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Review: Slime Tire Inflator and Vacuum 2-In-1

Kamil Kaluski December 6, 2018 Featured, Gadget Reviews, Project 4Runner 23 Comments

I was waiting for that first really cold day of the season. That cold day is easily identifiable by the glow of the “low tire pressure” light on one’s dashboard. But this year, unlike past years, I welcomed my little idiot light. That’s because I had a new product that I was just waiting to test.

Few weeks earlier Slime, maker of things that inflate things, sent me one of their new products. That new product is actually a combination of two products: a typical 12v automotive tire inflator and small 12v vacuum cleaner. It’s unimaginatively called the Inflator & Vacuum 2-In-1.

So, how does it work and does it work well?

The device is neatly packaged. All the cables and hoses were wrapped around into one integrated part. There are three connections: typical inflator hose, longer and wider vacuum hose, and the 12v power cable. Theoretically everything should go back into the same place at the end of use but most of us will just jam it all in there. 

First step was the inflation of my tire. Slime claims that this device inflates a standard car tire in six minutes. I don’t know what a standard car tire is these days but my 265/75-17 light truck all-terrain tire is definitely not standard. On this chilly morning the left rear was down to 33psi, as per the display on the inflator, from its nominal 39psi. It took approximately four minutes to achieve this.

The surprising part was how easily Slime made this happen. Plug it into the 12v socket (we don’t call them cigarette lighters anymore). Unlike a typical inflator, the nozzle of the inflator hose is threaded. You simply screw it on top of the tire valve and it stays attached – there is no need to hold it. Set your desired pressure and flip the switch to pump. That’s it. The inflator will stop when the desired pressure is set. Go sit in your car because it’s cold outside.

My two kids love to eat in the car and my wife, world’s biggest clean freak, seems to think that it is perfectly fine to have an extremely messy car. Needless to say, the 4Runner is always in need of a vacuuming. This was the key part of the usefulness of this device for me.

To use the inflator as a vacuum cleaner, the long accordion-like hose needs to be removed and plugged into the intake vent. Then just flip the switch to vacuum and go at it.

Don’t expect Dyson-like suction but it is good. It didn’t pick up everything on the first try but run it over the area two of three times and you’ll pick it up, as seen in pictures. Despite the narrow brush, tight areas were still a challenge for this little device. To be fair, those are challenging for ShopVacs, too. Obviously things that are stuck to the carpet, such as lollipop sticks, are a no-go. Ugh, kids…

I had really low expectations of this inflator/vacuum thing but in the end I was pleasantly surprised. This a great little device, especially for those like me, with no garages at their homes. It will check your tires pressures, add the needed air, and allow you to at least attempt to have a clean interior. The Slime Tire Inflator and Vacuum 2-In-1 available on Amazon, currently for $78.83. It would make a good present for some one who doesn’t have convenient access to a vacuum or an air hose. 

  • ptschett

    “The Slime 2-in-1 inflator and vacuum: the air pump blows and the vacuum sucks!”
    #RejectedAdvertisingTaglines

  • P161911

    So does it use the vacuum hose to inflate large things like air mattresses and pool toys? Or does it just use the compressed air?
    For $20 less I’d rather have the Black and Decker one that adds the inflation feature for large things and deletes the vacuum. Plus it is cordless! Nice to take to the beach and the lake for things that are too big to carry around inflated.
    Really glad I have a garage with a real compressor. Even when the tank has leaked down, I don’t think it would take 2 minutes to inflate a flat tire.

    • No. You’d need to add a nozzle (for bigger things) or a needle (for smaller things) in top of the inflator hose.

  • smalleyxb122

    It’s still a terrible compressor and a terrible vacuum (Now together in one terrible unit!). It just wasn’t as bad as you thought it would be. These are two gadgets that, in order to be actually good, need way more power than a 12V socket can provide. Your expectations were appropriately low.

    • Since I don’t have access to 120v or a compressor where I live/park, this improvises pretty well.

    • dead_elvis, inc.

      I wouldn’t want to use this to inflate a completely flat tire, but a cheap 12v compressor that will top up a slow leak beats the hell out of having to wait for AAA.

      • outback_ute

        What can help is connecting directly to the battery, so you can get more current.

      • 0A5599

        The only time I’ve had to call AAA for a flat tire, it’s because a piece of rebar punctured BOTH passenger-side tires. The resulting holes were bigger than the outside diameter of that compressor’s fill hose.

        A 12V compressor wouldn’t have done anything but make noise.

        • dead_elvis, inc.

