Updated December 14, 2020 by Willis Kuelthau

The 10 Best Car Tire Pumps

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This wiki has been updated 10 times since it was first published in March of 2018. A good car tire pump is a worthwhile addition to any garage or emergency kit. When that pesky warning light comes on, you won't have to go searching for a gas station or scrounge for quarters to feed the air machine. Maintaining optimal tire pressure not only makes your vehicle safer, but it helps your gas mileage, too. Our list includes basic picks as well as powerful models for larger tires. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. If you'd like to contribute your own research to the Wiki, please get started by reviewing this introductory video.

1. Viair 85p

2. Ryobi Dual

3. Slime Heavy Duty

Editor's Notes

December 11, 2020:

If you're in a pinch with a flat tire, the last thing you want is your car tire pump to fail. We've updated and rearranged our list, removing several models due to concerns over long-term durability. We've favored models with sturdy build quality, like the Viair 85p.

For most car owners, a basic tire pump will work fine for occasional use. If you're adding a compressor to your emergency kit, consider a unit like the Audew Upgraded or Fortem Portable, which are compact and easy on the wallet. Larger tires require more pressure, so SUV owners may want to look at a more powerful model like the Viair 88p. For RVs and trailers, the Viair 450p is a pricey but impressive performer.

Aside from pressure and flow ratings, the biggest difference between pumps is the power source. Most models draw power from the 12-Volt auxiliary outlet in a car console, but it's worth checking the fuse rating of your vehicle. Older cars may only be rated to 10 amperes, which can result in a blown fuse if used with a modern pump (which draw up to 15 amperes). Models like the Slime Heavy Duty connect to a vehicle's battery terminals instead, and the Tirewell 12V has an adapter that lets you pick your power source. If you'd rather not be tethered to your car at all, the Ryobi Dual uses rechargeable batteries instead of a cord.

May 05, 2019:

Our top choice, the Slime Heavy Duty, derives much of its power from the fact that it attaches itself to your car battery. Although many drivers aren't comfortable with messing around under the hood, we wanted to include this robust option because of the popularity of large SUVs and trucks that need this kind of power, plus it has the longest cord length of any other choice.

The Tiretek Rx-i still offers enough power for larger tires, and a great cord extension. It won't match the quick inflation time of the Slime, but it relatively quick and a top choice for those who don't want to hook things up to their car's battery.

Some of the lighter, more budget friendly options like the Life Line AAA 300 and the Slime Digital are included for users who only anticipate needing a pump for quick top-offs when their air pressure is a little low.

Special Honors

DeWalt Max Inflator Although it's pricier than many competitors, this model has an impressive set of features: an accurate digital gauge, a high-volume hose attachment, and a pressure rating of 160 PSI. It's one of the only pumps on the market that can draw power from a vehicle's cigarette lighter, a household AC outlet, or a rechargeable battery. dewalt.com

4. Viair 88p

5. EPAuto DC Portable

6. Tirewell 12V

7. Audew Upgraded

8. Viair 450p

9. P.I. Auto Store Premium

10. Fortem Portable


Willis Kuelthau
Last updated on December 14, 2020 by Willis Kuelthau

Born in Boulder, Colorado, Willis began his writing career in third grade with a short story about a cat detective. After graduating from Williams College, he earned his editorial stripes at a magazine in Maine before making the leap into the world of freelance writing. He wrote for a variety of industries in Philadelphia and Rhode Island, until the New England winters sent him scurrying for sunnier skies. Now a resident of Los Angeles, he can frequently be found flailing away on a tennis court, dangling from a cliff face, or playing with his cats. Areas of expertise include fitness, nutrition, sports and outdoors, and automotive.


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