It’s pretty difficult to put a value on an air pump for tires when the vehicle is running so smoothly and we’re enjoying trouble free motoring. But now is the time while everything is going so well to think about, “what if things should go wrong” and “what’s the best method to deal with it”.
The tires that hold us onto the road during our car trips can often be taken for granted. Even if we have purchased the best tires available it really doesn’t take into account the unforeseen event just waiting round the corner.
There will be an occasions when we go to the car and find that a tire looks in need of airing up or is even flat. We won’t be able to pick the moment, the weather conditions or the location where and when this can happen. That’s why I thought it’s time to write up this 12v air compressor review which might just help avoid the many problems associated with having a flat.
There are so many other uses for a tire inflator around the home apart from inflating the car tires. For example, you may have taken the time and trouble to choose a bike for the kid and its sitting there unused with a flat tire. Or any other family member’s bike for that matter and can be fixed with what is after all a 2 minute job, if you had an air pump to hand.
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Benefits of having Properly Inflated Tires
Apart from keeping your car running with a tire leaking air, just being able to have the tires at the correct pressure has many benefits in itself. Safety of course is the number one reason. The need to brake and driving around corners in the correct fashion cannot be guaranteed when tire pressures are incorrect.
Savings on fuel can be achieved with the correct pressures and is another aspect to take into account with the recent gas price hikes. As is an increase in the life of the tires.
Just having a tire inflator with a gauge will also allow the tires to be checked before leaving home and possibly save you from having to wait in a queue at the gas station forecourt.
Stowing these small air compressors in the car trunk will also come in handy when on road trips and even more so when there are other inflatable’s that need to be aired up.
3 Best Air Pump for Tires Reviews
The following examples of 12v portable tire inflators are all rated highly by users and in a couple of instances by hundreds of users.
The first one featured is the, Slime 40022 followed by the Viair 00073 70P and lastly the Viair 85P.
All models have a couple of things that are important features to qualify them as the best 12v air compressor for tires.
- They should have a dial to check pressure readings
- And a cord length of at least around 10 feet to reach all four wheels comfortably.
Slime 40022 12-Volt Portable Tire Inflator
The Slime 40022 makes an excellent 12-Volt air pump for tires with a compact size of 8.9 inches x 2.9 inches x 6.4 inches which will slip into a corner of any car trunk. It plugs straight into the cigarette lighter unit which should have a 15 amp fuse fitted.
Simply set the required tire pressure and it will automate the inflation procedure and cut out when the pre-set pressure is reached.
The dial is a LED light which will allow for easy reading if using at night with the choice of PSI, BAR, and kPa. The maximum reach is 12 feet which should allow access to all wheels with ease.
The review figures for this portable tire inflator sit at almost 4 from 5 stars left by 424 users who found the item favorable in the main. One reviewer left it 5 stars then changing the rating to 1 star when it broke but changed it back again when they were sent a replacement. Read the full review here
Viair 00073 70P Tire Inflator With Gauge
The second in my selection is the Viair 00073 70P air pump for tires which is suitable for using when pressures of up to 100 PSI are required.
Again 15 ampere as the minimum of power port is required and the pressure reading can be viewed via the clear to read attached dial.
Typical use for the Viair 00073 70P is blowing up tires of anything up to 225/65/R18 and they do have other models that will do other tasks.
The sizes are – 9.2 inches x 8.5 inches x 8 inches and can be packed away in the carry bag which is included.
Reviews are very good for the air pump being rated at a hefty 4.5 from the 5 stars max and left by a large number of users, 878 in total at the time of writing. Definitely, this is a tire inflator with gauge to be given due consideration.
One reviewer did mention that the cigarette lighter plug is meant for lighter outlets that were deeper set. They found that they had to jam the cigarette lighter plug in or get assistance to hold it in position. Just something to bear in mind! Learn more.
Viair 85P Portable Air Compressor
I have to say that I couldn’t see past the Viair 85P air compressor as my final selection from my top 3 portable compressors. No matter how hard I checked out the others to try and give you more options none came up with what Viair offer. Read more about it here.
In fact the Viair 85P is my top choice which is only slightly dearer than the Viair 00073 70P.
Similar to the 00073 70P the Viair 85P also has the brass screw on type fitting to attach to the tire valve. This does away with the problem the toggle versions have of allowing air to escape while fitting and removing them.
Another plus point with the 85P is the speed which it completes the inflation. On the downside which may put some people off is that some users have experienced fuses blowing. Not that this seems to have put folk off from buying it. Nor has the problem been reflected in the reviews left by the users as the reviews are extremely good.
The instructions clearly state to have the car running before airing up which will alleviate this problem. Although for only a few dollars there are a variety of 12V battery clip on cigarette lighter socket extension cords available on the Amazon site.
The unit comes complete with a 10 feet long power cord which would get you around all 4 car wheels OK. If you feel like you wanted to have a longer air lead, Viair offer a 6 foot portable compressor air extension hose for around $5.
Accessories included are suitable for the usual inflatables and are stored on the compressor to avoid losing them.
The sizes are – 11 inches x 4 inches x 8 inches which is small and neat enough to tuck away in the trunk until needed. Since there is no bag to store the compressor in, hold on to the box it arrives in and use that to store it in the trunk.
When looking for an air pump for tires you will notice the large selection available to you. These are my top 3 versions of a 12v air pump and you may have other ideas and needs from your chose tire inflator. If so Click Here to See More Choices