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What is a Tyre Pressure Monitor, and why do I need one in my Off-Road Vehicle?

Updated: Jun 29, 2021

4x4 Tyre Pressure Monitoring System

When you sign up for one of SA Adventure's 4x4 Training Courses, you'll soon figure out that I have a thing for tyres... Let's face it, they are a pretty important part of your vehicle, they keep you attached to the surface you're driving on! I cover all aspects of tyres on our course, I discuss types of off-road tyres, load and speed ratings, show you how to tell how old your tyres are, learn about what pressures to have in your tyres for various off-road terrains, and I even show you how to temporarily plug a puncture should you get one.

On the 4x4 Training Course, I also discuss Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems or TPMS for short, and why these inexpensive little bits of kit can save you a massive amount of time, money and hassle... In this blog post, I'm going to give you some insight and advice on why to install one in your vehicle. Remember, advice is for free...

Tyres are expensive. There is no getting around that fact. A BF Goodrich KO2 tyre for your off-roader can be north of 5000 Rand. You need to look after that investment. By fitting a Tyre Pressure Monitoring system we are able to monitor not only the tyre pressures but also the temperatures.

Here is a typical off-road scenario on how a TPMS in your vehicle can save you time, money and hassle:

Do I need a Tyre Pressure Monitor off-road?

You've taken your family away for a week to the bush on a camping trip. While travelling down a long dirt road doing 60km/h your front left tyre picks up a slow puncture from a stone or nail. It slowly starts to deflate and because you are on a gravel road you don't feel that there is anything wrong (a partially flat tyre on a gravel road is not really that noticeable). Suddenly there is a loud bang! The sidewall of your tyre has just exploded causing the vehicle to dangerously veer off the road. The reason this happened is that the partially deflated tyre built up so much heat due to added friction, that the sidewall disintegrates. That's it for that tyre, throw it away. You now need to put your spare on. The problem with that is that now you have no spare tyre for the rest of your adventure with your family. It also just cost you the price of a new tyre.

4x4 Tyre Pressure Monitoring System, Off-road TPMS

How do we avoid this? Let's say you had a Tyre Pressure Monitoring system installed, and you had set the low-pressure warning alarm to let's say 1.6 BAR. When you got the initial puncture, the tyre would've slowly started deflating. When the pressure reached 1.6 BAR the TPMS would have started screaming at you like a Hadeda bird on a Sunday morning. You could have then stopped the vehicle safely, found the puncture in the tyre, plugged it with your chosen tyre repair kit, re-inflated it to the correct pressure with your compressor, and carried on to your destination. No time wasted changing a tyre in 40 degrees of heat, no hassle having to jack up the vehicle and most importantly of all, you caught and repaired the problem before the tyre shredded itself and thus saved yourself the cost and hassle of having a new tyre fitted.

4x4 Tyre Pressure Monitoring System, Off-road TPMS

If I'm honest I've destroyed a lot of tyres in my time, especially on the long gravel roads in Namibia. I wish I had a TPMS installed back then, it really would've prevented this from happening. I'm a convert now and have saved two tyres from damage on our recent 4x4 tours to the Karoo after installing a monitoring system to our support truck.

We offer two types on our online shop:

External Tyre Pressure Monitoring System

- The first is the TPMS with external tyre pressure senders. The senders are mounted externally on the tyre valves and replace the valve caps. The display is charged by the sun. This type is easily installed by yourself and takes about ten minutes to set up.

Internal Tyre Pressure Monitoring System

- The second is the TPMS with internal tyre pressure senders. The sender units are mounted to the rims inside the tyres and replace the traditional valve stem. The display is also charged by the sun. This requires the tyres to be removed from the rims by a fitment centre.

In summing up: I'm sure you will all agree and see the value that the small investment into a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System can bring. It really is a no brainer. A TPMS will save you time, money and hassle in the long run, it's also a safety feature...

We offer both types of TPMS for sale on our online store, as well as other tyre related products I mentioned in this article. We use all of these products in our own SA Adventure vehicles and they have all proven to work fantastically well!

Check out the links below for our tyre related products all available on our online shop:

SA Adventure Off-Road Tours and Training

SA Adventure offers a wide variety of exciting adventure motorcycle and 4x4 tours. All levels of riding and driving experience are welcome on our tours. We have something for everyone, from novice to advanced.

We have worked with and supported the likes of Charley Boorman, Billy Ward, Claudio Von Planta, Dylan Wickrama, Moto Aventures and Compass Expeditions.

We pride ourselves on safety and nothing is more important to us than your well being while on your off-road tour. We always have a full support truck and medic on every tour and you have the full support of our awesome backup crew.

If you want to go on your bucket list adventure of a lifetime, head over to our website using the link below. ⬇️

Please share with your friends and family on your social media channels, it really helps us!... Stay Safe, The SA Adventure Team!

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