Ford Crown Victoria low tire pressure warning light causes, how to reset

Ford Crown Victoria is equipped with Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) for the purpose of warning the driver when one or more of the tires are significantly under-inflated, creating a potentially unsafe driving condition. In this article we discuss the reasons for the amber colored TPMS warning light in Crown Victoria, and how you can reset it.

Ford Crown Victoria
Ford Crown Victoria – (Tupungato / Shutterstock)

The TPMS warning light illuminates in Ford Crown Victoria when air pressure is low in one or more of the tires, battery has depleted in a pressure sensor, TPMS receiver module has malfunctioned, or a pressure sensor has been damaged.

Low tire pressure

When the amber colored TPMS warning light turns on in your Crown Victoria, stop your vehicle when it is safe to do so and check tire pressure on all the wheels, including the spare wheel (if your vehicle has one). Driving on a significantly under-inflated tire causes the tire to overheat and can lead to tire failure.

Reinflate the tires

Reinflate all the tires of your Crown Victoria to the manufacturer specified air pressure, which is mentioned on the vehicle placard or tire inflation pressure label usually located on the B-pillar or the edge of the driver door. If you can’t find the label, check the size of your tire which is mentioned on the sidewall of the tire, and match it to the tire pressure information shown below. These are official cold tire pressure values for Crown Victoria from Ford.

  • P235/55R17: 35 psi
  • P225/60R17: 33 psi
See the sidewall of any tire on your Crown Victoria to find the tire size information.

Resetting the TPMS warning light

After you have inflated all the tires to the correct air pressure, the TPMS warning light will turn off automatically. Ford Crown Victoria uses the direct method for monitoring tire pressure, which means a pressure sensor actively records the internal pressure and air temperature of the tire on each wheel. There is no need to reinitialize the TPMS system in order to reset the warning light. There is no reset button like the one you see in vehicles with indirect TPMS system which uses ABS sensors to detect low tire pressure.

If the low tire pressure light does not turn off automatically after reinflating the tires in your Crown Victoria, increase the tire pressure by 5 psi on top of the factory recommended value, and drive your vehicle for at least 10 miles (16 km). After the TPMS warning light turns off, and the vehicle has been parked for a few hours, reduce the tire pressure to the factory recommended value.

TPMS reset after tire rotation: You will need to relearn the TPMS sensors in your Ford Crown Victoria after rotating tires. See the user guide below for the reset procedure.

Chilly weather can turn on low tire pressure light in Crown Victoria

Cold weather is one of the most common cause for low tire pressure warning light in Ford Crown Victoria. When analyzing WheelsJoint’s statistical data, it has been observed that there is sharp rise in the number of searches for TPMS warning light causes at the start of every winter season, about three times higher as compared to mid summer season.

The air, like most other substances, expands when heated and contracts when cooled. So when the weather gets colder, the tire pressure decreases, which could trigger TPMS warning light in Crown Victoria. The tire pressure will vary with temperature by about 1 psi (7 kPa) for every 12°F (6.5°C).

Tire pressure vs temperature: This chart shows how tire pressure of 35 psi at temperature of 35°C (95°F) decreases by roughly 1.6 psi with every 10°C (18°F) drop in temperature.

Inflate tires when cold

Tire pressure in Crown Victoria should always be set based on cold inflation tire pressure. This is defined as the tire pressure after the vehicle has not been driven for at least three hours, or driven less than 1 mile (1.6 km) after a three-hour period.

Do not adjust tire pressure when hot

The tires on your Crown Victoria can get around 50 degrees hotter than the outside temperature when you’re driving, which increases the tire pressure by about 4 psi – this is normal and there should be no adjustment for this increased pressure.

Does altitude affect tire pressure?

Yes, altitude can change tire pressure values, but it is negligible and not a cause for concern. If you drive your Crown Victoria from sea level to Mount Evans Scenic Byway in Colorado which is the highest paved road in North America at the altitude of 14,130 feet (4,307 m), the tire pressure should theoretically increase by approximately 6 psi. But, the decrease in ambient temperature at higher elevation contracts the air in tires and compensates for any altitude pressure changes.

Is it safe to drive Crown Victoria with low tire pressure?

The driving characteristics of Crown Victoria change even if the air pressure is 5 psi less than manufacturer’s recommended value: the braking distance can be longer, cornering worse, and at particularly high speeds there is even a risk that the tire will burst. Low tire pressure also increases tire wear, and the higher rolling resistance of the tire means higher fuel consumption. So it is recommended to reinflate the tires to the correct pressure as soon as possible.

Dead battery in a tire pressure sensor

Each tire pressure sensor in Crown Victoria is powered by a built-in lithium-ion battery. When the battery is depleted, the sensor stops transmitting tire pressure information to the receiver module. When this happens, the TPMS warning light will flash every time the engine is started, and will remain illuminated until you turn off the vehicle.

