Tire Pressure Monitoring System Review
Sensors on Wheels
by Chuck Arehart
To help prevent accidents caused by vehicles with under-inflated tires, the Federal Government has mandated that all passenger cars and light trucks, starting with the 2008 model year, contain tire pressure sensors. Many manufacturers, though, had already begun implementing these sensors into their new vehicles. Under-inflated tires are dangerous, and will even decrease a car’s fuel economy. As if your concern for safety and your wallet were not enough, deflated tires are also inconvenient to change. If you car does not have sensors to monitor tire pressure, and you’d like the peace of mind, there are aftermarket units available.
The Tire Pressure Monitoring System from Autosport Automotive Outfitters works the same way as the factory-installed systems. Inflation sensors, which come with anti-theft hardware, screw onto the valve stems on the car’s tires in place of the stem caps. The sensors send a signal to a small monitor, about the size of a PDA-type cell phone, in the car. This monitor can be installed on the windshield with a suction-cup mount. If tire pressure drops below 27 psi, the monitor sounds an alarm. The monitor will shut off automatically when not in use and restart when you start up your vehicle. Though not explained in the instructions, the sensors only update tire pressure when the car is moving. The sensors held up to several automatic car washes, and they did not affect wheel balance. In addition to being hardy and reliable, the sensors also prove themselves accurate—they displayed tire pressures within a half-pound of a handheld gauge.