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my tire pressure monitor in car and using ONSTAR DIAGNOSTICS IS telling me that my tire pressure is low. I know it is at 24psi and should be around 35psi. the problem is that as I was indoors and checking Onstar Diagnostics it told me I had a flat tire!~. I ran outside and it sure doesn't look like it. So just how accurate would you say they are? Anyone have any thoughts on the subject?

also forgive me if I am in the wrong Generation-I can never keep it straight if I am 8th or 9th with my 2016 Malibu with 2015 body style!
Thank you
 

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2011 Malibu LTZ 3.6L V6 Red Jewel Tintcoat
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If your 2016 says "Limited" on it, then it's a Gen8, or, as you mention, if it has the 2015 body style rather than the newer Gen9.

A flat tire warning should be a wake-up call to put some air in it before you have issues or destroy the tire. Whether it's actually flat or just severely underinflated may just be how the designers decided to call it.

The TPMS sensors are fairly decent. My stock ones were usually within 1 PSI, but you have to remember that there are 4 tire pressure gauges, not just one, so if one is 1/2 PSI high and one is 1/2 PSI low, the difference between them is 1 PSI.

The best way to know what's in the tires is to use an accurate external gauge and sample the pressures in each tire, adjusting as needed. Trying to balance the pressures using the TPMS is not as good, but it's not wrong, either.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
If your 2016 says "Limited" on it, then it's a Gen8, or, as you mention, if it has the 2015 body style rather than the newer Gen9.

A flat tire warning should be a wake-up call to put some air in it before you have issues or destroy the tire. Whether it's actually flat or just severely underinflated may just be how the designers decided to call it.

The TPMS sensors are fairly decent. My stock ones were usually within 1 PSI, but you have to remember that there are 4 tire pressure gauges, not just one, so if one is 1/2 PSI high and one is 1/2 PSI low, the difference between them is 1 PSI.

The best way to know what's in the tires is to use an accurate external gauge and sample the pressures in each tire, adjusting as needed. Trying to balance the pressures using the TPMS is not as good, but it's not wrong, either.
Thank you so much! Yes, I did figure I should use my trusty tire pressure gauge for a more accurate reading. Adding air in the offending tire in the morning. thanks for your opinion on the TPMS sensors.Thanks again!
 

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make sure to check all your tires as during rotations and such some have reported their tire people never reprogrammed their tire sensors...it is possible to get a low tire reading at the left front tire when it is one of the other tires because someone along the way failed to reprogram the sensor...

Good luck with your car

Bill
 

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Discussion Starter #5
make sure to check all your tires as during rotations and such some have reported their tire people never reprogrammed their tire sensors...it is possible to get a low tire reading at the left front tire when it is one of the other tires because someone along the way failed to reprogram the sensor...

Good luck with your car

Bill
Thank you so much!
 

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You can relearn your tpms sensors by purchasing a tpms tool from amazon for like 12 bucks. I think there is also a way to do it with deflating your tires but it takes a while to do.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited by Moderator)
You can relearn your tpms sensors by purchasing a tpms tool from amazon for like 12 bucks. I think there is also a way to do it with deflating your tires but it takes a while to do.
Okay I just looked it up in the manual. and see that you need a tool. your suggestion to get one off Amazon is a good one. I just might do that. I
certainly don't want to have to take it back to the dealership---just too much of a hassle. Thanks again for the advice.
 

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From my experience you will get a "low tire pressure" warning when a tire drops to 25 psi or lower. On my 2015 it will ding and the center display will show a low tire pressure warning message. I'm quite familiar with this as I currently have a very slow leak in a tire and it will drop from 35 psi to 25 psi over about 3 weeks. The system is set up to know that air pressure dropping down to 25 psi indicates a potential issue. You are not in eminent danger of the tire failing at 25 psi but rather it is a warning to allow you time to correct the issue before it does go completely flat or fail while running down the freeway because the pressure got even lower........same concept of the low fuel light. After the low fuel light comes on you should still have plenty of time to get to a gas station. It wouldn't do much good to have a low fuel light come on and then the engine dies 5 seconds later. If the tire is already completely flat you don't need a warning light to let you know that. When the tire is still at 25 psi it is not visually low on pressure.

In regards to the OnStar diagnostics, your first statement is that is said the tire pressure was low and then you said it stated a flat tire? I've personally only ever seen it say low tire pressure, even when I had a true completely flat tire....just keep in mind that "low tire pressure" and "flat tire" aren't exactly the same thing. Did it actually say "flat tire"?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
From my experience you will get a "low tire pressure" warning when a tire drops to 25 psi or lower. On my 2015 it will ding and the center display will show a low tire pressure warning message. I'm quite familiar with this as I currently have a very slow leak in a tire and it will drop from 35 psi to 25 psi over about 3 weeks. The system is set up to know that air pressure dropping down to 25 psi indicates a potential issue. You are not in eminent danger of the tire failing at 25 psi but rather it is a warning to allow you time to correct the issue before it does go completely flat or fail while running down the freeway because the pressure got even lower........same concept of the low fuel light. After the low fuel light comes on you should still have plenty of time to get to a gas station. It wouldn't do much good to have a low fuel light come on and then the engine dies 5 seconds later. If the tire is already completely flat you don't need a warning light to let you know that. When the tire is still at 25 psi it is not visually low on pressure.

