If you are a car owner, you can always expect for a flat tire every now and then. Flat tires are common occurrences and cannot be prevented – it comes with the territory of driving a car.
Although you cannot prevent flat tires, you can easily fix it without having to resort to going to car shops – both time-consuming and pricey. It is a good thing that portable tire inflators were made. You can do the fixing on your own – anytime and anywhere.
Our Top Pick’s and Editor’s Recommendation:
With those things out of the way, here are five (5) best tire inflators – with their advantages and disadvantages – available in the market now that can be easily considered as the best tire inflator:
The 15 Best Tire Inflator Reviews:
1. Slime 12V Tire Inflator
You can never say when your car tires get flat. So always bringing a portable and reliable tire inflator like Slime 40050 12-Volt Digital Tire Inflator with you is beneficial.
The inflator is made with a technology that allows automatic shut down when target pressure is achieved. The Slime 40050 has digital LED display convenient for night use and it inflates a mid-sized tire in 6 minutes with a max pressure of 35 PSI.
The inflator can be plugged into a car cigarette lighter that needs 15 Amp fuse. The power is 12 V, wattage is 280 watts, LPM is 16 and CFM is .565. Finally, the cord reach is 12 feet.
- Provides accurate pressure range
- Screw-on valve attachment that is easy to connect & disconnect
- Digital display with LED backlight ideal for day & night use
- Compact, powerful & portable operating at 12 V & 35 PSI
2. P.I. Portable Auto Air Compressor
When you are planning to go on a road trip or go on a bumpy ride, ensuring that your tires are fully inflated is important. Bring a handy and portable tire inflator with you like P.I. Auto Store Premium Digital Tire Inflator.
The machine is powered by 12 V DC and can pump up to 150 Psi. It also automatically shuts down after targeted pressure value has been achieved and can inflate a mid-sized car tire in 4 minutes at 30 Psi.
The inflator is good for night time use with its LED backlit displays that also features different settings.
The hose length is 12 feet and it is compatible with other vehicle tires. To add, the inflator only weighs 2 lbs. with 7 in x 3 in x 6. in as its dimensions
3. Avid Power Digital Tire Pressure Gauge Inflator
Done with a tire inflator that does not inflate at all? Trust the Avid Power Tire Inflator Air Compressor to do the work. The inflator has a 24 feet reach – for the length of the power cord and air hose combined. It is compatible with a 120 V plug outlet and almost all types of tires.
The machine can work at P185/R1 from 0 Psi to 28 Psi in just 2 ½ minutes with a max tire pressure of 150 Psi. It weighs 8 lbs. and has dimensions of 10.4 in x 7.9 in x 7.4 in.
Visiting the car shop every time you have a flat tire can be a little pricey and time-consuming. Be practical and get your own tire inflator like JACO SmartPro Digital Tire Inflator Pump that is built with Smart Pressure technology.
It has a power adapter that plugs into a 12 V DC outlet, inflates 5 t 10 Psi, and measures 0 to 100 Psi at 1 Psi accuracy with its built-in precise air gauge.
The machine can reach up to 24 in with its heavy duty air hose. It only weighs 2 lbs. with 7.5 in x 2.5 in x 6 in product dimensions.
5. EPAuto 12V DC Portable Air Compressor Pump
You want to get ready for any possible vehicle mishaps when you are on a road trip. One way to do that is to have a tire inflator stored inside your trunk – something in the likes of EPAuto 12V DC Portable Air Compressor Pump.
The power source of the machine is a 12 V (120 to 180) W outlet plug with LMP at 40. It comes with a ten (10) ft. cigarette lighter power cord and three (3) additional accessory nozzles for universal access.
It has a noiseless and non-vibration operation that can deliver four (3.5) liters of air in just one (1) minute. The machine is light weight in one (1) pound. and dimensions are 13.5 in x 8.1 in x 5.6 in.
Buying Guide: Things To Consider When Select Best Tire Inflator
Before you start with the fixing, you have to get yourself a portable tire inflator first. Look for the best tire inflator that will suit you and your needs. Most probably you would opt to buy the fastest tire inflator you can have. Or you wish to purchase a tire inflator that gives the greatest output capacity.
Whichever it may be, the best tire inflator for you is the one that complies with all your the points in the checklist. After all, no foot fits all shoes as there is no tire inflator that inflates all tires. Be sure to check out cordless tire inflation as well.
