Expertpickhub Tools Air How To Choose The Right Car Compressor

How To Choose The Right Car Compressor

When inflating a tire, it’s important to use the right tool for the job. A car compressor is perfect for this task, but not all compressors are created equal. To get the most out of your compressor, it’s essential to choose the right one for your needs. Here are a few things to consider when choosing a new compressor for your vehicle.

Types of compressors

Types of compressors


The rubber membrane performs membrane-translational movements, compressing the air. The functional element is located between the cylinder and the installation cover. Not popular because at cold temperatures, hardening and destruction of the membrane are possible. It is bought for inflating bicycle tires in the summer.


A reliable option in winter. Vehicle owners purchase a piston compressor with a metal connecting rod and an electric motor shaft without plastic elements. Compressors with a Teflon piston ring have proven themselves well and do not require additional maintenance.

What to consider when choosing a compressor


The power of the electric motor is indicated on the body in watts. The maximum productivity of the device is listed in liters per minute – this parameter should be looked at first when choosing. For example, for a passenger car with tires 185/70 R14, a compressor with a capacity of 150 l / min will be enough to inflate the tire from 0 to 2.4 atmospheres in 7 minutes. If you are the owner of an SUV, a truck, or a car with larger tires, look at models with a performance of 200-270 l / min. Most cars have the correct pressure in the front tires when the pressure is 2.0 atmospheres. Cars usually have higher pressure in the back tires, which should be at 2.2 atmospheres.


The maximum pressure indicator reaches 8 atmospheres. It is the optimal performance indicator when deciding which auto compressor to choose. When choosing, do not be fooled by cheap Chinese things, which indicate that the maximum pressure is 20-25 atmospheres. This figure is unrealistic for a portable compressor.

Compressor power method

Compressor power method

Now that you know what kind of compressor you need, it’s time to choose the details. One thing you need to understand is that electric compressors need power, or in other words, electricity.

All of the compressors are divided by type of power:

People working from their car can use a pump connected to the car’s onboard network. There are two types of these pumps.

Some have a cigarette lighter socket (voltage 12 volts). These pumps are less powerful. But they are compact and comfortable.

It is also a good idea to choose a car compressor that can be connected to the car battery and receive power from it. These models always sell well. They come with wires with alligator clips for battery terminals. They have good performances.

Some powerful devices that get power from their built-in battery are bulky and heavy. It would help if you considered this before you chose a pump for the machine. But these devices have good performance overall. You only need to remember to charge them promptly from a 220-volt network. One charge should be enough to pump up all four-passenger car tires. Choosing a compressor for tires of this type will suit trucks.

Noise level

It is an important parameter since when the compressor is running, a loud noise will be heard from it. Therefore, if you will use the device often, then look at the models with the lowest noise level. For example, the average noise level of a piston compressor is 80 dB, and for a membrane one – it is 60 dB.

Pressure gauges

Pressure gauges

An important detail must be present when choosing a portable air compressor. After all, with its help, you will know exactly how much pressure is in the tires. Therefore, the pressure gauge must have good accuracy. If this indicator is unimportant to you, you can do without it and save money.

There are two types of manometers:

  • Mechanical.
  • Digital.

In two dimensions, mechanical pressure gauges are equipped with a pointer and a double numerical scale. When pumping and increasing pressure, the arrow moves to show the number. Such devices have an accuracy of indication with errors. In addition, their arrow vibrates, making it difficult to read the exact number. But such a pressure gauge will last you a long time. All because it has no electronics inside.

Digital pressure gauges have an LCD on which the numbers are displayed clearly and without errors. The main thing is that digital devices are powered by batteries, meaning they can fail at the most inopportune moment. Another thing to consider when choosing a compressor for your car is the comfort factor. It is vital when it comes to the pressure gauge. Many digital gauges have an auto-stop function, which means you simply set the desired pressure, and the gauge will take care of the rest. You can then relax in the car while it inflates your tires for you.

Autonomous work time

This indicator is critical when choosing a tire compressor. If you have a lot of wheels, or if your tires are flat, you need to choose a model with a large tank. The larger it is, the longer the compressor will work autonomously. For example, a 3-liter tank will inflate 4-passenger car tires.

Additional functions

When choosing a tire compressor, pay attention to the presence of additional functions:

  • A light that comes on when the device is working. It is very convenient if you need to use the compressor at night or in poor light conditions.
  • The programming function allows you to pump the tires to a predetermined pressure level and suspend work after reaching the desired parameter.
  • Automatic shutdown is a function that helps the engine avoid overheating.
  • Some compressors are equipped with receivers of 3 or more liters.

When choosing a compressor, be sure to pay attention to the length of the hose and power cable. You never know when you’ll need to stretch the hose over a long distance.

As you can see, there are many different parameters that you need to pay attention to when choosing a portable air compressor for tires. We hope our tips will help you choose the perfect option for your car.

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