Nearly all modern vehicles come standard with a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), but maybe you own an older vehicle that doesn’t have one. It’s important to know when your tires are overinflated or underinflated, as it can affect the performance of your vehicle including its fuel economy. Fortunately, the automotive aftermarket now offers convenient and affordable TPMS kits that are easy to install, allowing you to add a monitoring system to your older vehicle.
These kits typically consist of four sensors that are installed onto the valve stem of your wheel, along with a display that shows the tire pressure reading for each individual tire. This is actually better than some factory systems, since it’s more than just a warning light, which tends to leave you guessing which tire is actually low on air. Best of all, these kits are fairly straightforward to install and simple to use, which means you can get accurate tire pressure readings within minutes.
To learn more about tire pressure monitoring systems, refer to our table of contents.
Table of contents
1. Editor's Pick: Yokaro Wireless TPMS
Yokaro offers two different TPMS kits, one that uses your cigarette lighter for power, while the other is solar powered. Both are similarly priced compared to the competition and allow you to easily add a tire pressure monitoring system to your vehicle. Like other aftermarket TPMS kits, Yokaro’s products provide an actual reading rather than just a warning light in your gauge cluster. The company claims its systems are accurate to within 1.5 psi and can monitor maximum pressure of 87 psi.
Users can configure and customize the tire pressure alarm value, and the system will only warn the user when it goes noticeably over or below that set range. As for the sensors, they feature an anti-theft design and are waterproof and dustproof. They stop sending a signal and goes into a sleep mode when the tire stops rotating, saving power. They’re easy to install, lightweight, and are reliable. Yokaro says the signal transmit distance is about 26 feet (8 meters). The sensors use a CR1632 battery for power, and each battery should last about two years.
If you have an open cigarette lighter receptacle on your vehicle, that product features a digital LCD screen and the plug comes with a USB charger and even has a built-in escape hammer in its head. The solar powered system features a large solar panel, quick charge, and also includes a built-in USB charger. It boasts an LED display that shows the pressure and temperature of all four tires at the same time.
Yokaro offers a 12-month warranty and replacement sensor service with each purchase.
2. Carchet TPMS
This system is a bit more expensive than others on the list, but these sensors are able to monitor pressure up to 116 psi, while covering 26 feet. This kit is designed for normal vehicles and can’t be used on RVs, trailers, trucks, or motorhomes. Carchet does however offer a separate product for longer-bodied vehicles.
Each system comes with four sensors that also use CR1632 batteries. Each sensor is coded and feature an anti-theft design. Like Yokaro’s sensors, these are controlled by an individual chip and will automatically shutdown to save battery life when the tire stops running for 10 minutes. Each sensor “wakes up” and sends data once the vehicle reaches a speed of 12 mph (20 km/h).
The included monitor supports audio and visual alarms, and the default value is set to 29 to 44 psi, but it can be customized.
The LCD screen on this kit measures 0.67 inch by 0.67 inch and can display in BAR or psi. Temperature display however, is locked to Celsius, so Americans will have to do some math if they want to monitor the temperature of their tires. It’s worth mentioning although the sensors are able to monitor pressure up to 116 psi, the monitor only displays up to 99 psi.
Each kit comes with one receiver, four sensors, two wrenches, one hexagon nut wrench, four hexagon nuts, four waterproof rubber rings, and one instruction manual.
3. Vesafe TPMS
Available in two different styles is Vesafe’s TPMS kit, both of which use a cigarette lighter receptacle for power. This product is oddly similar to others on this list, and likely come from the same manufacturer but is branded differently. Vesafe however, does offer an 18-month warranty, which is a bit longer than the 12-month warranty Yokaro offers on its systems.
The “Color Display” option is the product that looks very similar to Yokaro’s package. The display offers the same USB port and emergency hammer, something to take into consideration when shopping across all the different options available. The “Gray Display” product however, features a more basic display unit and is slightly cheaper.
Overall, Vesafe’s TPMS kits have the same features as other products on our list, with lightweight sensors that use CR1632 batteries. Each sensor is capable of monitoring from 0 to 87 psi and have a pressure accuracy within 1.5 psi. Each unit comes with a configurable alarm that is preset to 29 to 44 psi and temperature display is locked to Celsius. The sensors have an anti-theft design and are waterproof. Again, this kit is not suitable for motorhomes, caravans, or trailers.
Each kit comes with one Vesafe tire pressure monitor, four Vesafe tire pressure sensors, one opener tool, one hex wrench, four hex nuts, four rubber o-rings, and a user manual.
