Product review: Michelin Compact ‘Top Up’ Digital Tyre Inflator
If you’ve laboured with a foot pump or a cumbersome air compressor for years when all you want to do is check your tyre pressures, then help is at hand.
Designed for topping up car tyre pressures, the Michelin Compact ‘Top Up’ Digital Tyre Inflator will easily fit in your car’s glove box and is also suitable for motorbikes and bicycles.
This dinky device couldn’t be easier to use. Simply unwind the power cord and connect it to the 12V socket in your car. After a few seconds the small LCD digital display reads zero and you’re then ready to set the desired pressure (choose between PSI, BAR, and kPa).
Now connect the unit’s hose to your tyre valve, press the yellow on/off button and start inflating, if necessary.
Just one note of caution. Unlike like some inflators you may have used on garage forecourts, there is no automatic cut-off function. In other words, you will have to keep an eye on the digital reading and switch off and disconnect at the right time.
This inflator is meant to check and top-up tyre pressures. If you need to inflate a tyre from flat, it will take a while.
As you can see from the picture, the hose is short, and though this seems odd at first, it makes absolute sense because the compact, lightweight unit doesn’t necessarily need to rest on the ground if your tyre is not ideally rotated. The length of the hose also means that it has built-in storage.
There’s one bonus too. Under the blue port cover there’s a USB socket which can be used to charge up your mobile phone.
The Michelin Compact ‘Top Up’ Digital Tyre Inflator is a solid piece of kit. Portable and stylish (we especially like the piano black finish on the front), it’s straightforward to use, and almost makes checking your tyre pressures a pleasure.
Priced from £30, the Michelin Compact ‘Top Up’ Digital Tyre Inflator is available from retailers including Halfords and Amazon.
Don’t underestimate the importance of tyre pressures
As well as checking the general condition of tyres and tread depth, correct tyre pressures are essential for ensuring optimum performance.
Tyre pressure can have a significant impact on your car’s steering, braking and handling – possibly leading your vehicle to react in an unpredictable way, especially in bad weather conditions.
If your tyres are under or over inflated, this can also increase your fuel consumption, as well as making them more susceptible to wear and tear and structural damage.
To avoid putting yourself, your passengers and other road users in danger, you should always follow the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended air pressure for your tyres.
It’s also important to remember that the pressure levels for the front tyres may be different from the rear and that pressures should be checked when the tyres are cold.