One of the biggest safety concerns with cars that many overlook is under of overinflated tires. This can be easily mitigated however by investing in a 12 volt air compressor. For those not in the know, these 12 volt compressors are used as a way to inflate your tires to a safe level.

However, why does tire pressure have an impact on safety? If it is the case that you have low tire pressure, this increases the rolling resistance and can therefore impact your grip on the road. If your grip is compromised, then it will of course mean that your handling is affected.  This is also true for your stopping ability when you put on the brakes. This rolling resistance can also increase your fuel consumption since the engine needs to work harder in order to generate the same speed.

Likewise, this will also over time cause uneven wear on the tire; leading it to degrade much quicker. You will therefore need to replace it sooner than you usually would. Similarly, having overinflated tires is extremely dangerous. For one, the weight of the engine bearing on over inflated tires can increase the chance of a blow out. This is already a possibility when your tires are overinflated before you factor in the weight of the engine. It can also negatively impact on the handling. Imagine walking around with shoes that are several sizes too big.

It is more than possible to inflate the tires on your car using the more conventional footpump. However, should it be the case that you have exceptionally large tires, and then you could be pumping for quite some time!


The alternative is therefore to use the 12 volt supply in your car. By doing so, it will be able inflate your tires using your cars electricity. The question is though, which machine should you buy for this task? It is important that you choose a portable tire inflator as you can’t always be guaranteed that you’ll be near a service station that has a supply of compressed air. Should it be the case that your tires are running a bit flat, it would be dangerous to drive the car a long distance.

In some ways it actually depends on the use that you have for the compressor. It may be the case that you’re in a one car household for a car that is pretty small. In that case, you won’t be needing a huge tire inflator.

EPAuto Inflator

One of the most cost effective models is the EPAuto Tire Inflator. This is specifically designed for those with cars up to the size of a midsize SUV. For the majority of people however, this is the best that they can get at such a low price point.

It has a variety of readouts for pressure, including PSI and BAR. In terms of power, it has a PSI rating of 100. A nice feature of this unit despite its low price point is that it also has an automatic cutoff once it reaches your desired pressure. This is an extremely important safety aspect as mentioned above. It also means that you don’t need to be constantly monitoring it whilst it is inflating your tires.

It also comes with a travel bag so that you can safely store it in the back of your car without it getting damaged. Moreover, there is also a light on the front of the unit. This can be extremely helpful if you’re needing to inflate the tires in less than adequate lighting conditions. Similarly, the LCD display is also backlit should you need to inflate the tires in the dark.

As an added bonus, you could also use this on other applications. This would include blowing up bicycle tires, as well as football and soccer balls. It is extremely easy to use. It comes with a cigarette lighter cable attachment so that it can easily connect to this port on your car.

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Q Industries MV50

For those with larger vehicles, Q Industries have you covered. Unlike the EPAuto compressor reviewed above, the MV50 from Q Industries excels in inflating tires of all sizes, especially those found on off road vehicles and trucks. It has a 16 foot long air hose, making it ideal to connect to your tires without having to move the unit around too much. It is also extremely sturdy with it its metal constructions and heavy duty fittings.

The motor in it is extremely powerful with it being able to inflate a truck tire within 2 minutes which is nothing short of exceptional. The price however is a double that of the EPAuto equivalent which is factored into the performance of this compressor. However one drawback that some people may find with this is how the unit is powered.

Whilst it is a 12 volt air compressor, it doesn’t connect into the cigarette lighter on your vehicle. Instead, it connects directly to the battery terminals via a 10 foot cable. This isn’t really a problem since it is easy enough to connect to the battery with the provided leads. Having said that, a growing trend on modern cars is to cover the battery in its entirety. Therefore there could be a large number of people that don’t want to mess around and remove the battery cover every time that they want to inflate their tires. In terms of readouts of the current PSI, this is given by an analogue pressure gauge. There is also a storage bag included for storing and transporting the inflator.

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Raniaco 12v Inflator

For those that have a larger vehicle with big tires, but don’t fancy connecting a compressor directly to the battery, Raniaco has you covered. Much like the EPAuto, it has a built in light for less than ideal lighting situations. This is actually a fairly powerful torch that is included in it. It also connects directly to the cigarette lighter on your car.

However, as many users on Amazon have attested to, this is an excellent option for those that have a truck and need to blow up their tires. It won’t be as quick as the MV50 unit discussed above, but it’s got the advantage and convenience of plugging directly into the cigarette lighter via a 3 meter cable. It also provides its pressure readout on an analogue display, in both PSI and also BAR so you can use it in your preferred  unit of monitoring pressure. As an added bonus, Raniaco also advertise this is a great way to inflate balloons, so it’s a great tool for those having a party!

This inflator doesn’t come with its own storage bag. However, it’s small enough that it is able to fit snugly into your glove box. As an added bonus, it also has a cable management system in it to ensure that the air hose and lighter cable doesn’t get tangled up.  This is also a cheaper option than the MV50 so it really is a great choice if you having huge tires. Grab Yours Here