Air compressor recommendations?



  • If I were looking for an electric air compressor, just to use when my tires needed a top-off, does anybody have any brand/style recommendations? Looking at Amazon, it looks like that're only about $100 or so which is quite affordable.

    Would this $60 portable model be fine:

    Or should I upsell to this one with a small tank?

    The main difference seems to be the PSI the pump can reach-- but 40 PSI (the first, portable unit) is more than I need for my car's tires. (Except the second one comes with zero accessories, so I'd have to buy the hose and connector separately...)



  • I'd recommend using the one at the gas station / carwash. Around here, those are usually $1 per use. Assuming that's all you really need one for.



  • I think Fords that have quick-fix-flat repair kits have a just air mode.



  • Buy one used, people tend to buy them new and then realize they didn't have enough use case for them.

    For perspective: A mechanic I know has repeatedly tried to sell me an air compressor, for variously, 20, 5, and 0 dollars.


  • :belt_onion:

    You have to pay for that?

    Hah! Silly Amerikanski!



  • @Onyx said:

    You have to pay for that?

    Didn't used to, but it's pretty standard now. But at least all the machines around me are automatic, so you put in the PSI you want and it beeps and stops when it gets there.



  • @boomzilla said:

    I'd recommend using the one at the gas station / carwash. Around here, those are usually $1 per use. Assuming that's all you really need one for.

    Meh maybe you're right, I dunno, I never trust the gauge on those. But I could just buy my own gauge for like $15...

    @MathNerdCNU said:

    I think Fords that have quick-fix-flat repair kits have a just air mode.

    The flat repair kit in my car, AFAICT, only has fix-a-flat mode where it sprays the chemical into the tire.

    @boomzilla said:

    Didn't used to, but it's pretty standard now. But at least all the machines around me are automatic, so you put in the PSI you want and it beeps and stops when it gets there.

    Oh really? Last time I did it the machine was a clunky piece of shit from the 1960s that felt like it was going to explode when it was running. Maybe I just need to find a better gas station.



  • I bet you can still find a free one somewhat close to you, but it's probably not worth the $1 to drive there and back.



  • Yeah, same here. All the free ones are gone but the automatic machines make it easier.

    Besides, 50p for enough air to check all 4 tyres is fuck all.



  • we have those, and they are (mostly) free...



  • Ok, ok, fine, I'll just find a gas station with a compressor not from the 1960s.

    Poop on all of you, I wanted to buy gadgets.


  • :belt_onion:

    @boomzilla said:

    But at least all the machines around me are automatic, so you put in the PSI you want and it beeps and stops when it gets there.

    Most people around here "don't trust" those. Because letting go and looking at the wobbly indicator is sooo much more reliable.

    Ran into one of those until now (though that's only my small town, I rarely check air in tyres when away, I do it before the trip), and it's free as well.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Poop on all of you, I wanted to buy gadgets.

    There are reasons to have an air compressor, but portable isn't something you normally need when running a nailgun or paint sprayer as you just use a long hose. Then again I'm assuming you aren't going to be doing your own roofing or repainting your house so those uses are unlikely.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    I never trust the gauge on those. But I could just buy my own gauge for like $15.

    You should have a gauge and keep it in your car no matter what. I use the automatic filling stations and then double-check with my own gauge, because wearing belts and suspenders is cool.

    @blakeyrat said:

    Poop on all of you, I wanted to buy gadgets.

    I have one of the portable ones, got it at the local auto parts store for under $40. Works great for me (I only need 32 psi), but it can take several minutes per tire.



  • @boomzilla said:

    $1 per use.

    Really? What a rip off! Free if you pump gas and mostly not even that.



  • How long have these automatic ones been around? What gas stations have you guys seem them at?

    I've only seen the old clunky aluminum box ones which sound like death. And the gauge on them is like a little plastic stick that pops out when you plug it in.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Onyx said:

    You have to pay for that?

    Sometimes. The gas station across the street from me has a coined meter, but the attendant will give you free credits if you ask.

    @NedFodder said:

    wearing belts and suspenders is cool

    With yellow :onion:s attached to both?



