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.