2014 Mini Cooper: TPMS Gremlins Got Us Good
by Jonathan Elfalan, Road Test Editor on September 17, 2015
A road trip of significant length will often lead to a spectacular montage of insects plastered across the face of your car. Art installations of this nature usually require a deeper removal process than the four-minute spray 'n go wash stations offer. After taking our 2014 Mini Cooper to a professional bug uninstaller, I buckled back in and immediately received this warning on the vehicle information screen.
Anything look off here?
By a strange coincidence, all four tires managed to simultaneously bleed roughly 5 psi of air during the 15-minute window of bug removal. Not impossible, but I'm not that lucky.
Since we were about 5 psi low of the Mini's recommended 35 psi, I headed for the nearest gas station about 1.5 miles away to find an air compressor and mechanical gauge to validate the TPMS readings. Upon my arrival, I soon found the air and water pumps to be out of order. As I said, not that lucky.
Not far from my house at this point, I decided to live dangerously and huff the Mini back to home base. I made it to the garage without issue, and with mechanical tire gauge in hand, I confirmed my hypothesis.
36 psi, right on the money.
That's right: TPMS gremlins! Unlike our previous low tire pressure warning experience in the Mini, this was a system fault. So after confirming that the tires were at their correct operating pressures, I went through the tire pressure reset procedure. This requires you to drive around, while the system takes measurements and sets the base line readings.
After completing the process, which took about a minute of steady driving around, the Mini displayed the screen below.
The tire warning had gone away, but the system was still reading pressures 5 psi too low. German gremlins can be relentless at times but they occasionally leave on their own. If not, we can always consult the gremlin-uninstallation pros.
Jonathan Elfalan, Road Test Editor @ 19,623 miles