Keeping your tire pressures at their recommended levels is not only important for your own safety, it also helps you save on fuel and it also helps reduce the wear and tare of your tires.
Unless you check your tires regularly, you may not know if you have a slow puncher, or even a flat tire, until it’s too late. Owning a tire monitor that
constantly displays and warns you about the status of your tire pressures can be very helpful, and also be potentially life saving.
We have recently reviewed two such tire monitor gadgets, both by Gocomma and can be bought from GearBest.com – the Gocomma M20 and the Gocomma EK215. Both do the job of monitoring the pressures of your car tires, however both have slightly different features. So today we will be comparing the two car gadgets along with the pros and cons of each in various departments.
Although both tire monitors can be powered by USB cable connection, the M20’s primary power source is its ability to power itself by the sun via its built-in solar cells.
Simply attaching the M20 to your windscreen, and giving it a good dose of daylight, the sun will self charge its internal batteries. As long as your car is not stored in a garage during the daylight hours, the sun should supply the M20 with enough power to not worry about cables to charge it.
Should to fail to give enough power the M20, you can fall back to powering the display by plugging it into a powered USB port. I have not had to worry though. Even placing the M20 behind the pattern mesh that’s around the rear view mirror will give it enough power to keep going.
The EK215 is a wired only tire monitor and it frustrated me that you have to use its own 12v to USB cable to be able to monitor the car’s battery voltage. Even if you use your own USB cable to power it, the EK215 is going to keep nagging you over the low voltage from your lower powered USB port.
For ease of use and the joy of having less wires to run around the vehicle’s cabin, the solar powered solution of the M20 beats the EK215 hands down.
Both monitors have very different ways of displaying its continuous readings. The EK215 has a nice and big display, with chunky bright numbers and symbols. However the disadvantage of this is the inability to display both pressure and temperature readings on the same screen. Instead you need to toggle between them.
The M20 is a much smaller and narrower display that’s half the size of the EK215, but it still manages to display both pressure and temperature of your tires on one screen. The text may be small, but with the monitor mounted nearby on the windshield, it’s more than legible at a glance, which is all you need really.
The M20 has only one mounting option. Due to how it is being powered, by the sun, you have to mount it onto your windscreen. This is simply done by using its 3M sticky pads to stick it to the inside glass.
You have two mounting options with the EK215. You can either use the bundle windscreen suction mount, or use its grippy pad surface and stand. The mount is fairly robust, with a ball joint on one end to allow you to position the display how you wish. The grippy pad and stand solution isn’t as sturdy on an open dashboard. This option is best suited if you’re going to mount the display in an enclosed compartment within the dashboard.
I found that the M20’s small height and stick on windscreen placement made it much more convenient than the EK215. It didn’t clutter up any more of my driving view by simply placing it more discreetly behind my rear view mirror.
Both the M20 and EK215 have the same audio and visual warnings when tires are over or under pressured, when connection to each tire sensor has been lost, or when temperatures run too high.
They both allow you to set high and low thresholds for both pressure and temperatures. The EK215 goes one extra with alerts for its battery voltage monitoring, whilst the M20 will alert you should it’s solar cells have not powered its internal battery sufficiently.
Both monitors will also alert you when they have lost their pairing with the tire sensor, should they lose battery power or when they are removed.
The tire cap sensors for the M20 and EK215 look pretty identical, and they both come with the same security bolts and the tools to fit them.
They also come with the same tool to remove the batteries from within them, when it’s time for them to be replaced, which is roughly around 1-2 years.
I experienced no connection issues from any of the tire cap sensors during my weeks of testing, and the connection between each cap and their displays is pretty much instantaneous.
Unlike the M20, the EK215 has the ability to monitor your car battery’s voltage. Personally I could easily live without this monitoring. If you drive a modern vehicle, you should already have low battery warning lamps on your dashboard.
If you really you want to (constantly) know how much voltage your battery is supplying, the EK215 has you covered in this department.
Which monitor should you buy?
So which of these two Monitors should you by? Well, it all comes down to how you wish to mount and power your monitor.
For me, the M20 has far more convenience based features than the EK215. With its low profile solar power charging display, accompanied by it’s convenient stick on mounting solution and its ability to display both tyre pressures and temperatures on the same screen, the M20 is a much more compelling tire monitor out of them both.
On the other hand, if you want a bigger display that also displays your battery voltage, and you are regularly parking your vehicle indoors, then the EK215 might be a more suitable tire monitor for you.
For me the M20 wins my comparison vote, and it will be the one that I’ll continue use for the foreseeable future.