6 Types of Car Tire Inflator You can buy for your Car

Tires are efficient only if they are filled with air, most people do not even know the car tire air pressure as they assume it to be not important. Perhaps, automobile tires are one of the most commonly overlooked part of an automobile. One of the basic and important knowledge that a responsible car user should hold is the right air pressure of the tires. The majority of the car users do not even know how to refill tires with air and how often they should do it. 

Types of Tire Inflator

Types of Tire Inflator

Inflators have been in use for a very long time, but, with time they have developed and are now at a stage where inflating an automobile tire is comparatively easier than any other task related to the automobile. There are different types of  car tire inflators available on the market today. Each of them has a different design. Here is the list of different types of tire inflators and everything you need to know about them.

#1 Track or floor pump tire inflator –

Track/floor pump could also be called hand tire inflators. Yes, this type of inflator is commonly used everywhere. It is a mechanical device with a cylinder-like body and footrest on the down bottom. The cylinder will have a piston in it with a double-dripped handle on the top. The user will have to pull up the piston and push it down to force the air into the tires. The cylinder would be commonly made of rugged steel and it will have a hose connected to it through the valve. 

Pros –

  • Lightweight
  • Easy to carry from one place to another
  • Simplest of all tire inflators
  • Cheap and available everywhere

Cons –

  • This tire inflator offers no mechanical advantage, the quantity of output air depends on the work user does on the piston.
  • As the size of the tire and load on the tire increases, the work that needs to be done on the piston also increases.

#2 Foot/foot-operated pump tire inflator –

As the name itself suggests, this type of tire inflators requires the work from the foot to pump up the air. Yes, this pump is a mechanical portable pump that would help hold it in the right position by a foot bracket. The entire pump would be designed in such a way that it will have a foot-operated piston that would be connected to a foot pedal through the piston rod. When the foot pedal is pressed down, the piston rod will squeeze the air in the barrel into the tire. 

Pros –

  • Compact
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to carry from one place to another
  • Comparatively easy to use than track pumps
  • Cheaper than most of the other tire inflators
  • The user does not have to bend down to squeeze the piston, he/she could simply relax and step on the foot pedal to inflate the tire.

Cons –

  • People with arthritis or any other foot issues cannot use this pump.
  • The piston and cylinder of this tire inflator are too small, which means, the amount of work that needs to do is comparatively greater than track pumps.

#3 Mini/compact pump tire inflator –

Mini/compact pump tire inflators are almost as same as that of a track pump tire inflator. While a track pump or floor pump needs both foot and hand to use it. A compact/mini pump tire inflator does not need the foot, but the user could simply use this pump with hands. You do not need the foot to hold this pump at a place, the user needs to hold the pump in one hand and then squeeze the piston with the other hand.

Pros –

  • Very lightweight
  • Very easy to use
  • Comparatively smaller than the track/floor pump

Cons –

  • This type of pump tire inflator is not suitable for all tires. As the size of the tire increases, this tire inflator becomes incompatible.

#4 Co2 tire inflators –

CO2 tire inflators are comparatively faster than other types of tire inflators available on the market. This tire inflators use pressurized CO2 cartridges to inflate the tire. All you have to do is install the cartridge and puncture the seal using the inflator setup. Yes, the inflator setup will come with a handle, that will help to puncture the CO2 cartridge seal and guide the CO2 into the tire. A CO2 cartridge can be used only once, but the inflator could be used again and again.

Pros –

  • Comparatively smaller than all the pumps mentioned above
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to carry from one place to another and store it

Cons –

  • While the inflator is comparatively small, the user will have to carry dozens of CO2 cartridges. As the size or air pressure of the tire differs, the number of cartridges also differs.
  • As the number of cartridges increases, the cost of filling the tire also increases.

#5 Air compressor tire inflators –

There are two different types of air compressor-based tire inflators. Stationary and portable air compressor-based tire inflators. Stationary air compressors are large and could inflate the tires fast. However, portable air compressor-based tire inflators are used in portable car tire or automobile tire inflators. Such inflators work on the power from the automobile battery and could be stored in the automobile and used anywhere.

Portable air compressor-based tire inflators come with air compressors with a capacity of a maximum of 6 or 8 gallons. Stationary air compressor tire inflators come with air compressors with a capacity of 10 to 120 gallons. 

Pros –

  • Very easy to use
  • Could inflate the tire very fast
  • Almost no human labor required

Cons –

  • Air compressors take some time to compress air
  • If the air pressure is not kept in check while inflating, the tires could be overinflated and it could burst.
  • Expensive than other tire inflators.

#6 Canned tire inflators –

This type of tire inflators is designed for a single time use only. This tire inflator is different from other tire inflators. It is best useful when the tire is flat as it comes with a mixture of three components. Solvents, sealants, and propellants. The solvent makes the sealant adhere to the rubber, sealant that seals the puncture, and a propellant that pushes the solvent and sealant into the tire.

Pros –

  • Could help fix the puncture for a short period without expert help
  • Cheaper than towing the car or getting professionals to your automobile

Cons –

  • Best for one-time use only
  • Not a permanent solution, the puncture sealant will last for a limited period only.

Each tire inflator mentioned above are designed to serve the same purpose. However, the method of using each type of inflator and the ease of using it is different. It is up to the user on which type of product to purchase.

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