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Portable Tire Inflators

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Black/Black MS, Nov 28, 2016.

  1. Black/Black MS

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    Does anyone carry a portable tire inflator in their car? I'm looking for a high quality 12 volt pump that has decent power, and would appreciate any recommendations. Bonus would be a recommendation for a high quality tire pressure gauge.
     
  2. kevinf311

    kevinf311 Member

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    Since I'm from MD, I got the Tesla one for free (MD requires manufacturers to include one if the car is not sold with a spare). It is a portable 12V compressor and includes a goo based fix-a-flat system.

    I don't know if it's actually higher quality than anything else on the market. It has an analog pressure gauge that reads about 3PSI high (It says just under 50, then I know I'm a touch over 45). Calibrated poorly, but it is nicely back-lit. The compressor is about as fast as I would expect from a 12V power source, adding 5PSI in about 30 seconds or so.

    It only has the tire valve stem connection type and is not interchangeable, that I can tell.

    The Tesla branded one is probably marginally more expensive than one you could find online elsewhere. Might make sense to spec the Tesla one and then find a similar model from the Amazons and eBays of the world.

    Let me know if you want me to pull anything specific off the Tesla provided one (case details, etc).
     
  3. Snerruc

    Snerruc Member

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    I've had a Slime compressor for several years. It has held up well and now lives in my frunk. I have not found a good correlation between price and accuracy in guages. Pick up a few at various places and see how well they correlate with the tire sensors. Of course, there is no guarantee that the sensors are any more accurate. I also have a big $30 dial guageb but I'm not sure it is any better.
     
  4. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    My experience is that accurate gauges start at over $50 and go up to around $200 for an accurate digital gauge. The better gauges can be calibrated so they should last a lifetime.
     
  5. Patrick W

    Patrick W Active Member

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    Can't help with the tire gauge (judging from what I read above the $5 one I've got probably isn't accurate).

    As for the pump, I got the one Tesla sells which includes slime. I also bought a spare tire and wheel and the tools needed to change a tire but only take that along on trips out of the local area.

    BTW, if you go the spare tire route I'm told it should be kept in the trunk, not the frunk.
     
  6. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Supporting Member

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  7. Black/Black MS

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    \


    Thanks for the recommendation. Just ordered one off Amazon Prime. Also ordered one of these pressure gauges, which had pretty good reviews.

    Amazon.com: TireTek Flexi-Pro Tire Pressure Gauge, Heavy Duty - Best For Car & Motorcycle - 100 PSI: Automotive
     
  8. Black/Black MS

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    I am reporting back that I purchased both of those items, and they are fantastic. The tire inflator works great and fills up a tire much quicker than I expected.

    The TireTek gauge is perfectly accurate and easy to use. The only issue with it is that the pressure release button sticks. It has a two month exchange window so I'll keep it for now and see if it gets better or I'll exchange it.

    Would highly recommend both of these items.
     
    • Informative x 2
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  9. dhcp

    dhcp Member

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    What do you guys recommend for a good Slime product to keep on hand?
     
  10. FlatSix911

    FlatSix911 918 Hybrid

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    Comes with slime ... :cool:

    Tesla — Tire Repair Kit

    upload_2016-12-5_16-20-57.png
     
  11. mrElbe

    mrElbe Active Member

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    Will the Slime in these inflator packages freeze in cold temperatures?
     
  12. dhcp

    dhcp Member

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    If buying yourself (as I am) would you recommend the Tesla solution over a home-spun one using the Amazon units listed above and some flavor of Slime? (If so, which model of Slime?)
     
  13. ferdboyce

    ferdboyce Member

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    I 'nailed' a broken bungee cord in the rain on the NY Thruway, and managed to pull off the road before the tire went completely flat. The nice lady at Tesla reminded me that only NY Thruway tow trucks are allowed to operate on that highway, and from my location the minimum charge would be the better part of $300. Fortunately, I remembered the Tesla inflator (slime) kit I'd stowed in the 'lower trunk' . . . it worked remarkably well, and easily took me another 20 miles to the exit and a nearby tire repair shop in Canajoharie NY. And to add to my great good luck, they had a used Michelin 245x45x19, for which I paid $100 installed! The gods were on my side that day.
     
