Ensuring that your tires are set to the correct PSI is crucial for both safety and performance reasons. You can use a tire pressure gauge to regularly check the PSI but you will require a tire inflator to increase the PSI of your tires.
The best tire inflator is the AUDEW Portable Digital Inflator, which features a max pressure of 150 PSI, quiet operation, automatic shut off, bright LED light and more.
With the advancements in technology, tire inflators come with far more features than a few years ago. From digital gauges, automatic shut off, lighting as well as others, which means the market is fairly competitive and its worth shopping around.
Table of Contents
- Best Portable Air Compressor For Cars
- AUDEW Portable Tire Inflator
- Goodyear i8000 120V Tire Inflator With Gauge
- Kensun AC/DC Tire Inflator
- Cordless Tire Inflator By Audew
- EPAuto Digital Tire Inflator
- Car Tire Inflator Buying Guide
Best Portable Air Compressor For Cars
|Tire Inflator||Type||Max PSI|
|Audew Portable||DC||150 PSI|
|Goodyear i8000 120V||AC||150 PSI|
|Kensun Performance||AC/DC||90 PSI|
|Audew Lithium Battery||Cordless||160 PSI|
Each vehicle has different PSI ratings for their tires dependent upon its load, width, diameter and other factors. The PSI rating stands for Pounds Per Square Inch and this can be found in the fuel filler caps, door sills or the manual.
There are different methods manufacturers use to display the PSI from a tire inflator, which is usually analogue or digital. The latter is the more desirable way of reading the PSI of a car tire without worrying about misreading the gauge.
The market for air compressors for your tires is fairly saturated without any standing out in particular. Below is a list of the best car tire inflators you can buy that will plug straight into a 12V cigarette socket as a power source.
AUDEW Portable Tire Inflator
Audew is an automotive brand with a large number of products at a reasonable price such as this tire inflator. Compared to other air compressors for cars, this one has a unique design that stays stable when being used and acts as soundproofing.
The Audew tire inflator has many features, which include:
- 150 PSI
- Noise level of 60 dB
- Automatic shut off
- LED torch
- Multiple attachments
- Clear digital gauge
- Fairly compact
Considering that Audew have designed this to be a cheap tire inflator, it certainly features a lot of functionality. Simply plug it into a 12V power source and you are good to go. The automatic shut off feature is one of our favorite features as it makes using the inflator far more convenient. For example, you can set the PSI and then go do something else until its complete.
Overall, it is the best tire inflator for the money with many premium features, powerful compressor and quiet operation. If you require a more powerful air compressor, Audew also offer a dual cylinder pump that will inflate a tire from 0 to 35 PSI in less than 2 minutes.Check it Out
Goodyear i8000 120V Tire Inflator With Gauge
Goodyear are one of the biggest tire brands in the world and they have developed a portable air compressor that is powerful yet quiet. The 120V tire inflator is able to inflate a basic tire from 0 to 28 PSI in just 2 and a half minutues.
Below are some of the features of the Goodyear i8000 120V Tire Inflator.
- 150 PSI
- 17 feet PVC air hose
- 6 feet power cord
- 120 volt direct drive inflator
- Almost zero vibration
- Whisper soft technology
- 60 dB of noise
As with the Audew tire inflator above, this also comes with various adapters and attachments for inflating other products. One major difference is the power source as the i8000 by Goodyear is a 12V tire inflator and plugs into standard wall outlets.
The Goodyear portable tire inflator is one of the most popular on the market and comes with other cheaper options that include (i3000, i3500, i4000 and the i8000). The i8000 is the one to go for and it is by far the best tire inflator that uses a 120V wall outlet. Using a 12V power source can be awkward at times and it can be far simpler to use a 120V source.Check it Out
Kensun AC/DC Tire Inflator
For those that are on a budget, we recommend that you avoid this tire inflator as it is fairly specialized. It is both AC and DC adaptable for car and home use, which is very convenient and fairly advanced compared to the alternatives.
Features of the Kensun AC/DC Tire Inflator include:
- LCD digital gauge
- Maximum of 90 PSI
- Unit conversion
- LED work light
- Additional attachments
- Automatic shut off
The design of this portable tire inflator makes it one of the easiest to carry around and even hang on a hook when stored. It even comes with its very own storage bag but this would be something you would expect at the premium price.
Overall it is the best AC/DC tire inflator you can buy and it performs highly too. Kensun state that inflate up to 30 liters per minute, which is fairly impressive. If you are willing to spend the extra, this car tire inflator is a great option.Check it Out
Cordless Tire Inflator By Audew
One thing that can be fairly irritating whilst inflating each tire is the cord. From not being able to reach the tire or slipping out of the cigarette lighter socket. However, with the use of a cordless tire inflator that uses a lithium ion battery pack, you can avoid all these issues and easily inflate your tires.
Features of the cordless tire inflator by Audew include:
- 2200 mAh large capacity
- Rechargeable lithium battery
- Option to use a 12V adapter
- Automatic shut off
- 120 watts of power
- Digital gauge
- Other attachments
- 60 dB of noise
As with the other portable tire inflator by Audew, it features many of the same functionalities. Unlike other cordless tire inflators, this also has the option of using a 12V power source. This is useful for when the battery pack loses charge.
Overall, it is the best cordless tire inflator you can buy that is dual powered, powerful and comes packed full of features.Check it Out
EPAuto Digital Tire Inflator
For those that are looking for a cheap tire inflator for emergency use, the EPAuto is a good option. At a fraction of the cost compared with some of the alternatives above, this tire pump offers excellent value for money.
