Orange Electronic P409S Tire Pressure Monitoring System

flat tire
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Tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) are pretty common on newer cars, but there are a lot of vehicles on the road without this useful technology. The basic idea is that TPMS can alert you when the pressure in your tires drops below a certain level with a light, or even show you the pressure in each individual tire at a glance.

The Orange Electronic P409S is an aftermarket kit that adds this functionality to vehicles that didn't come with it originally.

Pros:

  • Includes everything you need for a professional installation.
  • Military specification lithium ion batteries rated for 5-7 years of service.
  • Valve stems rotate on ball joints for easy installation in most applications.
  • Programmable air pressure minimum levels, maximum levels, and warnings.

Cons:

  • Can't install without specialized equipment.
  • Display is difficult to read in full sunlight.
  • Won't work at the necessary pressure for most trucks and SUVs.

A Low Cost Option For Tire Pressure Monitoring

If you've ever wished that your vehicle came with a tire pressure monitoring system, the Orange Electronic P409S is one potential solution to that problem. This tire pressure monitoring kit is designed for vehicles that didn't come with OEM monitoring systems, and it comes with the sensors and receiver you'll need to retrofit your car.

In addition to the sensors and receiver, the P409S also includes a 12v plug. While you do have the option to wire the receiver directly into your electrical system, the plug is a nice touch that makes installation a breeze regardless of skill or knowledge level.

The Good

The Orange Electronic P409S includes four sensors, a wireless receiver, and a 12v electrical plug, so there isn't any additional equipment to buy. The sensors are similar to most OEM tire pressure sensors, which means that they're built into the back side of valve stems.

After the sensors are installed, the receiver can be programmed for the specific pressure needs of your vehicle. The sensors are quite accurate, and they measure temperature in addition to pressure.

The display is easy to read, and it is capable of displaying the precise pressure level of each tire at the same time. If one of the tires falls below the minimum pressure level that you set, the number will turn red.

The valve stems are built into ball joints, which allows them to be rotated in relationship to the sensor. What this means is that when the sensors are installed, they can be manipulated so that they won't be damaged when the tire is mounted or dismounted. For a one size fits all unit like the P409S, this feature is extremely useful.

The Bad

The individual Orange Electronic P409S sensors have an upper pressure limit of 60PSI, so the sensors won't work with many trucks and SUVs. If your vehicle tires take more pressure, you'll have to look for a different solution.

Unless you own a tire mounting machine for some reason, you'll also have to take your car into a professional shop to have the P409S sensors installed. The sensors take the place of the valve stems, so the tires have to be demounted before the sensors can be installed.

Most shops will charge a nominal fee for this service, though many will install this type of product for free if you're already buying new tires. If you have a long-standing relationship with your mechanic, it doesn't hurt to ask what they would charge.

The other main drawback to the P409S is the display. While it is clear and easy to read, it gets washed out in bright sunlight. It can also be a little too bright at night.

The sunlight issue isn't a deal breaker, since the unit has an audible alarm. The brightness is more of a concern, especially for people with sensitive eyes, but you may be able to retrofit a cellphone privacy screen if the unit distracts you at night.

The Bottom Line

Being able to see the pressure of all four tires at a glance is a nice touch, as is the fact that you can customize the pressure levels to your particular vehicle. If you're in the market for some new tires anyway, then adding a set of P409S sensors at the same time could be a good idea.

If you're looking for an aftermarket tire pressure monitor, the Orange Electronic P409S is a great choice. You might even save a little money at the pump if you've been driving around on under-inflated tires.