Like all modern cars, trucks, and crossovers, Toyotas have a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). TPMS has been mandated by the U.S. government since 2007, but many vehicles had systems prior to the rule's implementation. The mandate came about after Ford Explorers were found to be flipping over at an alarming rate. Ford and the tire manufacturer Ford used at the time pointed fingers at one another over who was to blame for the safety issue. In the end, the Explorer changed its suspension design, the tire manufacturer changed its tread adhesion quality control, and the motoring public got a new system they may or may not have ever needed.
How Does TPMS Work?
The TPMS system in your car monitors the pressure in your tires in one of two ways. The simplest and most common system on earlier vehicles equipped with this technology was to use the anti-lock braking system sensors to monitor the speed at which each of the car's four wheels was turning. If one was turning slower, the system would put out a warning. If you have a 2007 Highlander your crossover likely has this system. Our image is from that model and year.
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The second type of TPMS system uses a sensor in each wheel, and in some cases the spare. It directly measures the pressure of the air within the wheel and if any of them drop below the set points an alarm is signaled.
The problem is that if one changes their tires or if the air temperature drops rapidly, the TPMS light can come on. Or, it can come on if there is indeed a flat. How does one reset that light after the issue if resolved, or if it is a false alarm, like after a new set of tires are put on?
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Where Is the Toyota TPMS Button?
For Toyota, Lexus and Scion models made between about 2001 and 2010 (that have this system), there is a small button like the one shown. It is located way down under the steering column at the very bottom of the vehicle's dash assembly. It is almost better to start at the brake and power pedals and start to look upward to find it. On newer models, the reset is usually done via the infotainment system menus. (How to reset TPMS on Page 2)
How To Use The Reset Button
For Toyotas with the system, the button has two functions. To temporarily shut off the dashboard warning light one can touch and hold the button while the vehicle is running. To reset the system, the usual process is to park, put on the parking brake, turn the engine to the "on" position, not to be confused with "run," touch the button till it goes out, then let go and then hold it in again until it flashes the dash light three times. Check your manual if that is not the solution, and be sure you don't actually have a low tire of course. The system then initializes over the next 100 miles or so and you should be all set. For newer models follow the on-screen prompts to reset the system or refer to your manual.