’s fine.
You can reset the tire pressure in Tesla but using the screen menu. In the service section, select reset TPMS and tap factory reset. To reset the tire pressure warning, you can restart the display screen. To do that, long-press the scroll-wheel buttons on the steering wheel until the screen goes black.
If the problem persists after you’ve done that, you should go to your nearest Tesla service center. Remember, there are many benefits to properly inflated tires.
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My name is Matthew, staying in Seattle, Washington. Electric Vehicles (Electric Cars & Electric bikes) caught my attention for the last few years and my love for electric cars and bikes is everlasting. I spend many of my weekends traveling to various places all over various cities with my electric vehicle (e-bike and electric car). Here I am sharing my expertise, experience, and invaluable information about electric cars and electric bikes. Check out more.