Why is a retrofit only useful with built-in sensors?

There are many retrofit systems available in which simply the existing valve caps must be replaced with caps with integrated sensor. That's certainly convenient and done in a few minutes. Therefore, the question arises, why we at Autotechnik24 don't offer such systems. The answer is relatively simple and also obvious:

The valvecap-solution requires constant pressure with the tire pressure, so in this system, the actual tire valve must be bypassed. This is achieved by the fact that the valve is kept open by the cap, so an important safety function is bypassed. In a normal valve, the valve insert ensures that the air remains in the tire and the cap has a sealing function against external influences such as dust, salt water, rainwater and similar substances that can cause the valve to leak. With a normal valve (and also with all tire pressure sensors of the vehicle manufacturer) this function is guaranteed correctly. By circumventing this valve, as is the case with the cap solution, the danger is posed that if the seal in the cap fails, the air escapes from the tire, this danger is significantly lower for a normal valve, because the sealing function is hardly impaired and in most cases this problem is noticeable in tire service, but because new valves are used on this occasion anyway, there will be no significant impairment of safety.

A retrofit by Alligator or Schrader (as examples) qualitatively uses the same sensors that the vehicle manufacturer uses for its wheels, or considers it permissible for use on its wheels. This allows you to use the proven technology without any restrictions on your safety, and to create additional security through pressure monitoring. For example, in Motorhomes, where mishaps seldom happen at the right time, in the right place, you'll love that extra bit of security, and our customers using these systems are always happy with it. Unfortunately Schrader and Alligator have discontinued their systems, although here our customers have constantly signaled demand, so we decided some time ago to bring affordable replacements to the market. Our retrofit systems were built precisely for this purpose in cooperation with the manufacturer and are offered by us at a fair price. Again, of course, only the internal solutions, as we still consider only the internal sensors useful.

Why are these valvecap-systems allowed?

We ask it ourselves too. If politicians first inquire of people who are familiar with such matters, it may be doubted that such a system would be allowed. But unfortunately, it is more about things like EMC (electromagnetic compatibility) and less about the safety of the product itself in its use. Presumably, it would be forbidden if it were sharp-edged outside, so that you can injure your finger when you assemble it, but the nonsensical function of bypassing the actual valve is completely ignored. Here we do not want to delve deeper into the matter, because it has often been shown in the past how blue-eyed the politicians fulfill their tasks.

How is a retrofit system installed correctly?

Now that we do not use a cap solution but a system with "real" sensors, the do-it-yourselfer here reaches the limits of its possibilities and should have the installation of such a system carried out by a specialist workshop. The procedure is as follows:

  • Checking the tires and wheels
  • Replacing the existing valve with the sensor of the retrofit set
  • Balancing the wheel
  • Assembly of the wheels on the vehicle
  • Commissioning and configuration of the system
  • If necessary, further sets of wheels (for example winter wheels) are converted

This ensures that it is a safety benefit and not a pseudo-solution that is more susceptible to pressure losses overall.

But the costs are much higher ...

Yes, but you get added value, namely the certainty that the previous reliability of your tires will continue without compromise, coupled with the safety that pressure monitoring offers. With the cap solution you give up the reliability and safety of the previous valve design and thus get a control of the air pressure, but the price is the increased susceptibility to pressure losses and the associated risk of a breakdown or even being involved in an accident. Whether the insurance pays, if such a system is determined as the cause of failure, please clarify at this point even with your insurance before any damage occurs.