          I’ve never actually called AAA for a flat, but I know plenty of people who have. I’m pretty sure my 70 year old mother doesn’t have the strength to use a lug wrench (although she does know how to change a tire, and keeps/uses a nice digital tire pressure gauge in the car).

          • 0A5599

            OK, but a slow leak doesn’t really justify a AAA call, unless it’s leaked out so much that it can’t be driven to the nearest tire store. They can add air, inspect the tire, and if the problem is serious, replace the tire.

            The lug wrench strength issue is a good point. Maybe I’ll buy my mom an electric impact wrench for her birthday.

            As far as people who don’t know how to change a tire…

            I had a teen approach me in a parking lot a few weeks ago. He had just blown a tire (hole in the sidewall) and pulled into that parking lot to get out of traffic. He didn’t know how to change a tire and asked for help. I told him what to do and watched over his shoulder to make sure he did it safely, but he was the only one with dirty hands when the job was done. I think we both benefitted from the experience.

          • Lokki

            My 72 year-old mom was calling AAA once a week for a slow leak in her tire till I yelled at her and made her go to Discount Tire and get it fixed. They fix flats for free …*

            * (When I had a flat fixed there on my car, I tipped the guy who did it, just on principle)

            • dead_elvis, inc.

              I think most of the tire chains will plug minor leaks for free, in hope of getting your business next time you need tires. I’ve certainly made use of that freebie many times over the years at Les Schwab (Pac NW regional chain), but I’m not impressed with their tire quality, at least not their house brands.

  • SlowJoeCrow

    Is this thing using a piston pump like a regular compressor or some sort of turbine like an HVLP spray gun? I’m curious because this seems like a contradictory set of functions. Tire inflation is typically higher pressure, low volume, while a vacuum cleaner is high volume low pressure.

  • dead_elvis, inc.

    I’d prefer a standard lever/locking air chuck vs a threaded one, but this is more $ than I’d ever bother spending on a rarely used 12v inflator, so I suppose I’m not the target audience. Plus, I already own a shop vac.

    • outback_ute

      I have a battery jump pack with a compressor built in, pretty useful combo, especially when dealing with older cars that don’t have cig, ahem, 12v outlets

  • Lokki

    My BMW has, like most cars these days, a built in tire pressure monitor. Okay, great. And also bitches when the weather cools enough to drop the tire pressure a tad. That is still okay, conceptually. BUT: since it is German, and has Run-Flats it continuously screams YOU’RE GONNA DIE!! on the dash computer display, knowing that it it just told American me that one tire was one PSI low, I’d ignore it till the weather warms up in March. So, after a day or so, I break down and get out my Harbor Freight $39 3-gallon air compressor and pump up the tires. (No, it doesn’t vacuum).

    Here’s where I get pissed. The German dash display reads tire pressure down to the 10th of a PSI. The best gauge I could buy after some searching (Michelin branded, costing almost as much as the bloody air compressor) only measures to 1/2 PSI. So to the gauge 32.10 PSI is the same as 32.4999 PSI. However the car disagrees. It’s possible to have the gauge show all four tires as the same PSI which the car shows all four as different. To my personality type, this is unacceptable. I mean, if the car didn’t tell me, I wouldn’t care, but I know, and once I know I have to fix it. Sadly, you can’t just drop a 10th or 2 10ths of a PSI by guessing with your thumb and then check to see how you did on the dash. Nooooo. You have to drive the car for a mile to rest the sensors. It took me an hour to match up the tires accurately.

    Yeah, I know, I’m crazy, but by God when I pour you a pint of beer, you get a full pint, okay?

    • Vairship

      You DID use imported German (metric) air right? Otherwise your BMW will never forgive you.

      • Lokki

        My car came from Germany with metric nitrogen made by virgin elves in the Black Forest, and priced accordingly. In the interest of the environment, and economy, I have been using a domestically sourced environmentally friendly special nitrogen blend called “N78”; 78 percent nitrogen with a special mix of other gases. It’s also claimed to be very carbon friendly with only .04 CO2. According to what I’ve read, it’s supposedly so safe you could breath the stuff.

    • Manic_King

      You need to reset tyre monitor before putting any new air in, it then will warn next time only when it has the same low level as now. I’ve used that air-in-a-can solution recently on 2 different cars and it works great plugging also slow leak. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b0bb8b9384f70130213f40bc2388952b9d170040aa26456346ec8b6b31b981ee.jpg

  • richdelish

    This is great! I could really use a new best friend.

  • mrh1965

    Not bad, nice that you can attach it to the valve, set your target psi, and let it do its thing. On the other hand, I only add air a couple of times a year and I’ve found a gas station near me with a credit card reader on both the vacuum and air machine. Which are totally secure, I’m sure.