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Old 04-20-2012, 12:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Best 12V Vacuum?

Does anyone know of a 12V car vacuum that actually works?

I've searched this and other auto forums, but "car vacuum" (and all the variations I can think of) doesn't return anything related to cleaning auto carpets. I've had a couple vacuums (currently, a Black & Decker), but, regardless of whether they're used with a brush attachment or not, they're unable to create sufficient vacuum to do much beyond dragging the dirt/debris to different areas.
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Old 04-20-2012, 11:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You'll never get much suction from a 12V vacuum as it can't deliver the power. A domestic vacuum is say 1000W. That's nearly 90 amps at 12V! The best you could get would be say 120 watts and they usually deliver that as heat an noise, not suction.
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Old 04-21-2012, 12:57 AM   #3 (permalink)
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There's a reason the lights at home dim momentarily when you turn on the vacuum.

I've used a couple of them over the years, and they are a waste of time and money. A decent whisk broom will do as well, then use the big dog at the coin-op car wash every so often.
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
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We have the old Black & Decker style- it has actually worked pretty well for a long time. It's had some use/abuse, but it doesn't look like the ones you can buy now..

I give the mats a shake-out about once a week, then hit it with the ShopVac when it gets detailed.
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Old 04-27-2012, 01:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Black & Decker's CarVac's what I've been using (with little success). Someone else recommended using a voltage inverter that takes the 12V DC coming out of the cigarette lighter and converts it to 120V AC to run a home vacuum. I've got a portable home vac that I reckon would do the job, but I don't know anything about inverters and I'm hesitant to hook anything to the car's electrics without knowing more.
Anyone have experience with an inverter in your car?
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Old 04-27-2012, 02:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I just use a portable home rechargeable Dirt Devil that I bought at Walmart.
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Extension cord?
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Old 04-28-2012, 09:40 AM   #8 (permalink)
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The car resides in a parking lot, so an extension cord's not an option.

However, last night, I found (and purchased) what, in theory at least, may be the perfect solution: the Shark Pet Perfect (cyclonic) cordless:


It's designed to clean pet hair from upholstery and (low pile) carpet, so it outta be able to handle the routine clean-ups in a car.

Unfortunately, it needs to be charged for 24 hours before first use, so I haven't yet been able to put it to the test. But I did switch it on for a few seconds to gage its suction power and it's definitely got more suck than my Hoover Help Mate (120V corded!) portable! But the thing that sold me is its (detachable) motorized brush, which works like a Hoover floor vacuum with a revolving brush that, as the old Hoover adverts used to say, sweeps as it cleans. It looks like rain for the next day or so, but I outta have some results to report back with in a coupla days.

Last edited by dynhm6; 04-28-2012 at 11:46 AM.
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Old 04-28-2012, 02:53 PM   #9 (permalink)
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A WINNER !!

I just vacuumed both the 'K and Z (Datsun) with the Shark in <15 minutes and it did a perfect job. It picked up every piece of hair, lint and fuzz without any problem, and without alot of effort. The magic, at least as far as cleaning low pile carpet (i.e., a car), is all in that rotating brush head.

Without the head, the Shark does a good job of picking up anything that isn't entangled in the carpet's fibers (much better than the 12V Black & Decker I've been using!). But, for the kinda stuff that we usually end up having to pluck out by hand (after 30 minutes of vacuuming the same spot--to no avail!), plugging-in the head is a virtual game-changer. Almost everything came up quick and easy, and those few stubborn leftover bits surrendered with a coupla repeat swipes (but, really, no more than a couple!). All in all, because it lacks the revolving brush, the Shark's more effective than the big canister vacuum at the car wash.

Of course, I haven't used it enough to gage how long it'll run on a full charge (I've only been charging it for ~12 (of the 20+) hours, which Shark recommends prior to initial use). But, so far, so good.

Just FYI: Shark's got a larger 18V cordless that might be worth checking out, too. But I don't know if it has the revolving brush? If it doesn't this's definitely the vacuum for cars.

Last edited by dynhm6; 04-28-2012 at 03:02 PM.
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Old 04-28-2012, 03:31 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Sounds great...About how much $$?
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