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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Just wondered if anyone out there has looked into or heard of TPMS or Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems? I'm not talking about the those dinky little valve stem caps with different colors that you have to walk around the car and look at.

If you're not familar with the technology here is a good overview:
http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/vrtc/ca/tpms.htm

If you don't care to wade through all the data, here is a brief summary:

- 2 Systems currently exist, one is WSB or wheel speed based and the other is PSB or pressure sensor based.

- WSB systems are less expensive and are currently used by some OEMs (Mini Cooper and previous generation Toyota Sienna are some examples). They use the existing ABS wheel sensors and operate based on the theory that a deflated tire will have a different circumference or diameter. The different rotation speed of an underinflated tire is picked up by the ABS wheel sensor. What this means is that it takes a while (too long) for the system to recognize that a tire is losing air pressure. Most systems don't respond until about 50% or more of the air is lost.

- PSB systems use individual wheel sensors and are also used by some OEMs but tend to be on more expensive models (Corvette has them) due to their higher cost.

- PSB systems are usually strapped around the wheel hub and located inside the tire. The sensors are sealed, RF transmitters that send signals to a receiver/display inside the vehicle. Most often they use lithium ion or similar batteries and have a life span of ~5-7 years.

- The downside to the PSB systems are usually cost, the need for retraining the system each time a wheel is rotated to a new location, replaced or tire pressure is readjusted, they also need special valve stems and have non standardized alert systems. Some do not have temperature alert systems and cause false alerts.

- Overall, the PSB systems appear to be superior especially if they have a temperature warning system as well as pressure indicator.

I just received a unit from a supplier I met at SEMA this year. This particular product has a backlite LCD display with car body icon showing each wheel, a digital readout for both temperature and air pressure, LCD will activate for 20 sec at first occurance, adjustable alert settings for both temp and pressure. A low/high pressure alert, initial low pressure alert, high temp alert, a 10 second audible alert for 1st occurance, tire icon that increases blinking speed, etc.

Anyway sounds good, as soon as I have a chance to evaluate it, I can post results/observations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Just in case anyone thought I wasn't serious about doing this...

Here are some pix from the install, phase I is complete, tomorrow I go to have the wheel sensors installed.

How's this for irony, with only 4k miles on the car, I picked up a "screw" in the tire. I tried to back it out, but after about 1-1/2" came out, I started to hear air hissing and put it right back in.

Took it down to good old Discount Tire and found that the screw located itself between the sidewall and tread. They can't repair the flat in that location, end result, new tire at a courtesy price of $153 (ouch), retail is over $250 :(

Oh well, what you gonna do?

This first pix shows a piece of velcro that I attached to the headliner to the right and in front of the mirror. TPMS instructions call for the display to be mounted directly to the windshield. I thought this work better having it next to my V1 and block the sun coming in over the mirror.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
This next pix, shows the "A" pillar and release button.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
To route the cable I tucked it under the edge of the headliner along the top of the windshield. Here is how you need to remove the "A" pillar cover to run the cable down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
With a small flat blade screwdriver, you gently pry up the release button. Don't pull it all the way out, just pop it loose.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Once that's done, you need to remove the section of weather strip along the length of the pillar to allow it's removal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Once you get it started it's easy to seperate it, just keep pulling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
After you've removed the weather seal, you need to pull off the cover. Gently pry it away near the top.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
And pull it away slowly, there is one plastic button in the middle of the cover and it snaps out of the hole as you pull away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You can see the center button here better, it's black.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
You complete the removal by pulling the cover up and away from the windshield.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Here is how the cover looks from the underside, these are a lot heftier than they used to be but not any more difficult to remove.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Here is where you want to run the cable down along the existing one. A few wire ties to keep things tidy and you're about half done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
This is the new cable I'm running for the TPMS, the other photo has the cable I ran previously for my V1.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I used a long, soft piece of shrink tubing to snake the cable down below the dash.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Once I got below the dash, I used a volt meter to locate a hot lead and switched lead set of wires. The TPMS needs +12v always on and one that comes on with the ignition.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I used these crimp on connectors to make life a little easier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Since I changed the mounting position from the windshield to the headliner, I had to modify the receiver/display by adding a strip of velcro along the top.

Here's a little tip I learned a long time ago. When you add self adhesive velcro to anything inside a car in Arizona, you can't rely on the glue to hold when interior temps exceed +140 F.

Add a few drops of instant glue on adhesive part first, then stick it on. Don't plan on removing it, as anything it sticks to will become damaged if you try. I guarantee it ain't coming off!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Here is where the cables come out near the mirror. I mounted my V1 to the left of the mirror and the TPMS to the right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
After plugging the cable in and switching on the ignition, the wiring is complete.
 

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