  • @blakeyrat said:

    What gas stations have you guys seem them at?

    Speedway is where I normally do it, but that is the close one that isn't like a two pump non-brand name one near me so I don't look other places. Don't think the grocery store (other common place for filling up) has one.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    How long have these automatic ones been around? What gas stations have you guys seem them at?

    Sometimes it pays to be on the EastBest coast. Wawas have the auto-gauge pumps and I'm pretty sure they are free.

    wawa air pump – 00:34
    — kikdababy



  • You should have said. I observe first that the compressors you will find on the common market are woefully limited. You may want to consider an air liquefier.



  • The newest gas station near me is at a Fred Meyer, which is a department store, and I know they don't have one.

    All the other gas stations within 30 miles of me have been there for decades.

    Whatever, I'll just go cruising through all their parking lots like a creeper I guess. I need to hit an ATM anyway.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    How long have these automatic ones been around?

    No idea.

    @blakeyrat said:

    What gas stations have you guys seem them at?

    As I was typing this, I was reminded that Sheetz has free air (the automatic beepy kind, but not from the 1960's). Edit: I thought that was a national chain, but it looks like it's not near you.



  • @Luhmann said:

    @boomzilla said:
    $1 per use.

    Really? What a rip off! Free if you pump gas and mostly not even that.

    If you say so. I only stop by every few months. But then, I'm not getting ripped offraped on the price of gas like you are, so I'll take that trade off.

    @blakeyrat said:

    How long have these automatic ones been around? What gas stations have you guys seem them at?

    The Sunoco near me has had one for at least a few years. I'm honestly not sure when it went in there. I've also used one at an Exxon station nearby. Last time I checked, the machine at the local Shell station looked like it had been destroyed / salvaged for parts or something.

    @blakeyrat said:

    I've only seen the old clunky aluminum box ones which sound like death. And the gauge on them is like a little plastic stick that pops out when you plug it in.

    Yeah, I've used plenty of those, too.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    The newest gas station near me is at a Fred Meyer

    Yeah, I wouldn't expect them to as the grocery store I mentioned was Kroger (owned by same company). They are pretty common in places like a Shell or Speedway, but if all those ones haven't been updated in the last decade or two then they may only have the older shitty ones.



  • @boomzilla said:

    price of gas

    Oh yeah always forget that. Haven't looked closely at fuel prices for almost a decade.



  • I like this one:

    http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/8166Ii4jW7L.SL1500.jpg

    It mounts to the garage ceiling and is always ready to go.



  • You have two compressors listed that serve different purposes.

    The first is designed as one that you can carry in your car to fill a flat while on the road. A very useful thing to have and one I recommend to anyone that does a lot of travel. Especially, if that travel is at all remote. While it can be used to top off your tires, it is going to take some time (think 5-10 minutes per tire if they need more than 5psi) and its probably easier to just hit up a bigger system at a station. (Some mechanics will allow you to use their air if you are a regular customer as well)

    The second is designed for small home use: nail/staple guns, paint sprayers, car cleaning, etc... It will definitely fill your tires and it has other uses as well. I would suggest seeing if you can find a used one (they last a long time under heavy use and most people don't use them at all).



  • @Dragoon said:

    The first is designed as one that you can carry in your car to fill a flat while on the road.

    I actually dug into my car's manual (quick someone, make fun of me for reading a manual!) and it ships with one of these in the trunk. The compressor it comes with has fix-a-flat, but you can also use it as a plain compressor-- believe it or not once I dug in it even includes needles for inflating footballs and bicycle tires and such!

    So kudos on Ford.

    My air compressor quest:

    Gas station 1: No air

    Gas station 2: Crappy aluminum box air; out of service

    Gas station 3: Crappy aluminum box air.

    So I used the compressor at station 3, filled my tires to the level recommended on the inside of the driver's door, and... the TPMS light didn't fucking turn off. So shit. (To be fair, all four tires needed a couple PSI topped-off. Not a lot, but. Eh.)

