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Buying Guide – Portable Air Compressor for Car Tires

Buying Guide – Portable Air Compressor for Car Tires

 Portable Air Compressor for Car Tires

As a car owner, regardless of the model that you drive and how well you think you’re maintaining the vehicle, it’s smart to always have a portable air compressor at your disposal, in the trunk. This way, whenever there’s a flat tire or you notice that the tires start to lose air, you will be able to fix the situation on the spot rather than having to go to a service to handle the situation and delay all of your plans or cancel them altogether. Seeing how these tools are quite complicated to understand and considering the fact that there’s a variety of different models to choose between on the market, it’s best to take your time and do the proper research before taking a final decision. A comparison of the best portable air compressors really comes in handy as it allows you to see what your best options are and what makes them so great, to begin with. Also, it’s ideal that you understand what to look for when making the purchase, an aspect that we will deal with in this article.

Versatility in Use

Although your first instinct is to focus solely on the inflation of car tires, you have to understand that investing in a portable air compressor could actually aid you in more situations if you just spend an extra buck and purchase a model intended for bigger projects as well. If the compressor can be used for heavy-duty tasks as well, it doesn’t mean that it will necessarily be extremely large in size and lose its portability because there are numerous compressors that are quite compact and that deliver a wider functionality and a high degree of versatility in use.

Maximum Pressure

Portable air compressors intended for inflating car tires tend to be small in size when compared to compressors that are designed for heavy-duty use and for more demanding tasks. Thus, it’s obvious that the maximum operating pressure of these compressors isn’t extremely high. Generally, an air compressor built for use on car tires boasts a maximum pressure of up to 7 bars or 100 psi. While it might not seem like much at first glance, this pressure is more than sufficient to handle inflating SUV tires.

Maximum Air Flow

If you go for a small 12V compressor, don’t expect much when it comes to the maximum air flow provided by the tool. On the other hand, if you go for a more dependable and better-performing air compressor that isn’t solely intended for use on car tires, you will have a lot to gain as the maximum air flow delivered will be more than sufficient to inflate the tires fast. Seeing how efficiency is one of the major factors when making any type of purchase, it’s best that you pay attention to this spec as it shows how much time will be lost during the inflation process.


The type of connection required to power the auto tool is an important spec to look into when making the purchase in order to check whether the connection that it needs suits your preference and possibility. Low-power models come with a connector that you must plug into the cigarette lighter, while bigger models feature clamps that you hook up to the battery of the car in order to operate the compressor. One method isn’t necessarily better than the other, so it’s all a matter of personal preference when it comes to this aspect.

Thermal Safety Cut-Out

Thermal overload protection is crucial, to say the least when it comes to portable air compressors. The presence of this much-needed feature is important as it guarantees safety in use and it shows that the tool at your disposal is dependable and durable. What the thermal safety cut-out feature basically does is that it guarantees that in the event of a serious temperature spike the compressor will stop operating to prevent any damage from being done to it. Until you address the situation, the tool will be rendered inoperable, thus guaranteeing that your investment is protected at all times.


It’s more than obvious that you need to take the tool’s design into consideration as well. After all, you have to analyze the dimensions and the weight in order to establish if it’s truly portable and if it endorses convenience in use at the level that you’re looking for. First of all, the weight of the product should preferably be less than 30-40 pounds so that you will have an easy time taking it out of the trunk and setting it up next to the tire. Also, it should be as compact in size as possible to not occupy too much space in the truck so that there’s enough room left for your baggage and other tools that you store there.

Noise Produced

The amount of noise that the compressor makes when operating is another key element to look into when making the purchase as you definitely don’t want to feel like you’re going to go deaf every time you need to tend to a deflated tire. No matter how small the compressor is, the tool generally produces at least 40 dB when it’s operating, which isn’t too bothersome. Just make sure that it doesn’t exceed 90 dB when operating, but this shouldn’t be an issue if you go with a small-sized air compressor that is predominantly used for inflating car tires.

Our Verdict & Recommendations

Regardless of the type of car that you drive, it’s mandatory to have a portable air compressor in the trunk so that you are able to deal with deflating tires in time and fast. If you want to purchase a quality portable air compressor for car tires, make sure that you read this article to know what to look for.



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