Honda Ridgeline 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 Ridgeline, and how you can reset it.
The TPMS warning light illuminates in Honda Ridgeline 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 Ridgeline, 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 Ridgeline 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 Ridgeline from Honda.
- 245/60R18 105H: 35 psi (240 kPa, 2.4 bar)
- T165/90R17 105M (spare tire): 60 psi (420 kPa, 4.2 bar)
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. Honda Ridgeline 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 Ridgeline, 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.
Chilly weather can turn on low tire pressure light in Ridgeline
Cold weather is one of the most common cause for low tire pressure warning light in Honda Ridgeline. 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 Ridgeline. The tire pressure will vary with temperature by about 1 psi (7 kPa) for every 12°F (6.5°C).
Inflate tires when cold
Tire pressure in Ridgeline 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 Ridgeline 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 Ridgeline 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 Ridgeline with low tire pressure?
The driving characteristics of Ridgeline 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 Ridgeline 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 Ridgeline. 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.
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 Ridgeline. 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 Ridgeline, 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.
Honda Ridgeline TPMS user guide
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.
Your vehicle has also been equipped with a TPMS malfunction indicator to indicate when the system is not operating properly. The TPMS malfunction indicator is combined with the low tire pressure telltale. When the system detects a malfunction, the telltale will flash for approximately one minute and then remain continuously illuminated. This sequence will continue upon subsequent vehicle start-ups as long as the malfunction exists.
When the malfunction indicator is illuminated, the system may not be able to detect or signal low tire pressure as intended.
TPMS malfunctions may occur for a variety of reasons, including the installation of replacement or alternate tires or wheels on the vehicle that prevent the TPMS from functioning properly.
Always check the TPMS malfunction telltale after replacing one or more tires or wheels on your vehicle to ensure that the replacement or alternate tires and wheels allow the TPMS to continue to function properly.
Viewing tire pressure information
To view the tire pressure monitor, please follow the following steps using the buttons on the steering wheel.
- Set the power mode to ON.
- Press the up or down arrow button until you see the tire pressure screen.
The pressure for each tire is displayed in psi. The pressure displayed on the driver information interface can be slightly different from the actual pressure as measured by a gauge. If there is a significant difference between the two values, or if the Low Tire Pressure/TPMS indicator and the message on the driver information interface do not go off after you have inflated the tire to the specified pressure, have the system checked by a dealer.
Low Tire Pressure/TPMS Indicator
Low Tire Pressure/TPMS Indicator light:
- Comes on for a few seconds when you set the power mode to ON, then goes off.
- Comes on if the tire pressure of any of the tires becomes significantly low.
- Blinks for about one minute, and then stays on if there is a problem with the TPMS with Tire Fill Assist, or when a compact spare tire is temporarily installed.
If the Low Tire Pressure/TPMS Indicator Comes On or Blinks
Tire pressure checked and inflated in:
- Warm weather can become under-inflated in colder weather.
- Cold weather can become over-inflated in warmer weather.
The Low Tire Pressure/TPMS indicator will not come on as a result of over inflation.
The TPMS audibly and visually informs you of changes in tire pressure of the individual tire that you are adjusting using audible and visual indications.
If a change in tire pressure has been significant, the system beeps and the hazard lights flash continuously for five seconds when the specified tire pressure is reached. Stop filling the tire.
Using spare tire
The system cannot monitor the pressure of the spare tire. Manually check the spare tire pressure to be sure that it is correct. If you replace a flat tire with the spare tire, the low tire pressure/TPMS indicator comes on while you are driving. After driving for a few miles (kilometers), Tire Pressure Monitor Problem will appear on the driver information interface and the indicator will start blinking for a short time and then stay on; however, this is normal and is no cause for concern.
If you replace the tire with a full-size tire, the warning message on the driver information interface and the low tire pressure/TPMS indicator will go off after a few miles.
Use the TPMS specific wheels. Each is equipped with a tire pressure sensor mounted inside the tire behind the valve stem.
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 Ridgeline. This method should only be considered as a last resort, when all else fails.
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 Ridgeline, 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.
Can I disable the TPMS system in Ridgeline?
No, the TPMS system is federally mandated, and cannot be disabled in Honda Ridgeline. All vehicles must have a working tire pressure monitoring system to be legally compliant.
Use OBD2 scanner for diagnosis
Since Honda Ridgeline 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 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.