Many cars come from the factory with a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), and acceptance is now at a high level, as these systems have proven to be useful and have also significantly improved safety. Gradually, even those who don’t have them fitted ex works began to take an interest in retrofitting them. Schrader, for example, had some minor success with its Solaris, but unfortunately this retrofit kit was taken off the market some time ago, the demand was still there, but presumably the quantities were too low for the major manufacturers, so they gradually disappeared. For us as a smaller company, the quantities we were able to achieve were fine, and we also had personal contact with many of our customers, which enabled us to register their problems and wishes directly and delve deeper into the subject matter. We saw many systems on the market, we ourselves started with the Smartire, where the sensors were still attached to the rims with steel straps, then came Tiremoni and finally Alligator and Schrader were present here with their solutions, finally Schrader was left with the Solaris, which was also quite well received by customers. When Schrader withdrew its system from the market, we managed to buy up everything we could get our hands on in order to be able to process the current customer orders, but it soon became clear that this would not be nearly enough. The most beautiful days of the year are on the doorstep and we look forward to a relaxing time at the sea, in the mountains or wherever it goes. So that you can relax and get back safely, we have put together a few tips for you.
What happened next?
Initially, in the search for alternatives, we still had our inexpensive entry-level systems in our range, but they were far from offering what the Schrader could, it was just a small solution that worked quite well, but had its limits, we were not satisfied with it, unfortunately it was very difficult to find something that could replace the Solaris and, of course, to change everything that our customers had criticized, so that we could then proudly present it as a successor.
Our new retrofit kit for TPMS
We had to search for a long time and make several contacts in China before we managed to find a manufacturer who was prepared to supply our solution, especially as you can only implement such things when you are talking about purchasing containers (or at least entire pallets). This is very risky for a small company and we also had to search for a long time until a manufacturer was prepared to build our comparatively small series and supply them to us. In the end, however, we succeeded and can now proudly present and offer our successor.
What are the features?
The Solaris had internal sensors that were attached to the rim with a metal valve, which is sufficient for most requirements, the display had all the information, the warning thresholds were based on the ECE, it was set 20% below the target, as is also intended in normal cars. Unfortunately, the Solaris could only reach approx. 5.5 bar (actually only 4.5 bar according to the manufacturer), which quickly brings a motorhome owner or the owner of a loaded van to his limits. Unfortunately, the Alligator had few functions and was poorly equipped, so it was never really accepted on the market. So the idea took shape and we sat down with the manufacturer and realized our dream system…
We implemented the system with 8 bar, so our sensors can be used without hesitation, even in vehicles with high standard pressures we don’t reach the limits so quickly.
The control panel of the Solaris with the sensor buttons is nice, but many people were bothered by the haptics, because you can’t directly feel whether you’ve pressed a button or not, plus microswitches are cheaper, and once you’ve set it up, you rarely use the buttons, so we opted for the latter and were able to keep the price somewhat lower as a result.
Our setting options can be set individually, so that you can either set according to ECE specifications or decide freely when the system warns, which gives you more options. In addition, a spare wheel can also be configured so that up to 7 wheels can be monitored.
Sometimes you can’t fit sensors on certain steel rims, so it was difficult to find a solution. In this case, we have adhesive sensors that are attached to the inner liner of the tire using cold vulcanization. When replacing the tire, you only need new rubber containers in which the sensor is then reinserted.
On motorhomes or vans, long superstructures or well-insulated interiors often prevent reliable radio contact between the display unit and the rear sensors, so we have a repeater that amplifies the signals and thus increases the range.
We have consistently implemented everything that our customers expect from a good system, and the feedback shows us that we have done a great job here.
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