Daniel Susco
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Car Gadget Review: Karoad 4-in-1 Vacuum Cleaner

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karoad vacuum

Available now on Amazon

2.0 out of 5 stars rating

 

 

Sometimes, you wish for a product that can just solve all of your problems. Say, for example, you were meeting your friends for a game of kickball, but your ball is flat, your tires are looking a little low, it’s starting to get dark, and you just accidentally smashed a biscuit onto your clean car’s floor mat. Karoad’s 4-in-1 vacuum claims that it can solve all of those problem, but can it really?

Short answer: no. No it can’t.

Karoad 4-in-1 Car Vacuum Cleaner

Product: One do-it-all vacuum/air pump/pressure gauge/light source
Manufacturer: Karoad
MSRP: Typically $49.99, currently $30.99 on Amazon
Size: 1.2 x 0.6 x 0.4 feet

The 4-in-1 Vacuum is a device that is supposed to allow you to solve a number of different problems: vacuuming, inflating, lighting, and checking air pressure. It comes with a variety of attachments  and a long power cord so that it can reach the far corners of almost any vehicle while only using electricity from a 12V power point.

The vacuum comes in one color–space-age gold–and makes a number of grand claims on its Amazon listing about the great strength of suction and air pumping, as well as the bright light and accurate pressure measuring.

I think, that is. The entire entry somewhat smacks of a Google Translate rush job.

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karoad vacuum

The vacuum arrived in a plain, white box, and upon opening I found a number of items wrapped in bubble wrap: The vacuum itself, with a long, 12V power cable attached; a black, plastic tube; four different nozzle-like shapes including one long, thin nozzle and one with a brush head; a hose with nozzles on both ends similar to on an air pump; a little baggie with three air pump nozzle tips; and the company’s instruction pamphlet.

Minus the moment of slight consternation at seeing a plain white package sitting on my desk with no note or anyone around, the packaging seemed perfectly good for shipping, although I fairly soon wished for a tool bag as I accidentally dumped all of the attachments all over the floor.

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Seeing as there were a number of parts that I didn’t recognize, I went right for the instructions to get the official word on what goes where. Unfortunately, the only word that came to mind while attempting to read the instructions was “…what?”

karoad vacuum

The front features an artificially squashed photo of the vacuum, headed by the title “4 one car vacuum cleaner,” followed by the subtitles “(dust, lighting, inflatable, tire pressure measurement),” “Instructions for use,” and “(please read this manual before use).” So, never one to contradict the instruction booklet, I opened the bi-folded instruction manual.

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On the inside page, numbered “1” at the bottom, the instructions first use labels on a picture to introduce the different pieces provided in the box: The “Extended suction pipe” (the plastic hose), the “Tracheal cables” (air pump hose), “The attachment” (the nozzle tip assortment), “Wish brush suck rod” (the brush head), and “The duck mouth suction nozzle” (the long, thin nozzle).

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The two pieces which I didn’t recognize as part of the normal attachments for a vacuum were unlabeled.

So, I figured, I’ll read the text, labeled “Product features.”

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It was printed fairly small, so I will write it out for you here so you won’t have to strain your eyes. Literally and precisely, the section read:

  1. This machine has four big functions, respectively, inflatable, vacuuming, lighting, tire pressure measurement. And gas and dust collection with independence Motor, make the product better functioning of itself and, at the same time to extend the service life of the machine.
  2. The machine is both appearance and power more perfect the deficiency of the previous similar products. Dust absorption power of 80 w, inflatable work The rate of 100 w.
  3. 5 m long power cord enough clean any part inside the car, but also solves the to the tyre after the power cord is not enough Long, not inflatable.
  4. The machine is vacuuming is dry wet amphibious model, but also for COINS, melon seeds, peanuts, and a small amount of water absorption, etc. Are easily. And equipped with a brush suction nozzle, duck tongue suction nozzle and extend the hose, for the demand of the car anywhere.
  5. The machine is pneumatic type with high power 540 full copper mocement, and is equipped with [symbol I don’t recognize of an “o” with a vertical line through it] 22 mm piston cylinder block.
  6. The machine is super bright LED lamp lighting with [symbol again] 8 mm, convenient in dark places.

On the facing page (numbered “2” at the bottom) is the “Product structure diagram” labeling the different features on the vacuum, such as the “dust collection area,” “Air pressure numerical table,” “Motor cooling hole,” “Air interface,” “The light switch,” “inflatable,” “The power switch,” “aspiration,” and “LED light.”

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Still absolutely lost, I flipped to the back of the instructions, to be met with the slightly ominous message,

“Thank you to buy the company products

Your satisfaction is our eternal pursuit”

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I pray that this means I will not see a group of Chinese gentlemen on my front lawn in a month’s time reading mistranslated threats off of a sheet of computer paper.

