Best car gadgets

Snooper TyrePilot STP1400

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Running your car with low tyre pressure can have lots of negative implications. It can reduce the life of the tyre, render steering less precise, increase the chance of aquaplaning in wet conditions, increase braking distances, and increase your car’s consumption of petrol. Checking inflation manually is a pain, which is the reason that most premium models of cars have the functionality built into the car itself.

If your vehicle doesn’t have this facility, you can now add it for £99.99 via the Snooper Tyre Pilot STP1400. The bundle includes a monitor device, four pressure- and temperature-sensing tyre valve nuts, and sundry fixings. Setup is easy. First, plug the monitor device into your car’s cigarette lighter socket, and turn the ignition key until this receives power. You then configure whether you want readings in PSI or Bar, provide upper and lower pressure values, and an upper temperature value.

You’re then ready to install the valve nuts, which communicate with the monitor device wirelessly. These are clearly labelled, so you’ll know which wheel to put each one on, and are already paired with the monitor, so there’s no further setup involved. Installation is a simple matter of taking off your existing tyre-valve covers, putting on a small nut and washer, screwing on the valve sensor, then tightening everything up.

The system then just works. Four numbers on the monitoring device LCD panel display the pressure on each of your four tyres, and an audible alarm will sound if pressure drops too low, rises too high, or the temperature exceeds the limit. There’s even a USB port on the device, so you can still power your sat-nav of phone at the same time as using the STP1400.

There are a couple of niggles. Unfortunately, the monitor device has quite a short cigarette lighter plug, which wouldn’t stay plugged in in our test vehicle; in another car it was fine, however. Also be prepared to have to fiddle with the sensor valve nuts whenever you fill up the tyres with air. Other than this, though, the Snooper Tyre Pilot STP1400 is a cost-effective addition to any car that doesn’t have built-in tyre pressure monitoring.

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At time of review the Snooper TyrePilot STP1400 was available for £99.99.