A 12 volt tyre inflator and pressure gauge that can be kept in your car and used off your 12v car socket is an invaluable piece of kit that all drivers should carry in their vehicles.
A tyre inflator that plugs into your 12v socket within your car means you don’t have to find a garage to inflate under inflated tyres when you’re on the go, and pay an extortionate amount of money for 30 seconds of air.
In this article, I’ll look at the best tyre inflator 12 volt type you can buy for your vehicle, as well as looking at the pros and cons of a 12v tyre inflator.
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Table of Contents
Tyre Inflator 12 Volt (UK Top 3)
Below is a quick look table of the best tyre inflator 12 volt version you can buy for your vehicle in th UK.
Further on down the page I look at each tyre inflator or tyre compressor in turn, looking at things like price point, features, advantages and disadvantages.
1. (WINNER!) AA Essentials Tyre Inflator 12 Volt
The AA Essentials Tyre Inflator is a clear winner in the this category.
Function, practicality and price means this came the top of the leaderboard, and rightly so.
This inflator does what it says on the tin, with no bells and whistles, and comes in at an absolute bargain price.
The gauge is an analogue gauge, with no option of setting a desired value, meaning you’ll need to plug the 12v connector into your car, connect the correct adapter to your tyre, push the on/off button and wait until the needle reaches the desired level.
Additionally, this unit does have a light on the front (very handy for night inflation), and comes with a variety of adapters for different uses, like a bicycle tyre for example.
One thing I would have liked to have seen included is a little carry case, just so it can be stord easily in your boot. my own unit is kept in the box in my boot, which is now ripped beyond recognition.
That being said, at this budget price and for occassional use, it’s a no brainer unless you want one that is allsinging and all dancing, in which case you’ll be paying double what this one costs.
You can buy the AA Essentials tyre Inflator at Amazon.co.uk here: AA Essentials Tyre Inflator
2.FORTEM Tyre Inflator Air Compressor
The Fortem tyre inflator comes a close second to AA’s budget offering.
And for just over double the price of the AA inflator, you certainly get a lot more features, including a digital gauge display.
There is also the option to set a desired pressure, so set it and forget it, because once it reaches the set pressure, the device automatically stops, preventing over inflation.
Theres 3 buttons and a rocker switch on this one, one to change pressure measurements (PSI, KPA, KG/CM and BAR), 2 buttons for up and down (to set desired pressure) and a rocker switch that acts an on/off button, with two power/speed settings (Choose the lower speed setting for balls and airbeds for example).
There’s plenty of length in this unit too, reaching up to 14ft.
It also has an LED light for night or early morning, and comes with a very small but smart carry case, where you can keep everything neatly packed away without the chance of losing the included adapters.
You can buy the Fortem Tyre Inflator at Amazon.co.uk here: Fortem Tyre Inflator
3. AA 12V Digital Tyre Inflator
In 3rd place is another AA product, the AA Digital Tyre Inflator. Similar to the winning inflator, this offers a digital screen and the ability toinput a desired pressure, with an automatic cutoff feature that prevents over inflation.
There’s 5 buttons on this one: 1 to chnge between pressure measurements (PSI, KPA and BAR), and up and down button (to allow you to select the desired pressure, and on and off button and a swith for the LED light.
Annoyingly, even at a more premium price, this still doesn’t come with a carry case to pack it away tidyly, so you’ll have to make do with using the box or finding your own little carry case.
That being said, this is another good choice from a trusted brand like the AA.
You can buy the AA Digital tyre Inflator at Amazon.co.uk here: AA Digital Tyre Inflator
How Does A Tyre Inflator Work?
A tyre inflator or compressor works by connecting to your electrical system of your car, which of course, runs off a battery.
Simply connect the 12v adapter to the adaptor that is somewhere near your dashboard, and turn your ignition on so the car is running.
Then all you need to do is unscrew the caps on your tyres, and connect the adapter. Press the button, and the inflator will start pumping air into your tyre.
Certainly a lot easier than using a foot pump, where you have to pump the foot pedal as long as needed to reach your desired pressure!
How Do I know What Pressure My Tyres Should Be?
You can check the correct pressure levels by looking on the drivers door.
Open the door, and there will be a printed sticker which gives you the different pressure values your tyres should be.
If it’s not there, the sticker may be on the central support post (the post that seperates the front door and the rear door. Some cars even have tyre pressures printed on a sticker inside the fuel flap.
Getting your tyres at the correct tyre pressure level will improve fuel economy, as well as extensding the life of your tyres. Having the correct tyre pressures also helps with vehicle safety, as your car will perform and handlea lot better than if your tyres were either over or under inflated.
As well as checking your tyre pressures, it’s also a good time to check the material condition of your tyres, ensuring there’s no nails or screws stuck in your tyres, and ensuring there’s no cracks or rips in the tyre wall.
What Are Tyre Inflators and Tyre Compressors Also Used For?
Some tyre inflators and compressors can be used to blow up other household items, such as airbeds, paddling pools, bike tyres and even footballs.
Be aware though, over inflating these items or inflating them at a rapid speed is a sure fire way of damaging the product beyond rapair. Not to mention the noise and shock you’ll experience when a football explodes in your face (trust me, I’ve been there!).
A tyre inflator 12 volt type that will connect to your 12v socket inside your car is an extremely handy peice of equipment to have in your car or van.
A good tyre inflator or tyre compressor will also pay for itself over a lifetime.
I’ve noticed more and more at filling stations that the minumum amount to start the machine is either £1 or £2, which is an incredible amount of money when considering it only lasts a few seconds and you are literally paying for, well, air.
So the upfront cost of this will be more than paid for through the future, when you can use it free of charge and without the headache of finding a garage and then finding the correct coins needed to operate a machine.
Here’s the Top 3 table again for your convenience
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Here’s the complete list of products and links mentioned on this page.
Here’s the sources used for this article:
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