A Final Update About The Nonda Zus Smart Tire Monitor

Frequent readers of this blog will know that I pulled the recommendation of the Zus Smart Tire Monitor by Nonda recently because of a pretty stunning design flaw which is it is prone to galvanic corrosion. I wanted to give an final update on this now that I have received a replacement unit from the company.

First of all, the replacement unit sat in my den for about a week while my wife and I debated whether we should put it back on the car or not. In the end, we decided to put it back on the car because having some sort of tire pressure monitoring system on it is better than none. But we would take the advice of the company and use dielectric grease on each of the valve stems to ensure that galvanic corrosion would not be an issue.

Now for a quick science lesson. Galvanic corrosion is a type of corrosion that Wikipedia defines as follows:

Galvanic corrosion (also called bimetallic corrosion) is an electrochemical process in which one metal corrodes preferentially when it is in electrical contact with another, in the presence of an electrolyte.

In this case, the valve stems and the sensors which are both made of metal (brass in the case of the valve stems, and some type of alloy in the case of the sensors) fuse together when in the presence of salt water (road salt is used to keep the roads free of ice and that becomes salt water when the temperature is high enough) which would qualify as an electrolyte. That keeps you from being able to remove the sensors to add air to your tires. That’s a pretty stunning design flaw as you would think that Nonda would have factored that into the design of the product. But clearly they didn’t which is why we’re here talking about this. Now what dielectric grease does is act as an insulator from the salt water and the two types of metal present to stop this from happening. So, what one has do at least once a month, if not every time the sensors are removed to add air to the tires is coat the threads of the valve stem with dielectric grease before screwing the sensors back on.

Top Tip: The guys at Tires23 suggest that you should do this as a matter of course to ensure that you are able to remove pressure sensors like the ones that Nonda supplies, or the regular rubber valve covers that are on your average car.

In my case, I went one step further. I cleaned the valve stems of each tire with alcohol to ensure that there was nothing “bad” on them that could cause an issue. Then applied the dielectric grease before installing the sensors on each valve. So for now, the Smart Tire Monitor is back on the car. I say for now because I am researching its replacement. As soon as I find something that I feel comfortable putting on the car, the Smart Tire Monitor will be replaced straightaway. And that’s a shame because I think Nonda has the right idea here by having a system that constantly analyzes your tire pressure to warn you of impending danger which is a step above what even factory tire pressure monitoring systems do. But the fact that they clearly didn’t take into account galvanic corrosion into the design of the product is an #EpicFail. Now Nonda did say in Tweets and other communication with me that they’re looking at addressing this. For example:

So, my challenge to them is this: I am holding them to what they said above. I would love to know how this will be addressed as I suspect that this is going to continue to be a problem for anyone who buys this as the replacement unit that I received from Nonda seems no different than the original one. Furthermore, if they actually redesign the product to resist galvanic corrosion, I am willing to do another review on it to see if they have truly addressed it. Until that happens, I will still continue to not recommend this product to my readers.

UPDATE: So much about this being a final update. I came across the fact that Nonda appears to be working on a system with INTERNAL sensors. Details here.

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3 Responses to “A Final Update About The Nonda Zus Smart Tire Monitor”

  1. I have same issue. They haven’t fixed the problem. They still insist on sending the same item as a replacement. This selling of defective product, in my mind, is unethical.

    Purchased Dec 15th, on car for 100 days – $95 to remove them!

  2. […] where the external sensors were getting stuck due to galvanic corrosion. I’ve written several stories on this topic since I came across the issue, but now I’m adding one more to the mix thanks to […]

  3. […] that the Nonda Smart Tire Monitoring System has back in January of this year. There were a few more articles that I wrote about it since. And I thought that things have quieted down on this […]

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