Here is what you can consider in your search:
a) Check the inflation speed
Some air pumps boast of being able to fill a standard mid-sized car tire in six (6) minutes. The others claim that they can top the performance by two (2) minutes down – or just less than four (4) minutes. There are a few air pump brands – usually those with powerful motors – that can do the job in two (2) minutes or less.
The rule of thumb though – subject to some few exceptions – is the faster a tire inflator can fill a tire, the more expensive its price due to its powerful motors and modern technology.
b) Do the legwork
An informed buyer is cannot be easily deceived by exaggerated promotions. It is beneficial, if not very important that you do the legwork or make your personal research before immediately buying a tire inflator. The best tire inflator for you is the tire inflator that suits your needs.
To achieve that, you have to do a research. Read some product reviews by qualified and credible personalities. Search for verified customer feedbacks to know both the negative and positive features of each brand straight from the users themselves. Look for specifications and accessory features that go with each tire inflators.
Do some brand comparisons if you are confused between two (2) or among three (3) products that you are interested in. Do all these to guide you in your decision-making,
How to Use a Tire Inflator
All About the Pressure
- The first step is to know your current tire pressure. Knowing the current air pressure of your flat tire is essential to determine how much air you have to put into your flat tire. The reading of the tire pressure can be facilitated by an air pressure gauge or a tire inflator with a built-in pressure gauge. You simply have to press down the pressure gauge or tire inflator into the flat tire’s air valve and hold the position until a reading has been completed
- Second, determine how much air you need to add to the flat tire. Knowing how the air pressure inside the flat tire gives you an idea of how much air should be delivered into the air valve of the flat tire. Extreme results will not be satisfactory for too much air will result in the early wear and tear of your tires while too little air will speed up damage to your tires and wheels as well as cause your driving experience less than smooth sailing – not to exclude the fact of increasing the chances of encountering vehicle mishaps.
- First, take off the valve stem’s cap. Look for the valve stem of your car’s tire and take off the stem cap to prepare for the delivery of air. See to it that you position the unscrewed cap within your line of vision since you are going to put it back into the valve stem after the tire is fully inflated
- Second, search for a tire inflator. There are quite a number of tire inflators available now. There are manual tire inflators if you are the type to do everything by yourself. If in contrast, you opt to go for convenience, then a digital tire inflator is a perfect choice. Some digital inflators automatically turn off when the target pressure value has been achieved inside the tire. The digital ones make more accurate pressure readings compared to the manuals
- Third and last, keep your tires cold. There is an accurate reading of the tire pressure when the tires being read are cold or unused. The hot friction created when the tires are used gives a higher tire pressure – not entirely an accurate reading.
Fill Them Up
- First, attach the tire inflator. Depending on the type of tire inflator you own, press the tip of the air hose or screw it into the air valve then hold it until the desired pressure is attained
- Second, monitor the tire pressure every now and then. Regardless of whether the tire inflator is manual or digital, the device has a pressure gauge to help you monitor the pressure reading
- Third, recap the valve stems. This step prevents the accidental loss of air from the tire because the valve was resealed; and
- Fourth and last, repeat the steps from the top to work on your other flat tires – starting on the tire that is nearer to the tire inflator.
Manual Tire Inflator vs. Digital Tire Inflator
Tire inflators nowadays are of two (2) major types – manual tire inflators & digital tire inflators. If you want the old school and classic type of person who wants to do everything by himself, the manual tire inflator is your type.
If you want the less hassle and easy way, then you have to choose the digital tire inflator over the other. And between the two (2) classes, the digital tire inflator tops the other when it comes to speed because the manual tire inflator is affected by many variables – most important of which are the users’ arm strength & stamina.
A digital tire inflator, in contrast, has an automatic setting that facilitates the tire inflator to operate by itself – and automatically shuts off – minus your constant intervention.
Frequently Asked Question:
i) What size air compressor do I need to inflate car tires?
Passenger vehicles have a standard pressure gauge of between 32 PSI and 35 PSI.
Manufacturers recommend that the tires maintain the 32 PSI pressure gauge and 35 PSI during cold days. What if you are using an air compressor to refill your tires? What size air compressor is ideal for inflating car tires?
If you need to use an air compressor to inflate your tires, 2CFM at 90 PSI is enough. However, those who intend to run tire-changing machines require more than this.
