Check Engine Light Came On After Tire Change

The illumination of that little monster on the dashboard is one of the most frightening, frustrating, and unnerving situations car owners don’t want to face. The appearance of the engine warning light is a sign that something isn’t functioning as it should, but there’s no idea what that could be. It could be a minor or major issue.

The most unnerving situation is when the check engine light came on after a tire change. This may seem like a coincidence or an odd connection, but it happens.

In this article, I’ll explain why the check engine light appears on the dashboard after changing car tires and how you can rectify the problem. You’ll see if the warning light will disappear on itself. But first, let’s focus on the main context of this article.

check engine light after wheel alignment

Why is my warning light on after changing tires?

While some motorists may argue there’s no connection between changing car tires and the appearance of the check engine light, I have seen it happen severally. It is common. The check engine light can appear on the dashboard because of coincidental issues, low tire pressure, worn or damaged tires, or the tire pressure sensors need to be adjusted.

Coincidental issues

The check engine light can illuminate on the dashboard after installing new tires as a coincidence, just like where you see the check engine light after wheel alignment. It could be a vehicle component malfunctioned, or there’s an unrelated issue that happened at the time you changed the tires.

The appearance of the check engine light can be a mystery as the most common issue, as a loose or missing fuel cap can trigger it.

The sensor needs to readjust.

Sometimes, there could be no wrong. The tire pressure sensor may have yet to adjust to the new tire size and weight. If this happens, the light will disappear after a couple of days.

Sensor issues

New tires do not come with their own tire pressure monitoring sensors. So, you’ll either remove the TPMS sensor from the old tires or get new sensors for the tires. If the mechanic does not fix the sensors correctly, it can cause the illumination of the check engine light.

If the engine warning light appears on the dashboard shortly after installing new tires, drive back to the mechanic and have him check the tire pressure monitoring sensors.

Low tire pressures

Most newer model vehicles feature a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). Tires need to be inflated after changing them, and if the pressure is below the specified PSI, the tire pressure monitoring system will trigger the TPMS and check the engine light on the dashboard. So, if the TPMS light accompanies the engine warning light, you likely have low tire pressure. If you were asking, can low tire pressure cause the check engine light to come on? You now know the answer.

But can low tire pressure cause the traction control light to come on? Generally speaking, underinflated tires can cause several issues, like triggering the traction control lights to appear on the dashboard. Also, if you have a traction control light on with a spare tire, it could mean the spare tire is not properly inflated. But if the light appears on a donut, you don’t have to worry because these types of tires usually trigger the traction control light.

can new tires cause check engine light

Can New Tires Cause Check Engine Light?

There’s a misconception among many car owners that the check engine light only appears on the dashboard when there’s an error with the engine. But the light can pop up for several other reasons. But can new tires cause the car computer to trigger the engine warning light? Yes, but it can happen only in certain situations.

If you do not inflate the new tires to the recommended PSI, it’ll cause the check engine light to appear on the dash. Underinflated tires can cause problems like accelerated wear and tear, tire cupping, bad gas mileage, and premature damage to the suspension system components.

Plus, if the mechanic did not install the tire pressure monitoring sensor correctly, it’ll cause the check engine light to appear on the dashboard.

Can tire rotation Causes Check Engine light

Primarily, tire rotation could not cause the check engine light to pop up. Tire rotation means changing car tire positions to allow even wear across the wheels and to extend the tire lifespan. It has nothing to do with emissions, TPMS, or engine-related issues.

However, if the check engine light appears after tire rotation, it could be a coincidence, or the mechanic accidentally hit the tire pressure monitoring sensor. Though, it is uncommon for any of these to happen.

Can low tire pressure affect the engine?

Low tire pressure causes resistance on the wheels. The resistance makes the car engine work harder to generate the same power needed to move, increasing fuel intake. Also, the internal engine parts will suffer friction since the engine works harder to produce the same power.

Will a tire light reset itself?

A tire warning light will reset itself once the tire pressure reaches the appropriate level. If the light doesn’t disappear immediately, it will after you drive about 10 minutes at 50mph on the highway. Driving the vehicle will let the pressure detect that the tire is at the right level. However, if the light doesn’t disappear, you will need to manually reset the tire pressure monitoring light.

What to check after changing the Tires

There are several post-tire installation effects that could lead to catastrophes. Thankfully, you can avoid these or, at least, minimize the chances of happening by checking some system components after installing the tires.

Tire pressure

Underinflated or overinflated tires can affect the vehicle’s fuel economy, tire wear, and road grip, and can cause the car to pull to one side while driving. You have to check your vehicle tire pressure and refill it to the recommended gauge after changing tires if you don’t want any of these to happen.

Also, if the check engine and traction control light is on with spare tire, all you need to do is replace the spare tire with the right tire size. The issue of the traction control light on with spare tire is prominent on donut tires.

Lug nuts

Safety should always be your primary concern. Imagine a vehicle tire pulls off in the middle of nowhere when cruising around 150 mph. You guessed it right. It will be catastrophic. No one wants to experience this, but we must accept that it happens anyway.

One of the reasons that happen is loose lug nuts. So to prevent this from happening to you, always retighten your lug nuts anytime a mechanic does a wheel-related job.

Wheel alignments

I recommend you align the wheels after installing new tires. Most people recommend checking the wheel alignment after uneven wear or impart is detected on the tire. But alignment will help you get the most out of the new wheels.

TPMS system

Changing new tires requires getting new TPMS sensors or swapping the old ones. Hence, you need to ensure the TPMS system works as it should after changing the tires. If the tire pressure monitoring system is working as it should, the tire pressure light will not appear on the dashboard.

Monitor the tire pressure.

Put an eye on the tire pressure for the next couple of days. This will help you determine if there’s a slow leak or irregularities on the tire.

How do you fix the check engine light that came on after the tire change?

The best way to fix the check engine light after a tire change is to find out why the light appeared in the first place. Since different parameters like coincidental issues, low tire pressures, and sensor issues are the prominent causes of the illumination of the engine warning light after a tire change, you need to look at them to address the issue.

Firstly, check the tire pressures to ensure they are at the specified PSI. Refill them to the recommended level if they are overinflated or underinflated. Kindly, note that some manufacturers have different PSI for front and rear tires. So, you have to stick to the recommendations as directed by the manufacturers.

If tire pressure is not the culprit, then you have to diagnose the vehicle and address any logged error code. It could be a coincidence that one of the system components developed an issue after changing the tires. Sometimes, nothing is wrong; you only need to let the sensor readjust itself to the size and weight of the new tires. This process usually takes a day to a week.

If none of these are able to fix the problem, then you have to drive back to the mechanic and have him check the tire pressure sensor in the tires. It could be the sensors need to be adjusted. One of the probable solutions should be to fix the problem.

Final Words

Don’t panic if your check engine light came on after tire change. While this may be quite alarming, it could be nothing is wrong with the vehicle. The warning light could appear because the sensors are trying to readjust the weight and size of the new tires.

The warning light will stay lit on the dashboard until the sensor fully readjusts. The process usually takes a day to a week before the light disappears. Although, other issues like low tire pressure, coincidental problems, and improperly fitted tire pressure sensors can be the causes.



While growing up, I knew I had a thing for car repairs though my parents never wanted me to learn mechanics. I always visit a mechanic garage in my small neighborhood after school. As I grew older, at age 16, I got addicted to anything automotive. My parents had to enroll me in that mechanic garage since giving up was never an option for me. As a dedicated mechanic who got into the industry from an early age, I'm graced with an addiction to diagnosing and rectifying automotive problems with ease.

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