Today’s gadget started out as a simple problem: the front tire was several kilos low on pressure. I once had a homemade tire inflator, but it was slow to do the job and eventually failed completely. No problem.
There are many of them at gas stations and convenience stores that work with a handful of coins and/or a credit card. The problem: finding one that works. Obstacles sample: The coin slot was jammed. Credit card reader not working. The air cartridge was missing. The tire pressure gauge built into the machine gave an incorrect reading.
There must be one working somewhere, but I decided it was time to have a little home helper again. The new models provide a different experience than yesterday. The one I bought was quieter – although they still make noise that the neighbors will hear. But they do the job in a little less time.
They can run on household power or the car’s 12-volt outlet (which used to be called a “cigarette lighter.”) Some have digital gauges and LED lights. The one I settled on was the Salimur Tire Inflator for Car Tires and Other Inflatables from Amazon. That’s about $32 (free shipping for Prime members).
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It has two cables allowing it to be powered from household or car power. And there’s an LED light in case you’re on the side of the road at night. There’s a carrying case that can hold it all, plus four nozzle adapters for car, bike, motorcycle, basketball and pool toys. Also takes care of wheelbarrow and golf cart tires.
The compressor is light – the whole thing weighs only half a kilogram – and small. A fully packed bag will fit in a shoebox. The digital display is bright enough to read in direct sunlight, although shading it with your hand makes it easier to see. A nice feature is the automatic shut-off: Set the desired tire pressure and it shuts off when the preset pressure is reached.
The only caveat was after 10 minutes of continuous use to give it a short cool down period before continuing. I didn’t find this a problem—at least not for checking four tires and filling them to the recommended pressure. The compressor shuts off when moving from one tire to another.
Salimur is lightweight, versatile, easy to use, fast at what it does and gives accurate pressure readings. It will also save many handfuls of quarters throughout its lifetime.
But the best part is that I now know where the nearest working tire pump in town is: right in the trunk of my car.
Lonnie Brown can be found at LedgerDatabase@aol.com.