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Opinions Please - Tire Monitor


Jack Mayer

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I've been running PressurePro tire monitoring since they were available. I'm now in the position of having to spend more money and "fix" my PP system. It is annoying me.

 

My choice is to move to one of the "newer" systems - which frankly I can do for just a little more than once again spending money on PP. TST and TireMinder come to mind. I'm leaning towards TireMinder. Money is NOT a factor. RELIABILITY and ease of use are the key factors I'm considering.

  • I want a system that can handle the distances involved with my rig. It is 60' from the monitor to the rear tires. The system MUST be reliable with NO DROPOUTS.
  • Temperature is nice but not required.

I'm interested in comments from USERS of these two systems. Pros and cons. But especially if repeaters, etc are required and how much "mickey mouse" stuff is involved in the repeaters use.

 

Di, you particularly come to mind when I ask for comments :)

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Jack, I don't have the same distance you do, but I just measured a hair over 50' from my rear axle to the monitor on my dash. I do not have repeater. I have the TST 507 system an love it. I have towed a bit over 6,000 miles with it and never had a dropout. It monitors pressure and temp and even has a low battery warning so you know which wheel needs a new battery. Replacing the wheel sensor battery isn't a hard thing to do, but like a lot of things after you do a couple it gets easy and quick.

 

Two years ago I had a problem with the monitor now allowing a wheel sensor to be programmed into a particular position that I wanted. It just wouldn't do it, so I tried the outside position on the same axle and it worked. This allowed me to make my trip and still have a working system. TST sent me a new monitor at no charge and I was out of warranty.

 

Would I buy the same system again? Absolutely.

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Jack,

 

I have the TST 507 for about a year. Traded my old 510 in on the new one. I did buy a repeater which I mounted in the battery compartment of the fiver after the back right side sensor on the trailer would drop out. No trouble since that time. TSTs customer service is superb and like Ed, I would buy from them again. Only thing I don't like is in bright sunlight with my monitor mounted on the dash is difficult to see the read outs. BTW I mounted a cutoff switch in the switch compartment where my battery cutoff and hydraulic leg switches were so I could cut the power to the repeater when I am not in motion.

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I have had TST and now have TireTraker (same as Tire Minder). Features of the two systems are virtually identical. Both the monitor and the sensors for the TT are smaller than the TST. My toad rear is right at 60ft from the unit on the dash. With both systems I had to add the booster. My coach has the rear closet, which I suspect helps block the signal. I put the booster up high in the coach bedroom, tied into the wiring that goes to a 12v power outlet beside the bed. Once installed, I never have to mess w/the booster again (yes, it is always powered ...guess I could put a toggle switch in the line if I thought that was an issue).

 

I had lots of failed sensor problems with TST in the ten months I ran it. Customer service was excellent. I have run the TireTraker system for 4 1/2 years, and just recently had to replace a failed sensor. Customer service has been excellent. The sensors have been on the coach & toad the entire time. Batteries are easily replaced (annually or so), and are common watch batteries available pretty much anywhere.

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Jack: Like you I had been running the PressurePro system for ten years or so. I had no trouble with the PressurePro and it gave me good service. I did not have to exchange the sensors until five years or so which was very acceptable. However, I knew I was getting close to the time to replace the sensors again so this last fall I decided to try a new system as replacing the sensors would be half the cost of a new system. After reading all the reviews I elected to go with the TST 507 with the flow-thru sensors. I am very satisfied and it is so much handier and faster to check tires with a gauge periodically and not have to remove and reinstall the sensors and worry about a leak. I also like the readout on the monitor that not only cycles the pressures but also gives the tire temperature.

 

The flow-thru sensors also have the feature to where you can change the batteries. One word of caution on the flow thru sensors. They do stick out about one half inch or so further than the standard sensor but I do not anticipate that being a problem. If you get that close to a curb or other object you would probably have other problems anyway.

