Portable tire inflator

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  #1  
Old 02-15-17, 07:10 AM
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Portable tire inflator

I know we discussed this before and most of us agree (as I do) that portable tire inflators do not work as expecteed. However, my daughter wants one. So a decision has been made to get one. That is not in question.


Side note: her car has a bad habit of loosing tire pressure. She has had the tires changed, rims checked, valve stems replaced and sensors checked and replaced with new tires. She refuses to consider a new car, which I think she needs.


Back to question in hand. Which one to buy that will hopefully do the job based on discription? BTW...Recently a neighbor came by and rescued her by using his portable inflator. I believe it was a Craftsman but I don't know the model. She wants one because of his success.


So I came across this B&D unit that sounds promising. Black & Decker ASI500 12-Volt Cordless Air Station Inflator.


Technical Details


Part Number ASI500
Item Weight 5.2 pounds
Product Dimensions 6 x 10 x 10 inches
Origin China
Item model number ASI500
Color red
Style Inflator
Power Source ac/dc
Voltage 12 volts
Item Package Quantity 1
Batteries Included? No
Batteries Required? No
Warranty Description 1 year warranty


According to reviews it does not work directly from A/C or D/C power source but must be charged by either source first. But some reviewers claim otherwise.!? So it seems unless it's always fully charged it won't be of use.


So what do you think or can you recommend another unit or brand? Remember, something will be purchased. I'm just trying to get one that will at least inflate a balloon that will say "Help I have a flat and I can't get rolling".

Before you ask...She does have AAA. So calling for emergency help is not a problem. She wants to be able to inflate her own tires when the Low Tire Pressure warning light goes on rather than wait for me to get the air compressor out. Which in the winter is pretty much in storage.
 
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  #2  
Old 02-15-17, 07:27 AM
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If it is really intended for her to carry in her car for inflating the car tires, I would get a model that just is powered by the car (plugs into cigarette lighter outlet). The internal battery is an unnecessary expense and batteries on these types of units often seem to be the weak spot.

If you really want internal battery, at least get a unit that can be charged via the 12 volt cigarette lighter cord (the one you listed uses an AC charger only). Otherwise the unit is likely to be on the shelf at home charging next time it is needed.
 
  #3  
Old 02-15-17, 07:29 AM
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For over 20 years, I've had good luck with a cheap 12 Volt Tire Pump that I bought from JC Whitney. It plugs into the Cigarette Lighter and has been quite helpful for the car and miscellaneous lawn equipment, especially when dealing with slow leaks.

I'd say it's VERY good for for for up to 30 PSI, GOOD for 30 to 35 PSI, and IT SLOWS DOWN considerably if I'm trying to top off a tire at my ideal pressure of 38 PSI. But it works, and I store it in the trunk of my car; but I use it more often on the tires of lawn equipment (and recently, pressure and expension tanks in my basement, where I use 12 Volts from a battery charger to power the pump).

I'll bet I spent less than $15.00 on it over 20 years ago; so I'm not complaining.
 
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Old 02-15-17, 07:43 AM
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Thanks guys.

Paul, I thought it stated that it can be charged from both 120v adapter and 12 v car, but cannot be used as it's charging. I'm going to find out what that Craftsman unit is.
 
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Old 02-15-17, 08:54 AM
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I carry a 12 volt charger in each of my cars along with a breaker bar, torque wrench, repair kit and everything else I need to fix my own flats on the side of the road. Keep in mind the charger will work a lot better if the car is running as opposed to just using the battery.
 
  #6  
Old 02-15-17, 09:16 AM
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I don't have the unit, but was going by this Q/A posted on Amazon:

"
The unit cannot run on AC, only with a charged battery or the DC power cord. Unfortunately, the DC cord doesn't charge the unit while you're driving or it would be ideal for those times when you do forget to charge it with the AC adapter. Some of the jump-start battery pack units have the DC charging feature and an air pump and AM/FM radio, flashlight, and such, but tend to be very heavy and bulky, but they're usually charged up when you need them to be. "
 
  #7  
Old 02-15-17, 09:23 AM
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One caution is these portable units are not heavy duty and not intended for daily use. Have friend that used her AAA every morning because she "didn't have time" to get the tire fixed. AAA dropped her of course. She needs to resolve the slow leak as tires should not be an issue and the portable inflater is just there for emergencies.

Note I have one in both of my vehicles, but would have to dig it out to see what brand.
Bud
 
  #8  
Old 02-15-17, 09:45 AM
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Leaking Tire

Immerse the the tire and rim in a large tub of water and look for bubbles from the leak.

I once had a slow leak as you describe. Turned out the area where the rim was welded together had a pin hole in the welded joint.
 
  #9  
Old 02-15-17, 10:06 AM
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What year/make/model vehicle does your daughter drive?
I bet it has alloy wheels .......

Get a set of steel wheels and say goodbye to nuisance leaks
 
  #10  
Old 02-15-17, 10:51 AM
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Guys,

All your remarks are well intended.
Stickshift, this is my daughter and she is not about to try and use a wrench . God for bid if she is big enough to pick up the spare tire.

