Tire pressure too low warning

Tire pressure too low warning

last night we parked the car at the roof of a parking garage and went to dinner and movies, about 5 hours later when we returned to the car, and starteded it, the warning came up saying the tire pressure is too low.
hmm, went outside to check the tires, 21" wheels I have, they looked ok, at least none looked less inflated tha the others, so I was not sure if we should drive the car or not. we spent maybe 5 minutes or more looking for the garage keycard, which was missing, and eventually the warning went away, the car was on this whole time, and I had moved the car from one end of the lto to another. Drove home, no problem. just checked the car now and no warning.
anybody else seen this warning message? I was thinking maybe the cold temperature had something to do with it, it would have been maybe 45F at the worst last night.

jerry3 | November 11, 2012

By default the TPMS alerts when the tires are 25% low. You can't tell by looking whether the tires are too low or not. Cold weather reduces tire pressure so you need to inflate the tires as the temperature gets colder. The vehicle placard pressure on the Model S is 42/42. You shouldn't let the pressure go below that.

Note that a 25% reduction in pressure will cause tire degradation. My preference is to have Tesla service set the TPMS to just a couple of psi below the vehicle placard pressure because I don't ever want the tires to run low.

TikiMan | November 11, 2012

Most folks who own a car with a tire pressure sensor/monitor system know this all too well. It's just your typical pressure loss when the temp drops, nothing wrong with your tires, they were likely set to the max pressure during the hot weather we were having last month.

You should have a max tire pressure listed on the inside driver side door stall. Fill the tires up in the middle of the day when the car hasn't been driven, to the max pressure listed for each wheel (or just slightly below).
Then in summer, check them again when the car is cold, and remove extra pressure that is above max pressure.

This will also improve the wear on the tires, by always have them at the proper psi.

jerry3 | November 11, 2012

TikiMan -- You should have a max tire pressure listed on the inside driver side door stall

Wrong. The vehicle placard pressure is NOT the maximum pressure. That is the recommended pressure based on a set of assumptions. If you change the conditions, those assumptions are no longer valid and you need to adjust the pressure accordingly.

The maximum cold pressure is found on the sidewall of the tire. Note that it is cold pressure, first thing in the morning before driving, not midday.

jerry3 | November 11, 2012

If anything the vehicle placard pressure is the pressure that you never want to go below.

TikiMan | November 11, 2012


What is the psi number on the inside door panel sticker on your S?
I usually find the number to be fairly close to safe psi for typical everyday driving, however, yes the best details are usually going to be on the tire sidewall.

DouglasR | November 11, 2012

Is the vehicle placard changed when you change tires? Different tires have different max psi.

sergiyz | November 11, 2012

Saw that too, tires were at 42.5 after driving 14 miles or so, but probably below 42 when I started driving.
Just added more air (44psi warm) and it's fine now.

HaroldS | November 11, 2012

Our TPMS has thrown off false warnings ever since we received our Signature. For the first half dozen or so incidents I checked the pressure in all four tires. They were always perfect. Now I ignore it, so if there were a low tire I would be unaware.

Service has promised to check the TPMS the next time the car is in for service.

John M | November 11, 2012

A couple of days after I got my Model S I did get a low pressure icon on the dash and warning on the screen; they went off after about 2 minutes and it has not happened again. But what suprised (actually shocked)me more is that apparently the Model S does NOT have a readout or graphic for individual tire pressures...I assumed that this was standard on pricy cars. My Mercedes SUV has it and even my Roadster has it! I is nice to be able to check pressure on all tires, without waiting for a warning. I guess I am going to have to start carrying a tire pressure gauge in the car and start manually checking pressures again...I thought that was ancient history. This is especially true if the TPMS does not give a warning until the pressure is 25% low!

Also, speaking of tires...since the Model S has no spare, I thought it was going to come with a tire inflater (fix-a-flat) system like the Roadster...I have not seen one in the car...anyone know what the story is on this? And yes, I know the use of these is controversial.

STEVEZ | November 11, 2012

The TPMS can throw a warning if the tire pressure is too high, as well. When I took delivery of my S the tires were inflated to 50 psi, apparently because that's the pressure they set at the factory before loading cars on the delivery trucks. The delivery team didn't reset the pressure, so the first clue I had was when the TPMS displayed an error: not a low pressure warning, but a 'TPMS system needs maintenance' warning. My local service center brought the car in at Fremont's request, found and corrected the high tire pressures, tested the TPMS system, and that was that.

jbunn | November 11, 2012


Look on the tesla accessories store page. Tesla makes a Tesla branded air compressor that comes with approved sealent.

jerry3 | November 11, 2012


I am some ways off from getting my Model S, but I understand the value is 42/42.

jerry3 | November 11, 2012


Obviously not, however tire pressures for the same size tires use the same load/inflation table, so the vehicle placard information is the starting point as long as you keep the same tire size.

jerry3 | November 11, 2012


You'll want to check your tires again when they are cold because they could have heated up unevenly.

jerry3 | November 11, 2012


You should be able to have Tesla adjust the low warning to where you want it. The 25% is just the default that was chosen by legislators, not engineers. The legislators were only interested in warning when the tire got dangerously low. They weren't interested in best tire life or performance.

portia | November 11, 2012

the manual very specifically says to look in the door well for the pressure, which is 42, my husband checked the pressure they were just a shade under 41 (cold car, not driven, in the garage) and he set it to 42 for all 4 of them. I will ask the service people when I get a chance to find out what the warning level was set on my car. Thanks all.

