The latest tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) Tyre Pilot, from Snooper, is reviewed by Quentin Radburn for Talk Business.
Designed to plug neatly into your cigarette lighter, the Tyre Pilot STP1400 shows all tyre pressures in each corner of the display, in relation to the four corners of your car. At a push of a small button it will also display the temperature for a short time before reverting back to pressure. All of this is relayed via bluetooth from the sensor caps you install directly to the valves on each wheel.
Out of the box, you get the plug-in cockpit readout, four sensor caps with locking nuts, and a few spanner type devices for removal and battery change.
Installation is a simple process and works relatively straight out of the box. The sensor caps’ individual wheel designation is clearly marked, and the whole set up took less than ten minutes, which included the time it took to make sure all four tyres were at their proper inflation before I changed the caps.
The Tyre Pilot has a very useful USB slot just to the right of the readout which any USB device can be plugged into without having to remove the display. And if you are anything like me you will have a phone charger occupying the cigarette lighter most of the time. This does come in handy. However, depending where your cigarette lighter is located, it could be obstructed by the protruding USB cable.
The display is designed for a cigarette lighter that is located in an obstruction-free area – probably to the right of the driver – most cigarette lighter ports in the UK are not. And mine definitely wasn’t obstruction-free. So my skewed view of the corners didn’t quite correspond to the tyres.
Thankfully having not experienced a blowout or sudden loss of pressure whilst testing, I can’t say for sure how accurate this feature is. But, as an experienced driver, I would expect to know if I had a blowout, and not have to be warned by the Tyre Pilot. Again, the temperature gauges are a interesting feature, but unless you’re trying to shave seconds off a lap time at Silverstone, you’re going to find yourself using this less and less.
At £100, the Tyre pilot isn’t the cheapest TPMS around and the price-hike between this and the rest of the market probably converts into the built-in USB port. Couple this with the skew-whiff angle at which I had mine at for a week, and this would likely steer me to other options.