Portable Automotive Air Compressors

Air compressors take ordinary air and store or quickly pack it into a compact space. Compressors then hold this stored energy, which you can use for a variety of purposes. For cars, the most common uses are to pressure spray paint and fill tires quickly.

What kind of automotive air compressor should you get?

The optimal compressor model will largely depend on what you intend to use it for and where you plan to store it. Here are a few examples of how a single air compressor can perform various functions.

  • Filling tires: By attaching the appropriate nozzles to the compressor, you can use most air compressor models for this purpose. In general, bundled compressors designed for inflation will come with appropriate attachments. You can then swap out these attachments as needed.
  • Painting: To use your air compressor to paint, youll need a painting kit. Some kits come bundled with portable air compressors, or you may need to purchase one separately. If looking for portable air compressors specifically for this purpose, consider a handheld model or longer hoses for a continuous flow. Remember that youll want to walk all the way around your car while standing close to get an even finish.
  • Air tools: Similarly, automated tools like wrenches can run from compressed air. If you ever need assistance with loosening bolts or if youd like to perform work on your car, this offers a good way to power the necessary tools. Many air tool bundles come with portable air compressors as part of a package.
Do air compressors have replaceable parts?

Yes, each compressor has parts that have the ability to be safely replaced. If your air compressor stops working, or if you decide to use it for additional purposes, compressors utilize standard size connectors. This means that hoses and other attachments are interchangeable and designed to be easily adjusted or replaced. Even portable air compressors designed for a specific purpose, such as to spray paint, must have standard connectors to be useful.

What does oil-free mean?

Some portable air compressors use oil, which must be changed on a regular schedule like the oil in your car. If your compressor or portable compressor uses oil, youll find a rating in the manual indicating how often to change the oil. Usually, oil in these models needs to be changed after 500-1000 hours of use. Oil-free compressors do not use oil and therefore do not require the same kind of maintenance.