4. Cacagoo Wireless TPMS
Boasting a larger display than other products is Cacagoo’s wireless TPMS kit. Along with real time pressure monitoring and high temperature warnings, this system also monitors your vehicle’s battery voltage and offers visual and audible warnings. The wide-angle LCD screen measures 3.15 inches by 1.5 inches, allowing you to quickly glance and see all the relative data easily. The display can also be mounted on your windshield using a holder, rather than being restricted to your cigarette lighter receptacle.
Although these sensors use the same CR1632 batteries as other kits, Cacagoo claims the battery life will last around five years rather than the two years its competitors advertise, when using a 120 mAh battery. The sensors monitor up to 116 psi and each sensor is IP67 rated, which means its sealed against dust, water, and snow. Pressure accuracy is within 1.5 psi. The default alarm is set to 29 to 44 psi, but it can be configured by the user.
Unlike other systems, this one will display tire temperature in both Fahrenheit and Celsius, along with tire pressure in psi or BAR.
This kit is suitable for conventional vehicles such as sedans and passenger cars, as well as SUVs, minibuses, commercial cars, station wagons, and off-road vehicles. It should not be used on motorhomes, caravans, RVs, or trailers. The company offers a 24-month warranty with this system.
Each system comes with four external sensors, four tire valves, one holder, one cigarette lighter, one spanner, one charger and power line, and one instruction manual.
5. ENKLOV Wireless TPMS
Another system with a larger display is offered by ENKLOV. Like Cacagoo’s system, this one has an easy-to-read LCD display that can either plug into your cigarette lighter receptacle, or mounted thanks to the included holder and car charger cable. The display offers real time tire pressures and temperature, offering visual and audible alerts if pressure goes under or over a certain range.
These sensors monitor up to 116 psi and promise to deliver accuracy within 1.5 psi. Like other kits, this one is recommended for use with most passenger vehicles and not on RVs, trailers, or trucks. Battery life on the sensors is advertised to last around three years, based on four hours of driving per day. The batteries are replaceable, while the sensors are waterproof and feature an anti-theft design.
Each kit includes one tire pressure and temperature monitor, four external sensors, one hexagon nut wrench, four hexagon nuts, one cigarette lighter connector, one open end wrench, one holder, one car charger, and one instruction manual.
What is a Tire Pressure Monitoring System?
Simply put, a tire pressure monitoring system provides real time readings of your tire pressure. Kits offered by the aftermarket are generally affordable and easy to install and are the best way to add TPMS to an older vehicle. Some factory systems will only give you a warning light when one of your tires are low on air, which isn’t as accurate as displaying actual values for each tire – although some modern vehicles do feature a system that gives individual readings.
The aftermarket kits normally use sensors that are installed onto the valve stem of your wheel, along with a display that you have inside your vehicle. Some of these displays use your cigarette lighter receptacle for power, while others can run a cable and be mounted to your dash or windshield. These systems allow you to set a tire pressure range and they will warn you if your tires go below or above that range. In addition, some kits also monitor other information such as tire temperature and even your car’s battery voltage.
Why do I Need a Tire Pressure Monitoring System?
Knowing the pressure in each of your tires is important not just for safety, but for fuel economy. Overinflated and underinflated tires can affect your car’s performances, especially the fuel it consumes. In addition, TPMS can warn you ahead of time if you have a slow or fast leak, prompting you to check for possible punctures in your tires.
So why is knowing your tire pressure so important? Underinflated tires have increased surface contact, which means premature tire wear. Underinflation also has a direct effect on a car’s fuel economy, which means you’re wasting money when driving on underinflated tires. Overinflated tires cause rigidity and stiffness, resulting in a harsher ride in your vehicle. This also means contact with the road is increased around the center area of the tire, resulting in additional wear in the center.
Since TPMS kits are rather affordable and easy to install, it’s a minor investment towards long-term savings. Replacing your tires isn’t cheap and can take some time out of your day, so it’s best to keep them properly inflated so they last as long as possible.
Our Final Verdict
Truth be told, many of these aftermarket TPMS kits are very similar in features and specifications. It’s very likely many of them come from the same manufacturer overseas, which means they’re just marketed and branded differently in the U.S. That makes it difficult to recommend an overall best product for this category, especially since it also comes down to whether you want a compact or large display inside your vehicle.
What we do suggest however is to choose a product that offers a warranty and check user reviews to see how well that specific company’s customer service is. Overall, many of these products should perform similarly and pricing doesn’t range significantly from one product to another. So pick one that will cause less headaches if you do run into issues with it.
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