    Anyway, next time I'll try the compressor that came with the car now that I know it works without the fix-a-flat.



  • @boomzilla said:

    I'd recommend using the one at the gas station / carwash. Around here, those are usually $1 per use. Assuming that's all you really need one for.

    @Onyx said:

    You have to pay for that?

    @boomzilla said:

    Didn't used to, but it's pretty standard now. But at least all the machines around me are automatic, so you put in the PSI you want and it beeps and stops when it gets there.

    I bet it's regional. Most air pumps in my area are free. The difficult part is finding one that is capable of more than 35 PSI since I drive a 3/4-ton pickup truck with 10-ply tires that want around 70 PSI. Also, if I forget my tire gauge and borrow one from the gas station, and they have the really cheap sub-$10 ones for standard passenger cars, they will explode and launch their innards across the parking lot when I try to measure my tires with them :laughing:



  • @mott555 said:

    I bet it's regional. Most air pumps in my area are free. The difficult part is finding one that is capable of more than 35 PSI since I drive a 3/4-ton pickup truck with 10-ply tires that want around 70 PSI. Also, if I forget my tire gauge and borrow one from the gas station, and they have the really cheap sub-$10 ones for standard passenger cars, they will explode and launch their innards across the parking lot when I try to measure my tires with them

    And then I point to everybody and yell, "look how big my penis is!"



  • @blakeyrat said:

    the TPMS light didn't fucking turn off

    Did you drive for a few minutes over ~20mph?



  • @jaming said:

    Did you drive for a few minutes over ~20mph?

    No, is that a thing?

    This is the first car I've driven that wasn't a feature-less pile of shit, so. I don't know how these fancy new-fangled car systems work.



  • Believe it or not, but mine is actually not a super-loud jacked-up model with oversize mud tires, covered in stickers in poor taste, and billowing clouds of black smoke everywhere.



  • Right; but you still do the penis-yelling.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @jaming said:
    Did you drive for a few minutes over ~20mph?

    No, is that a thing?

    It's a new one on me too if it is.

    I had a rental Ford with TPMS once, even after inflating to the correct pressure, the TPMS needed "resetting". This is also the case with my current VW.
    There might be a reset button or an option in the menu.



  • Depends on if your car's system is direct or indirect. Indirect systems use wheel speed sensors.



  • Ok well I'm done tinkering with the car for today. Next time I drive, I'll keep an eye on it and if it doesn't turn off after a few minutes of high speed driving, I'll look for a reset button somewhere.



  • Only in response to penis-yelling by the yuppy Priuses covered in Bernie Sanders stickers who don't understand that some people occasionally need to move hay bales or cattle trailers.



  • See, that's why my hybrid is a Fusion.



  • @MathNerdCNU said:

    I think Fords that have quick-fix-flat repair kits have a just air mode.

    @blakeyrat said:

    (quick someone, make fun of me for reading a manual!)

    Do I win a cookie?



  • @MathNerdCNU said:

    Do I win a cookie?

    No. I marked my own post as the answer. I win everything.

    ... but yes I read your post and it is why I broke out the car manual.



  • You're welcome.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    quick someone, make fun of me for reading a manual

    When all else fails, read the instruction manual !



  • It's kind of shocking that in 2015, we still can't come up with anything better than pneumatic tires. Even on like huge airliners and space shuttles and such...



  • You could get the deformation on contact by making the material soft enough, but wouldn't you need new materials of different amounts of deformation to weight applied? I mean we could, but you would need some weird criteria for that to be better.



  • There are these ugly things, but I don't know if they're superior to pneumatic tires in any way (other than they can't go flat).



  • Better = I don't have to put air in it periodically.

    Also it would be nice to have a replacement less likely to fail catastrophically. (Although to be fair, that's much rarer in tires than it was even 20 years ago. But still.)



  • I'd try it. Get me on the beta-tester list.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Better = I don't have to put air in it periodically.

    But cost would also show up, both initial and how often you need to replace them.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @blakeyrat said:

    the TPMS light didn't fucking turn off.

    Did you try turning it off, and then back on again?


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