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So, I was left to use my wits to successfully use the vacuum. First, I attempted to sort out the various nozzles. The two nozzles which I did not recognize I figured out were supposed to go on either end of the hose as an extension, and then one end slides into the mouth of the vacuum.

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So, I was good to go to test the vacuum, which is great, because my floor mats are filthy.

karoad vacuum

I turned the car on and plugged it in to my 12V socket, then pulled the button backwards. This was a mistake. The 4-in-1 let out a loud generator-like noise, but did not produce any suction. It turns out that what the (presumably) Chinese characters on the button are saying is that you push forward to vacuum, and pull backward to activate the air compressor (more on that later).

I pushed forward, and we were off. I pressed the nose to the floor among the dirt.

Aaaand not a lot happened. Maybe the dirt is stuck in the carpet fibers, I reasoned, and so I attached the hose and brush attachment and tried to brush up the stubborn filth. This worked better…somewhat. Whether using the brush and hose or just the bare vacuum, the finer bits of dirt remained in the carpet.

Shortly thereafter, I was treated to a rude surprise when I took the hose attachment off, inevitably turning it vertical.

karoad vacuum

A fair amount of the dirt I just picked up fell out of the hose back onto the carpet (more than you can see in the photo, that amount came out when I shook it). So that wasn’t good.

As for the vacuum itself, though, perhaps this would work better, I thought, if it were used on a fresh spill on my carpet. With that in mind, I crumbled up part of a biscuit on my carpet.

karoad vacuum

At first, the vacuum successfully picked up some of the bits, but a problem quickly developed.

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It jammed. The incoming biscuit bits hit the cap on the filter, which covers about half of the intake hole, and clogged it up. A little unhappily, I pushed on the clog with a finger until it broke up and was sucked in, and the rest of my biscuit vacuuming went fine. However, there was a problem: the vacuum still left behind the finer particles in the carpet.

Back inside, though, cleaning the debris collection bin wasn’t a huge deal—the release for the nose/dirt collector is to push down on the top of the light, and the nose came off easily.

karoad vacuum

Pulling out the filter and dumping the dirt was also easy, and the filter was reasonably clean after thumping it on the side of the trash can for a bit.

karoad vacuum

One thing that I was surprisingly able to do was to verify the Amazon listing’s claim that the vacuum could pick up an iPhone. Well, sort of. The listing specifies an iPhone 7, but I was able to briefly pick up my iPhone 5s a few times in a row. It was not a strong suction, though, as each time my phone fell off after about a second due to the vibration of the motor.

I did not end up testing the vacuum’s ability to function as a wet/dry vacuum, but I don’t think that the suction is strong enough to, say, clean up a Big Gulp worth of soda on your carpet, but could probably handle some liquid getting in the collection area.

Overall, I felt underwhelmed by the vacuum. It was able to pick things up, but clogged easily thanks to its design and didn’t have the strength to pick up fine bits. Plus, the hose extension was frustrating, at first due to the incomprehensibility of the directions and then due to the vacuum not pulling dirt and so on all the way through, so it all fell out back onto my floor.

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karoad vacuum

This feature is probably the simplest part of the 4-in-1. There is a light. You press the little rubber button with the light bulb on it, and the light turns on. Press it again, and the light turns off. Easy peasy.

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I have one major concern about it, though. I would heavily question calling it a “super bright LED.” It lights things up, but certainly doesn’t merit the adjectives “super bright.” It is about as bright as a phone screen, and is extremely outmatched by the flashlight function on my smartphone, which is just not helpful when just about everyone has one.

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karoad vacuum

Next, it was time to test out the feature which I had already accidentally turned on: the air compressor, which I was told was perfect for inflating toy balls. At first, I was very unclear on whether or not the air compressor was all right to be used on vehicle tires, so I stuck with a rubber ball that I had squeezed all the air out of.

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So, to use the air compressor, I first had to attach the air hose (the “tracheal cables” mentioned in the instructions) to the nub on the rear side of the 4-in-1. Then, I had to stick the inflating needle (included in the little baggie labeled “the attachment”) into the other end, and crank both down.

karoad vacuum

The inflating needle did not sit straight in the nozzle.

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So, with some trepidation, I turned on the air compressor.

First of all, I should say it was very loud. I could clearly picture the pistons (or single piston? I’m not sure) racking back and forth. However, to my surprise after the lackluster vacuum testing, the air compressor worked just fine.

karoad vacuum

The ball quickly inflated until I would have been comfortable kicking it around a playground. One thing, though: there was a slight moment of panic where I quickly had to shut the machine off with one hand while I felt for the pressure inside the ball with my other hand, because the inflation was quick and if I had let it, the ball would have inflated until it or the 4-in-1 broke.

