MAINTENANCE MATTERS
UNDER PRESSURE:

 

Wising up with SmartWave® systems


Fuel economy, ride comfort and tire life all depend on tire pressure. Checking tire pressure with an air gauge, thump stick or by looking at the tire may not provide an accurate or consistent measure of tire pressure. Plus, if a tire is going flat while driving, the driver may not know until a major tire failure occurs.

SmartWave® tire-pressure monitoring systems continuously check the tire pressure of all eight tires and alert the driver if air pressure is low or tire temperature is high. The system is designed to compensate for pressure and temperature difference, eliminating the need to check tire pressure at a certain temperature. The system has settings that it uses to determine the correct pressure for the temperature, whether it's -20° or 135° Fahrenheit outside.

The SmartWave® system has parameters that determine the best air pressure for each tire according to axle position, which can ensure optimal fuel economy and tire life. Too little air, and the coach can feel loose and experience increased tire temperature, which can lead to shorter tire life or tire failure. Too much air, and the tires can feel hard, lessening the riding comfort of the coach.

With the SmartWave® system, each tire has a transmitter, industrially designed for the harsh environment of a commercial coach tire. The tire sensor measures internal tire pressure and temperature every 12 seconds and transmits data every three to five minutes. If the system detects a pressure change of 3 PSI or greater, it breaks its regular schedule and transmits data immediately.


How it works

The "brain" of the system is the wireless gateway receiver that captures data transmitted by the each tire sensor. This data is then analyzed against programmed user-defined settings and, if the system determines that a tire is under inflated or running over temperature, it will trigger an audible alarm and display which tire is having the problem. Robust and weatherproof in design, the wireless gateway can be mounted directly to the vehicle's chassis and also can interface with the vehicle's J1939 network for seamless interaction.

The display mounted on or in the dash can display real-time tire pressure and temperature. This information is available on demand to the driver and is used to alert the driver of a pending tire problem before it becomes a dangerous issue or leads to a coach-down situation.

Wireless signals from front tires are captured by the wireless gateway directly. Signals from the rear and tag axles are captured by an antenna mounted by the drive axle. The external antenna ensures signal reception reliability so the SmartWave® system has up-to-date tire status.

Tooling around

There are two tools design to use with tire-pressure monitoring systems found aboard your MCI. One, the Maintenance Hand Tool, is used for maintaining tires in the yard. This tool can act like a highly accurate billy club. Maintenance personnel can use this tool to ping the wireless transmitter and accurately measure tire pressure and temperature. This will improve inflation accuracy, reducing diagnostic time and possible valve-core leaking. This will keep every tire rolling safely and cost effectively.

The second tool, the LF Initiator, allows maintenance personal to wirelessly "ping" a tire. It can be used instead of the hand tool to add tires to the system configuration, either during the initial setup or when tires are changed.

With the use of a tire-pressure monitoring system, you will improve the safety, efficiency and performance of your vehicle while also extending the life of your tires.

Drive with confidence knowing SmartWave® is on board.

Quick reference chart for troubleshooting:

MESSAGE CAUSE & SOLUTION

SENSOR FAULT

Cause: No signal has been received from a sensor for 35 minutes. If the SENSOR FAULT persists after the vehicle is driven, then a signal reception problem has been detected.

Solution: This problem is frequently due to the removal of the tire with the programmed sensor. If the correct tire is still installed, this may be caused by a malfunctioning antenna, sensor or receiver. Contact your authorized dealer for assistance.

NO TIRES PROGRAMMED

Cause: Indicates the receiver was not programmed with any tire locations during the initial programming stage.

Solution: The SmartWave® Diagnostics Tool will need to be interfaced to the Wireless Gateway for proper tire programming. Contact your authorized dealer for additional information.

AMB SENSOR FAULT

Cause: The ambient pressure sensor has not been received for 35 minutes.

Solution: A default ambient pressure value of 14.7 PSI (1.013 bar) or the last received ambient reading will be substituted until new ambient data is received. This may be caused by a malfunctioning antenna, sensor or receiver. Contact your authorized dealer for assistance.

ERROR — RE-ENTER VALUE

Cause: The value being entered was not accepted due to increased network traffic.

Solution: The user will be returned to the original menu upon pressing any button in order to re-enter the value.

SENSOR FAULT - Dual Light Display & Trailer Lamp Only

(lower light flashes twice followed by a 5 second pause, repeated)

Cause: No signal has been received from a sensor for 35 minutes as a result of a broken sensor or wireless reception issue. If the fault is intermittent, it is usually caused by inconsistent reception. If the fault is consistent after the vehicle is driven, the sensor may be broken.

Solution: This problem is frequently due to the removal of the tire with the programmed sensor. If the correct tire is still installed, reception quality and/or sensor functionality must be diagnosed. Contact your authorized dealer for assistance.

SYSTEM FAULT - Dual Light Display & Trailer Lamp Only

Cause: Improper programming, program corruption, electrical problems, and component failures can cause a system fault.

Solution: Contact your authorized dealer for assistance if this fault persists for more than an hour of driving the vehicle.

For a complete SmartWave® manual please visit http://www.smartire.com/support/manuals or call MCI's Technical Support line at 800-241-2947.

The FYI from MCI editorial staff values your feedback. Please e-mail any suggestions, comments, or ideas for future articles to fyi@mcicoach.com.

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