Off The Wall
On The Record
Registered Sex Offenders for Edgefield
2005 Crime Stats
& Audio Updates
PO Box 972
State and Federal
Local Political Parties
Chamber of Commerce
New York Times
New York Post
Los Angeles Times
past articles please visit our Archives
Monitoring Tire Pressure
By James Wise
posted August 17, 2009
WISE TECH TIPS – While today’s tip is a
little different from my usual computer related tips, it comes from a
recent personal experience. It can also save you money and possibly
save you, your family, and property from harm. I’m referring to Tire
Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) which help you keep your tires at
the proper pressure to save gas, provide better handling, and hopefully
alert you to problems before they are emergencies.
I take a lot of trips with my camper. Before each trip, I check my
tires with a pressure gauge. Unless a tire is significantly low, it
isn’t generally possible to tell this just by looking at it. Using a
gauge to check the pressure before I drive (i.e. when the tire is cold)
is the only way to go.
Last year, my family and I went camping at the beach. On our way, one
of the tires on my camper suffered a blow out. We didn’t even know it.
The tire in question was a rear tire that we couldn’t see from the
truck. We didn’t notice any change in how the vehicle was riding.
Without this tire, it was probably only a matter of time before the
extra weight caused the other tire on that side to fail. This could
have caused an accident and/or serious damage to the camper. Luckily,
another driver pulled along beside us and alerted us to the problem.
Now, I have a tire pressure monitor and I feel safer knowing that it
will alert me if I have a failure. Better still, it might be able to
help me prevent a blow out. Many tire failures are caused by improper
inflation or by hitting something like a nail which causes a slow leak.
With a monitor, I should know about these problems before the tire
fails. Proper inflation should also result in better mileage (and
therefore lower fuel costs) and longer tire life.
Many vehicles now-a-days come equipped with Tire Pressure Monitoring
Systems. I’ve read some things that indicate this to be a government
requirement for 2008 and higher model year cars in the U.S. (warning
when one or more tires are more than 25% under pressure). My Chevy
Silverado for example allows me to see my tire pressure at all times
from my dash display:
If there is a
problem, the system immediately warns me. If you are
shopping for a new vehicle, the presence of a TPMS may be something you
want to consider.
Even if your vehicle doesn’t have a TPMS, there are options to add one
very easily. These systems can also help you if you have a camper,
boat, etc… In my case, even though my truck was covered, my camper
wasn’t. So, I added a system to cover the four tires of my camper.
There are a number of systems available. I chose one from
http://www.tsttruck.com/ which monitors tire pressure AND the
temperature of the air within the tires (temperature monitoring can
also help indicate whether or not there are problems). The system I
purchased was around $250 (for four tires). This is about the best
price I’ve found. While this isn’t “cheap”, I believe the peace of mind
and protection it can offer makes it worth the cost.
The backlit rechargeable monitor communicates wirelessly with the
sensors. I placed the monitor on my dash using Velcro pads. It rotates
through each tire showing pressure (66 PSI in the example below) and
temperature (e.g. 100 degrees Fahrenheit). You can setup alarms on the
unit as well to trigger based on low pressure, high pressure, etc…
The sensors simply screw into the valve stem (replacing the normal
cap). So, you can easily install the system yourself. However, you will
need metal value stems. If you don’t have these, any tire shop should
be able to install them for you pretty quickly. I paid $40 to change
the valves of my four camper tires. The sensors use batteries which the
company says should last for 5-7 years when used full time. The monitor
should alert you when the batteries are low at which point you could
purchase new sensors. With the company where I purchased my system, you
can also send sensors back for battery replacement for $25 each.
Values are transmitted every five minutes. However, the sensor is
continuously monitoring the tire (every six seconds) and if it detects
a problem (like rapid air loss), it transmits that information to the
monitor immediately to trigger an alarm.
Here are some links to other systems I’ve seen:
http://www.tpms.ca/ - A
nice feature of this system is that the sensors have “watch type”
batteries which the user can replace himself.
- This is a popular system with a lot of positive feedback.
- This is a system I found where the sensors have “feed through” (so
you can add/subtract air without removing the sensor)
If you have any questions, just send me an email (email@example.com).
If you are a fellow “RVer”, there are many great sources of information
out there. One of my favorite sites is http://www.rv.net/forum/.
© Copyright 2009
original material is property of
EdgefieldDaily.com and cannot be reproduced, rewritten or redistributed
without the expressed written permission of Edgefield Daily.com
We still need recipes for Cooking Section
WEBNEWS – Send in your favorite or
favorites. There is no limit to the number of recipes you can send in.
With the Editor’s wife being the driving force behind her own personal
section, help her create an exchange of local favorites, home cooking,
grilling, sauces, and deserts! Send in your submissions here.