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From there, I tested the Air Pressure Gauge. This is the only function of the 4-in-1 that is designed to work without being plugged in, and is absolutely intended for use on car tires. It uses the same air hose and nozzle as the air compressor uses.

So, for accuracy’s sake, I took out my own digital air pressure gauge and checked the pressure on my front left tire.

karoad vacuum

Huh. 29.5 psi—that’s a little low. I will have to go fill this thing up after this. So, when the air hose is pushed onto the tire’s nozzle, how did the 4-in-1’s gauge measure up?

karoad vacuum

Actually pretty accurately. It read at just about 30 psi.

Now, my car doesn’t need a ton of pressure in its tires, so I would only use the first third or so of this gauge, but presumably heavier-duty vehicles that need pressure measured up to 80 psi or so could also use this (although I don’t have a way to test that, so you would be taking the company’s word on it).

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After returning to the great heated indoors and looking over the Amazon listing again, I saw that the ad claims that the compressor is absolutely intended to be used on car tires, and could fill them up to 50 psi in under 4 minutes. Remembering that both gauges had read my tire pressure at a little low, I donned my cap and headed back out into the cold to see if I could use the little 4-in-1 to inflate my tire.

Silently hoping that nobody would call the cops on the dude in a stocking cap messing around with someone’s tires in the parking lot, I plugged in the 4-in-1, clamped the air hose onto the tire’s nozzle, and turned on the compressor.

To my surprise, the pressure on the gauge swiftly rose to about 35 psi.

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I shut it off, thinking “that can’t be right,” and so I dug out my digital gauge and measured the pressure. It was actually somewhere around 27 psi.

So that wasn’t good. However, I reflected that I needed to give the pump a fair shot to work, so I reconnected it and turned it on. Once more, the pressure rose to 35 psi and held steady. I turned it off, disconnected it, and checked the pressure.

karoad vacuum

25 psi. That is less than 27, and way less than the 35 measured while the 4-in-1 was pumping. So, it didn’t fill my tire as promised, but actually let air out. Potentially, this is because the tire they tested may not have been on a car, but I think that an air compressor which can only be powered by an in-car 12V socket and claims to be able to fill up a tire should be able to fill up a tire that is connected to that same car.

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karoad vacuum

The 4-in-1 feels like a handful of products crammed into one small container, but to make them all fit and be remotely affordable they had to downgrade everything.

The vacuum will pick things up but the suction is not very strong and it leaves small bits behind, while the attachments mostly served to collect dirt to fall out after you are done sweeping. Then, the filter size and placement partially blocks the incoming mess and can lead to a buildup that you will need to prod out manually.

The air compressor works fine for small things like my playground ball, but completely failed to work on my car tire, letting out the same volume of air that the gauge claimed was put in.

The light was played up in the instructions and advertisement but was actually not very powerful.

And finally, the gauge worked great but could not accurately read while the compressor was attempting to fill the tire.

Plus, the operation of any of these functions is mostly up to you , since the instructions were near-incomprehensible.

The whole deal is made mostly of plastic, and the paint has started to come off in the time that I have had it (about a month). Due to its power source, its use is restricted to the car without purchasing an additional special adapter to plug into a wall outlet.

Overall, I thought that the whole thing was hyped up on paper but absolutely failed to deliver in reality. It was a case of one tiny gadget trying to do too many things at once, and as a result being unable to do any of them well.

So, if you don’t need a strong vacuum or something to pump up your tires, but would like a contraption that can tell you the pressure in your wheels, perform light-duty air filling tasks, provide a small amount of illumination, and clean up small messes, then the Karoad 4-in-1 Vacuum will do great for you. However, you will need to pretty much ignore the instructions and the hype on the Amazon listing, including the few reviews—at time of writing, the 4-in-1 had three reviews, each overflowing with praise written in poorly translated English under names which could be real but probably aren’t.

I’m afraid I can’t recommend it.

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Karoad’s 4-in-1 Car Vacuum Cleaner is available on Amazon.

Product provided for review by the manufacturer.

 

 

  • Daniel SuscoEditor

    Daniel Susco is a native of the Dayton-Cincinnati area, and has written on a multitude of subjects. He can discuss Shakespeare, expound on Classical Mythology, and even make witty jokes about Pliny the Elder (More like “Pliny the Rounder,” right?). In his free time, Daniel enjoys reading, cooking, woodworking, and long walks on the beach (just kidding – sunburn is no joke). See more articles by Daniel.