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best portable air compressor for car tire?

edited November -1 in Repair and Maintenance
I've been looking into purchasing a portable air compressor (for my car tires) that I can plug into my car's lighter. Any suggestions as to what or what not to purchase/look for?
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Comments

  • edited July 2008
    I have a Black and decker that works good for me. The only time I really use it is at home though(extension cord from inside to the 120v plug in the compressor). Only thing I don't really care for is that if you can't get the air nozzle off asap, it's gonna let air out of the tire quick. So, if you get one, plan on a couple PSI higher to account for this.
  • edited July 2008
    I gave up on the 12volt units and purchased a 120v one from Sears $50 works great. Whenever I need air I am always near an electric plug.
  • edited July 2008
    My advice is getting a Craftsman Home air compressor system. You can find them for less then $200. Think about what actual good a carry-along tire pump will do, especially with 12 volts. Like I learned in the Army, your best chance of survival in extreme circumstances is the preparation taken before the mission. or, How you train is how you fight. If you take good care of your tires weekly or even bimonthly you wont need a 12 volt gymick. Of coarse this means that you will have to check your spare tire's air pressure also.
    Some makes of GM cars have an electric tire pump option but they are a joke also.
  • edited July 2008
    I've had good success with the Black and Decker air station, but mine only works on 120 volt alternating current. I also have a home brew 12 volt air compressor that I put together from an air horn compressor my father-in-law gave me. I had an air hose and gauge from a hand pump that blew up when I was inflating a high pressure bicycle tire (the plastic cylinder blew apart). I ran some heavy electrical leads with battery clamps and a push button switch for a car starter and had a pump. I've inflated tires enough that one can drive back home or to a tire shop. It isn't really very quick, but it will do the job.
  • edited July 2008
    I had a $20 Campbell Hausfeld compressor from Lowe's or Home Depot for a good ten years, although it just gave up the ghost. I'm about to order a Duracell Powerpack (around $75) as a replacement because I think I'd like having a cordless compressor and a minor power backup source.

    Whatever you do, don't trust the air pressure gauge on a compressor. They can be way off.
  • edited July 2008
    We have a tire pump in our 2003 Silhouette. It works fine. It even runs occasionally (on its own) to keep the seals moist.
  • edited July 2008
    If this is an emergency pump (rarely used) look at Walmart for a Campbell Hausfeld compressor. They are cheap, made in China but work and given the rare circumstances excellent.

    Remember whatever you buy turn the car engine on while using it, they work much quicker.
  • edited July 2008
    I have a Cambell-Hausfeld 300 psi portable. Works fine on my truck tires to.
  • edited July 2008
    jt, if that compressor is coming on on its own, it is because there is a leak either in the air line or one of the air shocks is leaking.

    Trust me on that. I went through all that bs with mine and after the second shock started leaking, I pulled the fuse and that's the end of it.

    This 2000 is on its last year as far as I'm concerned anyway. Time to downsize, likely to a Corolla.
  • edited July 2008
    Search "12V air compressor" on Amazon, there are several that look good.
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