A recent study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found 27 percent of cars and 33 percent of vans, pickups and sport-utility vehicles had at least one underinflated tire.
PDK Automotive Group in Merrillville has begun marketing what it claims is the industry's first wireless tire pressure monitor. Via the new Intellivalve, the company said, motorists can check the air pressure in each tire without having to leave the vehicle.
The system consists of a digital dashboard-mounted monitor and wireless air valve transmitters in each wheel. The monitor provides an instant reading of the air pressure and temperature of each tire and also gives an audio warning if tire pressure is below or above the recommended levels.
Models are available for vehicles with four, six and 12 wheels, according to PDK. The manufacturer's suggested retail price of the unit is about $299.
The company told Tire Business Intellivalve installation can be done at any tire store and is no more complicated than installing a valve stem. Labor charges could vary from dealer to dealer, it said, with some opting to include in the cost of a new tire a mark-up charge for installing the system.
PDK suggested a ``reasonable installation charge would be no more than balancing a set of tires-which ranges from $40 to $75 for a set of four.'' At this point, the company has no authorized installers.
For more information, contact PDK Automotive at (800) 735-2822; Web site: www.intellivalve.com.