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Don’t wait until you get to a gas station to service your tires. These great car tire air pumps can help you in no time. Cars rely on inflated rubber tires to move around without damaging the components inside. Tires are not 100% puncture-proof, however, and over time, air leaves the tire, causing it to deflate. Deflated tires are dangerous and drivers should always look for signs that their vehicle has a flat tire.
If you don’t feel like driving to a gas station or repair shop to inflate your car’s tires, take matters into your own hands with one of our favorite car tire air pumps. They are strong, allowing you to pump the necessary air into your tires, and the best part is that they are also portable. If this sounds like something you’d want to add to your car’s emergency maintenance kit, check out these five car tire air pumps that we think can make your life a whole lot easier.
Top car tire air pumps worth considering in 2022
This GSPSCN two cylinder air compressor starts off our list strong and it is as powerful as it looks. It can work from your car’s outlet so you can use it whenever and wherever you want, and it also comes with a complete tire inflation kit so you have everything you need to inflate your tires straight out of the box . The kit includes a hose, an extension hose for hard-to-reach places, various adapters and even some clamps and cables. All of this fits nicely into an included carrying case, making this kit a great gift for someone who is always on the go.
- Fast tire pressure
- Accessories, adapters and carrying case included
- Built-in LED light for late night use
- Possible inaccuracies with pressure gauge
There are many things to learn when you first start driving, and it can be difficult to get used to them all. Some new drivers may feel overwhelmed using things like air compressors and tire inflators, but luckily there are some that are specifically designed for easy use – in fact, they’re so simple that you only need to press one button to use them. This one-button tire inflator from Slime is great for someone who doesn’t want to get bogged down with extra features. It has an easily recognizable green button that can be pressed at any time, as well as an air pressure gauge that tells you when to stop. The inflator also comes with an LED light that can help with visibility if you use it in low light or at night.
- Simple one-button design
- Small and compact, easy to store
- The included adapter for various applications without tires
Many air compressors use an analog gauge to display the pressure, but some modern compressors use a digital display instead. The advantage of a digital display is that it is often easier to read, and with LED lighting you do not have to shine light on the meter at night. This portable EPAuto air compressor has a bright LED display, making it easy to check tire pressure no matter the time of day (or night). This compressor pump is available in four different colors (red, blue, yellow and green) and the large LED light can be directed using a conveniently placed handle. It can light up your garage for some late night car maintenance, and overall it’s a solid product with a nice digital display.
- Easy to read digital display
- Universal valve connection, including adapters
- Automatically shuts off when desired pressure is reached
- Not intended for use with truck tires
Of all the air compressors and tire inflators on our list, this one from VacLife is probably the nicest. It has a modern, minimalist look, but the good looks don’t come with a high price – the most surprising thing about this air compressor is that it’s relatively cheap and won’t set you back more than $40. This compressor has an easy-to-read digital display and several buttons for controlling the settings that complement the design of the unit. It comes with needles and nozzle adapters to pump air into most inflatable objects, but it can’t handle anything higher than 50 PSI (pounds per square inch), so it’s probably not a good choice if you’re looking for something to fill your large. truck tires.
- Slim, compact design
- Multiple nozzles for different applications
- Automatically shuts off when you’re done inflating
- Buttons are hard to see at night
If power is what you’re looking for, you’ve definitely found it with this next product. This AstroAI air compressor can handle up to 100 PSI and can inflate a car tire from 0 to 35 PSI in less than five minutes. It also has a digital display, which ties in well with one of its other features: programmable inflation. You can set your desired pressure and let the compressor pump until it reaches your set value. While this compressor is powerful, it also has some limitations. Perhaps the biggest is the fact that you have to turn it off after 10-15 minutes of use to let the compressor rest. This can be a problem if you need to inflate multiple tires as quickly as possible, but if you need to inflate something quickly, it probably isn’t that big of a deal.
