Car maintenance is one of those things which seems to be only carried out with any regularity by petrol heads or service mechanics. In the past, I used to religiously check tyre pressure and top up the oil and water levels on my bright orange Golf GTi or the Ford Fiestas I inherited from dad. In those days this meant wrestling with a foot pump, not the somewhat more sophisticated type of car tyre inflator available today.
Checking tyre pressure is particularly essential before embarking on a long car journey or after periods of extreme weather conditions which may cause the pressure to rise or fall.
Tyre pressure, after all, affects the control of your car, its steering and your overall safety.
Overinflate them, and your tyres are more likely to be damaged by potholes on the road and may even explode.
If your tyres are underinflated, not only will you have a bumpy, uncomfortable ride, but you’ll reduce control of your vehicle and reduce the life of your tyres by as much as 25%.
You’ll find the correct tyre pressure for your tyres (in PSI, pounds per square inch) either on the driver’s door jamb or inside the owner’s manual. If you are still unsure, ask at your local garage or phone the dealer.
I was recently sent the RTC1000 Rapid Digital Tyre Inflator to review and I must confess I had to remind myself how to use one. I’ve got into the bad habit of relying on a tyre check during my Skoda Roomster’s regular service visits which means trusting to luck the rest of the time. Not good!
This tyre inflator comes in a compact black zip-up carry case and is an ideal size to pop in your boot without adding to the clutter already in there.
It’s a neat piece of kit which is very easy to use. It has a standard 12v plug to go into your vehicle’s power socket and a generous 3.5m cable. Both the cable and the air hose are stored neatly at the back of the unit.
There are several nice touches too. The travel case contains a set of spare tyre valves and some disposable gloves to keep your hands clean.
The valve which connects to the tyre is made of good quality brass which allows you to deflate, as well as inflate the tyre if you overdo it.
I particularly like that the RTC1000 has an LED light for operating the pump at night and, most impressive of all, the unit can inflate a car tyre in two minutes. While I didn’t time this claim, the speed with which my tyres were inflated gave no grounds to dispute this at all.
The correct tyre pressure for my Skoda is 32 PSI. All you do is set the required pressure, hit the big grey button and let the unit do its thing.
It’s quick, simple to use and easily portable. Price wise it retails around £50, and you’ll find it at stockists such as Amazon and Screwfix.
For a non-mechanically minded driver like me, it’s perfect, and it even comes with a three-piece adaptor kit for bicycle tyres, balls and other inflatables.
For more info on the Ring website.