I still can’t find comment boxes under articles and reviews, so this is my comment on above review.
As always, even for these comparatively cheap products, the reviews don’t cover many if not most TPMSs available in Australia. In particular, the biggest question that Choice could very usefully address is “Are ebay TPMSs any good, and what shortcomings do they have if any?”. This is the sort of consumer advice we need, help actually buying products in the real world market.
Choice’s highest rated product (Fobo Tyre) had several possibly serious shortcomings, not addressed or discussed. Is this high rating deserved…?
a) it does not have a fast air leak detector,
b) its wheel-mounted sensors seem to be larger and therefore probably heavier than other brands (going by battery size). External TPMSs have particular problems with ‘flapping’ against wheel rims when mounted on longer valve stems and this would be worse the heavier the sensor. This issue is often discussed by users but not mentioned by Choice.
c) it only covers a limited range of tyre pressures (23-49psi) which is less than any other reviewed product and rules it out for 4WDs at least.
c) some products including this one use a phone as its display, but nowhere are we told to what extent it operates or displays if you don’t have your phone on and mounted where you can see it. Potentially a big disadvantage but not mentioned, though I assume it also has a dedicated display of some kind. PS Actually I have no idea if it has a dedicated display - the buying guide says not, but the review says it has a “very clear display” which doesn’t make much sense if that is discussing your phone. It’s not even obvious what “very clear display” means - does it mean well laid out with good information, or bright and high contrast and visible in sunlight or what?
More generally there is no info on what information is displayed by each product, not even whether the display is always on, and not even whether four wheels can be displayed at a time, or how difficult it is to view a particular tyre pressure.
There’s no discussion on the usefulness or otherwise of temperature displays on these units with external sensors - is it any use at all?
No test of sensor battery life, one of my most significant pre-purchase data points.
No mention of source of power for the display unit - battery powered displays may put off some people and hard-wired might put off others. Some people have USB 5V easily available and others might have a cigarette lighter socket spare – these differences are significant and essential information for purchase selection.
The fast leak detector might be considered essential by many would-be purchasers, and a discussion of how these devices work generally, how well fast leak detection works, what is the delay for reporting pressure on products that do NOT have fast leak detection, and what that means for how you use it would all be necessary for a well-advised purchase decision.
There’s no attempt to check accuracy of displayed pressure of these products. Given TPMSs are notorious for inaccurate readings, this is one test that is easy enough to carry out and very useful information. Driving around with correctly filled tyres and a gauge that reports 3psi difference might be more than an inconvenient distraction, though I’m not sure anyone offers better than ± 1.5psi accuracy. Some facts would help here and that’s what we rely on Choice to provide. PS in fact nothing seems to have been actually tested at all.
Also a discussion of tyre pressures vs temperatures would also help many buyers, particularly those who notice that the reading is considerably lower next morning than it was when they got home the previous day.
No discussion of alternative devices that use internal tyre sensors, or the advantages and disadvantages of each.
All in all after spending a couple of hours on my own research, I was disappointed to find that Choice did not answer any of my outstanding questions. These are hard things to buy given the rather pathetic information provided by manufacturers, the huge range in prices ($46 to $1000), and the average person’s inability to buy multiple systems to find out how well they work and what you can expect from them. This is exactly the kind of issues that we look to Choice to resolve. My interest is that I am looking to replace my 4 year old unsatisfactory Tyredog device and at the same time have been asked to advise a friend on what TPMS to buy. I should be able to say “look at the Choice review” but that definitely would not answer his needs, or mine.