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Mini-review of the Orange TPMS Retrofit Kit

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Old 07-17-2012, 05:55 PM
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Mini-review of the Orange TPMS Retrofit Kit

For several years i've ran without the OEM sensors installed and have been completely fine doing so. It's fairly easy to know when you have a flat and the tires are hardly 1psi away from spec due to weekly checks.

As a sidenote, some would argue the sensors would prevent you from having a blow-out, my experience with that is that a blow-out usually happens in an instant and by the time the TPMS will say anything, you've already got a flat.

I digress.


Lately, i've had the itch to get the functionality back for a variety of reasons:
  • Learn more about driving styles, alignment settings, temperature and tire pressure relationships.
  • Safe/range adjustability
  • New toy
  • Get rid of the TPMS warning light on the gauge cluster

So off i went searching for sensors. Orange sells them for our cars at roughly $35 a pop. However, like the OEM ones, these are still "dumb" sensors, as i call them. All it tells you is if the pressures are still within OEM ranges, and AFAIK there's no easy way to adjust those ranges -- so running XL-rated or different sized tires/load ratings will pose a situation in my case.

Then i saw the Orange TPMS Retrofit kit that had "smart" sensors coupled with a small display unit. The unit displays PSI, Temperature as well as battery voltage. You can also customize when it should alert you of low tire pressures with a few simple button presses. You can also set it up to rotate the sensor locations to coincide with your tire rotations in one of four rotation settings, as well as a custom setting. The set is already paired up to each other out of the box.

The display unit is fairly small and unobtrusive other than the beep it makes at start-up. The sensors initialize within a few feet of driving (or a longer time if the car is just sitting after start-up) and updates information rather frequently. At least with the pressure ratings, it's spot-on with a standalone tire pressure gauge. I would assume the temperature readings are similarly accurate.

Smart vs. dumb -- wasn't such a hard decision. Granted, i failed to accomplish point #4 above, but at less than the cost of four dumb sensors, it's a no-brainer.

Here's a photo in the box, with a few more

The battery is to show size. You can run this off the provided cigarette lighter plug, or hardwire it into the car.

Old 07-17-2012, 07:18 PM
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I agree with you on this topic of kinda useless oem tpms mike, Iv had this orange kit for a few of years now and just bought a replacement kit a month back as 2 of my sensors died and with some coupons i got the entire kit for the price thats less than for 3 replacement sensors, and im sure you already know this that since its 2 part sensor you can change out the valve when needed instead of entire sensor.

Anyways this kit is worth the money as it gives you exact temps and psi every few seconds also fyi the display fits perfectly in the open ashtray under the center console(at least on the MTs not sure if thats the same size for the auto) and then i routed the wire under the dash to the armrest plug.
Old 07-18-2012, 11:00 AM
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I do remember you mentioning it in passing a while back, should've just asked you outright back then instead of just waiting this long as well as digging up specs and dimensions to figure out where to fit it.

How long did your sensors last before replacing 'em? It is quite funny how a whole kit is cheaper than replacing each sensor. Would you know if tire shops sell the valves, or should they always be sourced from Orange? They don't seem to cost much at all, but just curious.

The ashtray spot is exactly where mine is. It's a perfectly snug fit. Ditto on where the wires are routed, sort of. I just ran it to the left as you see in the pic, then tucked it underneath the console edges. Great minds think alike!

Old 07-18-2012, 01:38 PM
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Link to the site? How's the quality so far?
Old 07-18-2012, 02:13 PM
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That would make my OCD's flare up

If all 4 weren't at 32PSI all the time, it would but the shyt outta me lol

That picture alone showing your rear left tire at 31PSI made me twitch a bit
Old 07-18-2012, 02:53 PM
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Thanks for the info Mike (and kool). This looks like a reasonable system at an affordable price. I'll definitely consider this if my stock system isn't covered under the extended warranty when I take it in. I have gotten so used to that idiot light that I don't even pay attention to it anymore, so concern #4 is a non event for me.

Speaking to your side note though, I will say that it's my understanding that the value of TPMS in preventing a blowout comes from the fact that if you are alerted to low tire pressure, you will likely avoid the more common cause of blowouts which is the overheating of tires (caused by excessive sidewall flexing at speed when under-inflated), and not the more infrequent road hazard type tire failure that would result in a blowout. Certainly, when they go, both types occur in an instant, but the under-inflation type is preventable ( think: Ford Explorer). I can't tell you how cars I see rolling on low tires, and with the advent of more low profile tires in use, folks apparently just don't see it until it's too late. ( ** cough, cough** apexi957 . . . http://rupromenergo.ru/forums/media-s...roll-hard.html ** cough, cough** )

.02
Old 07-18-2012, 03:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apexi957 View Post
Link to the site? How's the quality so far?
Got my set from Amazon for less than they're asking right now. Seems like a popular item as it's constantly out of stock and the price fluctuates quite a bit.