Bud, Wirepuller, don't know if the dealer did this or not, but they keep fixing the flats at no charge (She has perchance to pick up lots of nails). Resolve the problem and get another car.

2GD, yes it's alloys and no she won't buy new wheels.

Let me describe her. She just nearly makes 5 feet tall. Maybe weight 115# if that. Petite and by the re-action from other men, very cute. Not at all interested in a boy friend. Just turned thirty. She teaches high school Latin and loves the arts, travel and literature. A big Stars Wars and Star Trek fan along with her brothers. Now here is the funny thing. She plays a full size harp and does occasional wedding and will be hired by the Albright-Knox Art gallery to play during exhibitions as background ambiance. She will also play the harp for the school musicals. She lugs this harp all over the place, up-down stairs and hall ways. The guys will try to help but she waves the off because only she knows how to handle the instrument. Concerning the car...It's a 2006 KIA Spectra hatchback. Why? Because at the time it was the only vehicle that would accommodate the harp. And that is the main reason she wants to keep the car. And no she will not buy a SUV. It has to be a small compact! I might try to fit it in the Focus and see what happens.

I do not even try to understand women. They are what they are. And I'm just an old man who is there when she needs me.
 
  #11  
Old 02-15-17, 10:57 AM
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Buys a car to carry a harp and won't buy sensible wheels ..... I can picture her. I know her
 
  #12  
Old 02-15-17, 11:14 AM
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I agree that something is wrong to have that many tire problems, bumping curbs or whatever, but, as far as those inexpensive tire inflators, as Vermont said, they do work. I have one that I got as gift, probably over 20 years ago now because I think this is the third truck that I've kept it in, and I'm sure I thought at the time something like "now there's something that I definitely would not have bought for myself, and probably figured that it would be in the trash within a year or so, but it still worked as good as ever the last time I used it. I don't use it around home, it's strictly for roadside emergencies or whatever, and it is indeed s-l-o-w, but it does what is intended. Mine too plugs into the lighter or auxiliary plug, and I did buy a power cord for it at some point because the hose has not been quite long enough a couple of times, but the sound of one having its' own battery does not sound appealing to me.
 
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Old 02-15-17, 11:55 AM
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Buying a new(er) car simply because the tire(s) have a slow leak seems insane to me.

I have a woman friend that is maybe a few inches taller than your daughter, maybe weighs 110 pounds dripping wet and she is stronger than many men six feet tall. She works as an operating engineer and does NOT "pump iron" yet she could change the tires on just about any vehicle you can imagine.

I have a slow leak on one tire of my car. It developed about a month or two ago. I don't know if it is a nail, bead leak or other. Some day I will have it checked. I don't drive much anymore so checking it before I leave is easy. I leave my main compressor ready to go at all times so it is just a matter of running up the garage door, dragging the hose out and doing it.

Many decades ago I bought a small piston-type air compressor that plugs into the cigarette lighter. I used that to pump up the slow leaker on my '74 Fiat Spyder until it started going flat in a matter of hours instead of days. I still have that compressor and it is a well-made unit, not the plastic junk I see today.
 
  #14  
Old 02-15-17, 12:02 PM
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I never have bought a 12 volt air pump but have had a couple given to me. I used to keep one in the trunk of my wife's car but if she had a flat she'd call me instead of handling it herself. I know I gave one away, not sure about the other. IMO they are too slow and as mentioned above they start to struggle once the psi in the tire reaches 25-30 psi.
 
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Old 02-15-17, 12:55 PM
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Buying a new(er) car simply because the tire(s) have a slow leak seems insane to me.
It would seem so. Of course it's more than just that. Her brother-in-law has done several brake jobs for her at big cost saving. The car was paid for many years ago. She keeps up the routine maintenance. She likes the car. Easy to drive. Very good pick-up and she never got stuck in a snow storm yet. In her defense, she wants to buy a house and is trying save as much as possible for a down payment and small mortgage. BUT....I think she can afford a new car. But that's just me.

I'll buy the B&D inflator! I've spent more on less in the past.
 
  #16  
Old 02-15-17, 04:37 PM
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Norm, you could get her 4 good used steel rims for her birthday.
 
  #17  
Old 02-15-17, 07:11 PM
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I had a 1997 Camry, not so much as a scratch on it until a guy with a service body pick-up backed into the right rear. Destroyed the bumper cover as well as shoving the trunk lid forward and putting a slight crease in the right rear quarter panel. Body shop preliminary estimate was in excess of three grand and they couldn't put a firm figure on it until they tore it down. Insurance company totaled it.

I would have been happy with that car for the rest of my life. It had about 160k on it so being a Toyota it was just broken in. It did need a new half-axle and a front brake job but those are fairly minor. I had to have the title re-issued along with new license plates because it had been totaled and
I eventually changed out the front rotors and replaced the brake pads. Then I sold it to a friend of my sister for just what I had in it, $140. She was quite happy to get it.

Probably a second-rate body shop could have replaced the bumper cover and trunk lid for a fraction of what the first class shop wanted.
 
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