JimBl | November 11, 2012

I have had 4 occurrences of the issue. One of them while at the service center where they were not able to determine the cause. They checked the tires which were good. The warning went away so they could not do any more follow up.

westerndh | November 11, 2012

I had this occur on Friday evening, the sensor came on after the car had been left in pretty cold & windy conditions. I checked the tire pressures and they showed 42psi (on a cheap gauge)

I called Tesla and they told me my sensor probably would need replacing and someone would call me Monday.

The sensor came on again Saturday morning, I used my professional gauge and the tires read 40psi. I manually pumped them up to 42psi and the warning light went out, has not come on again since.

So either the sensor is placed to come on with just a minor reduction in pressure, or the sensor is faulty.

As another data point, I ran my tires for the 400 mile challenge at 48psi (factory had them set to 50 on pick up) and at no point did a warning light come on.


docdac | November 20, 2012

Question: if I buy a set of premounted snow tires with TPMs, how do I get the car to recognize the new sensors? And when I put the original summer tires/wheels back on in the spring, will the Model S recognize the original sensors? Or will I need to get a Tesla Ranger to come by twice per year to program the sensors?

docdac | November 20, 2012

I just started a new thread on this topic. I would appreciate your input.

Volker.Berlin | November 20, 2012
David M. | November 21, 2012

I hate TPMS on all cars. Every year I get erroneous TPMS error messages on my Lexus. When the TPMS fails, it costs $200 per tire to replace the part. At this very moment I have a message on my Lexus dash falsely indicating low tire pressure. I try my best to ignore it.

portia | November 22, 2012

FYI, the tire pressure warning hasn't been since, and I have put more than 1100 miles since then.

mrspaghetti | November 22, 2012

Would I expect to have fewer false alarms re: tire pressure with the 19" wheels? More air volume, maybe a little less touchy?

HaroldS | November 22, 2012


Well, we have the 19" wheels and we get false warnings routinely.

carlk | March 19, 2013

It would be much better if they have a TPM system same Porsche had for years which shows pressure reading of each tires on the instrument panel. It should not be that hard to do.

Captain_Zap | March 19, 2013

Whenever you get one of those tire pressure "alarms" and things appear to be OK, be sure to call "Ownership Experience" and notify them that it happened. Sometimes that alarm will go off when there has been an attempt to download new firmware or update. If it was a false alarm they want to track it down to fix the bug.

I had it happen twice, either during an update or immediately after an update. There has been some updates going out this week so that could have been the cause. I got an update on Friday.

cj | September 19, 2013

I agree that most TPMS systems are flaky at best, but I'd rather have a false warning than no warning.

My question is why the warning doesn't say which tire is low. And another very nice to have is what is the pressure. If it is 38 I'm fine driving it to fill it up, if it is 25...not so much.

cj | October 4, 2013

I contacted Tesla on my tire pressure. They informed me that for a MS with 19 inch wheels, pressure should be at 45lbs. Since I put more air in I have not had an issue.

Still wish they would display pressure for individual tires.

kenneth.ellefsen | September 3, 2014

+1 for pressure for individual tire pressured, or at least say which tire has the low pressure.

It will actually change from Low to "Warning tire pressure VERY low, pull over now!", at some point, had a slow puncture, and had to stop at every gas station to fill up with air to make it to the tire repair shop one time... ^^

Janm74 | November 29, 2015

Our 2015 Tesla 85D shows all 4 tire pressures displayed when low. We know this because of our extreme driveway. To make it home after a snow we let the tire pressure down to 24psi. Our driveway is one mile long, steep with 6 hair pin corners. It is not paved. Sometimes it will just simply not make it if we leave the tire pressure up to recommend 42 psi. We raise the level to "very high" max speed is about 15 MPH. We have had a variety of four-wheel-drive automobiles including Land Rovers but the Tesla is in someways superior to all of them. The Tesla is far superior going down the driveway. The only disadvantage to other vehicles is the clearance. The traction control is simply amazing going down as well as up the driveway.

Tropopause | November 29, 2015

Buy a Tire Pressure gauge and keep in the glove box. You'll never need to guess again.

garygid | November 29, 2015

All cars with software revision 2.7.56 or later and the new TPMS
(over about 50900 VIN, I think) should be able to display all 4 tire
pressures, independent of being high or low, on the dashboard
screen using the "Status app" ... right?

Redmiata98 | December 5, 2015

Yes, the October V7.0 (2.7.56) has the four separate tires app. Mine was a few hundred after that VIN and was delivered on 25 October 2014.

NKYTA | December 5, 2015

My "classic" MS showed me a handful of warnings going into, and coming back from Twin Falls, ID this last week. I expected that it was the temp change (from 60's to single digits), and RA confirmed it over the phone.

But they are the 21" low profile Contis, and we ventured as far as we could before returning, due to expected snow in the Sierra's. Thanks, "little boy"!

There is a reason (or ten) that I choose to live in the Bay Area. :-)

Kudos to those of you in cold the future, she'll always be plugged in overnight in those cold conditions.