In terms of the features of the EPAuto, they include:
- Digital gauge
- LED torch
- Automatic shut off
- 4 units of pressure
- 10 amp power
- 70 dB
Overall, it is an affordable option that packs a fair amount of performance for the money. It won’t be as good as the more expensive alternative but if you will only be using it as a backup or storing it in your car, you cannot go wrong with the EPAuto.Check it Out
Car Tire Inflator Buying Guide
Ensuring that you have the correct PSI in your tires is crucial in terms of safety and your cars handling. Failing to inflate the properly can results in the potential of a blow out, poor fuel efficiency, bad wear of the tire and so much more.
Using a tire inflator, you are able to simply inflate them with very little effort. They are cheap, compact, portable and are fairly quick these days. Not owning one can be a real issue when you have a flat tire.
Some of the features found in most tire inflators include the following:
Over inflation is a common mistake made by car owners when pumping up their car tires. The main reason for this is misjudging the gauge and this can cause uneven tire pressures around the car. This is where the auto shutoff feature comes into action. It works by the user manually inputting the desired PSI and once the pressure in the tire reaches the PSI, it will shutdown the compressor.
The analogue gauge is mostly found on the older car air pumps and they work perfectly fine. However, reading from a digital gauge makes the ease of use for the majority of car air pumps much greater. The text is larger and easier to read with many giving a range of unit conversion to choose from with a click of a button.
The introduction of an LED lamp on some of the best tire inflators is a much needed feature. Pumping up your tires in the dark is fairly miserable and is made worse when you cannot see the dust cap or gauge if its not digital.
You can use a tire inflator for many other products other than your cars tires. From beach balls to bike tires, virtually any inflatable can be inflated using one of the above tire inflators. However, you will need to have all the additional attachments, adapters and other connectors before doing this. The majority of inflators include these and they can be highly useful when required.
AC/DC & Cordless Tire Inflators
Tire inflators are all fairly similar in terms of their functionality but their power source does vary. The most common tire inflator will use a 12V AC power source such as the cigarette lighter. This is because virtually every car has a cigarette lighter and its the center point of the car. This means you are able to reach all four tires without needing a huge power cord.
Opting for a AC 120V wall outlet is just as portable and it has several other uses without going into the car. For example, you may want to inflate other products other than your cars tires. It is also more reliable as not all cigarette lighters will work in all cars but you will always be able to find a wall outlet. On top of this, your car may have a flat car battery, which means there will be no power going to the 12V power source.
There are some tire inflators that can use both AC and DC power such as the Kensun tire inflator above. This gives the best of both worlds but you will have to pay a premium for the dual power source option.
Finally, you can have a cordless tire inflator that is powered by a lithium ion battery and is usually a handheld device. These are normally the most expensive type of inflator but its the easiest to use, most portable and offers excellent power.
However, be sure to charge the battery otherwise you will be resorting to using a 12V alternative for powering up the inflator.
Air Compressor Noise
Older tire inflators are known for being noisy and vibrating everywhere on the floor thus producing more noise. The noise that it makes can be highly annoying to neighbors and people nearby and its important that you look out for a quiet inflator.
Anything that is above 80 dB is considered as loud and if your modern air compressor is making this type of noise, there is more than likely something wrong with it.
Tire PSI Rating
To avoid the pain and stresses of a flat or over inflated car tire, be sure to check the correct tire pressure for your vehicle. They are often found in the fuel filler cap or door sills but failing this, they will be found from within the cars manual and other documentation.
The amount of air you put into a cars tire can depend on a range of factors from the temperature, number of passengers or different tires/wheel combination. If you are struggling to find the PSI, you can use the PSI stated on the tire for temporary use until you can find the correct pressure.
If you are driving with incorrect tire pressures, you may find the below symptoms.
Flat Tire Symptoms
Driving with a flat tire is considered far worse than an over inflated tire. Below are some symptoms that you will find when driving with a flat tire:
- Reduced fuel economy
- Car Handling Reduced
- Uneven Tire Wear
- Increase in Blow Outs
- Pulling to one side
- Visibly flat tire
Over Inflation Symptoms
Over inflation is usually caused by not knowing the required manufacturers PSI rating or by mistake. Drawback of an over inflated tire include:
- Uneven tire wear
- Harder ride
- Less contact on the road
- Pressure on the tire
The only real sign of an over inflated tire is the very harsh ride when driving. You will be able to feel every stone or stick in the road and if this is the case, double check your tire pressures. If you have switched between cars, do not be fooled by sport suspension and other factors.
Portability and Ease of Use
Unless you own a garage, you are more than likely going to purchase a portable tire inflator. All of the recommendations are portable but they do operate differently. Some inflate via predefined PSI whereas others are manually operated by the user until the PSI is reached. The last thing you want when you are trying to inflate a tire is a hard to use tire inflator. Limited buttons and an intuitive digital display really do help when trying to use the device.
In terms of portability, a compact design that is easy to carry and stores well are important. On top of this, for corded AC/DC tire inflators, you will want to be able to wrap the cord easily and the Audew recommendation is the best at doing this.
Checking your tire pressures on a regular basis is highly recommended. The slightest of changes can make all the differences to the way your car handles. Even the temperature will require you to change the PSI of your tires. For example, when you are using winter tires, it is recommended by Tire Rack that you increase the by 3 to 5 PSI over the normal PSI.
All of our recommendations are popular across the US and will inflate your tires effectively. If you use all terrain truck tires or larger tires, opting for the more powerful tire inflator is highly recommended otherwise you may spend long periods rating for the tire to inflate.