The Nissan Altima is one of the most reliable Japanese mid-sized sedans, and I personally liked it since it debuted in 1992.
But that doesn’t mean the car is perfect. The Nissan Altima has its fair share of problems, One of which is the TPMS error light on the dashboard.
What does it mean when you see this warning on your car’s display?
In this article, I am going to discuss the meaning of the “TPMS Error” warning light and how to fix it. Let’s get started!
What is Nissan Altima’s TPMS System?
In order to fully understand what the “TPMS Error” alert means on your Altima and how to fix it, we first need to understand what the TPMS system is.
In short, The Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) is a feature that monitors the tire pressure of all four tires at all times.
Nissan Altima, produced from the year 2013 to 2018, uses both indirect and direct types of Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems.
However, from my experience as a mechanic, I have found that the direct type of TPMS is more active and likely to cause the TPMS Error.
Direct TPMS system mean that the sensors are located inside each tire.
These sensors send a signal to the control module if the tire pressure falls too low, which then displays an alert on your dashboard.
The TPMS System was created to help you prevent tire blowouts on your Altima and improve fuel efficiency.
What Does TPMS Error Mean on a Nissan Altima?
Now that you know what TPMS is, let’s talk about what the TPMS Error message means on your Nissan Altima.
In simple terms, If the “TPMS Error” alert comes on your Nissan Altima’s dashboard, it means your PCM has detected a problem with the TPMS system.
It can be caused by something as simple as an underinflated tire or faulty sensor (More on that below).
What Causes Nissan Altima’s “TPMS Error” Message?
There are several things that can cause the TPMS Error message to appear on your Nissan Altima’s dashboard. Here are some common causes:
Bad Tire Pressure Sensor(s):
The most common cause of the “TPMS Error” message is a bad tire pressure sensor (TPS).
As I mentioned above, the TPMS system relies on these sensors to detect the air pressure inside each tire,
so if one or more of them are faulty (or just not working), you’ll get this error message.
There are four tire pressure sensors on your Altima (one in each wheel).
In order to find out which one is causing the TPMS error, you will need an OBD scanner. However, I personally recommend replacing all four at once.
Incorrect Tire Pressure:
The second most common cause of this error is having an under-inflated or over-inflated tire.
This can cause your tires to become unbalanced since one has more or less pressure than the others.
If your tire pressure is off by 20-50%, it can cause your TPMS system to malfunction and display “TPMS Error”
So, if you haven’t checked the air in your tires recently, now would be a good time to do so!
False Alarm due to Low Battery Voltage:
Sometimes the “TPMS Error” message can be triggered by low battery voltage.
If your car has been sitting for a while, and the battery has lost its charge, you may get this error. once you start driving it can go away.
Bad TPMS Module:
The fourth and final reason for the TPMS error could be a bad TPMS module.
The Tire Pressure Monitoring System Module is responsible for monitoring the tire pressure and sending data to your car’s computer. If it fails, you’ll get a “TPMS Error” message on the dashboard.
The good news is based on my experience as an Auto technician, these rarely go bad on Nissan Altimas but it can happen.
How to Fix the TPMS Error Warning on your Nissan Altima
Finally, let’s look at how to go about fixing and resetting the TPMS error on your Altima.
Here is what I recommend that you do:
1. Disconnect and Reconnect the Battery:
The first thing I recommend that you do is disconnect and reconnect the battery; this will reset the system.
If this alert was a false alarm or caused by a low voltage, this will usually fix the problem.
2. Check the Tire Pressures
If the TPMS Error alert is still on, you may want to check the tire pressures.
If your tires are underinflated, this can cause the system to trigger an alert.
If one is underinflated or overinflated, use a tire pressure gauge to check the pressure and adjust it accordingly.
3. Replace the TPS Sensors
If your tire pressures are good and the alert is still on, it’s time to replace the sensors.
The TPMS system will not work if the sensors are faulty or disconnected from the system.
you can get tire pressure sensors at any Nissan dealership, local parts store, or online.
Don’t worry these sensors are relatively inexpensive; you can get all four for under $50.
In most cases after replacing these sensors the TPMS Error alert should go off.
How to reset Nissan Altima TPMS
1. Reset Sensor Through Driving
For about 10 minutes, drive your Nissan Altima at speeds exceeding 50 mph. This action preconditions the sensor for reconfiguration upon the next start.
2. Use the TPMS Reconfiguration Button
- Power off the car.
- Insert the key and switch it to the “On” mode without igniting the engine.
- Identify the TPMS reconfiguration button, usually situated below the steering wheel. Press this button and hold until you see the tire pressure indicator blink thrice. If you’re unsure about the button’s location, consult your car’s handbook.
- Once you let go of the button, ignite the engine and allow roughly 20 minutes for the sensor to refresh.
3. Adjust the Tire’s Air Pressure
- Overinflate all the tires, and the spare tire (if it possesses a sensor), making them three PSI more than the suggested level.
- Completely deflate the tires thereafter.
- Following that, pump them back up to the pressure recommended by the manufacturer.
4. Reset by Battery
- Power off the car.
- With the help of a wrench, detach the positive cable of the battery.
- Switch on the car and blow the horn for around three seconds, ensuring any remaining energy is expelled.
- Re-attach the positive cable of the battery.