Go Back   Team-BHP > Under the Hood > Modifications & Accessories


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 29th December 2015, 12:53   #1
Senior - BHPian
 
raj_5004's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Dubai/Mumbai
Posts: 5,078
Thanked: 2,031 Times
Default Review: Solar-powered Tyre Pressure Monitoring System. EDIT: Unreliable & waste of money

I drive a Lancer GT here in Dubai. Ownership report can be found here (Pre-Owned Mitsubishi Lancer 2.0 GT (Dubai)).

Now, this car comes with pretty low profile tyres and it is pretty hard to judge if any tyre is low on air pressure. I have lost one good tyre because of that - the tyre was on 18 Psi and I drove it a good 50 kms unknowingly. By the time I realized, the tyre has scraped the wheel and shredded itself on the inside seam. Had to spend pretty big bucks to get that one tyre replaced!

Later on, I bought a digital and an analog tyre pressure gauge and I keep monitoring the pressure once in a month. But I still had that thought lurking in my mind that what will happen if the air pressure falls because of a tiny leak or puncture and I do not realize it.

I wanted a TPMS which will continuously monitor the air pressure on all tyres and warn me if there is a leak or if the pressure gets low. So my search began online for a good TPMS and requirements were as follows -
  • System should show air pressure on all tyres via a legible display
  • The display should be solar powered, so that I do not have to continuously charge it and occupy the sole charging point in my car!
  • It should not be ridiculously expensive!
  • Should automatically switch on-off, else it defeats the purpose of having a TPMS!
My search led me to many products on Amazon and Aliexpress and I finalized on this one because it fulfilled all my requirements.

Now, there are two types of aftermarket TPMS units which you can buy -
  • One with internal sensors - Requires removal of the tyres and re-balancing
  • One with external sensors - This is just DIY and needs no re-balancing
Another reason why I chose the unit with external sensors is because it is easy to replace the battery just in case one of them conks off.

A review of a unit with internal sensors is available here (Honda Civic: OEM-like TPMS with internal sensors).

Coming to the product I bought, the brand name is SPY (!!) which is of course of Chinese origin.

The likes and dislikes are as listed below -

+ Surprisingly well built for a Chinese unit
+ Display runs on solar power. They have provided a charging cable just in case you mostly drive at night!
+ Display is clear and legible in sunlight.
+ Display is coloured and not bland (black and white).
+ Sensors are feather light and hence cause no additional vibrations at high speeds. I have driven the car at 140 kmph with these sensors installed and did not observe anything different.
+ Display can be adjusted to show pressure in PSI or BAR.
+ Display shows tyre temperature as well, alternates between pressure (50 secs) and temperature (8 secs).
+ Warns by an audible beep if it detects a leak or low air pressure. The minimum and maximum air pressure for warnings can be adjusted. Also warns if the tyre temperature is too high.
+ Has a theft proof mechanism to ensure the external sensors simply cannot be unscrewed and stolen.
+ Display switches OFF automatically 30 seconds after the car is switched off and switches ON automatically as soon as you sit in the car (pressure change in tyres detected).

- Since it has the above mentioned anti-theft mechanism, filling air in the tyres needs an additional step. You need to unlock the sensors in each tyre using the provided tool. On the upside, since you already know the pressure in each tyre, you only need to do this when the pressure gets low.
- Long term reliability is unknown.
- I am not sure whether the sensors are waterproof. I am assuming it should be! In a dry country like UAE, I have no worries but in India, buyers should check this first.

Coming to pictures of the product, I have taken pictures from the internet so that it is more clear -

* This is how the packaging looks like:

Review: Solar-powered Tyre Pressure Monitoring System. EDIT: Unreliable & waste of money-2222.jpg

* The contents of the box:

Name:  55555.jpg
Views: 9309
Size:  50.8 KB

Name:  44444.jpg
Views: 9216
Size:  219.0 KB

* The display unit:

Name:  111.jpg
Views: 9238
Size:  39.6 KB

* The display as it looks on the dashboard:

Name:  33333.jpg
Views: 9302
Size:  423.4 KB

Apart from the contents shown in the above pictures, they have also provided a 3M tape for securing the display on the dash and some TPMS warning stickers.

