Week 8: DBS TPMS

May 24, 2019

This week an Aston Martin DBS was brought in with a tire pressure light.

When the tire pressure light icon lights up on any car it is difficult to diagnose the root of the issue because it can be an indicator for a number of problems with the vehicle. Just to name a few problems associated with the tire pressure light icon I made a list below:

  1. The tire could be under inflated or over inflated
  2. The battery inside the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) could be weak or discharged (there are four sensors)
  3. The tire pressure sensor is sending a signal to the antena but the antenna is not receiving the signal
  4. The tire pressure sensor is sending a signal to the antena but the antenna is not send the signal to the computer
  5. The computer is getting a signal from the antenna but it is not processing the information properly

To start addressing the problem, James began his routine test of diagnosis. First, he checked the tire pressure. Due to federal regulations it’s easy to know what is the correct tire pressure for every car. There is a tire inflation pressure sticker on the door panel. After learning that the tire pressure was correct, the next step was to connect to the genius computer, Leonardo, to be able to read the data from the onboard car computer. After looking through the data, James spotted that the voltage coming from one of the sensors was low. This low battery in the sensor was triggering the TPMS light to light up as a warning message to the driver.

This TPMS light is important because over inflated tires can blow up and under inflated tires can send a car into a spin at high speeds. The Aston Martin DBS can reach speeds over 100 mph, so it is really dangerous to have a problem with the tires not only on the racing track but also on the highway and during day to day driving. Similarly, it is important for every car to have good and properly maintained TPMS to ensure that the car gets the passengers to their destination safely.

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