- Rating: ★★★★☆
- RRP: £149.99
- Buy at: Amazon.co.uk (currently £127.88)
AN INCREASING number of modern cars feature a digital tyre pressure monitoring system as part of the factory-designed safety package but tyre pressures in older or lesser-equipped machines are often overlooked by the average motorist. Earlier this year, 25% of vehicles tested by WheelRight, a tyre pressure monitoring company, at Keele Services on the southbound M6 were found to have underinflated tyres.
There’s good reason to keep rubber properly inflated. Apart from the obvious safety issues surrounding a flat, underinflated tyres will also have an adverse effect on fuel consumption and vehicle performance.
Help is at hand, as the Fobo Tire tyre pressure monitoring kit is a great way of retrofitting advanced safety technology without spending thousands of pounds.
The pack contains four sensor valve caps (available in silver or black), which easily screw onto existing tyre valves and send (via Bluetooth) pressure information to an in-car monitoring unit. This sleek and discreet box can also forward data on to a bespoke smartphone app, so the user is always up to date with the latest information.
Installation is simple: users are first prompted to download the app (available for both Android and iOS) and then pair the in-car monitoring unit with the smartphone. The app will then ask for some details about factory recommended tyre pressures and prompt the user to install the individual valves.
Once the system is up and running, it will constantly monitor the tyre pressure and alert the user when it dips below the recommended levels. The small in-car unit also boasts a visual and audio warning system, offering further peace of mind when on the move.
There are a few minor niggles. The first is that the valve sensors are a bit of an eyesore (especially on cars with swanky alloy wheels). Also, they use CR2032 ‘coin’ batteries that will need replacing after a couple of years. Finally, the anti-theft locking nuts provided to stop light fingered individuals making off with your sensors are a little fiddly to apply.
These issues aside, the system takes only a few minutes to install and works extremely well. The app interface is particularly easy to use.
However, £150 might seem a bit steep for anyone but a gadget-lover: a good old-fashioned tyre pressure gauge and a bit of vigilance are equally effective.