There is something reassuring about having an emergency kit in the back of your car should something happen and you’re stranded on the side of the road. You might think that you’re prepared for a situation where you’ve got to change a flat tire because you have a jack and a spare tire, but sometimes those spare tires are flat too.
Then what are you to do? Well, if you have an emergency air pump in your car, like the VIAIR 85P Portable Air Compressor, you just fill the spare, change the tire and go on about your merry way!
In this review, we are going to talk a little more about the features of the tire inflator, but we are also going to give you an overview of what people who have purchased the tire inflator had to say about their overall experience with it. Then, we’re going to give you our recommendation on whether or not this tire inflator is something you should consider purchasing for your own garage!
About The Product
VIAIR is a company that specializes in air compressors and air accessories for all types of vehicles. The compressors and components are frequently used in the OEM segment and they’ve become the go-to brand for 12v and 24v air compressors around the world.
This particular model is the successor to the widely popular 70P model. You’ll find that the VIAIR 85P Portable Air Compressor works quickly and efficiently, although it can only inflate up to 31 inch tires.
Notable features of the VIAIR 85P Portable Air Compressor include:
- 12 VOLT - 60PSI Max Working Pressure, engine must be running during use
- 1.26CFM Free Flow @ 0 PSI
- Portable air compressor powered by 12v (or more) auxiliary power outlet
- Easy to read tire pressure gauge mounted on the compressor
- Super bright LED work light included
- Engine must be running when in use
In those unfortunate situations when you need to use the air compressor at night to fill a tire, the air compressor features a built in LED work light—even if you do have a flashlight on hand, it’s nice to have a light source that is hands free, allowing you to work freely.
Where this air compressor really stands out is just how fast it is able to inflate tires. The fill rate with the VIAIR 85P Portable Air Compressor is 2 minutes to go from 0 to 30 PSI, and it’ll take 1 minute to go from 15 PSI to 30 PSI. If you need to fill a large tire, it has the ability to go from 20 PSI to 30 in a little over 2 minutes. We can’t forget that the air compressor plugs right into your car’s auxiliary outlet, which is a nice feature for convenience.
What Customers Say
When we looked at the user reviews, we saw that 86% had great things to say about the ride on and left 4 or 5-star reviews. Of these reviews, people commented on how impressed they were by the speed at which the air compressor was able to fill their car tires. Customers liked that you can see the quality of the materials and construction of the unit.
They feel that though the air hose fitting screws onto the tire’s valve, they feel it is a much better seal than the switch variety, as they have a tendency to leak air. The power cord for the pump is 10 feet long and the air hose is 3 feet long, and customers like that it is able to reach all their tires without needing to struggle to get it to reach even the back tires of larger trucks.
So what did the remaining 14% of customers who left 3-star or below reviews have to say? The most common complaint customers had was that the air compressor requires too much electricity and had a tendency to blow 15 amp fuses, although the manufacturer says this air compressor requires a minimum of 15 amps.
Another complaint a couple customers had was in regards to the plug. They said that the plug can be damaged easily. A couple of customers said that their air compressors stopped working entirely only after a couple months of using it. On the plus side, they said the light still works.
We do want to note that customers who have tried contacting the company’s customer service found it frustrating and “impossible” to deal with them. The company required the customer to pay for two-way shipping so they could test the unit for fault and only if they deemed it a fault on their end, they would replace it.
When you’re looking for a high quality air compressor to have on hand in case you need to inflate your car tire, it would make sense that you turn to a company that is known for their air compressors. VIAIR is that company, they specialize in air compressors and previous units have been very popular.
With the latest incarnation, the VIAIR 85P Portable Air Compressor is no exception. 86% of customers who have purchased the unit feels that it does live up to the VIAIR name and it’s an exception piece of equipment. Priced at just under $45 (under $70 at regular price), it is a little more expensive than other products on the market, but with that increased price, you’re getting increased inflation capabilities.
For a portable air compressor, this is one of the fastest on the market. While there has been a problem with the air compressor blowing out fuses in the car, we feel that it is still a good option. We recommend that before you do decide to purchase this air compressor that you make sure your auxiliary outlet is rated to 15AMPS or 12V. Also, remember that you must have your car running when you are using this unit.