I am not a DIY person and I could install these sensors with ease, it is child's play. The system does not need any configuring for first time use. Just use the sensors in the position as marked. Just in case if you need to use different sensors in different position, the manual (which is in English!) clearly states the procedure to do so. You can also adjust the brightness of the display with 3 preset options.

Overall, I am happy with this purchase as of now. It cost me INR 5,850/- and I think it is worth the piece of mind and convenience it offers. I only hope it works as intended for atleast 2 years!

I will update on the accuracy of the readings of the sensors, very soon...

Last edited by GTO : 30th December 2015 at 11:51. Reason: Typo. Thanks for sharing, buddy!
raj_5004 is offline   (27) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 29th December 2015, 19:00   #2
BHPian
 
slicvic's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: KA 19
Posts: 752
Thanked: 360 Times
Default re: Review: Solar-powered Tyre Pressure Monitoring System. EDIT: Unreliable & waste of money

Quote:
Originally Posted by raj_5004 View Post

My search led me to many products on Amazon and Aliexpress and I finalized on this one because it fulfilled all my requirements.
Could you please post pictures of the Sensors on the wheel. Wondering how the antitheft mechanism works.

Great buy at that price. Hope it is waterproof.
slicvic is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 29th December 2015, 19:47   #3
Senior - BHPian
 
raj_5004's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Dubai/Mumbai
Posts: 5,078
Thanked: 2,031 Times
Default re: Review: Solar-powered Tyre Pressure Monitoring System. EDIT: Unreliable & waste of money

Quote:
Originally Posted by slicvic View Post
Could you please post pictures of the Sensors on the wheel. Wondering how the antitheft mechanism works.

Great buy at that price. Hope it is waterproof.
There you go -

Review: Solar-powered Tyre Pressure Monitoring System. EDIT: Unreliable & waste of money-20151228_173122.jpg

Review: Solar-powered Tyre Pressure Monitoring System. EDIT: Unreliable & waste of money-20151228_173141.jpg

I'm not sure how the anti-theft mechanism works. It's just a small hexagonal nut which I have to unscrew using the provided tool.

Once that is tightened, the sensor does not come off.
raj_5004 is offline   (4) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 29th December 2015, 19:50   #4
BHPian
 
Crazy_Bean's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Gurgaon
Posts: 351
Thanked: 196 Times
Default re: Review: Solar-powered Tyre Pressure Monitoring System. EDIT: Unreliable & waste of money

Can you please also post the Dashboard solar instrument, close up and from a distance.
Does it add to the aesthetics of the car? Thanks much!
Crazy_Bean is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th December 2015, 23:25   #5
Senior - BHPian
 
raj_5004's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Dubai/Mumbai
Posts: 5,078
Thanked: 2,031 Times
Default re: Review: Solar-powered Tyre Pressure Monitoring System. EDIT: Unreliable & waste of money

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy_Bean View Post
Can you please also post the Dashboard solar instrument, close up and from a distance.
Does it add to the aesthetics of the car? Thanks much!
As can be seen in the above pics, the solar panel is integrated into the display itself. There is no separate solar panel!
raj_5004 is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 30th December 2015, 16:19   #6
hnp
Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 16
Thanked: 5 Times
Default re: Review: Solar-powered Tyre Pressure Monitoring System. EDIT: Unreliable & waste of money

Thanks for the review. I thought this kind of setup would cost a bomb! Getting a tyre inflator might be good add-on to completely not rely on fuel bunks for air. Also when there is a small leak/puncture detected one can act on time and inflate the tyre until you find a mechanic shop.
hnp is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 30th December 2015, 18:50   #7
BHPian
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Bengaluru
Posts: 161
Thanked: 109 Times
Default re: Review: Solar-powered Tyre Pressure Monitoring System. EDIT: Unreliable & waste of money

