2012 Chevrolet Sonic LTZ: Winter-Time TPMS
December 19, 2012
The weather recently changed in sunny Southern California. I know, I know. I can hear the littlest violin playing for us. The first morning after a good rain with outside temperature in the low 50-degree range, I started the Sonic and drove down the street. A glance at the instrument panel showed a tire-pressure monitor system (TPMS) alert. Continuing down the road, the car didn't pull in one direction indicating a drastic difference in pressures. The steering felt normal.
Just in case, I pulled into the nearest gas station and pulled out my pressure gauge. Sure enough, the first tire I checked was five psi under. The next was the same story. It turned out, all four were exactly 5psi low and the lower-than-normal ambient temperature caused the tires to dip below the TPMS threshold. I set them all to the recommended "cold" pressure.
Funny thing is, I've talked to a number less-than-car-literate friends recently who have all told me that their TPMS lights have recently turned on after months of being dark.
Chris Walton, Chief Road Test Editor @ 16,634 miles