 

I always tow a second trailer behind my fiver and I would intermittingly loose the signal on the rear ATV trailer with the PressurePro system so I had added the repeater antenna which solved the problem. I talked to TST customer service about this and they recommended I not buy the TST repeater antenna until I tried their system however I went ahead and ordered it anyway. Like you money was not an issue I just wanted a good reliable system.

 

I have only had the system about three months but I think it is a winner. Good luck with whatever you choose.

 

On edit: I have my repeater antenna mounted above the rear window in my fiver. I installed a cigar lighter receptical powered from a 12 volt light under the cabinet. I installed a toggle switch for ease of turning off and on. It is a very small unit an not even noticable.

 

Don

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I have heard of a LOT of issues with sensors on the TST system. Maybe they are solved now, but it concerns me. I don't care about good customer service as much as I care about a product that works RELIABLY. Thank you for all your comments...keep them coming. I'm definitely replacing the PP. Just a matter of what....

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My experience with the Minder Research Tire Minder TMG40C

Six sensors and the monitor - no extender - Going on 4 years old now

Had several sensors fail or go intermittant, receved two under warranty continued intermittant issues

Alarms for no reasons - lately most of the time I have it turned off - too many false alarms

The sensors eat batteries - Yes they give free batteries for 7 years - I wonder why?

I would not purchase this item again

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I have (had) a TST system. The monitor in the cab took a dump. I can get another full system for about the price TST wants to repair the current monitor. What I have now (especially since I upgraded the tires) is one of those wireless infrared thermometers. I check all the tires heat every time we stop. Low air pressure is easy to spot, but temperature is a killer for tires. As long as the tires are in a reasonable temp range, I am happy.

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Have you looked at the eeztire system. I have a repeater at pin box. No configuration for repeater required. No problems at all. Works great.

 

I had not, but after looking, the Eeztire system looks almost identical to the TST system (complete to the way the display looks and the wrench for the tire sensors) with just another label on it.

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I have the TST 507 and love it. The repeater was installed just because I had drop out problems with the PP and did not feel the cost was an issue for something I could rely on. The car can be parked over 100 feet from the Motor Home now with out losing the signal. the only Issue I had was the system seems to be designed more for a tractor and trailer combination and not a motorhome and toad. I bought an extra monitor and installed it in my car and programmed the car sensors to the car monitor so I could monitor the car while I was driving and not have to remove the MH monitor and re-program for when I was not using the MH. I am glad I did as my RF tire on the car now has a slow leak no one can find and I have to air up about every 8-14 days. It is a handy reminder especially in the winter. The only problem is the screws on the anti-theft covers and Michigan winters. The salt has destroyed a few and I need to get them replaced. I will contact TST sometime this spring when the weather is warmer and the snow is gone. I hate that 4 letter word and look forward to retirement and turning into a snow bird.

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I'm surprised to hear you say that as temperature rise out of line with the other tires may be an indication of a hub/bearing problem.

The temps reported by these devices are not real accurate. And a pressure rise will indicate a heated tire. SO I consider the temps a "secondary function".

 

It seems that each of the devices has some issues. I'll have to do a research pass on the TST system for the newer sensors/systems. What I DON'T want is something that is dropping out frequently, or that I have to replace batteries on more often than yearly. My PP batteries last at least 5 years. But on PP I still get too many drop outs, no matter what I do....and I do have a repeater. There is not sense having a system where 25% of the sensors are not reporting half the time.

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Jack,

 

The "older" TST 510 system uses sensors with "non user replacement" type batteries similar to the PP system.

Mine lasted 5+ years and were just replaced this past summer. I stayed with the "older" system because the "newer"

style sensors of the 507 TST seem to have a "weaker" signal to the monitor with reduced battery longevity.

Most folks that have switched to the newer TST 507 have reported that they now use a repeater to avoid dropouts to the trailer sensors. I have a sensor on my trailer's spare tire with is located at the rear and is just about 60' feet from the monitor with all of the trailer stuff in the way. I can monitor all of my tire positions with no drop outs without a "repeater". I often can read my trailer sensors when I'm parked over 100 ft away at home. The "older" TST 510 came with an "external" extension antenna that replaces the standard "stubby" one and that seems to help with the longer rigs.

