12 Volt Tire Pump.


Mark J
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I bought this DeWalt tire pump, and so far I'm happy with it.  

https://www.homedepot.com/p/DEWALT-20-Volt-MAX-Inflator-Tool-Only-DCC020IB/305709688?source=shoppingads&locale=en-US&&mtc=Shopping-B-F_D25H-B-D25H-025_028_COMP_AIRTOOL-NA-NA-Feed-PLA-NA-NA-Compressors_Smart&cm_mmc=Shopping-B-F_D25H-B-D25H-025_028_COMP_AIRTOOL-NA-NA-Feed-PLA-NA-NA-Compressors_Smart-71700000081377591-58700006924599093-92700064312898269&gclid=Cj0KCQjw-4SLBhCVARIsACrhWLXxx0rs5REQKNr6kCRWvqjlgLM7-iXciYbSPfw8tMvh_UiNJoU-3W0aArBtEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

It replaced one I bought from the auto parts store that was a certified P.O.S.  Loud enough that everyone on the block would know when I was pumping a tire and vibrated so much that I would get a call from the university seismology lab.  And best of all it wouldn't really pump air, which was OK because the pressure guage was impossible to read when running and 10 or 20 pounds high when off, so you really wouldn't have known when to stop if it did pump air.

The DeWalt makes noise, but not much.  It vibrates, but not much.  It does pump air and with reasonable alacrity.  There are two LCD screens.  One is the pressure guage, which is accurate as far as I can tell.  The other is the target pressure, which you dial in.  The pump automatically stops at the set point.  

The pressure hose is short, but the 12 Volt cord is long enough to reach any wheel on my Ridgeline, if routed through the appropriate window. There is a storage compartment for the DC cord, but you need some origami skills to get it back in there.

There is an optional AC adapter, but it's expensive and hard to find.  

The pump can be run off a 20 Volt DWalt battery, a feature which is of no interest to me.  I have no other DeWalt tools and no batteries.  I can't imagine a battery being much use having been neglected in the trunk summer after winter after summer after winter... assuming the battery hadn't already exploded in my trunk :).

One other kudo.  It runs on a 10 amp 12 V circuit.  Some pumps pull 15 amps,  but some cars only have 10 amp circuits.

The pump is not cheap, but there's a lot of crap out there that costs half as much.

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I bought a $50 Slime one, to keep in Pam's car, that works fine, with an automatic cut-off.  It's slow, but does the job, and doesn't take up much room in the car.

The one in my truck is probably 20 years old.  A Truck Air, that is getting tired.  I'll look at yours to see about replacing it.

When we get something in a tire, so that it needs plugging, I don't even take it off the vehicle to plug.  That's the main reason I keep kits, including a compressor, in each vehicle.

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CO2 pressure is determined by the ambient temp. If I recall, it is about 850 psi at 70*. The cylinder, like a CO2 fire extinguisher, is filled by weight and not pressure, thus no pressure gauge. As the ambient temp increases, so does the internal pressure, thus the reason for a regulator. The small cylinder that I mentioned on GMC vehicles was sized to inflate the tire without over inflation. 

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I've been keeping a look out for one of those but $100 is tough pill to swallow considering I already have a working DC one. I was also looking at the Ryobi version at half the price but without the DC cord option it has a limited lifespan.

I really like that it has the high volume option too for kids stuff too.

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Here is the one I bought, but I paid 50 bucks for it at Autozone, less than a year ago.  I don't know what they go for there now.

It's been used a bunch of times, because one of Pam's car tires had a little piece of wire in it.  The low tire light would come on about every three weeks.  I finally had time to plug the tire, but that pump was well worth having, until I could get the car in our shop.

https://shop.slime.com/collections/tire-inflators/products/rugged-digital-tire-inflator?variant=47564678984

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Are all plug kits the same? I haven’t used one in years when I had one on all of my service trucks. Each truck had a CO2 cylinder and a nitrogen cylinder and could pressurize the tire after plugging. My main reason for carrying the CO2 cylinder is to get me down the road to a service center. Forgot all about plugging a tire. 

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As far as I know, they are. Quality varies, but all include a punch to clean the hole, and an insertion tool for the plug. I carry pliers for removing the offending object, and a tube of rubber cement. The cement makes the plug a little easier to push in. I also found it much easier to remove the tire, than to exert the necessary force from some odd angle when the tire is on the car. Truck tires seem to have a bit thicker tread than passenger car tires, and it takes a bit to shove the plug in.

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There are different types of plug tools.  Some have a slot on the end, and some have a closed eye.  I like the ones with a closed eye.  The ones with a slot sometimes will pull the plug back out, rather than the tool only coming back out, leaving the plug.

With the closed eye, you push the plug all the way in, pull it partially back out, and cut the ends of the plug.  It works every time.  With those, you have to cut the plugs short enough that they don't come up past the end of the handle, so the plug can go all the way inside.

I also keep a little bottle of rubber cement in the kit.  The plug is dipped in the rubber cement before inserting it in the tire.  It lubricates it some going in, and I feel like gives it a little extra security.

There is also one particular type of kit that has a very small diameter insertion tool, and small diameter plugs.  That tool has a slot on the side of the shaft, angled down.  I've never had any trouble with that one pulling a plug back out.  I'm looking for that one online, but haven't found it yet.  I'll try to remember to look at the kit in the truck today, and try to find them by the company name.

On cars close to the ground, I do find it easier to take the tire off, but on trucks, I can plug them while laying on the ground.  It's no fun taking a 1 ton truck tire off on the side of the road.  The cheap, auto parts kits will work, but the tools bend easily.  Blackjack tools are not exactly cheap, but I've found them strong enough for the Load Range E tires, and have never bent one.

A spray bottle of Windex is kept in each vehicle, not only for cleaning glass, but for finding leaks in tires.  Spray some around the tread of the tire, and it will blow a stream of bubbles where the leak is.

You will read that plugs are temporary fixes, etc., etc., but I've never had to redo one, and tires run until they were worn out, more times than I can count.

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I guess that small diameter kit is no longer on the market.  It's in a clear plastic tube, but any name brand is long gone.  I'm glad I have it though, as a lot of times the object is so small that the hole would otherwise need to be enlarged to use a regular tie plugging tool.

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