Honda civic tpms issue

Tire Pressure Monitor Problem Honda Civic [Causes & Fix]

Seeing a “Tire Pressure Monitor Problem” alert come on in your Honda Civic can be concerning.

As an experienced technician, I’ve seen this issue many times before. The good news is, in most cases, it’s an easy fix.

In this article, I’ll walk you through the common causes and solutions so you can get that pesky light turned off. Let’s get into it!

Honda Civic Tire Pressure Monitoring System Explained

Before we get to the leading causes of the “Tire pressure monitor problem” message in your Honda Civic,

It’s vital to understand what the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) actually is.

The Tire pressure monitoring system is a piece of technology that’s built into your Honda Civic to monitor tire pressure.

Modern Honda Civics uses indirect (also known as Passive TPMS) technology,

This means that there are no tire pressure sensors (TPS) in your tires.

Instead, the Honda Civic’s TPMS system uses wheel speed sensors that are part of the ABS system to determine if your tires are low on air by measuring the rate of revolution each wheel is making.

This system helps prevent blowouts by letting you know when one of your tires starts losing air pressure.

Main Reasons Why Your Civic Uses an Indirect TPMS

  1. Relatively Cost effective (Since there are no Tire pressure sensors)
  2. Less Maintenance and/or Programming Overtime
  3. Tire pressure is measured from the rate of revolution.

As a mechanic, I personally don’t like this type of tire pressure monitoring system due to various reasons such as

  • If you install a different tire size than the rest of the tires on your Honda Civic, it will be hard to monitor the pressure because the TPMS won’t read the pressure correctly.
  • If you install a larger tire size than stock, you will have to get it recalibrated.
  • If your tires wear out unevenly, it will affect the accuracy of tire pressure readings.
  • You need to keep on resetting it after inflating your tires 

What Does “Tire Pressure Monitor Problem” Mean on a Honda Civic?

I often see people making the mistake of thinking the “Tire pressures low” alert is the same as the “Tire pressure monitor problem.”

This is not the case. If you have a low tire pressure in one or more tires, you will get the former alert and not the latter.

In simple terms. the tire pressure monitor problem alert means that there is a problem within your Civic TPMS system and that it can no longer monitor your tires’ pressure.

What Causes the Honda Civic Tire Pressure Monitor Problem?

Now, let’s take a look at the most common causes of the tire pressure monitor problem on a Honda Civic:

1. Bad Wheel Speed sensor:

The most common cause of the tire pressure monitor problem is a bad wheel speed sensor.

The wheel speed sensor, commonly known as the ABS, is a small device that is mounted on the wheel hub of your car and it constantly monitors the rotation of each wheel.

With this information, it can detect if there is any loss of traction or skid.

Since newer models of the Civic rely on the indirect tire pressure system.

A bad wheel speed sensor will send false signals to the TPMS system. As a result, a “tire pressure monitor problem” message will appear on the dashboard.

2. Bad Tire Pressure Sensor (Older Honda Models):

The second most common cause of a tire pressure monitor problem is a bad tire pressure sensor.

If your Honda Civic was produced before 2014, then it uses a direct tire pressure monitoring system, which makes use of tire pressure sensors (TPS).

Tire pressure sensors are small, black plastic cylinders that are placed inside each tire.

The sensors measure the pressure of your tires and send a signal to your Honda Civic’s computer when the pressure drops too low or increases above normal limits.

If one or more TPS fails, then the PCM will alert you that there is an issue with your Civic Tire pressure monitoring system.

3. Different Tire Size:

If you recently changed one or more tires on your Honda Civic to a different tire size than the one specified in its factory manual,

Then, this may be the reason why your car is showing the tire pressure monitor problem alert.

The TPS are calibrated for a specific tire size and will not work properly if there is a discrepancy between what your Honda vehicle expects and what you have installed.

The same goes if you put a spare tire (donut) on your Honda Civic, which has a smaller diameter than the tires that came with your vehicle.

4. Recalibration Issues:

When it’s time for new tires, tire rotations or tire pressure correction on your Honda Civic, the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) needs to be recalibrated.

Recalibration ensures accurate pressure readings for each tire.

Without it, you may get warning alerts like the “tire pressure monitor problem.”

5. Tire Pressure Imbalance:

The fifth and final common reason for a tire pressure monitor system (TPMS) warning light is tire pressure imbalance.

This occurs when one or more tires on your Honda Civic are significantly lower than the rest of them.

This can be caused by driving over a nail, running out of air or flat-spotting a tire.

Even if your tires are inflated to the recommended pressure levels, differences between the four tires can trigger the TPMS.

For example, if your front tires are at 30 PSI but the rear ones are at 34 PSI, the discrepancy can set off alerts.

The TPMS expects all four tires to be inflated to precisely the same pressure.

Variations between them are interpreted as a problem by the system.

While you may think being 4 PSI off between tires is negligible, the sensitive indirect TPMS sees it as a warning sign.

How to fix the Tire Pressure Monitor Problem?

Here is what I recommend that you do when you get this alert:

  • Check all four tire pressures and make sure they are at the recommended PSI level.
  • Overinflate Slightly and Recalibrate: Try inflating all your tires to about 2 psi over the recommendation found on the door jam sticker. Once you’ve done this, recalibrate the TPMS system. Many have found that this simple tweak resolves the warning light issue.
  • Disconnect and reconnect the battery. This will reset the tire pressure sensor.
  • If the alert still persists, take your car to the nearest Honda dealer and ask them to check the wheel speed sensors and bearings.

Resetting the TPMS on Your Civic

The process to recalibrate the tire pressure monitoring system on your Honda Civic varies slightly depending on the model year.

For newer Civics with a touchscreen display:

  1. Go to the Settings menu on the home screen
  2. Select Vehicle Settings
  3. Choose TPMS Calibration
  4. Select the Calibrate option

For newer Civics without a touchscreen:

  1. the steering wheel buttons to get to the Vehicle Settings menu
  2. Scroll to TPMS Calibration and select it
  3. Choose the Calibrate option

For older Civics with steering wheel buttons:

  1. Press the Menu button
  2. Choose Customize Settings
  3. Select TPMS Calibration
  4. Pick Initialize
  5. Confirm by selecting Yes
  6. Hit Menu again to exit

For older Civics without a touchscreen:

  1. Use the steering wheel buttons to access the Vehicle Settings screen
  2. Scroll to TPMS Calibration and select it
  3. Choose the Calibrate option

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