The best tyre pressure monitors

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6 of the best tyre pressure monitors
European legislation dictates that all new cars must come with factory-fitted tyre pressure monitors. The technology not only promises to boost safety by helping drivers pre-empt punctures and even blowouts, but should also assist in improving fuel economy and tyre wear. Running tyres below their recommended pressures increases rolling resistance, which in turn increases fuel consumption — and also means they’re unlikely to last as long as they should.

You don’t have to buy a new car to benefit, though, and an aftermarket tyre pressure monitor can soon pay for itself in potential savings on fuel and replacement rubber. Stuart Morton from Auto Express picks out six of the best buys.
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TyrePal TB99
TyrePal TB99
Price: £135
Aftermarket tyre pressure monitors don’t get easier to use than this. The TyrePal TB99 has recently been updated with a smaller, neater, monitor that you place on your dashboard. This links to four sensors that simply replace your valve caps — you can even buy a fifth sensor for your spare wheel.

Each sensor has a built-in anti-theft design and runs on replaceable CR1632 batteries with an estimated two-year life. They send information to the in-car monitor, which displays readings for each corner and if you’ve fitted a sensor on your spare, this reading will flash up alternately.

But it’s not only psi or kPa readings you can see — press a button on the TyrePal TB99 monitor and the display will also show each tyre’s temperature. You can set it to provide visible and audible alerts for low and high pressures, and high temperatures. All for a bargain £135.
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Nikkai Tyre Pressure Monitor Wireless
Nikkai Tyre Pressure Monitor Wireless
Price: £74.99
Available from Maplin, the Nikkai system is a fine budget choice. Again, it’s a DIY set-up, so you replace your car’s valve caps with the screw-on sensors and these feed readings to the display that mounts on your dash or windscreen.

As with its rivals, the Nikkai system lets you apply presets for minimum and maximum pressures, so the system sounds or flashes a warning if the tyres dip below or above these readings. Again, it also monitors the tyres’ temperatures, plus there’s a fast leakage alert that sounds if the pressure drops by more than 1.5psi in 12 seconds.
The maker says the tamper-proof sensors should provide two years’ service on their replaceable CR1632 batteries, although you can see where money has been saved and the display looks a bit ugly. Still, if you’re more concerned about safety than aesthetics, this is a good buy.
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Tyresure
Tyresure
Price: £180 (inc. fitting at National Tyres)
Fitting isn’t as straightforward with the Tyresure set-up, but if you’re due for a new set of tyres, it’s well worth considering. Instead of simply replacing the valve caps, this sees the entire valves replaced — something you can only do when you’re working with a bare wheel.
Sensors built into the valves relay readings to a display unit inside the car and you get a smart-looking screen that can toggle between kPa, bar and psi pressure readings, and between Celsius and Fahrenheit for temperature.

The system should be more reliable than a screw-on valve cap set-up as it doesn’t hold the valve open, plus the valve sensors promise a seven-year battery life. Prices vary, although National Tyres will fit Tyresure for £180 when you buy a new set of tyres through one of its centres.
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Schrader AirAware
Schrader AirAware
Price: £175 (plus fitting)
The Schrader AirAware package follows a similar approach to Tyresure, as it comprises four full-replacement valves with built-in sensors, plus a display unit that picks up the readings. The screen is neither as large nor as stylish, and has Velcro rather than a suction mount. Plus, it runs on two AA batteries, which further holds the system back here — we’d prefer the convenience of 12V power.

But as the principle of the whole system is the same, this tyre pressure monitor should be just as effective and reliable as Tyresure. Plus, you know you can trust Schrader, as it supplies original equipment tyre pressure monitors for the likes of BMW, Mercedes and Ford.

Again, though, you’ll need a tyre fitter to install it for you — ideally when you’re having new rubber fitted — as the tyres have to be removed before this system can be set up. 
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Steelmate TP-70
Steelmate TP-70
Price: £87
Another DIY fit package like the TyrePal and Nikkai, so again, you replace your car’s valve caps with the Steelmate TP-70’s simple screw-on sensors — the maker clearly labels which one goes on which wheel. It also supplies a tool to lock the sensors in place, so you needn’t worry about them being stolen.

But instead of an easy-to-use screen, here you just get a small display on the end of the 12V plug and, depending on where your socket is, this may not fit in all cars. It scrolls through the readings for each tyre and can provide audible, as well as visual, warnings if the pressure goes below or above the recommended level. There’s also a range of alerts for everything from sensor failure and low batteries to fast and slow leaks, although you’ll need to get to know what each one means.
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AutoUnique Pressure Guard
AutoUnique Pressure Guard
Price: £12.50 for four
You can’t really call them tyre pressure monitors, but the Pressure Guards are an alternative for motorists on a budget. They’re valve caps that replace your car’s standard versions — although instead of containing sensors that relay pressure readings to an in-car display, visual alerts are flagged up within the caps themselves.

Simply inflate your tyre to the correct pressure, screw on the Pressure Guard and if the tyre loses 2psi, a red marker appears within the clear plastic housing at the top of the valve cap. AutoUnique says the set-up works on tyres with pressures between 20psi and 42psi.

The system isn’t especially sophisticated, and requires you to make regular visual checks on your tyres, but a pack of four Pressure Guards does costs just £12.50.
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