How to choose a car compressor

Familiar to many generations of car enthusiasts mechanical pumps are gradually being replaced by automotive compressors. Share the secrets of their selection.

2015-11-16 21:15:52 26

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a Piston or a membrane?

Air compression in the piston compressor is a piston, reciprocating movement by a crank mechanism, which is driven by electric motor with gear box. Such compressors have high efficiency, quickly pumping compressed air into the tyres of the car and rapidly pumping them up to the desired pressure. However, the heating of air during its compression and friction inevitably occurs between the piston and the cylinder, lead to heating of the compressor, therefore, its uptime and reliability it needs to be equipped with an effective cooling system: passive in the form of heat sinks and active with a fan. The dust contained in the air, gets inside the cylinder, increasing wear of the cylinder-piston group, generated by the compressor lowering the pressure, reducing its performance and lifespan. Replacement and repair of worn parts of the piston compressor are not subject. The membrane compressor air is blown through the oscillating membrane. In performance, these compressors are inferior to the piston, but because of simplicity of design and minimum number of moving parts to wear out significantly slower and are much longer. Besides the worn membrane is easy to replace by yourself and after a simple repair of the compressor is back in service. Disadvantages of membrane compressor two: the complexity to inflate the tyre with diameter more than 14 inches and a drop in performance in cold weather, when the rubber membrane loses its elasticity.

the compressor

The rate of discharge of the air compressor is measured in liters per minute. For inflating tires of cars would be sufficient compressor capacity of about 40 liters per minute for SUVs and vans will need a stronger device – with a capacity of 60 l/min. For the compressor for a long time, you should choose the model with the stock performance, preventing operation of injection device and overload to the limit.


A very controversial option. Not least because the vast majority of models of compressors capable of compressing air up to 8-10 atmospheres, which is more than enough. Therefore, to attach special value to this parameter of the compressor when it is selected hardly worth it.


Technical characteristics this option is quite rare. Meanwhile, low-power and low-cost compressors, it is rarely more than 15-20 minutes, so pump up 4 tires, spending every about 5 minutes without a break is unlikely. Another thing – its more powerful and more expensive brethren. Spending on pumping up one tire in 2 minutes and having the time of continuous operation of 30-40 minutes, they will not wear out and therefore will last much longer.


The power of the electric motor depends not only its performance, but also whether it can be connected to the cigarette lighter socket that is connected to a fuse with a rated current value of 15 A. When system voltage 12 V maximum power that can withstand the fuse will be equal to 180 watts. Therefore, all devices with a power consumption greater than the specified should be connected directly to the battery terminals. Powerful compressors must be equipped with special clamps – "crocodiles".


They can be with needle and digital display. Compressors with the first type of pressure gauges are cheaper, but the latter are more convenient to operate, allowing you to control the pressure with accuracy up to one hundredth. In addition, the digital gauges have the option of choosing the units without breaking your head when translating atmospheres to kilopascals, bars or kg/cm2. But the main advantage of pressure gauges with digital display – implementation of the "Hitchhiking" through which the compressor will inflate a tire to the specified pressure value and turns off automatically.

Additional options

These include: automatic shutdown of the compressor if it overheats, the function of pumping air and the presence of the bleed valve, the ability to work in a mode of a vacuum cleaner, adapter kit, connector with independent fuse, built-in flashlight with different light settings and storage bag.We wish that your chosen automotive compressor served you long and well! Good luck to you! No nail, no wand!

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