Thanks for the post.
Can anyone just use a wrench to remove the sensors from the tyre? IF yes, could be a problem in India.
Bh.P is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th December 2015, 19:43   #8
Newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 15
Thanked: 9 Times
Default re: Review: Solar-powered Tyre Pressure Monitoring System. EDIT: Unreliable & waste of money

Looks impressive. Sensors apparently are wireless so installation is not a big fuss. Does the unit need calibration at times ?
vashisth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th December 2015, 20:27   #9
BHPian
 
Crazy_Bean's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Gurgaon
Posts: 351
Thanked: 196 Times
Default re: Review: Solar-powered Tyre Pressure Monitoring System. EDIT: Unreliable & waste of money

Quote:
Originally Posted by raj_5004 View Post
As can be seen in the above pics, the solar panel is integrated into the display itself. There is no separate solar panel!
Thanks. I understand that. I wanted to see the actual unit not the marketing photos which make the unit look like a million bucks. Can you please share some photos of the actual unit on the dash.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bh.P View Post
Thanks for the post.
Can anyone just use a wrench to remove the sensors from the tyre? IF yes, could be a problem in India.
I use a similar steelmate unit on my car. Although I am very careful on where I park my car, I have never been a victim of sensor theft. I have them for 1.5 years now.

The sensors are very hard to remove and you need a key to remove them, but I have observed that sometimes too too much pressure can dislodge them. Fingers crossed.
Crazy_Bean is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th December 2015, 20:51   #10
BHPian
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Pune
Posts: 521
Thanked: 450 Times
Default re: Review: Solar-powered Tyre Pressure Monitoring System. EDIT: Unreliable & waste of money

Quote:
Originally Posted by raj_5004 View Post
My search led me to many products on Amazon and Aliexpress and I finalized on this one because it fulfilled all my requirements.

Another reason why I chose the unit with external sensors is because it is easy to replace the battery just in case one of them conks off.
Hi raj_5004,
Thanks for sharing the details.

What are the overall dimensions of the display unit? I am thinking of buying this but not pasting on the dash. I do not like to paste anything on the dash. I am thinking to keep this in the pockets available below the ICE of my SX4.
Rahul Bhalgat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th December 2015, 21:00   #11
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 9,370
Thanked: 13,343 Times
Default re: Review: Solar-powered Tyre Pressure Monitoring System. EDIT: Unreliable & waste of money

Quote:
Originally Posted by raj_5004 View Post
I'm not sure how the anti-theft mechanism works. It's just a small hexagonal nut which I have to unscrew using the provided tool.

Once that is tightened, the sensor does not come off.
If I use a wrench to hold the hexagonal nut and turn the sensor, it will come off the valve stem. I too have the external type sensor on my Swift:

Review: Solar-powered Tyre Pressure Monitoring System. EDIT: Unreliable & waste of money-2a.-sensor-air-valve.jpg

As the sensor sits on the valve stem, I still advise you to get the wheel balancing done.
a4anurag is online now   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 30th December 2015, 23:19   #12
Senior - BHPian
 
Tanveer_2558's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 1,538
Thanked: 1,997 Times
Default re: Review: Solar-powered Tyre Pressure Monitoring System. EDIT: Unreliable & waste of money

Thanks for sharing, Looks really nice and i wanted something like this too, But this seems to be the best one! Some more pictures from your car perhaps?
Tanveer_2558 is online now   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 31st December 2015, 00:25   #13
Newbie
 
jd10ent's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Pune
Posts: 13
Thanked: 14 Times
Default re: Review: Solar-powered Tyre Pressure Monitoring System. EDIT: Unreliable & waste of money

Seems to be a really great value for money product. I too have been looking for a reasonably priced TPMS and I'm glad this review came in. Considering the product is being sold all over I'm guessing the sensors would be waterproof. Also, theft should not be a major issue, as without the actual display unit the sensor is of no use/value to anyone. Hence, it should not attract the attention of petty burglars, I think.
jd10ent is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 31st December 2015, 10:37   #14
Senior - BHPian
 
raj_5004's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Dubai/Mumbai
Posts: 5,078
Thanked: 2,031 Times
Default re: Review: Solar-powered Tyre Pressure Monitoring System. EDIT: Unreliable & waste of money