How long do the pressure sensor batteries last?

The tire pressure sensor batteries usually last anywhere from 5 to 10 years in Crown Victoria. When the battery is depleted, you must replace the sensor itself, as the battery is sealed into the sensor unit and is non-replaceable.

Identifying a faulty pressure sensor

The most reliable method for detecting a faulty tire pressure sensor or a sensor with dead battery is by testing each sensor with a scan tool. For example, MaxiTPMS TS408 is commonly used for diagnosing and programming tire pressure sensors. A sensor that is not detectable by the scanner is most likely defective and should be replaced with a new one.

Scan each wheel with a scan tool like MaxiTPMS TS408 and see which one does not respond.

If you don’t want to spend over a hundred bucks on a scanner, then head over to any reputable tire shop and perform a TPMS diagnostic scan of your Crown Victoria. Some shops like Discount Tire and Pep Boys offer free of charge TPMS diagnostic services.

Installed new tires?

If a pressure sensor stopped responding after you installed new tires on your Crown Victoria, it is possible the sensor got damaged during tire installation. These sensors are quite sensitive, and can be easily damaged if utmost care is not taken while changing tires.

Ford Crown Victoria TPMS user guide

The tire pressure sensors mounted in the wheels (originally installed on your vehicle) are not designed to be used in aftermarket wheels.

The use of wheels or tires not recommended by Ford Motor Company may affect the operation of your Tire Pressure Monitoring System.

If the TPMS indicator is flashing, your TPMS is malfunctioning. Your replacement tire might be incompatible with your TPMS, or some component of the TPMS may be damaged.

Each tire, including the spare (if provided), should be checked monthly when cold and inflated to the inflation pressure recommended by the vehicle manufacturer on the vehicle placard or tire inflation pressure label. (If your vehicle has tires of a different size than the size indicated on the vehicle placard or tire inflation pressure label, you should determine the proper tire inflation pressure for those tires.)

As an added safety feature, your vehicle has been equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) that illuminates a low tire pressure telltale when one or more of your tires is significantly under-inflated. Accordingly, when the low tire pressure telltale illuminates, you should stop and check your tires as soon as possible, and inflate them to the proper pressure. Driving on a significantly under-inflated tire causes the tire to overheat and can lead to tire failure. Under-inflation also reduces fuel efficiency and tire tread life, and may affect the vehicle’s handling and stopping ability.

Please note that the TPMS is not a substitute for proper tire maintenance, and it is the driver’s responsibility to maintain correct tire pressure, even if under-inflation has not reached the level to trigger illumination of the TPMS low tire pressure telltale.

TPMS reset after tire rotation

You need to perform the tire pressure monitoring system reset procedure after each tire rotation. You will need a relearn tool to perform a reset.

Since tires need to be rotated to provide consistent performance and maximum tire life, the tire pressure monitoring system needs to know when the tires are rotated to determine which set of tires are on the front and which are on the rear. With this information, the system can detect and properly warn of low tire pressures.

Note: To reduce the chances of interference from another vehicle, perform the system reset procedure at least 3 ft (1 m) away from another Ford Motor Company vehicle undergoing the system reset procedure at the same time.

Note: Do not wait more than two minutes between resetting each tire sensor or the system can time-out and you have to repeat the entire procedure on all four wheels.

Note: A double horn sounds indicating the need to repeat the procedure.

You will first have to put the vehicle in learning mode.

  1. With the ignition off depress and release the brake pedal.
  2. Switch on the ignition 3 times.
  3. Depress and release the brake pedal again.
  4. Cycle the ignition switch to off and on position 3 times again.
  5. The horn will honk once letting you know that the vehicle has entered learning mode.
  6. Train left front tire first. Use your relearn tool next to the sensor (valve stem). The horn will honk when successful.
  7. Train right front tire.
  8. Train right rear tire.
  9. Finally train left rear tire.

Video: How to reprogram TPMS sensors in Ford Crown Victoria

Watch this video to see how to reset TPMS sensor in Ford Crown Victoria.

Changing tires with TPMS

Each road tire is equipped with a tire pressure sensor fastened to the inside rim of the wheel. The pressure sensor is covered by the tire and is not visible unless the tire is removed.

The pressure sensor is located opposite (180 degrees) from the valve stem. Care must be taken when changing the tire to avoid damaging the sensor.

Understanding your Tire Pressure Monitoring System

(TPMS) The Tire Pressure Monitoring System measures pressure in your four road tires and sends the tire pressure readings to your vehicle. The Low Tire Warning Lamp will turn ON if the tire pressure is significantly low. Once the light is illuminated, your tires are under inflated and need to be inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended tire pressure. Even if the light turns ON and a short time later turns OFF, your tire pressure still needs to be checked.

When your temporary spare tire is installed

When one of your road tires needs to be replaced with the temporary spare, the TPMS system will continue to identify an issue to remind you that the damaged road wheel/tire needs to be repaired and put back on your vehicle. To restore the full functionality of the Tire Pressure Monitoring System, have the damaged road wheel/tire repaired and remounted on your vehicle.

When you believe your system is not operating properly

The main function of the Tire Pressure Monitoring System is to warn you when your tires need air. It can also warn you in the event the system is no longer capable of functioning as intended. Please refer to the following chart for information concerning your Tire Pressure Monitoring System:

Solid Warning Light: Tire(s) under-inflated. Check your tire pressure to ensure tires are properly inflated; refer to Inflating your tires in this chapter. After inflating your tires to the manufacturer’s recommended inflation pressure as shown on the Tire Label (located on the edge of driver’s door or the B-Pillar), the vehicle must be driven for at least two minutes over 20 mph (32 km/h) before the light will turn OFF.

Solid Warning Light: Spare tire in use. Your temporary spare tire is in use. Repair the damaged road wheel/tire and reinstall it on the vehicle to restore system functionality. For a description on how the system functions, refer to When your temporary spare tire is installed in this section.

Solid Warning Light: TPMS malfunction. If your tires are properly inflated and your spare tire is not in use and the light remains ON, have the system inspected by your authorized dealer.

Flashing Warning Light: Spare tire in use. Your temporary spare tire is in use. Repair the damaged road wheel and re-mount it on the vehicle to restore system functionality.

Flashing Warning Light: TPMS malfunction. If your tires are properly inflated and your spare tire is not in use and the TPMS warning light is still ON, have the system inspected by your authorized dealer.

When inflating your tires

When putting air into your tires (such as at a gas station or in your garage), the Tire Pressure Monitoring System may not respond immediately to the air added to your tires. It may take up to two minutes of driving over 20 mph (32 km/h) for the light to turn OFF after you have filled your tires to the recommended inflation pressure.

How temperature affects your tire pressure

The Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) monitors tire pressure in each pneumatic tire. While driving in a normal manner, a typical passenger tire inflation pressure may increase approximately 2 to 4 psi (14 to 28 kPa) from a cold start situation. If the vehicle is stationary over night with the outside temperature significantly lower than the daytime temperature, the tire pressure may decrease approximately 3 psi (20.7 kPa) for a drop of 30° F (16.6°C) in ambient temperature. This lower pressure value may be detected by the TPMS as being significantly lo

Reset the entire system

If the low tire pressure warning light won’t turn off due to a glitch in the tire pressure monitoring system, it may be possible to reset the TPMS system by resetting all on-board computers in your Crown Victoria. This method should only be considered as a last resort, when all else fails.

Disconnect both negative and positive terminals of the battery.

You can reboot all the on-board computers by disconnecting the main 12 volt battery for a few minutes. Remove the cable from the negative terminal of the battery first, then from the positive terminal. With the battery disconnected, press the horn button a few times and turn on the headlights to drain out all the residual electricity from the system. After about 15 minutes, reconnect the battery in reverse order: positive cable first, then negative cable.

Tire pressure keeps getting low

If the TPMS warning light turns on frequently in your Crown Victoria, and the tire pressure is also decreasing after you have reinflated the tires, there may be an air leak. One or more of the tires may have been punctured by an external object, or the air may be leaking from a defective value stem.

A punctured tire can be plugged with a tire repair kit if the puncture is not near the sidewall.

Can I disable the TPMS system in Crown Victoria?

No, the TPMS system is federally mandated, and cannot be disabled in Ford Crown Victoria. All vehicles must have a working tire pressure monitoring system to be legally compliant.

Use OBD2 scanner for diagnosis

Since Ford Crown Victoria is equipped with on-board diagnostics (OBD), a fault diagnosis can provide initial indications of where the malfunction is located. But when it comes to TPMS, a basic code reader will not suffice. You will need an advanced scanner to monitor TPMS data or read TPMS codes.

BlueDriver is a Bluetooth based diagnostic device which you can connect to the OBDII port in your vehicle and use your mobile phone for diagnosis. You will need to download the “BlueDriver OBD2 Scan Tool” app from the App Store on your iPhone, or from Google Play Store if you have an Android phone.

BlueDriver is a commonly used scanner by DIYers that can read TPMS codes for most vehicles and isn’t too expensive – costs about a hundred bucks. You can also clear the TPMS fault codes with this device which will turn off the warning light, but the light may come back on if the on-board diagnostic system detects a fault again.

Author: Nabeel K

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