10 Best Air Compressors for Car Tires

Whether you are a regular car owner or a professional mechanic, having an air compressor in your trunk can save you on a number of occasions like inflating flat tires, air mattresses, and bouncing castles. Air compressors for car tires are mainly categorized into two.

Positive Displacement Air Compressor

Positive-displacement compressors work by increasing the pressure by reducing the vacuum that holds the pressure using a reciprocating piston.

Best Air Compressors for Car Tires

Best Air Compressors for Car Tires

This type of compressor typically has a crankshaft, a piston, connecting rod, cylinder, and a valve head. These parts are powered by an electric motor to create an internal combustion. As the piston strokes, a vacuum is created on one side while the full side sends the air into the holding air tank. At the very top of the cylinder is the discharge valve.

Negative Displacement Air Compressor

This type of compressor works by drawing and capturing air in a closed chamber. This process is then followed by reducing the chamber volume to compress the air.

Depending on the pressure you are are looking, car air compressors can further be categorized into three:

  • Low-pressure air compressor: typically discharges a maximum of 150 psi.
  • Medium pressure air compressor: can deliver anything between 151 and 1000 psi.
  • High pressure air pressure: can deliver over 1000 psi.

Irrespective of the psi output, most modern air compressors utilize the 12v supply through the battery terminals or the cigarette lighter. However, there are are other models that still require power inverters.

Factors To Consider Before Buying Car Tires Air Compressors

Noise Levels

Right off the bat, you dont want to be stranded in the middle of nowhere with an air compressor louder than Boeing 747 engine. It’s utterly annoying! With that said, all the air compressors irrespective of the brand will produce some certain level of noise. So it’s up to you to decide the decibels you are comfortable with.


The second and most important factor to consider while buying an air compressor is compatibility. You don’t want to buy a fancy equipment just to occupy your trunk space without helping you. For this reason, ensure that the compressor can inflate the tires you have as some are capable while others aren’t.


Although you may love a particular brand, you don’t have to settle for their air compressor if it’s not portable. Always look for a small unit that will comfortably fit in your trunk. After all, the only point of having an air compressor is for you to use in emergency cases. Needless to say, small compressors are practical and don’t cost a fortune.


It’s always nice to have an intuitive unit that seemingly predicts what you need. For this reason, always settle for an air compressor that has some few pre-programmed settings like the PSI settings, ON/OFF to overcome all the little inconveniences.


Last but certainly not the least is the budget. It’s important to note that there are multiple air compressors on the market that come with minor differentiating tweaks. A minor tweak on an air compressor can be worth a few hundred dollars. However, the bottom line is that a good unit should help you do one thing–inflate your tires.

There is no need of spending an extra 500 buck for some minor caduceus you can do without like the color of your unit.

10 Best Units To Choose From

We have analyzed 10 popular air compressors using some parameters like technical specifications, fuel, materials, size, portability, and pressure discharge.

But before do that, we would like to put a big caveat at this point. You may have come across arguments on many online quotas on whether the design of anthe air compressor is important. We are strongly convinced it is important because it weighs in on the ease of use and portability. Therefore, in the course of this review, you will also come across some other specs that should also influence your decision.

Kensun D1001 AC/DC Heavy Duty Multi-Function Air Compressor Tire Inflator

This air compressor emerges as the top contender compared to its peers thanks to a number of positive attributes. Fors starters, this baby has a 40 psi output capable of delivering 11 liters airflow per minute.

Another unique selling point of this compressor is the fact that it can be powered by a cigarette lighter using the 9ft cord which is convenient when looking to reach the hind tires. For tire inflation, it features a  21.7-inch rubber hose to deliver air to the tires which is what most vehicles use.

For portability and practicality purposes, the compressor weighs 4.7 pounds making it easy to carry, not forgetting the clip on system to ensure it occupies minimal space.

As an added bonus, it made from sturdy material that doesn’t overheat meaning it will last a few generations down your family tree line.

Read more reviews from Amazon

Viair 70p Heavy Duty Portable Tire Air Compressor

Viair 70p is among the top sellers on Amazon. This shouldn’t come as a surprise as this compressor is one the few high quality tailored units on the market. For example, it can seamlessly work using the 12v cigarette lighter outlet compared to others compressors that require a direct wall plug.

Featuring a maximum output of 100 psi and a 1.06 CFM, the compressor is premeditated to fill your tires within the shortest time possible. Weighing 5 pounds, this compressor also comes with other accessories like a handy carrying bag, 16-foot cord, and a 4-foot air horse.

For easy access, the on/off switch and the pressure gauge are located in front. It has a solid make and over 2209 thumbs up on Amazon which makes it one of the best.

This bestseller has more than 2 thousand reviews on Amazon.com

Viair 88P Portable Air Compressor

Viar is one of the best brands for the air compressors hence managing to have two products on this review. The Viar’s 88P is one of those units that amazes you with its simplicity and practicality of use.

Boasting of a maximum 120psi, it’s a multi-use compressor that not only inflates tires but also many other inflatables.

Unfortunately, many people have termed the missing cigarette lighter capability as a letdown, it’s not a dealbreaker since compressors that connect directly to the car battery performs equally well.

It also comes with a 9ft power cord which a fair length to enable you to reach the car battery even when airing the hind wheels. In terms of airing your tires, the compressor sports a 12ft air horse that can be paired with the inclusive 3-piece inflation top kit that’s compatible with other items.

