Don wrote:Like most other enthusiasts, I don't think *I* need it, but a walk through a WalMart parking lot looking at tires will make you think it's probably an excellent idea for most people - There are a LOT of seriously underinflated tires running around on cars out there and most folks aren't aware that overheating a tire just once can destroy it's layup - When they finally see it's nearly flat, they fill it up with air and don't give it another thought . . . . until they have a blow-out doing 80 down the freeway a month or two later
We had some work done on our iMiEV at a body shop and when I picked up the car, the TPMS light was on - The thoughtful mechanic had checked the tire pressures and finding all 4 of them too high, he had reset all 4 tires to 30 psi. I might not have noticed it for some time had it not been for the light on the dash. I filled them up to 40 as soon as I got it home. On our Ford, the recommended pressures are 40 front and 42 rear - When the TPMS light comes on at 36 psi, all 4 tires still *look* to be equally inflated, so an average person who just looks at his tires thinking them to be OK will be really misled. You *should* check your tire pressures once a month, but as we know, not 1 in 10 drivers actually does so. How many households even own an air compressor? In the USA, it's pretty rare to find a service station which has an air machine these days, so most folks never think about it
TPMS systems may be a pain for some - I don't see why if it's functioning correctly - but mandating it on every car sold is a really good idea, IMO - No doubt it save lots of lives. I don't want the guy coming at me on a two lane road to blow a tire and take me out due to his ignorance
You may not have it in the UK yet, but it's coming, I guarantee you
Oh we have it alright - its fitted to every new car pretty much, it's just not mandated by law yet I don't think. Yeah, those are all good points I agree. It's a good idea on motorbikes actually, but those don't seem to ever have them.
I guess I look at things in a utilitarian manner - simple and high quality wins it for me, rather than over complex and less good quality.
My particular hate of TPMS is for two reasons:
1. The design I have seen is a wireless sensor on the inside rim valve side - so, what you have to take the tyre off to change the battery??? if so, thats a real pain.
2. On the BMW TPMS (which to be fair is all i've had experience with, but must be a fairly widespread system), a slightly deflated tyre gives an orange warning light on the dash, and a 'flat' gives a red (I think they permanently go orange when the battery goes low/ malfunction)... which means, in the UK anyway, that it would fail (or throw an advisory at least) on the UK equivalent of the yearly inspection test... in the same way an ABS warning light does... and that''s just a right pain if it falls at yearly test time, as you could be left with a car that is legally not fit for the road, when the exact same car without TPMS would be fine.... sensors...
Of course, if you can totally disable the entire system, then that at least gives owners the option.
Is it still the case in most states, that other than a smog test, it's the drivers liability to ensure the car is roadworthy - thus if you have an accident, you could be in a bundle of trouble if, for example a tyre is bald? If so, it's totally the opposite in the UK (and likely Europe) - here, the every vehicle has to have a yearly inspection covering the lot once the car is 3 years old, and it's illegal to drive unless it passes (or it's fixed within I think 7 days of a fail and retested to pass)... fairly safe system - but they look at a lot of stuff: tyres, brakes, emissions (for ICE), suspension, corrosion, lights, wipers, fuel lines, oil leaks, cracks in the windshield etc etc.
Any car with a crack more than 1/2 inch wide in the front windshield fails, and has to have a new one - one thing I notice every time I go to the states is the number of cars running with cracked windshields... all would be 'unfit for the road' in the UK, by definition of those laws.
Oh.. TPMS is now enshrined in to EU law...http://www.evo.co.uk/news/16102/new-tpm ... il-its-mot