TPMS Part 2

The installation of the TPMS involves, charging the unit (if required), coding the monitors to the location, mounting the monitors and then testing the configuration.  Total time, including reading the manuals was less than an hour.

My monitor came with a full charge.  Otherwise the manual says to plug it in for 15 minutes or so.  Speaking of which, read the manual.  You need to understand what you will be doing before you do it.  Some steps are time sensitive and the unit will reset if you don’t complete them in time.  Don’t worry, once you understand what has to be done, you have plenty of time to do it.

Kit 1

Kit 2

When you get your TPMS it has two sections of parts.  The top layer has the sensors and the monitoring unit.  The lower section has the instructions, mounting brackets, power cords, tools, screws, caps and mounting hardware for the monitor.

Setup is pretty simple.  You lay the sensor (one at a time) next to the monitor, press a button and it maps the sensor to the tire location.  Repeat for all of the tires.  All total this takes maybe 5 minutes.  This is an important step.  Placing a sensor on the wrong tire will give you a false reading.

After the sensors are configured, the system wants you to set up the alarm points.  High and low pressure are first based on each tire location.  This was the hardest section to do for me.  I had no idea what to set the high pressure at.  Low pressure was easy, I set it at 10 lbs below normal pressure.  I ended up looking at the tire side wall and finding the maximum pressure rating for the tire and added 10 lbs.  I left the temperature setting at 158 degrees F which was suggested in the manual.  You also select C or F.

Next you have to mount the sensors on each tire based on where they were recorded.  This takes some time as you also have to secure the sensor once mounted.  Security is an allen set screw.  In my case several of them were not able to be tightened and I had to remove them and put the set screw on the other side.  Each sensor has two locations for the set screw.  Of course Murphy dictated that over half of the set screws where on the wrong side.  You may also want to have a bottle of soap and water to make sure there are no air leaks.  My first tire had to use an extender (which I happen to have had laying around).  Of course the extender was bad and I had to use another one.  Another sensor wasn’t on tight and was leaking a little air.  Without the soap and water that tire would have gone flat.

Tire 1 Installation... problem tire

Tire 1 with the extender.

Tire 2 Installation

Tire 2 no extender needed.

With all of the sensors mounted, turn on the unit and wait, and wait and wait.  It takes about 15 minutes for the monitor to read all of the sensors.  As it finds a sensor it will display the pressure and temperature.  I knew from my pre-trip inspections that it was time to fill a couple of tires.  So I wasn’t surprised to see the tire pressure readings when the system had initialized.  The readings where close to what I got with a tire pressure gauge.   The sensors even showed a difference in temperature from the sun and shade effects.

Alarmed Low Pressure on Trailer

Shows an alarm for low pressure on trailer (different pressure settings)

Monitoring

Shows alarm condition for RV tire.  This was an inside rear tire reading in the shade.

Overall, I am happy with this setup.  It will save me some time on my inspections as well as peace of mind while traveling.  The alarms are hard to see and I will have my wife watch them along with the GPS and other co-pilot tasks.

The one complaint I have is that it takes 15 minutes or so after the unit powers up to find and register all of the tire sensors.  So this will become part of our pre-trip inspection which is done the day before we leave.  I normally check tire pressure prior to pulling out, but with this taking so long, it will be done the day before.

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