Tyre pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) has become mandatory in new cars, and car owners now have an option to retrofit their older vehicle with automatic air pressure monitoring, as Schrader, the global market leader in this field, explains.
For this purpose, the company offers a convenient retrofit kit for less than €200. It contains radio sensors in OEM quality for all four wheels as well as a battery-operated display with wireless control. As an important quality aspect difference to some competitors, the sensors are not mounted externally on the valves but inside the wheels, providing drivers with the same reliability, quality and comfort as factory-fitted systems.
The set is suitable for nearly new cars as well as for older used cars, modern classic cars and even classic cars. This means that even owners of vintage and exotic cars can make use of this technology. Top speeds up to 250 km/h are easily possible in combination with metal valves, allowing even powerful cars to be retrofitted almost without exception. The kit therefore represents an active contribution to the safety of all drivers, as in general only few drivers regularly check their own car tyres, despite the high relevance to safety.
According to different studies, on average 50 per cent of passenger cars have at least one tyre with a dangerously low pressure. This in turn is the cause for up to 85 per cent of all burst tyres. The result: expensive breakdowns or even accidents. Tyre pressure monitoring systems can ban this danger reliably as they signal to the driver early on when it is time to go to the nearest petrol station and top up the pressure. Even intact tyres can lose 0.2 bar pressure within as little as three months, leading to a 1 per cent increase in fuel consumption due to the higher rolling resistance. For 0.4 bar the increase is at least 2 per cent and 4 per cent for 0.6 bar. At the same time, this value decreases the product service life by up to 50 per cent because the tyre is subject to more twisting and therefore higher operating temperatures.
The retrofit kit from Schrader not only warns the driver when the pressure is too low, it also shows the corresponding value in bar for each individual tyre on the LCD display. Tyre temperature is another critical value and is therefore recorded as well. This makes the Schrader product clearly superior to systems with indirect measurement which only provide a simple warning signal in case of strong loss of pressure in a tyre. The kit is therefore an interesting upgrade solution in these cases as well. Precision, quality and handling of the product have even convinced the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KITT) who uses it for a rather unusual purpose – for recording the quality of road surfaces in the framework of an EU-sponsored project.