Kia Carnival 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 Carnival, and how you can reset it.
The TPMS warning light illuminates in Kia Carnival 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 Carnival, 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 Carnival 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 Carnival from Kia.
- 235/ 65R17: 35 psi
- 235/ 55R19: 36 psi
- T135/ 90D17(spare): 60 psi
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 when driven for a few miles. Kia Carnival 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 Carnival, 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 Carnival
Cold weather is one of the most common cause for low tire pressure warning light in Kia Carnival. 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 Carnival. 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 Carnival 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 Carnival 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 Carnival 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 Carnival with low tire pressure?
The driving characteristics of Carnival 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 Carnival 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 Carnival. 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 Carnival. 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 Carnival, 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.
Kia Carnival TPMS user guide
The Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) detects the pressure of vehicle’s tires and displays it on the instrument cluster.
Tire Pressure Indicator
- You can check the tire pressure in the assist mode on the cluster.
- Tire pressure is displayed 1 to 2 minutes later after driving.
- If tire pressure is not displayed when the vehicle is stopped, “Drive to display” message displays. After driving, check the tire pressure.
- You can change the tire pressure unit (psi, kPa and bar) in the user settings mode on the cluster.
- The tire pressure may change due to factors such as parking condition, driving style, and altitude above sea level.
- The tire pressure shown on the dashboard may differ from the tire pressure measured by tire pressure gauge.
- Low tire pressure warning may sound when a tire’s pressure unit is equal or lower than nearby tires. This is a normal occurrence, which is due to the change in tire pressure along with tire temperature.
Low tire pressure light
When the TPMS warning indicators are illuminated, one or more of your tires is significantly under-inflated.
If the telltale illuminates, immediately reduce your speed, avoid hard cornering and anticipate increased stopping distances. You should stop and check your tires as soon as possible.
Inflate the tires to the proper pressure as indicated on the vehicle’s placard or tire inflation pressure label located on the driver’s side center pillar outer panel. If you cannot reach a service station or if the tire cannot hold the newly added air, replace the low pressure tire with the spare tire.
Then the TPMS malfunction indicator and the Low Tire Pressure telltale may turn on and illuminate after restarting and about 20 minutes of continuous driving before you have the low pressure tire repaired and replaced on the vehicle.
In winter or cold weather, the low tire pressure telltale may be illuminated if the tire pressure was adjusted to the recommended tire inflation pressure in warm weather. It does not mean your TPMS is malfunctioning because the decreased temperature leads to a proportional lowering of tire pressure.
You should check the tire inflation pressure and adjust the tires to the recommended tire inflation pressure when driving your vehicle from a warm area to a cold area, or from a cold area to a warm area, or when the outside temperature is extremely high or low.
When filling tires with more air, conditions to turn off the low tire pressure telltale may not be met. This is because a tire inflator has a margin of error in performance. The low tire pressure telltale will be turned off if the tire pressure is above the recommended tire inflation pressure.
Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) malfunction indicator
The low tire pressure telltale will illuminate after it blinks for approximately one minute when there is a problem with the TPMS.
If the system is able to correctly detect an underinflation warning at the same time as system failure, it will illuminate both the TPMS malfunction and the low tire pressure position telltales. For example, if the Front Left sensor fails, the TPMS malfunction indicator illuminates, but if the Front Right, Rear Left, or Rear Right tire is underinflated, the low tire pressure position telltales may illuminate together with the TPMS malfunction indicator.
Have the system checked by an authorized Kia dealer as soon as possible to determine the cause of the problem.
- The TPMS malfunction indicator may be illuminated if the vehicle is moving around electric power supply cables or radios transmitters such as at police stations, government and public offices, broadcasting stations, military installations, airports, or transmitting towers, etc. This can interfere with normal operation of the TPMS.
- The TPMS malfunction indicator may illuminate if the vehicle is equipped with snow chains or some personal electronic devices (such as a laptop computer, mobile charger, remote starter or navigation) are being used in the vehicle. This can interfere with normal operation of the TPMS.
Never use a puncture-repairing agent not approved by Kia to repair and/or inflate a low pressure tire. Sealant that is not approved by Kia may damage the tire pressure sensor.
Tire replacement with TPMS
If you have a flat tire, the Low Tire Pressure telltale will come on. Have the flat tire repaired by an authorized Kia dealer as soon as possible or replace the flat tire with the spare tire.
Each wheel is equipped with a tire pressure sensor mounted inside the tire behind the valve stem. You must use TPMS specific wheels. Have always your tires serviced by an authorized Kia dealer.
Even if you replace the low pressure tire with the spare tire, the Low Tire Pressure telltale will remain on until the low pressure tire is repaired and placed on the vehicle.
After you replace the low pressure tire with the spare tire, the TPMS malfunction indicator may illuminate after a few minutes. This is because the TPMS sensor mounted on the spare wheel is not yet activated.
Once the low pressure tire is inflated again to the recommended pressure and installed on the vehicle or the TPMS sensor mounted on the replaced spare wheel is initiated by a professional workshop, the TPMS malfunction indicator and the low tire pressure telltale will turn off within a few minutes of driving.
If the indicator has not disappeared after a few minutes of driving, please visit an authorized Kia dealer.
If an original mounted tire is replaced with the spare tire, the TPMS sensor on the replaced spare wheel should be initiated and the TPMS sensor on the original mounted wheel should be deactivated. If the TPMS sensor on the original mounted wheel located in the spare tire carrier still activates, the Tire Pressure Monitoring System may not operate properly. Have the tire with TPMS serviced or replaced by an authorized Kia dealer.
You may not be able to identify a low tire by simply looking at it. Always use a good quality tire pressure gauge to measure the tire’s inflation pressure. Please note that a tire that is hot (from being driven) will have a higher pressure measurement than a tire that is cold (from sitting stationary for at least 3 hours and driven less than 1 mile (1.6 km) during that 3 hour period).
Allow the tire to cool before measuring the inflation pressure. Always be sure the tire is cold before inflating to the recommended pressure.
A cold tire means the vehicle has been sitting for 3 hours and driven for less than 1 mile (1.6 km) in that 3 hour period.
Never use tire sealant if your vehicle is equipped with a TPMS. The liquid sealant can damage the tire pressure sensors.
- The TPMS cannot alert you to severe and sudden tire damage caused by external factors such as nails or road debris.
- If you feel any vehicle instability, immediately take your foot off the accelerator, apply the brakes gradually and with light force, and slowly move to a safe position off the road.
Tampering with, modifying, or disabling the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) components may interfere with the system’s ability to warn the driver of low tire pressure conditions and/or TPMS malfunctions. Tampering with, modifying, or disabling the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) components may void the warranty for that portion of the vehicle.
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 Carnival. 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 Carnival, 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 Carnival?
No, the TPMS system is federally mandated, and cannot be disabled in Kia Carnival. All vehicles must have a working tire pressure monitoring system to be legally compliant.
Use OBD2 scanner for diagnosis
Since Kia Carnival 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.