September 25, 2005 Most drivers hardly notice the difference if their tire pressure gradually drops over a period of several weeks, and as we reported in our article on Nitrogen tyre inflation, 80% of automobiles on the road are running underinflated tyres and nearly as many drivers don’t even know what the correct tyre pressures are. So it was about time that somebody took the human factor out of the equation. Renault has selected the Johnson Controls tyre pressure monitoring system to constantly monitor the air pressure of the tyres on the new Modus, informing the driver about the air pressure of all four tires via a convenient display. Special technology automatically identifies the positioning of the tires, eliminating the need for any wheel-specific receiving module.
For drivers of the new Renault Modus, manual air pressure monitoring is now a thing of the past. The system comes as standard equipment in the luxury edition and as an optional extra in both other versions. Renault already incorporated the safety device in the Vel Satis, Laguna and Scenic, and the Modus version includes a new feature: recognition of tire positioning is wireless and automatic, making any wheel- specific receiving module unnecessary. Only a radio transceiver is required, since each tire sends its own radio signal. This means the driver does not have to observe any pre-determined position when changing the tires. Manual setting has also been eliminated, since the system features a self- setting device.
A signal alerts the driver to any drop in pressure
Automatic tyre pressure monitoring works through wireless sensors fitted on the valves of the wheel rims. The readings are transmitted by radio signals to the tire indicator display on the instrument panel.
Changes in temperature, for example, are automatically taken into account. If the readings deviate from the target levels, the driver is alerted through a visual or acoustic warning signal. This means that a gradual drop in pressure, causing higher fuel consumption and inferior road holding, will no longer go unnoticed.
Thanks to the early warning system, the driver has plenty of time to head to the next gas station or garage. Automatic tire pressure monitoring therefore contributes to a more relaxed driving experience. "Since the risk of getting a flat tire is significantly reduced, the safety of all vehicle occupants and other road traffic is enhanced", explained Xavier Levesque, Director Product Business Unit Body Electronics and Electrical Energy Management at Johnson Controls.
When combined with Run Flat Tires, tires with emergency running properties, the spare tire becomes redundant, therefore reducing weight and cost, while increasing the available storage space.
Cost-effective integration into existing control systems
Automatic tire pressure monitoring is suitable for all vehicle types, as the information indicator can be integrated into either an existing display on the instrument panel or a separate display in the mirror or overhead console. The tire pressure information system is even versatile enough to be functionally incorporated within pre-installed control systems. "Integration is also possible within a separate control box, which can be invisibly mounted below the seat, as it is in the Renault Modus", said Xavier Levesque.