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tire inflator/vehicle amperage question
Posted by: wurm
Date: September 05, 2020 10:37AM
I have been very happy with my Viair 70P portable compressor for the limited amount of use it gets occasionally topping off my tires. So much so that when I had to bring it out to top off my daughter's tire a couple of weeks ago she mentioned that something like that would make a nice Christmas present. So when eBay had that $25 off code last week, I grabbed the next model up (85P) at a great price; $29 instead of $54. It was delivered quickly and I was just about to check it out.

So here's the thing. It makes a big deal about making sure the 12v accessory outlet (cigarette lighter) is rated for 15 amps. Well, I just checked and my daughter's RAV4 is rated at 10 amps. Interestingly enough, my Prius C is also rated at 10 amps. And the older Viair 70P also states 15 amps. Well, I've never had a problem with it, never blown a fuse, etc. I always use it with the engine running.

So I guess my question is, have I just been incredibly lucky or is the manufacturer being overly cautious to cover themselves? Should i return this thing and try to find one rated at 10 amps?
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Re: tire inflator/vehicle amperage question
Posted by: deckeda
Date: September 05, 2020 02:16PM
Given your past experience I’d say they are trying to cover their ass in case someone says it doesn’t work.

On the other hand, it’s not difficult to connect directly to the battery. She’d need to:

1) open the hood
2) attach alligator clips either adapted from the unit’s cig lighter socket, or better yet, have the cig lighter plug cut off and wire the clips directly

Takes only a minimum amount of care to do all of that well ... as does checking and airing up tires.

Try the unit as-is. If it blows the car’s 10A fuse do the other (albeit with a 15A fuse inline of course)

Or she could just ask someone else air up her tires.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/05/2020 02:17PM by deckeda.
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Re: tire inflator/vehicle amperage question
Posted by: MrNoBody
Date: September 05, 2020 02:42PM
Given your past experience I’d say they are trying to cover their ass in case someone
says it doesn’t work.

.this (or it fries the car's ECU, etc.)

I had a cheapo inflator for 2-years or so with very little use. Last time I needed it
the pump section blew.
Replaced it with a Stanley FatMax-700 starter/compressor unit ($50). No electrical
connection to car & 0-35psi in under five-minutes.



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Re: tire inflator/vehicle amperage question
Posted by: lost in space
Date: September 05, 2020 03:52PM
I had a buddy die using one of those. He set it up to air up one of the tires on his pickup, dashed inside to watch the last few plays of a FB game, looked out and this truck was on fire. Ran outside, had a heart attack and died on the spot. True story. YMMV.



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Re: tire inflator/vehicle amperage question
Posted by: wurm
Date: September 05, 2020 04:07PM
Thanks for the comments. She's not about to deal with connecting directly to the battery. She'd call AAA first. ;)

For as often as she'd need to use it, I'm inclined to go with an even cheaper model that is rated for a 10 amp fuse. I thought I was making the wiser choice by getting a better quality one, but I don't want to run the risk of her blowing a fuse. That just means another call to me when it "doesn't work"..

I may also call Viair's customer service on Tuesday and see what they say.
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Re: tire inflator/vehicle amperage question
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: September 05, 2020 04:19PM
My guess is it only draws 15 Amps when pumping up to the highest rated pressure (like bike tires at 100 psi).



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Re: tire inflator/vehicle amperage question
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: September 05, 2020 09:11PM
Before I ever cared about current draw, I used a bunch of different tire inflators via the cigarette lighter port, and never blew a fuse.

I don't know what any of those were rated.

My current car is rated at 20A, so no worries.



I always use it with the engine running.


I assume you're aware that with the engine running, the voltage is increased (as RPM rises) and current load is decreased.

I also agree that as the pressure increases, the pump will draw more current, but I have no idea of the delta.


If she's willing to connect a pump to a tire, you could try getting a harness that bolts to the battery at one end with an SAE connector or 12V socket on the other, fused for 15-20A.

Pop the hood, plug in the pump, no worries.

Or a self-contained, battery operated pump.

She'd just have to remember to charge it every so often.




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Re: tire inflator/vehicle amperage question
Posted by: Ken Sp.
Date: September 06, 2020 06:32PM
I love this one--fills my road bike tires to over 100PSI

Ryobi Battery inflater
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