  14. dhcp

    dhcp Member

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    I hope you ran out and bought a lottery ticket too as you were on a serious roll of luck this day!
     
  15. Zetopan

    Zetopan Member

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    #15 Zetopan, Dec 5, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2016
    People need to be cautious about purchasing portable air compressors for tire inflation. Many of them pull 15 or more amps while the Tesla accessory jack is only rated at 150 watts max. 150/12.6 is less than 12 amps. Hence many of these compressors will eventually blow the fuse for the accessory outlet. I just checked and the Amazon Viair 00073 70P being recommended above requires a 15 amp accessory outlet so that compressor is a fuse blower. 12.6 * 15 = 189 watts! Even if you assume 12 volts instead of the nominal lead acid terminal voltage of 12.6, that comes to 180 watts.

    Also, always check out the negative feedback on Amazon product reviews to see what people complain about. Sometimes the complaints appear to be real while some are truly idiotic, and everywhere in between. The 70P has some brittle plastic parts that break easily after only a few uses - it sometimes even breaks on the first use. Also the Tesla tire pressures are higher than many automobiles and this model compressor apparently has trouble getting much above 30 PSI, despite the marketing claims that state otherwise.

    I have been looking at getting a 12.6 Volt compressor for tire inflation for a recently ordered Tesla and there are *many* that are unsuitable for several reasons, including marketing hype that does not match reality, so read those owner reviews!

    Instead of using slime, there are tire repair kits that provide for much better sealing. However, to use them you must have a pair of pliers in the car (easy enough) and be able to move the car to expose the nail/screw or whatever punctured the tire. You pull the object out, paying attention to the angle and the insert a strand of curing rubber that bonds with the rubber in the tire. Here is but one example (this is not an endorsement of this particular one, I have never used it): Amazon.com: Dynaplug 1007 Tubeless Tire Repair Kit: Automotive

    Also note that all of these types of tire repair kits are a temporary solution and should be followed up with an inside the tire patch. Some people do not realize that and continue to use a tire with a temporary repair, and then complain when it eventually fails.
     
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  16. ig_epower

    ig_epower Member

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    I have BOTH a 12V compressor and a separate 12V battery booster pack. That way, I don't have to worry about tangled cords going from my pump outside to inside my car for the 12V accessory port. I also don't have to worry about the Tesla fuse.

    The thing I hate about the slime is to have to buy another TPMS unit when repairing the tire. The slime must coat the sensor ports to prevent readings in the future.
     
  17. mhw23

    mhw23 Member

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    Can anyone recommend a tire inflator that runs off a regular wall plug?
     
  18. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    harbor freight used to sell one
     
  19. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

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    The Viair compressors are interesting in their power consumption. Their current draw is based on PSI. My 85P, which is a little beefier than the 70P noted above, will exceed 12A at pressures over 20psi. At 50psi it hits 14A. There's a nice little table on the Amazon page:

    Amazon.com: VIAIR 85P Portable Air Compressor: Automotive

    After some digging, the 70P doesn't fare nearly as well: VIAIR Corporation - 70P Portable Compressor (P/N 00073)
    It always exceeds 12A and hits 15A at 50psi.

    I use the Tesla-branded compressor for filling from the Tesla, but use the 85P on my other vehicles.

    (*Note the above, according to Viair, assume a supply voltage of 13.8V, which seems awfully optimistic to me)
     
  20. bogle_rad

    bogle_rad Member

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    I've been using the Tesla brand tire inflator/slime gadget several times over this year to re-inflate my tires. I just used it only to inflate the tires over this past cold weekend in Illinois and the slime started to leak out into the crevices of the device and elsewhere.
    Has anyone else noticed this slime leakage??? Poor design, I think.
     

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