This device – advertised as a Car Solar Wireless TPMS Tyre Tyre Pressure Monitor has turned out to be wonderful. See the photo of the device sitting on my car dash (2 brackets and an adhesive pad supplied – I used the latter) which also comes complete with manual and 4 tire sensors with a claimed battery life of 5 years. Note the lack of wires.
Here is one of the sensors which replace normal tyre caps, attached to our Honda, where they will stay for the next few months here in the UK, before being transferred to our little Spanish car in the spring.
So, what is special about this unit? Well, it charges from USB OR from the sun, so no wires needed. Indeed while working on another article and forgetting that I didn’t have a photo of the unit, I left it mounted on my dash as you see, collecting energy from the “sun” – I say that laughingly as I don’t think the Northeast of England has seen any sun this month – certainly not since I opened this unit – and yet, there it is after sitting in the car all morning, fully charged. Weeks later I have yet to plug it into anything – yet it works.
So, the wireless sensors outside on the wheels take seconds to mount – and I’ve done NO setup. I believe from the manual I can do lots and I will when time permits – but here’s the thing – when I got back to the UK last week, I came back with a dodgy rear right wheel which lost a lot of pressure (from 33psi to 22psi or thereabouts) in a matter of days – twice while over in Spain. The thing is, I didn’t trust the air supply gauges in the rural villages over there, I suspect some of them were last calibrated just after WW2.
We knew we had a problem with at least one tyre but were not exactly sure of the scale. When we came back to the UK we went to a modern garage on the way up North, filled the tyre and measured all of them. Three were as they were supposed to be and then this TPMS monitor arrived from Banggood. It worked first time and I quickly tested the wheels (by then fitted with the sensors) and as a result, we took the car to Quick-Fit who confirmed that just the one tyre was shot – a screw apparently – and sadly also confirmed that the tyre was not fixable. Meanwhile, the other rear tyre got a fixable nail puncture,
The upshot of that was the purchase of two new front tyres with one of the original fronts replacing the damaged rear – all calibrated and set up by Quickfit so we know the readings we have now are accurate. In the future (we do a lot of travelling) I will be happily using this gauge to keep an eye on tyre pressures and temperatures (after a short time, transferring to a different car unless I buy a second unit) and no longer worry about the accuracy or otherwise of rural petrol station gauges. Good gadget. One less thing to worry about. And no wires – that keeps Maureen happy.
Do we have gripes? Just one – that pesky audio alarm – that’s coming off. Other than that, great.
Good gadget – and Andreas Spiess has found other uses for these. Be sure to check out what he’s doing.
Update – weeks later: Meanwhile the unit has been in my car now for weeks – running constantly without any external power – just it’s own solar panel – UNBELIEVABLE. Now, before anyone says anything – I KNOW the photo below is naff, I just took a quick shot after shopping last night to let you see as we were leaving the car… there it is – rubbish weather (rain), no power or connections since fitting, happily reporting tire pressure and OS temperature. I didn’t even press a button. I live in the Northeast of England in the winter and very FEW of my solar toys work for any time at night, yet here we are, pitch black and the unit continues to display tire pressure. Let that sink in for a minute…
Interestingly, on Nov 13, 2019, 70Mai sent me an ad on their forthcoming product, similar looking but with mobile APP.
Update Oct 2020
I plan sometime to take a look at a similar-looking 70Mai tire checker… as the product from Banggood ran 24-7 COMPLETELY on solar power (not much sun here in the UK) – for months without any problems – it would be interesting to see if the 70Mai device can manage that.
I have to state at this point that while the original device itself ran perfectly, I eventually had to abandon it in the summer of 2020 because a local UK garage in the process of removing one of my wheels, damaged the sensor – not their fault, it was stuck in place due to corrosion. I tackled Banggood about this and it seems they are sending me a brand new unit because spare tire sensors for that original PMS monitor are no longer available. I’m not sure whether to blame poor sensor design or Northeast-of-England particularly wet weather.
At the time of writing I’m waiting for the new unit (probably the 70Mai) to arrive. Meanwhile on a related subject I’ve just received the 70Mai tire inflator.