For them, something of about 4 CFM is sufficient to accomplish the task. Air compressors are perfect alternatives for inflating car tires.
ii) When should you inflate car tires?
Tire manufacturers recommend that car owners should maintain their tire inflates to enjoy driving experiences. Pressure always goes down depending on where you drive, the speeds, and several other factors.
The temperature tires get exposed to also matters about the rate they deflate. But what best or recommended time should you inflate your car tires?
Usually, tire manufacturers provide a pressure gauge particular tire should maintain. Wherever you drive your machine doesn’t matter when you should inflate them.
You need to do that when the pressure goes down the set manufacturer limit. Otherwise, lower pressure levels make the tires flex especially when cornering or the stopping time.
iii) Can I use an air compressor to fill my tires?
Maintaining your tires at the set pressure gauges is paramount to serve you excellently and for long. Usually, we employ tire inflators to refill our tires.
However, air compressor manufacturers claim that these devices can as well help to inflate tires. Now, are they really effective for refilling tasks?
Yes, air compressors are excellent tire inflators we commonly employed by car owners to refill tires at their job sites. These devices employ motors to convert electrical energy into usable kinetic energy.
Air compressors have a system of cylinders and pistons that helps to drive air from the device to your tires. These devices have powerful motors to maintain constant airflow through the system.
iv) Is 25 PSI too low for tires?
Usually, tire manufacturers indicate the pressure gauge that you need to attain when inflating them.These pressure gauges are either on the wheel or at the instruction manual that comes with them.
Some are set at 32 PSI, and others even higher than that depending on the tire at hand. But then, is a 25 PSI pressure too low for a drive?Now, if for instance the sticker indicates inflating the tire to 32 PSI, then that is it.
Anything lower is not recommended at all since lower pressures cause damages to tires as well as poor braking. 25 PSI pressure is too low and you should push it to the manufacturer’s set gauge.
v) Should you Overinflate Tires in winter?
Tire pressures will increase and decrease depending on the temperature condition of different places. A 1 PSI pressure is attained after 10 degrees F increase and a 1 PSI decrease when it drops by 10 degrees F.
Now, do experts recommend over-inflating your tires to get through winter environments with ease? As per tire manufacturers’ advice, it’s important to maintain tires at the set manufacturer pressure gauge whatsoever.
Under-inflating tires usually lead to excessive flexing, especially when stopping or turning corners. Likewise, excessive pressures deform the tire’s shape and thereby making them lose traction. Simply maintain the set pressure gauge as indicated on the wheel by the manufacturer.
How to use a portable tire inflator
Manufacturers out there are after making their products effective to compete favorably with other models. They always need end-users to enjoy the best services and excellent results from their products.
However, as an end-user, you will only get results if you use your device correctly. Below is an expert guide comprising steps of using portable tire inflators excellently.
Any inflation process should start by connecting the inflator to a power supply source. As a preliminary measure, car engines should remain ever running to prevent draining cases.
Ensure the power cord is long enough to reach the individual wheels you need to inflate.
Before inflating a tire, you need to inspect its current pressure. Consequently, you need to inspect the tires for possible punctures.
Avoid inflating tires that have big punctures. Repair the puncture or replace the wheel with a new one.
Once the inspection is complete, connect the inflator nozzle to your tire’s valve stem.
Ensure the connection is tight before you can open the pump to start the inflation process.
Confirm all connections are well to avoid leakages when inflating the tire.
Have you confirmed the connection and ascertained all things are correctly set?
Turn on your inflator to allow the flow of air to your tire. Be careful during this time and if the pump starts making any awkward sound, mind stopping it.
Usually, awkward sounds signify poor connecting between the parts.
Stop the machine and tighten everything before you continue inflating your tire.
Improper connections are the root cause of leakages that leads to under-inflation cases as well as lengthy filling processes.
While inflating your tire, there is a need for you periodically stop between sessions to confirm the pressure gauge. Ensure you inflate the tire to the recommended manufacturer’s pressure limits. Avoid over-inflating the tire since this facilitates damages.
Take Careful Note of the Tire Inflator’s Output
Admittedly, it is essential that you can inflate your flat tires the fastest chance that you can, neither the output capacity nor the amount of air pressure should be taken for granted.
In your search for a fast tire inflator, you have to put high consideration into air pressure capacity as well as the optimum air pressure that an air pump can deliver at one cycle. The more air pressure the machine can create, the faster the target pressure can be achieved.