In regards to the OnStar diagnostics, your first statement is that is said the tire pressure was low and then you said it stated a flat tire? I've personally only ever seen it say low tire pressure, even when I had a true completely flat tire....just keep in mind that "low tire pressure" and "flat tire" aren't exactly the same thing. Did it actually say "flat tire"?
The system on the car did not read "flat tire" it was when I pulled up ONSTAR diagnostics on my computer that gave me that alarm. Yes it said "Alert Flat Tire' in red letters. And that's what made me run outside. Stupid of me I know.

Thanks so much for explaining how the low tire pressure system actually works in "plain English". And by the way I used my trusty tire pressure gauge and checked the tire and it has 33 psi. So I now believe that it has to do with the system needing to be reset. In close inspection of the tire in question it looks like a new tire-even the tire stem was all nice and shiny when I took off the cap.

So in referring to my Owner's Manual it states that the system has to "relearn" the codes. Someone suggested that I buy a gadget off Amazon. I looked them up and got just a little intimidated by them. I guess on the next oil change I can ask my Mechanics advice.

Again thank you,
Leslie
 

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The system on the car did not read "flat tire" it was when I pulled up ONSTAR diagnostics on my computer that gave me that alarm. Yes it said "Alert Flat Tire' in red letters. And that's what made me run outside. Stupid of me I know.

Thanks so much for explaining how the low tire pressure system actually works in "plain English". And by the way I used my trusty tire pressure gauge and checked the tire and it has 33 psi. So I now believe that it has to do with the system needing to be reset. In close inspection of the tire in question it looks like a new tire-even the tire stem was all nice and shiny when I took off the cap.

So in referring to my Owner's Manual it states that the system has to "relearn" the codes. Someone suggested that I buy a gadget off Amazon. I looked them up and got just a little intimidated by them. I guess on the next oil change I can ask my Mechanics advice.

Again thank you,
Leslie
Make sure you are checking the right tire. If the tires have ever been rotated and the system did not go through a relearn then what is displayed on the dash will not match. For example, if you take the right front tire and swap it onto the left rear, the system doesn't know the tire changed locations. Now if that tire, which is now on the left rear, has low air pressure the system will still display it as being on the right front. One way to verify is to let air out of each tire and see if it matches on the dash display (then obviously air them back up).

On an 2009 Silverado pickup you can reset them by activating the relearn procedure through the dash and then simply changing the tire pressure on each tire in a certain sequence. On my 2015 Malibu you need that special tool. On an 2019 Honda Odyssey you can just hit the reset button and it will recognize which location the tires are now installed at.
 

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I still have my 2006 malibu. I am considering a newer one but after reading the high tech problems, I'm content to have the yellow tire light come and message that tells me check whichever tire is off. Then i go to the gas station, set the psi and check each tire. It stops automatically for each tire. Problem solved. Here in the Northeast, when the weather gets cold the light will come on.
 

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I like the TPM system on my Maibu. My wife drives a Honda, and all it tells me is that I have a low tire, it doesn't tell me which one. I've been caught with a low tire on the road, and all I have to do is take my little compressor out of the trunk, plug it in and the shot of air gets me to the tire shop. My question is, how long do those sensors work?? My Malibu is 9 years old.
 

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A couple years ago my 2011 started reading "---" from one of the sensors. Not long after I got new tires, and at the same time I had the TPMS sensors replaced with aftermarket ones.

The batteries had come to the end of their useful lives. RIP
 

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Thanks for the information, I guess I can expect to replace them soon. I like reading all the tire pressures from my dash, instead of going around the car with a gage.
 

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On our older Honda it just had a single light that said low tire pressure and didn't tell you which tire. That means you had to go out and take a tire gauge to each one to determine which was the culprit. Not a big deal but just another step you have to go through. In regards to life they seem to last quite awhile. I know of both an '08 and '09 Chevy truck with the original sensors in them with no issues. If a sensor went out right after having a shop install new tires I would be suspicious that they damaged it. While it's not hard to change tires without damaging the sensors, if you are not paying attention it doesn't take much to do so.

The TPMS has saved me from having to change a tire in the dark and in the rain. The warning light came on at 25 psi, which isn't that big of an issue, but I could sit there and watch the pressure dropping and therefore knew it was an actual puncture that had just happened. Since I was only a couple miles from the house I turned around quickly and got back to the driveway before it went completely flat and left me stranded on the road. Was able to jump in my other vehicle, go to work, and then deal with the tire later.
 

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My wife's Honda is a 2009, which has the light. That's good information about checking how much air your loosing. I never thought of that when my low tire pressure light came on. It was a first time incident for me, and I had just bought a car battery compressor. It sure came in handy. I had a nail in the sidewall and had to replace the tire. I saw an ad the other day, and they have a 20v compressor that runs on it's own battery. That would be so handy instead of plugging it in.
 

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I prefer the plug in, because if it's sitting around not being charged the battery will be dead in it. Plug in will not let you down on the road.
 

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From my experience you will get a "low tire pressure" ......

In regards to the OnStar diagnostics, your first statement is that is said the tire pressure was low and then you said it stated a flat tire? I've personally only ever seen it say low tire pressure, even when I had a true completely flat tire....just keep in mind that "low tire pressure" and "flat tire" aren't exactly the same thing. Did it actually say "flat tire"?
The Chevy App displays this when FLAT....Lol:cool:
 

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That's a nice feature. I'm still in the dark ages, I have a flip phone. One of these days I'm going to have to upgrade or get passed up by the technology.
 
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