TireMinder TPMS allows drivers to keep constant tabs on inflation and temperature and sends warnings that help mitigate unsafe conditions
Checking tire pressure on a regular basis is critical to safe travels, but because of the inconvenience associated with using a tire gauge, many owners leave this important maintenance procedure to chance. Tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) take the guesswork out of tire inflation and make it possible to keep tabs on air pressure while on the road — where failures are likely to happen.
Minder Research’s TireMinder is an advanced TPMS designed to keep drivers informed while behind the wheel, providing air pressure and temperature values for each tire without the need for a tire gauge. Armed with this type of information, the driver is alerted to pressure losses and can pull over long before a tire goes completely flat. And while it’s pretty obvious when a tow vehicle tire blows out, the driver may not know that a trailer tire is losing air until it’s too late and collateral damage results in expensive repairs.
Audible and visual alerts are activated for multiple situations. The most common alert is for low pressure due to normal loss over time. Once the preset pressure drops to 15 percent below the set number, the system will issue an alert. The driver will see which tire is affected and the readout on the screen will show a reduction in pressure. It’s best to keep tires inflated for the load rather than let pressure go down 15 percent before adding air, so the system allows the driver to check exact pressure for each tire by simply pushing the right or left button when the monitor is in the Stand By mode.
If the tire loses three or more psi in less than two minutes, the system signals an alert that a pending blowout is possible and the driver can pull over immediately and check the pressure with a tire gauge (air pressure loss or damage may not be visibly apparent). A different alert is sent when a tire loses six or more psi in less than 10 minutes. The temperature alert will activate when a tire reaches 167 degrees F and will change to a more continuous notification when temperature exceeds 185 degrees F. It also sends an alert when tire pressure reaches 20 percent more than the baseline setting.
Installation is very easy, unless you don’t read the instructions. The programming is not intuitive and the process can get confusing if the steps are not followed precisely. As it was, we needed to reset the device and that required careful reading and re-reading before we got it right. The TMG400C-4 kit (for pressure to 145 psi) includes six transmitters, the monitor, power cable and mounting bracket. Two additional transmitters were needed to monitor the four truck tires and four trailer tires on the test combo. Once we inflated all the cold tires based on the pressures specified by the respective vehicle and trailer manufacturers, a lithium battery was installed in each transmitter.
Although the receiver is designed to capture signals from the transmitters at distances up to 60 feet, we elected to use the optional booster because of the length of the trailer and to hedge against possible electrical interference. The booster is wired to a 12-volt DC power source and was mounted on the kingpin box. The monitor/receiver was mounted on the windshield using the suction-cup bracket and connected to the 12-volt DC power outlet for charging. It takes six hours for a complete charge, but the monitor is designed to operate for 30 days before recharging is necessary.
Once the baseline pressures are programmed and the transmitters are screwed onto the valve stems — following the “learning” procedure — the system is ready for service. We found the pressures indicated on the monitor to be within 1-1.8 psi when compared to the readings on the digital tire gauge used before mounting the transmitters. One tire was deflated to 67 psi (from the 80 psi baseline) and the system sent the alert as designed.
Overall, the TireMinder monitor is very stylish, complementing any dashboard nicely. The information afforded is robust, giving the driver accurate control of tire inflation/temperature, before, after and during any trip. While the approximate $500 price tag for the kit with booster and two additional transmitters is well worth its value in safety and convenience, reading the book to learn all the capabilities of the system (with its humorous text) will enhance the operational experience immensely.
Minder Research Inc. | 772-463-6522