British technology firm Fit2Go TPMS, a global licensee for Michelin, has launched two new products designed to make it simpler for drivers of cars, 4x4s, vans and motorcaravans – plus those towing caravans, horseboxes and light-duty trailers – to keep on top of tyre pressures.
Michelin TPMS and Michelin Tyre Pressure Checker are both designed to protect against poor tyre maintenance, which Department for Transport (DfT) statistics* reveal was the most common vehicle defect contributing to car accidents in Britain. In 2017, 384 accidents were linked to illegal, defective or under-inflated tyres – more than defective brakes (316) and defective steering or suspension (204).
Michelin TPMS is a next generation retrofit solution for consumer motorists and comes as standard with four TPMS sensors, with four additional sensors available to enable drivers to monitor up to eight tyres on a single journey – making it ideal for towing.
The wireless system brings new features including a stylish solar-powered LCD screen which automatically displays the exact tyre pressures in psi or bar. In the event the device detects a tyre in distress through loss of pressure, fast leakage or an increase in temperature – often the sign of an impending tyre blowout – the driver is alerted, and the affected tyre identified via the display unit.
Gary Broadfield, Group Managing Director of Fit2Go TPMS, says: “The features we’ve introduced make this our best consumer TPMS device yet. Plus, the real beauty is that it can be fitted by anyone in around three minutes and there’s no wiring to clutter up the dashboard and no batteries to change.”
The ‘plug and play’ technology provides early low-pressure warnings via a flashing light on the screen every 20 seconds if a tyre becomes under-inflated by 15 per cent. An audible alert is added when the pressure either drops by 25 per cent, or should the tyre be over-inflated by 35 per cent or more. For fast leakage (at least 2 psi per minute), lights flash in addition to a beeping alarm, alerting the driver to pull over.
The system also allows the driver to check all tyre pressures at the press of a button – without needing to get out of the vehicle. Plus, it includes a unique overnight mode, which informs the driver of a low pressure tyre before they depart on a journey.
Like previous generations of the Fit2Go system, it uses patented ‘search and assign’ technology which allows drivers to connect to a trailer or caravan with matching TPMS sensors without any reprogramming required. Sensors can also be fitted to vehicles with different tyre pressures on different axles.
At the same time the firm is launching Michelin Tyre Pressure Checker – a brand new and ultra-affordable option for motorists who may already have an original equipment TPMS system fitted by the vehicle manufacturer. The Michelin Tyre Pressure Checker allows the driver to obtain pressure readings within seconds, and without needing to connect a pressure gauge to the valve, which is unhygienic and removes air from the tyre.
The system works by fitting an NFC-enabled pressure sensor to replace the current valve caps on each tyre. To get a pressure reading, the driver simply holds a pressure checker (which fits on a keyring) against the sensor to determine the precise pressure, accurate to within 1.5 psi. There are no batteries in the sensors, and the pressure checker device can be recharged via the supplied USB cable. What’s more, as well as cars, 4x4s, vans and towed trailers, the system is compatible with bicycles, scooters, mopeds and motorbikes.
The new systems are suitable for use on tyres with pressures up to 86 psi and come with a 12-month warranty. They are available to purchase directly from www.fit2gotpms.com and major retailers including Amazon and Ebay.
Research by Michelin has shown that 60 per cent of UK motorists** regularly drive on under-inflated tyres, half of which are dangerously under-inflated by more than 8 psi. Tyre under-inflation is a global issue which increases fuel bills, CO2 emissions and stopping distances, makes a vehicle’s steering less precise and leads to a higher risk of aquaplaning. It also reduces a tyre’s endurance capabilities, increasing tread wear and making it more prone to damage and possible rapid deflation.
Under-inflation on towed vehicles such as caravans can be particularly dangerous, causing even the most experienced of caravanners to lose control, with potentially catastrophic consequences.
Fit2Go TPMS has also just launched its first TPMS system for motorcycles, mopeds and scooters. The Michelin TPMS – Bikeintroduces new levels of safety for riders for whom tyre condition is critical.
Tyre pressures: the facts
- A tyre which is 20 per cent under-inflated will typically return 20 per cent less mileage before needing to be replaced. That means a loss of 5,000 miles on a tyre which offers a potential mileage of 25,000 miles.
- Tyres under-inflated by 15 psi lead to around 6% greater fuel consumption.
- Driving on under-inflated tyres reduces longevity, leading to deterioration that can result in a rapid deflation. 7 psi or more is classed as dangerous under-inflation.
- With under-inflated tyres, steering is less precise. If a bend can be taken at 62 mph at a tyre pressure of 29 psi, this drops to 54 mph at 15 psi.
- If tyre pressures are 30 per cent below the recommended pressures, there is a sharp increase in the risk of aquaplaning.
- Typical braking distances from 56 mph to 43 mph are 40m at 29 psi, and 5m longer at 15 psi.