Remember when TPMS was just a cool feature on BMW, GM, and Mercedes vehicles? In 2006, the NHTSA and DOT came together to make it a law for all incoming 2007 vehicles to have direct TPMS standard. When this happened, the tire industry released a collective “Oh man, are you serious?” Well, now another company is taking the simplifying of tire pressure an extra step beyond a flashing indicator saying “Hey, put some air in the tires, please!”
That’s right; starting with the 2013 model year, Nissan will include a system that actually activates the horn when the tires have reached their correct pressure on all of its cars. This all comes on the heels of a successful test of the system on the 2013 Altima. No more “confusing” tire pressure gauges to fumble around with. In all seriousness though, this is actually an ingenious idea. When I was in the tire business, you have no idea how many times a customer would roll up asking us to put 44 psi in his 1995 Cavalier’s tires because that’s what the sidewall of the tire says is the max pressure, or his grandfather once told him that more air increases gas mileage.
So now when you are whipping down the road in your 2013 370Z and that pesky “Low Pressure” light starts flashing, you can just fill `er up `till it beeps. Why not take it a step further and just install a small compressor that fires up and adds air to the tire as you drive via a vein that runs through the casting of the rim?
We’re kidding Mr. and Mrs. Automotive Engineer, if that happens we all had better just stay off of the road, because if you can’t inflate your tires due to lack of knowledge, you shouldn’t be driving in the first place. Let’s all hope that never happens.
Click past the jump to read Nissan’s press release.
Nissan Innovation Makes Tire Inflation Easy
Franklin, Tenn. - A new federal study shows underinflated tires triple drivers risk of an accident, so it’s timely that NISSAN recently introduced the "Easy Fill Tire Alert" system on its 2013 Altima. It’s a way to help motorists maintain optimum tire pressure and it comes standard in all 2013 Nissan models.
"I think a lot of people probably don’t think about tire pressure. I didn’t, and so this is a good system to have," said Nissan customer Evan Galin.
When the tire-pressure warning system alerts a driver to a low tire, a display shows the pressure and the relevant tire or tires. Then the driver should drop into a nearby gas station and grab the air hose. As the driver fills the tire, the car’s four-way flashers come on to confirm that air is going in. When the tire is full, the horn chirps to let the driver know the process is complete.
"I don’t feel like I know what I’m doing unless I have something telling me that it’s right, so this is good," said Galin.
If the driver puts in too much air, the flashers blink faster and the horn beeps three times. The horn chirps again after enough air is let out to reach proper inflation.
"It’s one of those simple slap your forehead moments, as to why someone has not thought of it before," said Vishnu Jayamohan with Nissan Product Planning and Advanced Strategy
Some people don’t keep a tire gauge in their glove box, or, they or have trouble using them. And professionals say that from one tire gauge to another you can easily have a three or four pound difference in air pressure readings. "Easy-fill Tire Alert" eliminates both the guessing and the gauge.
"If you get a low pressure tire warning, you’re not left wondering if you have a serious condition that requires you to stop immediately, or if its something that allows you to drive home or to the nearest filling station and then fill up," said Jayamohan.
The display will show the driver the pressure for each tire. A delay in correcting tire pressure can cost the driver fuel economy. If the driver’s tire pressure is down by even just a little bit, the driver is likely losing some fuel efficiency.
If you’re planning to take any summer vacations, fuel economy matters, and so does the safety of you and your family.