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Soon all new cars will come with tire pressure monitoring systems, and a lot of vehicles have ’em already. Maintaining another computer and mechanical system will bring another set of challenges to professional and backyard mechanics — four sets of wireless, battery-powered sensors all spinning at highway speeds sounds like problems in the making.  GearWrench’s Tire Pressure Monitoring Kit will help you with these maintenance tasks.

The kit includes a torque wrench that’ll apply from 12 to 120 inch-pounds, accurate within two percent.  An LED and a buzzer let you know when you’ve reached the setting.  The kit also comes with the 11mm and 12mm sockets needed for tire pressure management systems, as well as a “valve stem torque tool” that sure looks like the handful of valve stem removers in my toolbox.

The GearWrench Tire Pressure Monitoring Kit sell for about $150.

Tire Pressure Monitoring Kit [GearWrench]
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Via Amazon [What’s This?]

 

13 Responses to GearWrench Tire Pressure Monitor Kit

  1. fred says:

    Not sure why you need this special purpose tool if you already have a decent inch-lb torque wrench and a set of metric deep sockets – but it puts everything together for about $127

    http://www.tooltopia.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=38295&utm_source=googlebase&utm_medium=cse&utm_term=85075&utm_campaign=googlebase_18

  2. rg says:

    Hmm. $150 to maintain another idiotic government-mandated accessory which I never wanted installed in my vehicle in the first place, vs. the $10 “tire pressure monitor” I’ve been using since I had a ’73 AMC Hornet? What to do, what to do?

    How about simply disconnecting the idiot light in the instrument cluster when the TPMS “fails”, and continuing to do what I’ve always done, thus saving myself hundreds of dollars?

    Just sayin’ …

  3. Zathrus says:

    @rg:

    If you have run-flat tires (which many newer cars do), then you MUST have a TPMS, or else you won’t know when a tire has lost pressure until it’s too late. And by too late, I mean in the middle of freaking nowhere calling a tow truck for a $500 towing fee plus new tires, since you didn’t know you had a flat until it completely shredded itself. Oh, and there’s no spare because the TPMS is supposed to let you know that you had a flat and should be getting the tire replaced rather than continuing to drive.

    Just sayin’ …

  4. Joe says:

    One problem I have with the TPMS systems is many of them only warn you when the tire has lost 25% of its air pressure (TREAD Act). You can lose mileage and overall tire life with much less loss than that. It’s nice to have when you have run-flats but I still think people should check their pressures manually even with this system in place. The systems are getting better every year but the battery never dies in the cheap-o tire pressure gauge I got at the local auto store.

  5. Old Donn says:

    Not to worry, all this will be academic after Big Brother gets through trashing the auto industry. High speed? Not in “green” cars, IF you can afford one.

  6. rg says:

    Zathrus,
    Sorry. I guess my harsh judgement of TPMS was a little premature. I mistakenly thought that TPMS was a solution to a problem which didn’t exist. Lo’ and behold, they invented a problem: run flat tires which don’t actually, y’know, run flat, and no spare.

    Now I’ll have to upgrade the “old-fashioned” regular tires on my truck and get rid of the spare (and the plug kit and compressor I carry), as well as take out the full-size spare it came with.

    And just to be consistent with the logic, I’ll unbolt my seat belts. Apparently, they sold me air bags in my truck, too. Technology marches on! (So does clever marketing coupled with short-sighted government legislation.)

  7. Zathrus says:

    rg,

    Which do you think is safer? A blowout at highway speeds, or a small indicator that says “your tire has lost pressure, you need to replace it in the next 100 miles”?

    Run flat tires obviously aren’t for every vehicle, but they’re increasingly common because of the safety and convienence factors. The big downside is cost, primarily for the tires themselves.

  8. Jax says:

    I have only ever driven a bmw with runflats and when the front left went flat well you certainly could tell that it was flat, even the most self absorbed blond x5 driver would notice something was up, however I cant speak for other makes of runflat.

    Does anyone else feel like “car safety” just means making the spec list longer so mothers buying the next family shopper can go “DARLING WE MUST GET THIS CAR IT HAS X NUMBER OF SAFETY FEATURES OVER THE OTHER CHOICE OF CAR”

    I cant help but think the cars of 2009 are going to leave the home mechanic of 2030 with an expensive tool bill even before parts come into it.

  9. Joe says:

    Joe (other Joe, not talking to myself), TPMS is NOT for maintaining your tire pressure setting, you still need to regularly check it with a gauge to keep them at optimum pressure.

    Also, blowouts are not very common on non run flat tires anymore; and failures that prevent further driving are possible on run flats, they are designed to “work” after normal punctures and small cuts only.

    What’s really driving this whole “technology” is cost. Manufacturers don’t need to include a spare, nor do they have to allow for its packaging in the design of the vehicle. Then they lobby the legislature for a now necessary “safety” feature which can be added to the cost of the vehicle as a sellable “value” vs. a spare tire which is pretty hard to sell to someone. Also, don’t forget, none of this would be possible without cell phones, people just wouldn’t accept the premise.

    And no one here has mentioned performance. Run flat tires ride terribly and corner poorly. I’ve only owned one vehicle with them, but I replaced them with conventional tires (and had to give up trunk space for a spare) as soon as they were worn out. Also, the TPMS regularly gave false readings, which did not directly affect me, since I checked my tire pressure weekly and as Jax mentioned, the one time I did suffer a deflation, it was obvious without any electronics necessary.

  10. Joe says:

    Joe (I’m the first one, talking to the second one, hehe), I understand what you’re saying and I agree with you.. I should have stated my meaning more clearly. I meant that a lot of people, like my mother for instance, think that TPMS IS a replacement for manual checks when it clearly isn’t. It may be some day in the future, but not now.

  11. KP says:

    When my wife’s Mini Cooper had a “run flat flat”, the dealer & tire store said we had to buy all 4 to prevent “uneven handling and wear” – total cost would have been close to a grand. Since it had a spare, we went with non-run flat replacements, which are far superior in terms of handling and ride. We did keep the run-flat spare, though.

    As a side note – the guys at the tire place spent 2+ hours removing the run-flats – the side walls are so thick they’re a serious PITA to remove.

  12. tscheez says:

    I’ve been running non-run flats on my 02 MINI Cooper S for years. I just carry around a toolkit, tire plugs and a 12v compressor. No spare at all. I figure if I have a blowout, runflats wouldn’t help anyway.

  13. Brian Halverson says:

    Hey!

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