Can Low Tire Pressure Cause Check Engine Light

Can Low Tire Pressure Cause Check Engine Light

The amount of grip on the road is determined by tire pressure. So, it is very important to have the correct tire pressure. Here our question is: can low tire pressure cause check engine light?

Yes, low tire pressure can cause the check engine light. 

I also faced your situation a few months ago. So, I deeply researched to find the connection between tire pressure and the check engine light. Finally, I was able to fix the tire problem and successfully reset the check engine light.

In this article, I will explain how can low tire pressure cause check engine light and some important points you should know about tires as a regular driver.

What Are the Symptoms of Low Tire Pressure?

Tire pressure guage

There are 3 main signs that you can detect low tire pressure without checking.

Soft and Woolly Steering

In low tire pressure conditions, you can experience unresponsive steering. There will be difficulties in handling the steering wheel.

Pulling to One Side

When you apply the brakes, the car will be pulled to one side. This is the most common symptom of low tire pressure. But here you should also consider brakes, as they also be the culprit.

Softer Ride-Over Bumps

When you travel over a bump with underinflated tires, you will not experience the jump of the bump as usual. You will feel softer and less stable.

Does Tire Pressure Affect Mileage?

Maintaining correct tire pressure helps you save money. I will explain how.

Extra Stress on Engine

When the tires are underinflated, contact on the road is higher than usual. So, the tire has more friction with the road, and the engine has to put extra power on the wheels. What does it mean? Yes, you are correct; more fuel is needed.

Circumference Reduces

Tire with low tire pressure

You know that circumference determines how far the tire travels in one round. When tires are underinflated, their circumference is reduced. Can you imagine a flat tire on the road? So, the vehicle travels a lesser distance per round of axel rotation. Then more rotations of the engine are needed to travel to your destination.

How do I check the tire pressure of My Car?

Now you are thinking that you should check the tire pressure. But when should you do it? How do you check the tire pressure of your car?

You should check tire pressure once every two weeks. Here I will explain two methods to check tire pressure.

Visually Inspect Tires

A properly inflated tire has a nice circular shape, and there is a very small flat area. That flat area is always there because of the weight of the vehicle. With low tire pressure, you can see a very noticeable flat spot, and the sidewall is bulging significantly. This is the easiest method to check tire pressure anywhere. But this is not accurate.

Use a Tire Pressure Gauge

You can use a tire pressure gauge to know the accurate tire pressure. This is the method I used when low tire pressure caused the check engine light of my car.

I started with the front wheels. First things first, I checked the recommended tire pressure for my tires. It was 30 pounds.

Then I removed the valve cap from the tire.

Using a tire gauge, I pressed it onto the valve stem and checked the tire pressure.

Next, I pressed the pressure gauge to the valve stem to check the current pressure of the tire. The reading was 22 pounds. So, it means my tires are underinflated.

So, I added air to the tire. There wasn’t a pressure meter in my compressor. Because of this, I had to alternately check the tire pressure using my pressure gauge.

After reaching 30 pounds, I put the valve cap on that tire. I inflated all 4 tires that way.

Can Low Tire Pressure Cause Check Engine Light?

Let’s move to our main topic: can low tire pressure cause check engine light? Yes, low tire pressure can cause the check engine light. Most people think that is because tire pressure is monitored by sensors and then the check engine light comes on. The first time, I also thought so. No, it is not. If your car has a tire pressure monitoring system, it also has a separate tire pressure light.

How Can Low Tire Pressure Cause Check Engine Light?  

Can you remember the situation in which I mentioned how low tire pressure affects mileage due to strain on the engine? That is the culprit behind the check engine light. There is extra strain on the engine due to the underinflated tires. But the central computer thinks there is a problem with the engine as there is no tire pressure monitoring system in your car. So, check engine light comes on.

Note: If your car is a modern one or it has a separate tire pressure light problem, the check engine light is not for tires. So, it is better to have your car inspected by a professional.

How To Reset Check Engine Light After Inflating Tires?

The check engine light will turn off on its own after you drive a few miles. If not, you can reset the check engine light manually.


What is the recommended tire pressure?

Vehicle TypeRecommended Tire Pressure
Compact Car32-35 PSI
Sedan32-35 PSI
SUV32-35 PSI
Pickup Truck35-40 PSI
Sports Car30-35 PSI
Motorcycle30-36 PSI
Bicycle40-60 PSI
Trailer45-60 PSI

The recommended tire pressure for most vehicles is 30-35 PSI. You can find accurate tire pressure for your car in the user manual, or it is also mentioned on the sides of the tire.

Is higher tire pressure OK?

Tires that are fully inflated are more rigid and inflexible, similar to an overfilled balloon, and are therefore more prone to damage from potholes, curbs, or debris. If you overinflate your tires, they might be more prone to harm..

Does higher tire pressure increase speed?

Despite feeling quick, tires with very high pressures are not. More air in your tires reduces grip after a certain speed, intensifies high-frequency vibrations, and contributes to muscular exhaustion. These all cause you to move more slowly.

Which tires waste faster?

In a front-wheel-drive vehicle, the front tires will perform the majority of the work and will degrade more quickly. Since they perform the majority of the work in a rear-wheel-drive vehicle, the rear tires will deteriorate more quickly.


Now you know how can low tire pressure cause check engine light. Maintaining the correct tire pressure is vital for your safety on the road and can also help you save money on fuel. Have a nice day!

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