Learn more about this perfect device directly from the seller.

Black and Decker ASI300 Air Station Inflator

It’s one of the largest inflators compared the previous products. This 12v Black and Decker compressor is a multi-use product that you can use to inflate your car tires, bike tires, sports balls, air mattresses, and other inflatable objects.

It features an appealing compact design and an orange plastic exterior. It can juice you up with a maximum of 190 psi which is quite commendable compared to most of its peers. Even better it can be powered using the cigarette plug giving convenience a whole new meaning.

You will also appreciate the automatic shut off once you reach the desired air pressure which prevents any bursts. Other accessories include the tire nozzle, extension nozzle, and the needle inflator.

Do not waste your time! Read more reviews here!

Lifeline AAA Air Compressor

Powered by the cigarette plug, this is one of the most affordable and equally powerful units on the market.

It can deliver a maximum of 300 psi making it one of the most powerful compressors compared to its peers. It features an air hose that easily couples with three different nozzle adapter and a  10ft power cord.

Although it doesn’t have an automatic shut off it comes with an on/off button at the front panel. It’s a perfect compressor for occasional use although people have questioned the sturdiness of the same.

Learn more about this Lifeline compressor from the Amazon site.


Slime 40022 Digital Tire Inflator

This Slime 4022 portable air compressor is a true definition of technology thanks to the unique digital features coupled with a great design.

The unit is small and compact weighing 1 pound which makes it easy to carry around and easy to store in the trunk. That notwithstanding, it can be plugged to the cigarette lighter as it can be powered using 12v.

Working in the middle of the night in the darkness can be irritating. This is not the case with Slime 40022nas it comes fitted with the LED light that illuminates at night giving you an opportunity to see what you are doing.

Since its a digital-oriented product, it wouldn’t make sense if it came without the automatic. This feature allows the compressor to stop inflating once the desired pressure has been attained.

Although it has been praised for all these attributes and the multi-use aspect, the compressor is a bit on the noisy side and can’t connect to a wall plug.

Actual reviews of this compressor can be obtained here:

Porter-Cable PCFP02003 Air Compressor

The Porter-Cable compressor takes a more traditional build and it’s one of the biggest and most reliable in this review. Fitted with a 3.5 liters gallon, this compressor is capable of producing a maximum of 135psi without much trouble.

It’s not only useful when inflating your tires and air mattresses but can also be used together with other low powers tools.

Another unique selling point of this compressor is the fact that it doesn’t require an inverter as it utilizes a low am of 120v. Even better, it doesn’t require oiling to operate irrespective of how frequently you run it.

Lastly, its sturdy, big enough to meet all your needs, and fairly priced.

Learn more about this unique tool:

Master Flow MF-1040 Cyclone Portable Air Compressor

They say that the beauty lies in the eye of the beholder but the yellow outline of this air compressor is simply irresistible.

The MF-1040 is a small and reasonably priced air compressor that doesn’t compromise on quality. Capable of juicing you up with a maximum of 150 psi which is considerably high compared to the average of 100 which most compressors come with. The magic doesn’t stop there; its capable of delivering a whopping 30 liters of air on a given minute.

Another step forward for this compressor is that bonus carrying bag which allows everything to stay in one place.

However, it is important to point out that customers have complained about some design flaws and the fuse’s quality.  all in all, it’s a great compressor for occasional use.

Not decided yet? Read some more reviews on Amazon.com

Bon-Aire Goodyear i8000 120-Volt Direct Drive Tire Inflator

If you are looking for a perfectly designed compressor that doesn’t cost a fortune, this is the perfect match for you. It comes with a pleasant easy to store make with a touch of blue air fuse.

It can inflate a P185/R14 tire size with 28 psi in under two minutes while the maximum psi is 150. This compressor can be powered through 120v wall plug using the 6ft power cord while the air is transported courtesy of the 17 ft air hose.

Compared to most of its peers, the Goodyear i8000 is quieter and considerably lightweight as it weighs 1 pound. It is the ideal choice for the cyclists.

 Porter-Cable CMB15 Portable Air Compressor

This is another robust air compressor packed with useful features. It comes with a 1.5 gallon that can hold 150 psi and weighs approximately 20 lbs when empty making it one of the heaviest on the market.

On top of the unit allowing you to store pressure, it also gives you the flexibility to run other power tools.

The “oil-free” built-in pump doesn’t need additional oiling and lubricating. To run, the compressor needs to be plugged into 102v wall outlet or an inverter.

Enough with the jumpstarting, this unit can run an all-weather so you don’t have to worry as to whether it’s going to work on a rainy day.

Comes with accessories like a hose nozzle, 25 ft coil hose, and Teflon tape. Last but certainly not the least, it is considered bulkier weighing 20 pounds but this is indemnified by the powerful nature of the compressor.

Check the latest information about this decent device!

Final Thoughts

If you are preparing for an off-road trip, then your preparation should be more than just kicking the tires and checking the oil. In case you run into problems, you need all the tools to help you survive before you reach a safe place. Among these tools is an air compressor for tire cars. With the above-listed air compressors, you shouldn’t have a problem in deciding the one that matches your needs.

But I am in love with the Viar bestsellers. So, my choice is the VIAR 88P compressor.