 

Scott

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Thanks, Scott. It seems if I end up with a TST I'd do the 507 and incorporate a range extender, just to be sure. That way I would not have to try to fish a long external antennna around my truck, like I did on my 610 with the PP system. This truck came with a monitor with an external antenna - but I have not found the antenna position yet. I'm starting to think it is simply embedded inside the dash someplace! I'm glad to see that most people are not having a lot of drop outs from either system - but it seems some do....maybe bum equipment?

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Jack,

 

You are correct that the temperature function is not accurate on the TST but it does act as a trend monitor. A steadily increasing temp on one sensor may indicate a problem. Also the pressures seem to be accurate when cold but not so much when the tires heat up. I discussed this on the HDT forum and most tire articles say the pressure should increase only 3% to at most 8% when hot. On a 100psi G114 that be 3 - 8 psi while my sensors would indicate up to 15-20% increase (15 - 20 psi). I spoke with both TST engineers and Goodyear engineers and both were unconcerned with this. Apparently tires must get to temps approaching 170 degrees before it becomes a concern according to the Goodyear folks. Moral to the story is I use both pressure and temp as trends while rolling and not absolutes. If I see a single tire changing once stabilized while driving then I investigate. Did you notice such a pressure increase on your system ?

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Have you investigated putting in the Volvo factory TPMS Jack? I don't know exactly what a Volvo uses but the most common truck one is the Bendix, which is the same SmarTire you've used before but with a 1939 plug that hooks to the truck and gets it on the dash. Your truck is new enough that it out to be flashable to get it in there once the hardware is installed.

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I have been using a TireMinder system just short of 2 years now and it saved our bacon once (I was able to air back up and limp to a shop for repairs). I have no amplifier/repeater installed but normally I have no problems receiving input to the monitor/receiver at about 55 feet. That said I recently had the monitor show sensor alarms for all tires. I moved the monitor to within inches of each tire to no avail. We had been parked for quite sometime due to medical so I assumed the batteries were low I changed out two (only had 2 batteries handy) and it made no difference. We rolled anyway and a few miles later all input were back. I have since seen this one other time and am convinced it had to do with low ambient temperature. I plan to order and install an amplifier to see if this makes difference. On the plus side very easy to program.

Later,

J

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. Did you notice such a pressure increase on your system ?

Yes, that is typical on all the systems. There is significant increase in pressure when the tire heats up. Way more than just a couple of pounds.

 

Scrap, I've considered the Volvo system, but it is a lot simpler to go to the aftermarket ones. And they seem more flexible.

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There is a reason that tire manufactures specify COLD inflation on tires. They recognize that as you are running down the road, heat is going to increase pressure, and the added factor is built into the tire.... within limits. A damaged belt, a bearing running hot, or other factors can run the heat out of specified limits. This is why I think knowing the temp of your tires is important but not the most important piece of data. From my reading, high temps are less likely to cause tire failure than low tire pressures. If anyone can provide info to the contrary I am certainly willing to learn.

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Jack, Have you upgraded your PP monitor? Last year (?)I traded out the monitor and all my sensors. I don't have the "repeater" just an external antenna that I mounted on the same mount as my hitch camera. I don't travel the distance you do, but I rarely have dropouts from mine. I dealt directly with the management at PP, not a local rep and they gave me a decent upgrade price.

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The PP offered to exchange my monitor out with their new one that reads temps at a discount price.

I didn't do it as high temps should be related to low pressure.

With the repeater added years ago I no longer have any drop outs. But with toad I may be only around 55' from last sensor.

 

I did replace my ten 9 year 7 month old sensors last March.

 

As your outfit is very long and you have drop outs. Have you asked PP if a additional repeater would fix that problem.

Or even work?

Changing to a different make, the problem could still be there and more $$$ spent.

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