Whether an individual is on a road trip or a camping trip with family and friends, an essential tool for long-distance travel is a portable tire inflater. These devices work by using pressurized air to inflate tires, just like a tire pump. The most common type of portable tire inflator is a hand crank model. This is convenient as it is user-friendly but may not inflate as much as one might expect. This device can be powered by either a standard battery or an AC/DC adapter.
Most gas stations offer free air compressors with purchase, but some are out of order or display incorrect pressure readings. Off-roaders often have to allow air from their tires outside of their tires while roaming on rocky, bumpy terrain. This means that a portable tire inflater can help fill back to optimal pressure levels when they come back onto the pavement. A good rule of thumb is one ounce per pound of weight for portable tire inflators. However, this cannot be checked by the seller or the customer. Be sure to follow these recommendations.
One con of portable tire inflators is that they require a power source. Some are battery-powered, but they also need a cigarette lighter to operate. The lighter is the better choice because it is more portable, but some do not have enough power to inflate the tires altogether. If you intend on driving for an extended period without having to change your tires, this is not a problem.
One con of portable tire inflators is that they require you to readjust your tire size when deflated the air pump. However, there is a small switch in the dash that will tell you the correct tire size. It takes a little practice, but changing your tire size after using a gas-powered tire inflator can be a little tricky. That is one of the reasons that I recommend using a car tire gauge in your vehicle to keep you from overinflating a tire and ending up in an emergency room.
The next con of portable tire inflators is that most have only a six-pronged battery. This means that if you run out of power, you have to replace it, which could prove problematic if you are miles away from a store that sells batteries or is far away from a power outlet. In addition, this can limit the types of trips you can make since you will have to use the battery as often as possible. Some even have a limited tire inflation capacity, which is important for drivers who travel long distances or like to go on long motorcycle trips.
Another con of portable tire inflators is that most are only able to inflate a smaller can. Therefore, they are not as powerful as the air compressors in your car's glove box, and they have a smaller reservoir. This means that you will want to use them on low-load roads where it may take you longer to get to a maximum pressure point than on high-traffic roads. Also, keep in mind that most come with limited tire inflation capability.
Last but not least, the most common complaints about portable air pumps include the difficulty in starting them and the slow rate of inflation. Although starting them is easy, it does take some time, and then you will have to run the compressor for a while before it starts pumping air. This can lead to a situation where tires are too inflated or deflated so much that there is little air left in them when the driver starts the pump up. On the other hand, some of these inflatable air pumps require a very low starting pressure so that they work well in the beginning. There are also some complaints that air compressors are loud when started, but this is something that you need to test to make sure.
One of the best things about having a portable inflation system in your car is that you never have to worry about running out of air. You can leave your portable pump in the trunk of your car and inflate your tires without worrying about getting gas or having to carry a bulky inflation unit. When it comes to inflating tires, being able to take your inflation equipment with you anywhere is a major convenience. Portable tire inflators are definitely an item that should be considered by anyone who drives long distances or takes long trips.