A flat tyre is one of those really annoying occurrences that is guaranteed to spoil your day. You're immobile at the side of the road and therefore, thoroughly annoyed. With manufacturers more and more reluctant to offer full spare tyres it often means an awkward phone call to a roadside assistant who will breathe (almost literally) new life into your tyre.
It makes sense then, to invest in a tyre inflator to carry around in your car at all times to prevent the above scenario. Properly inflated tyres save you money as tyres last longer and make your car more fuel-efficient, so it's worth using a pump to check your tyres regularly. With this in mind, take a look at our favourite tyre pumps on sale now.
CAR - Best tyre pumps
1. Ring RAC610 12V Analogue Tyre Inflator
This small, budget option from Ring is our top choice for inflating a flat tyre. Simply plug this device into your car's 12V socket and it'll inflate a small (13") tyre to 35PSI in less than four and a half minutes. It features an easy to read gauge but lacks that all-important torch for nighttime emergencies.Pros:Good valueFairly quick inflation timeCons:Missing a torch
2. Sealey Compact Rechargeable Tyre Inflator & Powerbank with Work Light
Combining the usual tyre inflator and work lamp with a power bank is a genius move by Sealey. Not only can the (rechargeable) power banks be used to inflate tyres and operate the light but also charge your phone and other electronic gadgets, making this ideal in the event of a breakdown.Pros:Very good designIncludes a power banksCons:Very expensive
3. AA digital air compressor
A safe choice to chuck in your boot and know it'll always work when you need it, the AA digital air compressor is a great option for everyday use. It even comes with a programmable automatic shut-off to prevent you from over-inflating your tyres. Pros:Excellent quality Includes a torch with multiple settingsCons:Hose screws can be stubborn
4. Norshire tyre pump
The most attractive option for a tyre pump, the Norshire portable tyre pump is designed to fit neatly in your glovebox whilst still offering powerful inflation. Powered by either your car's cigarette lighter or a USB charger, it'll inflate a mid-sized tyre in five minutes. Pros:Looks greatCharged by USB tooCons:Expensive
5. Halfords essentials foot pump and gauge
If you want a basic and dependable tyre pump that isn't reliant upon batteries or even a 12V socket then this is ideal. All you need is to pump those leg muscles and you'll have a fully inflated tyre in no time. Pros:Simple to useAffordableCons:You'll get tired legs if you have big tyres
6. Autder cordless tyre inflator
A very powerful option, the Autder cordless tyre inflator can inflate a mid-sized tyre in under two minutes. Slightly bulkier to store than other tyre pumps, its main advantage is a rechargeable battery and 12V power option. Pros:PowerfulCan use two power sourcesCons:Not the most compact option
How to inflate a tyre
The first thing you need to know before filling your tyre with air is what its ideal pressure is, you'll find this in your car's handbook. Remember, however, that there will be two figures listed, one for normal driving and another for if you're carrying heavy loads. Once you've got the correct figure you're ready to start pumping (especially if you have a foot-operated pump).
Remove the screw cap (and any flashy dust caps) from the tyre valve and place your tyre pump's connector over the exposed valve. All our top picks have in-built pressure displays which will help you gauge how much air you need to add.
Simply turn on the digital tyre pumps or start pumping the manual one to begin to increase the tyres pressure. If you accidentally add too much air then it's simply a case of pressing the pin on the tyre valve to release some air. Although, some of these pumps have programmable shut-offs to prevent this from occurring. Re-attach your valve cap and you're ready to continue your journey.
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