Quote:
Originally Posted by hnp View Post
Thanks for the review. I thought this kind of setup would cost a bomb! Getting a tyre inflator might be good add-on to completely not rely on fuel bunks for air. Also when there is a small leak/puncture detected one can act on time and inflate the tyre until you find a mechanic shop.
If any of the tyres deflate, I will simply swap it with the spare tyre. By the way, such units are available with the option of 5 sensors too - one additional for the spare tyre.

Also, here in UAE, roadside assistance is pretty reliable and quick and also, every petrol bunk has a great tyre shop. So, if one tyre has a puncture - simply swap it or drive it to the nearest bunk.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bh.P View Post
Thanks for the post.
Can anyone just use a wrench to remove the sensors from the tyre? IF yes, could be a problem in India.
I do not think so. However, I have not tried that.

I do not think theft is such a big issue as the sensors alone are pointless without the display unit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vashisth View Post
Looks impressive. Sensors apparently are wireless so installation is not a big fuss. Does the unit need calibration at times ?
No, the system needs calibration only if you are not using the sensors in their marked positions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy_Bean View Post
Thanks. I understand that. I wanted to see the actual unit not the marketing photos which make the unit look like a million bucks. Can you please share some photos of the actual unit on the dash.
Sure, I will click a picture today and share it over here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rahul Bhalgat View Post
Hi raj_5004,
Thanks for sharing the details.

What are the overall dimensions of the display unit? I am thinking of buying this but not pasting on the dash. I do not like to paste anything on the dash. I am thinking to keep this in the pockets available below the ICE of my SX4.
It is smaller than a Galaxy Note 3 in length and width!

If you are not planning to keep the unit on the dash, then it is better to buy a unit without the solar panel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tanveer_2558 View Post
Thanks for sharing, Looks really nice and i wanted something like this too, But this seems to be the best one! Some more pictures from your car perhaps?
Thanks.

Yes, I will click some pics today and share it over here.

Last edited by raj_5004 : 31st December 2015 at 10:46.
raj_5004 is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 2nd January 2016, 14:52   #15
Senior - BHPian
 
raj_5004's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Dubai/Mumbai
Posts: 5,078
Thanked: 2,031 Times
Default re: Review: Solar-powered Tyre Pressure Monitoring System. EDIT: Unreliable & waste of money

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy_Bean View Post
Can you please share some photos of the actual unit on the dash.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tanveer_2558 View Post
Some more pictures from your car perhaps?
Here are the pictures from my car-
Attached Thumbnails
Review: Solar-powered Tyre Pressure Monitoring System. EDIT: Unreliable & waste of money-fotor_145172234085131.jpg  

Review: Solar-powered Tyre Pressure Monitoring System. EDIT: Unreliable & waste of money-fotor_145172244759265.jpg  

Review: Solar-powered Tyre Pressure Monitoring System. EDIT: Unreliable & waste of money-fotor_145172253706599.jpg  

Review: Solar-powered Tyre Pressure Monitoring System. EDIT: Unreliable & waste of money-fotor_145172258663782.jpg  

Review: Solar-powered Tyre Pressure Monitoring System. EDIT: Unreliable & waste of money-fotor_145172267149345.jpg  

raj_5004 is offline   (8) Thanks Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
DIY Install: 'TyreSafe' Tyre Pressure Monitoring System a4anurag Tyre & Alloy wheel Section 73 17th November 2017 12:37
TPMS - Tyre pressure monitoring system by Tyreprobe pranil Tyre & Alloy wheel Section 23 28th May 2017 09:31
Voyage Passage Planning APEM(appraisal,Monitoring,execution and monitoring) booboo Route / Travel Queries 0 23rd October 2010 13:38


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 01:37.

Copyright 2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks