Since owning my 2017 Mazda 3 -- I've had the TPMS light come on a total of four times in four months, three of which were false alarms, one of which was genuine. I regularly check my tyre pressures at least once a week, and as per the manual, I hit the TPMS light any time I do inflate my tyres which re-calibrates the system.

I run Michelin PS5's all round, and they have been fitted a few months back.

Sunday just gone, 25 mins down a longish A-Road the light came on, checked my pressures with a digital gauge and they were all spot on, no leak at all. I reset the light, drove home and no light came on

This morning, before setting off, I checked my tyres ( pre-motorway checks ) and they were all the right pressure. Again, 25 mins down the motorway, light comes on. I get to my destination, and again, check my pressures - all was fine. Reset the light, drove home, and no light came on.

It is an " Indirect " TPMS system which does not use any special valve, but just uses the ABS sensor ( from what I know ) My only thought is that the tyres are heating up fast, and then throwing something off and causing a TPMS light.

What is the best course of action ? Tyre place, Independent Garage, or Mazda ( I am under warranty but their diagnostic fees are ridiculous ) Ideally I want it sorted because I don't want it to come on one time, ignore it and think it's a hoax, but then realise I actually do have a puncture

  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! Commented Mar 1, 2023 at 17:15
  • If this truly is an indirect system, I'd think there might be an issue with the ABS system which might be causing it. Have you checked for any error codes, either through the ECU or ABS? There should be some kind of code somewhere I'd think. Considering the warranty is through Mazda, I'm curious as to why you'd not want to take it there? Warranty coverage to me implies diagnostic fees are covered (without the warranty, yah ... expensive). Commented Mar 1, 2023 at 17:20
  • So should I get an OBD reader, and try that next time the light comes up ? There is no engine warning light, just the occasional TPMS light. Also. In regards to Mazda ( in the UK anyway ) they try and charge a diagnostic fee, and if they do find a fault they try to claim the money back from their insurance and pass it back on to the customer.
    – venomx
    Commented Mar 1, 2023 at 17:28
  • 1
    Are you sure that your tire pressure gauge is accurate? You could be diligently maintaining your tires at the wrong pressure if your gauge's calibration is off. Best to check it against other gauges. The last time I bought a digital tire gauge in a retail store, I brought a small pneumatic tire with me and checked pressure with several gauges to get a consensus reading. Some were WAY off. I bought one that agreed with the consensus.
    – MTA
    Commented Mar 1, 2023 at 18:02
  • Good points @MTA ... And to venomx, yah, I've heard what to expect there in the UK can be hit or miss concerning such things. As for a code reader, I don't know that I'd go out of my way to get one, but realistically it's a good investment ... for your sanity if nothing else. Just realize, you'd need a code reader which can do ABS. Not all can. If you're going to invest in one, I'd get one which can do regular OBDII as well as ABS and SRS. Just good to know if something is small or big before you take it to a garage. Commented Mar 1, 2023 at 18:17

1 Answer 1


Look for a lump or bulge across the tread surface of each of your tires.

Your tires are new, but a manufacturing defect such as a belt separation can show up a few thousand miles after purchase. This would slightly change the circumference of the tire, and since your car is counting and comparing wheel rotations to sense pressure differences, this could cause a TPMS alert without pressure loss.

If you jack up the car till a tire is just barely scraping the ground as you rotate it, a lump or bulge in the tread will be readily apparent as a louder or harder scrape at the same "o'clock" of each rotation.

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