I had a problem. Actually, I had two. My VW Jetta ute has slow leaks in some of its tires, and my trusty old Slime tire inflator finally gave up the ghost after years of hard use. Additionally, my Subaru WRX was full of dust and dirt from working radio at a local SCCA RallySprint. I needed an inflator, as well as a vacuum cleaner. So why am I talking about both of these together? Because Slime makes a 2-in-1 tire inflator and vacuum, incorporating both functions into one unit. It was right about then that Slime offered to send me one to review, so naturally, I accepted.
The 2-in-1 unit is a bit larger than my old inflator, but of course, it incorporates a vacuum cleaner as well. It plugs into your cigarette lighter outlet and includes a small hose to screw onto your tire valve stem, as well as a larger hose for the vacuum. A large switch on the handle turns on either of the two functions. Like MegaMaid in SpaceBalls, this unit can switch from suck to blow.
I got a set of free 15-inch Jetta wheels to replace the 16-inch ones my Wolfsburg Edition came with. I then put on a set of Yokohama Geolandar A/T G015 tires, because the Jetta is now a truck. The wheels are old, beat up, and don’t hold a seal particularly well. But they were free, so I can’t complain too much. The only problem is that every week or two I need to add air to the tires.
The inflator part of the 2-in-1 unit works the same way as my old Slime inflator. The LCD screen shows the current pressure and allows you to set what pressure you would like to inflate the tire to using the plus and minus buttons. Once set, you can walk away while it inflates — it will turn itself off when it reaches the desired pressure.
Slime claims the pump can inflate a standard tire in six minutes. My 215/70R15 all-terrain tires took a bit more time, but they are not standard tires. I believe Slime’s claim when it comes to something less wacky than a Jetta on A/Ts.
With all four tires pumped up, it was time to unplug the 2-in-1 unit from the Jetta and move on to my WRX. It wasn’t just the RallySprint that had made the floor dirty. It was sheer laziness on my part. I don’t know if I’d even bothered to vacuum it since winter. Regardless, it was the perfect test for the vacuum portion of the 2-in-1. After all, I wanted to make my car nice and clean inside before starting to drive for Uber.
Remove the hose, stick it into the appropriate hole, turn it on, and it becomes a small but effective vacuum cleaner. The inlet is rather small, though it does include a brush that can be slid out of the way if you prefer. It’s not as fast as a dustbuster or shop vac, but it’s effective, cleaning my floor mats and the carpet beneath them with no problem.
The compartment that catches the dirt is quite small — small enough that it filled up just halfway through my vacuuming and started spewing dust back into the car. It was simple enough to remove, empty, reinstall, and go back to work. Again, a dedicated vacuum would be faster and easier, but this one is quite effective for its intended purpose.
In fact, I could see the Slime 2-in-1 unit being a useful addition for any Uber/Lyft driver. Not only will it be there to keep your tires inflated, it’s also easy to use while parked and waiting for your next ride. Especially during the winter, when passengers are likely to track dirt into your car (at least in the north where we have snow), this can be a useful gadget to have on hand to make a quick clean-up to keep your 5-star rating.
The Slime 2-in-1 inflator and vacuum does everything it claims to do, and does it well. Although a larger vacuum would be more effective, your significant other might get mad if you swiped the household vacuum cleaner to keep in the car, and this one takes up barely any more space than a standalone inflator. It’s a good tool to have around.