REVIEW – New automobiles feature some amazing options these days, from HUDs to self-parking to heated seats. Most of these options are add-ons, but a good majority of them are included as standard, even with base models. As automotive technology gets more advanced, third party manufacturers look for ways to make some of these cooler options available to people who own older vehicles. On 2007 and newer model vehicles tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) are a standard feature. This safety system is built into the tire or car and constantly monitors and reports on the air pressure of the tires. Several options are now available for owners of autos without TPMS. The 70mai Tire Pressure Monitoring System Lite is one such system. The 70mai TPMS Lite is affordable at $54.99, easy to install (despite not coming with ANY instructions whatsoever), and works well, but it currently lacks some functionality that would make it more compatible with U.S. users and its accuracy varies.
What is it?
The 70mai Tire Pressure Monitoring System Lite is comprised of four Tire Sensors, a solar-powered Receiver Unit, and a mobile app which provides real-time data on the air pressure and temperature of a vehicle’s tires.
The 70mai TPMS Lite comes in a very stylish black box with little fanfare or imagery. All of the components are set into molded plastic compartments.
What’s in the box?
- 70mai Tire Pressure Monitor Receiver Unit
- 4 Tire Sensor Caps
- 4 Tire Sensors Hex Nuts, Rubber Washers, & Warning Stickers
- 1 USB Charging Cable
- 1 Hex Nut Wrench
- 1 Tire Sensor Adjustment Tool
- Receiver Unit
- Working Voltage: 5V
- Working Current: 1A
- Working Temperature: -20 – 70°C
- Storage Temperature: -35 – 85°C
- Battery Capacity: 500mAh
- Power Supply: Solar / USB
- Tire Sensors
- Air Pressure Range: 0.0 – 8.0 bar (0 – 100 psi)
- Working Temperature: -40 – 80°C
- Storage Temperature: -40 – 85°C
- Air Pressure Accuracy: ±0.1 bar
- Temperature Accuracy: ±3°C
- Operating Frequency: 433.92 MHz
- Transmit Power: <8 dBm
- Sensor Battery Life: Up to 2 years
Design and features
The 70mai TPMS Lite is a well-designed simple system. The Receiver Unit is made of hard black plastic and shaped like a wedge, which makes it a perfect fit on dashboards.
The Receiver Unit is charged initially via a Micro USB port with the included USB charging cable.
The unit maintains its charge via the Solar Panel on top.
On the other side of the Receiver Unit is the power button which can be used to reset the unit as well as silence any alarms.
The Tire Sensors for the 70mai are basically oversized tire stem valve caps. They are labeled for correct placement on the appropriate tires to sync up with the Receiver Unit.
The Tire Sensors each contain a small battery that lasts up to two years and can be replaced. The top of the Sensor unscrews to allow access to the battery compartment.
70mai provides a special tool for tightening the Tire Sensors on to the tire valve stems. One side of the tool tightens the Sensor on to the tire valve, the other side of the tool aids in taking off the Sensor top to access the battery.
The Sensors fit snugly into the tool and with the use of the included hex nuts and wrench it’s easy to attach them securely to the tire valve stems.
Since the 70mai does not come with ANY instructions at all, I did some Googling to figure out how to properly install the system.
The included hex nuts get installed on the tire valve stems first.
Then the Tire Sensors go on using the special tool. After the Sensors are attached, the wrench is used to tighten the hex nuts a bit more until the Sensors are securely in place.
The bottom of the Receiver Unit has an adhesive pad that helps keep it in place on the dashboard. The unit takes an hour or so to charge fully via the included USB cable.
Once it’s charged, the unit is powered on by pressing the button on the side. The Receiver Unit automatically connects to the Tire Sensors.
The 70mai Receiver Unit can receive signals from the Tire Sensors from up to 10 meters away, so the stream of data is pretty consistent. The 70mai app is another way to view that data.
After downloading the 70mai app, the Receiver Unit syncs to your phone via Blueooth.
The air pressure and temperature of the Tire Sensor are displayed on the app as well as on the Receiver Unit’s screen.
In my testing, the temperature and air pressure values varied a lot during a single one hour drive. When the unit first came on, alerts starting going off to indicate that one tire had very low pressure. After silencing the alarm and continuing on my next drive, the values changed to an acceptable level.
The most frustrating part of the testing was the inability to change the displayed values on both the app and the Receiver Unit from Celsius and Bar to Fahrenheit and PSI. The option to change the values is apparently included in the app but disabled for some reason. I submitted a support ticket, but never heard back from 70mai.
What I like
- Easy to install
- Solar charging increases usability
- App is simple and well designed
What needs to be improved
- Units should be modifiable for U.S. standards
- Accuracy could be improved
- Instructions need to be included
The 70mai Tire Pressure Monitoring System Lite is a decent system. It does what it’s supposed to do and despite not coming with ANY instructions whatsoever, it was relatively easy to get up and running. The app works well, but not being able to change any of the units to U.S. standards of measurement makes it difficult to use. For $54.99, the 70mai is reasonably priced, but I found that the accuracy varied, so there might be better options out on the market.