- Inflates to 100 PSI
- Programmable inflation function
- Fast inflation times
- Needs rest after 10-15 minutes of use
Buying guide: Air pumps for car tires
If you need to inflate your car’s tires in an emergency, you’ll need a portable air pump or compressor nearby. Here’s everything you need to know about car tire air pumps.
Why do I need an air pump for car tires?
Inflate tires in no time
The main reason many drivers invest in a good air compressor kit is that they can always inflate their tires, even in an emergency. There are plenty of situations when you suddenly need air – if you’re in the middle of nowhere and notice that one of your tires is deflated, you’ll probably want to pull over and inflate it ASAP.
Having compressed air available at all times can save you, but it can just as easily save other drivers who don’t have their own air compressors. If you see someone stranded on the side of the road, you can help them if they have a deflated tire.
Save time and money in the long run
While it’s not exactly expensive, it does cost money to inflate your tires. This is especially true if you own multiple vehicles or multiple spare tires – it costs money to keep them all inflated, and you must spend cash for each tire pressure and drive your car(s) to the local gas station or repair shop for the filling.
Instead of all that hassle, inflate your tires at home with your own tire inflator or air compressor. It’s easy and convenient, and you don’t have to leave your garage to get your car’s tires in good condition. You can also check your tires the night before a road trip and skip a trip to the gas station when you’re ready to hit the road.
Inflating more than just tires
Air compressors are most commonly used on tires, but there are many other things that can benefit from the compressed air they provide. Always keep your sports balls inflated with an air compressor, so you’re always ready for a game of basketball, volleyball, soccer and more. A deflated ball isn’t worth practicing and playing with, but having a compressor handy can help keep your game in check.
There are also more niche applications for air compressors, such as inflating balloons. You probably won’t be using air compressors outside of tires and balls, but it’s always good to know your options just in case.
How to use a car tire air pump?
Step 1: Connect the pump
To power your tire air pump, you must first connect it to a power source. Car tire air pumps usually use your car’s outlet as the power source – it has enough power to run the pump efficiently, and your car outlet will likely be your only source of power while you’re on the road.
If you happen to have a car tire air pump that plugs into a wall outlet, you can use that instead. Outlets offer better wattage and you get more juice out of them than your typical car outlet.
Step 2: Place the mouthpiece
With the hose connected to the compressor, insert the other end into the tire of your car through the nozzle. If you can’t see it well, we recommend using your compressor’s supplied LED light (if equipped) or a flashlight instead.
Step 3: Start Pumping
Now that everything is in place, you can start the compressor. Depending on the type of compressor you are using, you may need to follow different instructions, but the general idea is to pay close attention to the pressure reading shown on the gauge/display and stop once it has reached the ideal level.
For analog meters and simple digital displays, this is the method to follow. You always want to keep an eye on the meter or display, but feel free to look away and check other things while waiting. Always be near the compressor in case the cable jumps out of either end or something else happens.
If you have a programmable digital compressor, you can set the desired pressure value first instead. You can then start the compressor and it should stop automatically once the pressure you initially set is reached. This means that you don’t have to look at the meter at all, but you should still follow the entire process, just to be sure.
Digital vs Analog Air Pumps for Car Tires
There is not much difference between analog and digital air pumps for car tires. The main difference is in the display, and they are both fairly easy to understand. Digital displays have the advantage of having special features (such as programmable inflation), so if you’re interested in these, you may want to go digital over analog.
How much do car tires and air pumps cost?
Auto air compressors and tire inflators will set you back anywhere from $15 to $30, with some slightly cheaper and some more expensive. In general, though, you shouldn’t spend more than $50 on a decent air compressor, so try not to worry too much about the price.
Frequently asked questions about car tire air pumps
Q: Are car tire air pumps safe?
Car tire air pumps are designed to be powered and used by cars, so they are completely safe even if you are on the side of the road.
Q: How do car tire air pumps work?
Air pumps for car tires take in air from their environment and compress it. This compressed air is then fed into the tire and inflated until it is full.
Q: Can car tire air pumps be used for balls?
With the right nozzle adapter, you can use car tire air pumps for sports balls, balloons, inflatable pools and more.