Do you know what this light in your car means?

Do you know what this light in your car means?
This is the low tire pressure light in most modern cars. A new study finds a lot of people don't know that. (Source: Taylor Clark)

MURPHYSBORO, IL (KFVS) - With another year of winter weather already started, it’s a good idea to keep up on your vehicle’s maintenance. However, a new study by Goodyear finds that a lot of people may not know the basics of caring for their car.

The study of 1,000 drivers by Goodyear found that 39 percent of people don’t know what the low tire pressure light is. When it came to millennials specifically, just about one of every two drivers surveyed had no idea.

Of all the lights that go on in your dash when there’s a problem, Bob Finster said he sees people not knowing about the tire pressure monitoring system the most. Even though he’s a professional mechanic, he admits the number of lights can be confusing.

“I mean I don’t even know what they are half the time, I gotta look them up,” he said, “there’s 308 different lights and I don’t know what everyone of them means.”

He also pointed out that cars have only had tire pressure monitoring systems for the past decade or so, which explains why they are a lesser known instrument in your dash.

Finster said nearly half the people he sees at his shop wanting to get a pressure problem fixed because the light’s on just need the battery in the sensor replaced. He said this usually happens after about 5 years.

For that reason, he recommended everyone keep a handheld tire pressure gauge in their car, so they can check manually.

Driver’s ed teacher at Murphysboro High School Daryl Murphy said this is the time of year to make sure you’re keeping an eye on your tire pressure, as temperatures can drop suddenly and affect your wheels.

“When you have that big of differences in your temperatures," he said, "your tire pressure is going to drop 4 to 5 pounds just through the night time.”

When your tire pressure is low, both these people say its not good. Low pressure can cause handling and braking issues, as well as wear down your tires more quickly and cost fuel efficiency.

When a light turns on on your dash, both Finster and Murphy recommend looking through your owners manual for an explanation, and leave major problems to a mechanic.

Copyright 2019 KFVS. All rights reserved.