Prod­uct Test: Tyre In­fla­tors

A por­ta­ble tyre in­fla­tor gives you con­trol over op­ti­mum tyre pres­sures. Gary Stret­ton picks the best

Land Rover Monthly - - Writer's Rovers -

160 Hav­ing a por­ta­ble tyre in­fla­tor on board can save a trip to the garage. We pick the best

Aflat tyre, leaky rim or slow punc­ture can halt you in your tracks just when you need to get go­ing the most. So hav­ing a por­ta­ble tyre in­fla­tor on board can be the dif­fer­ence be­tween 10 min­utes de­lay or a wheel change and a trip to the near­est garage. And it’s es­sen­tial for ad­just­ing tyre pres­sures when­ever you want to go off-road.

Small pumps avail­able from fill­ing sta­tions for less than £20, claim­ing high in­fla­tion pres­sures, are false econ­omy.

All 4x4 tyres take longer to in­flate to their spec­i­fied pres­sures than smaller car tyres due to their size. For a tyre in­fla­tor, 4x4 tyres rep­re­sent a chal­lenge be­cause the vol­ume of air re­quired is large and the typ­i­cal con­tin­u­ous run­ning time of a small pump be­fore it over­heats and cuts out to protect it­self can be short. A long wait then en­sues while it cools down. 250 psi isn’t a tyre pres­sure fig­ure to base your pur­chase on, it just pro­vides a sell­ing point based on a big num­ber to im­press.

In­stead, look for litres per minute fig­ures (L/min). The big­ger that num­ber, the faster a tyre can be in­flated. It’s also worth not­ing that this test was con­ducted us­ing a 12 volt power source with a con­stant out­put of ap­prox­i­mately 12.5v. With your ve­hi­cle’s en­gine run­ning, an aux­il­iary socket might re­ceive slightly more than this, which is enough to power the in­fla­tors at a faster rate. It might also cause them to run hot­ter over ex­tended pe­ri­ods. With that in mind, I sug­gest a mar­gin of er­ror to be fac­tored in. The in­fla­tion fig­ures from 0-30 psi quoted should be taken as sub­jec­tive for the pur­poses of the test. If you only need to in­crease a tyre pres­sure by 10 psi, for ex­am­ple, then the in­fla­tors tested can be ex­pected to per­form much faster than on test. Lastly, jack up a ve­hi­cle with a flat tyre be­fore you at­tempt to in­flate the tyre, oth­er­wise your in­fla­tor is try­ing to raise the ve­hi­cle’s weight, too.

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