How to choose a tire inflator

It is not always possible to pump up the wheels on the road. It's far from the gas station, but the pump, as luck would have it, remained in the garage. In such situations, a portable compressor will help out, allowing you to quickly replenish the tire pressure to the desired level.

choose a compressor for a car


We recommend reading the articles on choosing a jack for a car and the secrets of choosing a pressure gauge to check tire pressure.

Best Car Compressor Manufacturers

Attention must be paid to high-quality models capable of delivering the required pressure and quickly inflating the wheels to the required pressure:

  1. Brado

  2. Eco

  3. Extel

  4. Remeza

  5. Denair

When choosing a specific model, one should rely not only on the characteristics, but also on user reviews that reveal the advantages and disadvantages of a particular device. You can study them on the Internet, on thematic forums or on social networks.

The principle of operation of compressors for inflation of tires and their types

The principle of operation of the compressor consists in forcing air into a special tank, from which it is supplied through a hose equipped with a pressure gauge to measure pressure. There are two types of compressors.

Diaphragm compressors

membrane compressor

Compact models, the source of which can be both a household network for a voltage of 220V and a car cigarette lighter. The main active element of the device is a rubber membrane that injects air into the tank. Such models are very popular in everyday life – both for pumping wheels and for solving similar problems;


  • Compact dimensions;

  • Relative cheapness;

  • Low weight;

  • Work from a 220V or 12V network;


  • The membrane is afraid of frost;

  • Overheating tendency;

  • Low power;

Reciprocating compressors

Reciprocating compressors

More advanced devices based on a pair of 'cylinder-piston'. The latter is set in motion by means of electricity and pumps air into a special reservoir. They feature decent functionality and are capable of generating significant pressure. They are widely used for pumping the wheels of not only cars, but also trucks.


  • Decent functionality;

  • Simplicity in use;

  • Reliable construction;

  • Performance;


  • High price;

  • The need for timely maintenance of the cylinder-piston group;

The main criteria for choosing a compressor

compressor selection criteria

There are few criteria that distinguish a high-quality device against the background of analogs, but they all play an important role in the functioning of the device.

Maximum discharge pressure

The higher this criterion, the more efficient this or that compressor is. The greater the mass of the car and the higher the initial tire pressure, the more powerful the compressor must be. When choosing a device for operation with a passenger car, give preference to models that pressurize up to 2-3 atmospheres, trucks will require more, about 4-5 atmospheres, pressure.


Determines the number of liters of air pumped by the compressor over a certain period of time. The higher the performance, the faster the device will perform its functions and, accordingly, the more expensive it is.

Compressor power supply and connection method

  1. Compressors operating from a 220V household network are distinguished by high power, reliability and stability of operation, however, they cannot be used far from the outlet, which makes them useless in the field;

  2. Compressors powered by the vehicle's on-board network for a voltage of 12V are excellent as portable ones and allow pumping the wheels even in the field. The disadvantages of such devices are the ability to 'burn' a car fuse installed on a cigarette lighter with excessive power consumption of the device;

  3. 12V compressors directly connected to the battery terminals are the most reliable solution. The fuse is not used in such a connection scheme, and in order to start the mechanism, the car is simply not needed – an ordinary starting battery is enough.

Cigarette lighter cord length

The longer the cigarette lighter cord, the more convenient it is to work with the device. On sale you can find models with a cord from 3-4 to 15-17 meters, which allows the wheels to pump up even far from the power source.

The presence of a pressure gauge and a breakdown of its scale

A pressure gauge is an important component of any compressor, it allows you to monitor the discharge pressure, as well as measure it in the pumped wheel. The best devices are those whose scales are broken in 0.1 bar increments, and its maximum value is limited to 7-9 bar.

Attention! This material is the subjective opinion of the authors of the project and is not a purchase guide.

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