What do you get when you marry your mobile phone with a tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS)? You get the latest in tyre care technology – a Bluetooth TPMS. This device can display live tyre pressures and temperatures right to your phone. Also, it gives an alarm if there is an issue with your tyres – allowing you to be safe and have your tyres at the correct pressure, improving tyre life, fuel economy and driving safety.
Smartphones are our desktops/laptops in a smaller package. What your traditional personal computers do, mobile devices do the same but are compact and portable. And they revolutionised how we do things every day – whether we’re shopping for clothes, checking the news, or talking to our friends – everything goes through our phones.
Today, the smartphone has become so ubiquitous that even car functions operate with just a swipe on our touchscreens. Are you starting your car, using your head unit, or monitoring your tyre pressure? All these you can do with your hand-held device now. This same concept applies to the Bluetooth TPMS.
What is a tyre pressure monitoring system, and why do you need it?
A TPMS measures the atmospheric pressure inside the vehicle’s tyre. It is an essential and relatively underappreciated car safety device. By reminding drivers of their under (or over) inflated tyres, a TPMS can help prevent unwanted vehicle mishaps. And did we also mention that it helps increase tyre durability, reduce fuel consumption, and improve the driving experience on any road you traverse?
History of tyre pressure monitoring devices
But before we go further, where did tyre pressure monitoring start?
Several years ago, we had manual tyre pressure gauges. Here you measure tyre pressure by placing the device on a tyre valve and reading where the arrow points on the face of the device.
It moved on to digital gauges that made reading tyre pressure levels easier. However, the problem here is that it is impossible to get a standard measure of your tyre pressure, especially when you are on the road. And not all people regularly check their tyre pressure or know the proper way and timing of doing it.
The widespread use of tyre pressure monitoring systems started after enacting the United States’ TREAD Act in 2000. The law mandates car manufacturers in the USA to install a suitable TPMS on all light vehicles (less than 10,000 lbs or 4,500 kg) made after September 2007. European and Asian manufacturers followed suit a few years after. Now, you can expect newer cars, SUVs, and even some trucks to be fitted with this system.
One of the earliest designs of a tyre pressure monitoring system only warns of an improperly inflated tyre through a blinking light on the driver’s console.
Later on, it evolved into aftermarket independent devices mounted on the car’s dashboard where real-time tyre pressure data (and even tyre temperature) is available for drivers to see.
What is a Bluetooth TPMS? How does it work?
In the past few years, vehicle and mobile phone technology developments paved the way for a TPMS integrated into your smartphones via Bluetooth technology and a dedicated app. This makes it more convenient to monitor tyre pressures and gives car owners access to a more advanced tyre pressure monitoring system for their vehicles.
Bluetooth facilitates short-range wireless communication between tyre pressure sensors and your mobile device. It functions like other direct TPMS, but it uses a more standard and robust signal than radio frequency.
Thus, it is less prone to signal interference and may enable monitoring of multiple vehicles simultaneously. More advanced tyre pressure monitoring systems can also update and optimise via the Bluetooth platform in real-time.
But how can you identify a TPMS with Bluetooth with excellent quality?
What are the features of a quality Bluetooth TPMS?
A common feature among the best Bluetooth tyre pressure monitoring systems in the market today is its easy-to-install feature. In under 10 minutes, you should be able to finish screwing in the sensors to the tyre valves and connecting to your smartphone. And as long as you follow the in-app instructions, your vehicle’s current tyre pressure and tyre temperature will appear immediately.
A Bluetooth TPMS should also work on a wide range of tyre pressure levels (7psi to 90 psi, if possible) to cover alarming drops and rising tyre pressure. This also makes it suitable for a broader range of vehicle models.
Convenience is another factor to consider. The system has to be compatible with both Apple and Android operating systems. A Bluetooth TPMS also has to have an easy-to-use app that displays accurate tyre-related data.
This is vital given that drivers need to monitor their tyre conditions regularly, especially when on the road. And since most TPMS have external sensors, look for one with an anti-theft mechanism (such as locking nuts and special wrenches).
Finally, durability is an essential aspect of a TPMS. Never underestimate the wear and tear vehicles go through because of the varying road conditions and Australia’s brutal weather. A Bluetooth TPMS should be rugged and waterproof, with long-lasting and easily replaceable batteries. A product warranty, if offered, will not hurt too.
How does a Bluetooth TPMS compare to others?
|FEATURE||BLUETOOTH TPMS||OTHER DIRECT TPMS|
|Signal used in data transmission||Bluetooth 4.0 technology (~2.402-2.480 GHz)||Radio signals (~315 MHz)|
|Display||Mobile Phone/Smartphone via mobile app|
(some products need an in-car transmitter/receiver)
|Number of vehicles that can be monitored||Up to 20 vehicles (for fleet options on some models)||One vehicle|
|Prone to Signal Interference?||No||Yes|
|Sensor maintenance and updating||Yes||No|
|Sensors||Internal or External||Internal or External|
|Are upgrading and updating available?||Yes||No|
If you’re now convinced of installing a Bluetooth TPMS to your vehicle, it’s now time to purchase one.
Where can you buy a TPMS with Bluetooth?
You could go to your local car accessories store to get a Bluetooth TPMS for your vehicle if you can find one. But the best systems are often not available at local stores, so you need to shop online. OBD2 Australia offers quality and innovative tyre care tools and accessories, including Bluetooth TPMS.
Aussies designed and developed these products with the Australians and the unique Australian road conditions. Therefore, you can ensure that any item you procure is durably-made, technologically advanced, practically priced. And did we mention the live customer support they offer for any questions you have on their products?
Our Final Word
Remember, not all vehicles are mandated to be fitted with their tyre pressure monitoring system. Models built before 2007 (for US imports) and 2014 (for EU imports) do not have an OEM TPMS. It is the same case for Asian and local manufacturers who are just starting to make cars, SUVs, and trucks equipped with a TPMS.
So making such an important device accessible benefits many car owners who don’t have their own TPMS. And with smartphones taking up such a universal role in our everyday lives, integrating TPMS functionalities onto a mobile app has been one of the critical technological developments (in terms of tyre care, car safety, and fuel efficiency) in the past few years.
We suggest you install a Bluetooth TPMS immediately to experience the difference yourself if you don’t have one!