Toyota FJ Cruiser 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 FJ Cruiser, and how you can reset it.
The TPMS warning light illuminates in Toyota FJ Cruiser 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 FJ Cruiser, 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 FJ Cruiser 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 FJ Cruiser from Toyota.
- P265/70R17 113S: Front tires: 32 psi, Rear tires: 32 psi, Spare tire: 32 psi
Resetting the TPMS warning light
After you have inflated all the tires to the correct air pressure, the TPMS warning light should turn off automatically after driving for a few miles. Toyota FJ Cruiser uses the direct method for monitoring tire pressure, which means a pressure sensor actively records the internal pressure of the tire on each wheel. If the warning light doesn’t turn off you should perform a reset procedure.
The tire pressure warning system must be initialized in the following circumstances:
- When rotating front and rear tires which have different tire inflation pressures.
- When changing the tire size.
- When the tire inflation pressure is changed such as when changing traveling speed or load weight.
- When changing between two registered wheel sets.
- After registering the ID codes.
When the tire pressure warning system is initialized, the current tire inflation pressure is set as the benchmark pressure.
TPMS reset procedure in Toyota FJ Cruiser
- Park the vehicle in safe place and turn the engine switch to the LOCK position.
Note: While the vehicle is moving, initialization is not performed.
- Adjust the tire inflation pressure to the specified cold tire inflation pressure level.
Note: Make sure to adjust the tire pressure to the specified cold tire inflation pressure level. The tire pressure warning system will operate based on this pressure level.
- Turn the engine switch to the ON position.
- Press and hold the tire pressure warning reset switch (labeled SET) under the steering wheel until the tire pressure warning light blinks slowly 3 times.
- Wait for a few minutes with the engine switch in the ON position, and then turn the engine switch to the ACC or LOCK position.
WARNING! Do not initialize tire inflation pressure without first adjusting the tire inflation pressure to the specified level. Otherwise, the tire pressure warning light may not come on even if the tire inflation pressure is low, or it may come on when the tire inflation pressure is actually normal.
If the low tire pressure light does not turn off automatically after reinflating the tires in your FJ Cruiser, 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 FJ Cruiser
Cold weather is one of the most common cause for low tire pressure warning light in Toyota FJ Cruiser. 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 FJ Cruiser. 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 FJ Cruiser 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 FJ Cruiser 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 FJ Cruiser 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 FJ Cruiser with low tire pressure?
The driving characteristics of FJ Cruiser 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 FJ Cruiser 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 FJ Cruiser. 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 FJ Cruiser. 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 FJ Cruiser, 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.
Toyota FJ Cruiser TPMS user guide
Your Toyota is equipped with a tire pressure warning system that uses tire pressure warning valves and transmitters to detect low tire inflation pressure before serious problems arise.
Your vehicle has also been equipped with a TPMS (tire pressure warning system) malfunction indicator to indicate when the system is not operating properly. The TPMS (tire pressure warning system) malfunction indicator is combined with the low tire pressure telltale (tire pressure warning light). 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 (tire pressure warning system) 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 (tire pressure warning system) from functioning properly. Always check the TPMS (tire pressure warning system) 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 (tire pressure warning system) to continue to function properly.
Installing tire pressure warning valves and transmitters
When replacing tires or wheels, tire pressure warning valves and transmitters must also be installed. When new tire pressure warning valves and transmitters are installed, new tire pressure warning valve and transmitter ID codes must be registered in the tire pressure warning computer and tire pressure warning system must be initialized. Have tire pressure warning valve and transmitter ID codes registered by your Toyota dealer.
Registering ID codes
The tire pressure warning valve and transmitter is equipped with a unique ID code. When replacing a tire pressure warning valve and transmitter, it is necessary to register the ID code of tire pressure warning valve and transmitter. Have the ID code registered by your Toyota dealer.
If the ID code of the tire pressure warning valve and transmitter is not registered, the tire pressure warning system will not work properly. After driving for about 20 minutes, the tire pressure warning light blinks for 1 minute and stays on to indicate a system malfunction.
When the initialization of the tire pressure warning system has failed
Initialization can be completed in a few minutes. However, in the following cases, the settings have not been recorded and the system will not operate properly. If repeated attempts to record tire inflation pressure settings are unsuccessful, have the vehicle inspected by your Toyota dealer
- When operating the tire pressure warning reset switch, the tire pressure warning light does not blink 3 times.
- After carrying out the initialization procedure, the tire pressure warning light blinks for 1 minute then stays on after driving for about 20 minutes.
Repairing or replacing tires, wheels, tire pressure warning valves, transmitters and tire valve caps
- When removing or fitting the wheels, tires or the tire pressure warning valve and transmitter, contact your Toyota dealer as the tire pressure warning valve and transmitter may be damaged if not handled correctly.
- When replacing tire valve caps, do not use tire valve caps other than those specified. The cap may become stuck.
To avoid damage to the tire pressure warning valves and transmitters
When a tire is repaired with liquid sealants, the tire pressure warning valve and transmitter may not operate properly. If a liquid sealant is used, contact your Toyota dealer or other qualified service shop as soon as possible. Make sure to replace the tire pressure warning valve and transmitter when replacing the tire.
Replacing tire pressure warning valves and transmitters
- Because tire repair or replacement may affect the tire pressure warning valves and transmitters, make sure to have tires serviced by your Toyota dealer or other qualified service shop. In addition, make sure to purchase your tire pressure warning valves and transmitters at your Toyota dealer.
- Ensure that only Genuine Toyota wheels are used on your vehicle. Tire pressure warning valves and transmitters may not work properly with non-genuine wheels.
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 FJ Cruiser. 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 FJ Cruiser, 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 FJ Cruiser?
No, the TPMS system is federally mandated, and cannot be disabled in Toyota FJ Cruiser. All vehicles must have a working tire pressure monitoring system to be legally compliant.
Use OBD2 scanner for diagnosis
Since Toyota FJ Cruiser 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.