2012 Nissan Quest: Easy-Fill Tire Alert System in Action (with Video!)
October 4, 2012
Oh, it looks like just another day at a slightly cruddy gas station in Long Beach, California, but today I topped up the pressure in our long-term 2012 Nissan Quest's tires. And I used the Easy-Fill tire pressure alert system. And I persuaded my spouse to make a video of the system in action so you can hear the horn honking at me to stop adding air.
How have we managed to drive this minivan over 22,000 miles without using this feature until now? Well, to activate Easy-Fill, you have to leave keyless remote in (or in very close proximity) to the Quest and then press the start button a couple times -- once to engage Accessory mode, and then a second time to engage the "On" position (without starting the engine). Normally, of course, when we check tire pressure, we just turn the vehicle completely off and keep the key on us, so it's easy to forget the feature exists.
So once you're in "On," all you do is starting filling the tires and wait for the honk.
As you can hear, the horn honks once to let you know when you've hit the correct psi (which is 35 psi cold front and rear... and the tires were cold at the time of this fill). Keep going as I did for demonstration purposes and you eventually get a more urgent series on honks. This gas station is in a moderately noisy area, and I didn't have any trouble hearing the horn... I subsequently show you air being added to a second tire and you'll note that I respond to the initial honk and stop adding air immediately.
The system also flashes the parking lights when you initially start filling a tire, but I didn't really find this necessary or helpful, and I obviously couldn't see this happening when adding air to the rear tires.
Now I had my favorite pressure gauge with me, and when I checked the pressure on the tires I had overfilled (yes, for demonstration purposes), it appears that the urgent honks typically set in after you're 5 psi over -- the affected tires were all around 40 psi. I let some air out until the tires were back down to 35 on my gauge, though a Nissan insider tells me I may still have left in a smidge too much air, as the Quest apparently gives another single-honk notification when you get the psi back down to the correct spec. So. I didn't wait quite long enough. Then again, slight overinflation is no bad thing in my book.
The verdict? I like Easy-Fill. Although I usually carry a tire pressure gauge with me, this audible notification system speeds up the process of adding air -- by eliminating the need to double-check with a gauge -- and I will use it again the next time I'm in a current-gen Quest, Leaf, 2013 Altima or 2013 Pathfinder.
Mind you, high-quality gauges certainly have their place in situations where precision is critical (during track testing, track days on a road course, etc.), but when you're just adding air to a civilian vehicle like the Quest, I can't see any reason not to take advantage of this convenience.
Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 22,354 miles