So far, i like 'em. And Kool has had his for several years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by willdogs View Post
That would make my OCD's flare up
If all 4 weren't at 32PSI all the time, it would but the shyt outta me lol
That picture alone showing your rear left tire at 31PSI made me twitch a bit
I know exactly what you're talking about. I've actually got mine set-up for 32f/31r. Depending on the drive the pressures can either fluctuate uniformly, or unevenly. With a constant highway drive, they all tend to be uniform. Tire temperatures are all different between tires, too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vqsmile View Post
Thanks for the info Mike (and kool). This looks like a reasonable system at an affordable price.

Speaking to your side note though, I will say that it's my understanding that the value of TPMS in preventing a blowout comes from the fact that if you are alerted to low tire pressure, you will likely avoid the more common cause of blowouts which is the overheating of tires )
Good point. I never thought of it as such, mainly because i check tire pressures every week and every single time i've had a blow-out it was from road hazard. The most jolting and memorable was hitting an exposed railroad track nail -- sounded like a gun followed by flapping noises. Thankfully i was just crossing the track from a stoplight, so it was slow enough to not have traction problems at the point of impact.
Old 07-18-2012, 03:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soundmike View Post
I do remember you mentioning it in passing a while back, should've just asked you outright back then instead of just waiting this long as well as digging up specs and dimensions to figure out where to fit it.

How long did your sensors last before replacing 'em? It is quite funny how a whole kit is cheaper than replacing each sensor. Would you know if tire shops sell the valves, or should they always be sourced from Orange? They don't seem to cost much at all, but just curious.

The ashtray spot is exactly where mine is. It's a perfectly snug fit. Ditto on where the wires are routed, sort of. I just ran it to the left as you see in the pic, then tucked it underneath the console edges. Great minds think alike!
Thats exactly where i installed mine so i guess im the other 'great mind' you were talking about

The issue with these TPMS is that they are supposed to have 5-7year battery life which non-serviceable and the battery starts working the minute they assemble it, even when in the box waiting to be sold the sensors are still 'working' and i didnt think about this and ended up getting a kit which had been on the shelf for 3 years or so and then they lasted over 3.5 years before 2 of them died.

The valves are screw type so most good shops should have a replacement but you can pick some off of ebay for cheap. FYI i had my tires dismounted and mounted about 6-7 times over the 3 years for tire repair, tire changes and rim repair and only once did i need to replace one of the valves.
Old 07-18-2012, 04:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vqsmile View Post
Thanks for the info Mike (and kool). This looks like a reasonable system at an affordable price. I'll definitely consider this if my stock system isn't covered under the extended warranty when I take it in. I have gotten so used to that idiot light that I don't even pay attention to it anymore, so concern #4 is a non event for me.

Speaking to your side note though, I will say that it's my understanding that the value of TPMS in preventing a blowout comes from the fact that if you are alerted to low tire pressure, you will likely avoid the more common cause of blowouts which is the overheating of tires (caused by excessive sidewall flexing at speed when under-inflated), and not the more infrequent road hazard type tire failure that would result in a blowout. Certainly, when they go, both types occur in an instant, but the under-inflation type is preventable ( think: Ford Explorer). I can't tell you how cars I see rolling on low tires, and with the advent of more low profile tires in use, folks apparently just don't see it until it's too late. ( ** cough, cough** apexi957 . . . http://rupromenergo.ru/forums/media-s...roll-hard.html ** cough, cough** )

.02
iv had that happened to me once, just as i got on to a highway on-ramp and started to accelerate when the orange tmps display started emitting the loudest most annoying beep (constant on) and as i looked to the monitor my pressure was showing in red and was dropping faster than the acceleration rate of gravity, it went from 34 to 12 in like 2-3 seconds but that instant beep allowed me to pull over and just as i stopped it dropped to 0.

Had it not been for the beep i would have probably merged into traffic by the time i wouldve realized it turning it into a much worse scenario

Found a 5 inch bolt in the tire when i took it to the shop... but thanks to the tpms i was able to not ride on the rim so no damage done! except for the tire
Old 07-30-2012, 04:10 PM
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Anyone figured out how to remove the oem tpms warning light?
Old 07-31-2012, 08:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blklegend View Post
Anyone figured out how to remove the oem tpms warning light?
I second that question
Old 07-31-2012, 06:42 PM
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Only known way is to remove the bulb from behind the cluster... im sure it can be done by dealer through their obdII as well but i havent inquired or researched on it. Its never bothered me, honestly i have never noticed it being on since our gauges are lit all the time the little orange light has never been that visible.

If it bothers you and you dont want to go through the hassle of removing the cluster then you could apply a small 5% tint overlay on top of the tpms light area only to reduce it significantly, or apply couple of layers to hide it.
Old 07-31-2012, 08:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kool_yaar View Post
If it bothers you and you dont want to go through the hassle of removing the cluster then you could apply a small 5% tint overlay on top of the tpms light area only to reduce it significantly, or apply couple of layers to hide it.
I used electrical tape.
Old 08-01-2012, 01:31 AM
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^ thats even better! i just hope that it doesnt leave any sticky residue with so much heat around which is why i was thinking tint, not that it would too hard to remove the residue though
Old 08-01-2012, 02:55 AM
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haha seriously in the morning you'll be like damn gotta fill my tire then later on your like oh tooo much psi

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