How to Use an Air Compressor to Inflate a Flat Car Tire

How to Use an Air Compressor to Inflate a Flat Car Tire

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Are your car tires flat to the point where you can no longer drive to the nearest garage to have them filled? Maybe you or your neighbor has an air compressor.

You can inflate car tires using an air compressor, but it does have to be done right. How to use an air compressor to inflate car tires is what we are going to discuss in this article.

1. Know How Much Pressure the Tires Need

Before you even think about hooking up your air compressor to your car tires, you need to know how much pressure needs to be inside the car tires. For instance, construction vehicles usually need around 100 PSI to be properly inflated (we are using construction vehicles as an example because if you have an air compressor handy, chances are you are involved in construction).

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However, whether you have a small car or a large truck, you need to know the PSI rating for the tires before you can start. You can check the PSI rating on the side wall of the tire, but beware that this is the maximum pressure rating, not the ideal. Before you start, look up your specific car model and the tires you have to determine the adequate PSI for this.

If you have a tire gauge, it is an easy way to tell how much compressed air is in your tires to insure it's properly inflated. Beware that over-inflated tires are dangerous to drive on due to handling issues, plus they can easily burst. Having too little air in the tires causes heat, friction, damage, and can even cause a fire.

2. Ready the Tires

Before you inflate the tire using your air compressor, make sure to let the tires rest and cool down, which is something you need to do if you have driven very recently. The air needs to be at the right temperature within the tires, both so you can judge how much air is present and how much is needed. Now you can take the cap off of the tire valve. There may be air which escapes because the cap is not on there, so only remove the cap right before you go to attach the compressors nozzle and hose.

3. Turn On the Air Compressor

Now it is time for you to turn on the air compressor. Keep in mind that smaller compressors usually only need 2-prong plugs, whereas the large ones will need 3-prong plugs. Also make sure that the voltage matches up between the plug and the compressor. If you have a small compressor, you will need to wait for air pressure to build up within the tank before you can begin inflating your tires. Since you cannot move the vehicle, be sure to situate the compressor close to it.

Now you can attach the air hose of the compressor to the air valve of the tire. If there is an air stop valve, be sure to have it in the closed position while you connect the hose to the air nozzle. Once you have the nozzle connected and you go to inflate the tires, open up the air stop. Now you can turn the air compressor on, let air out of it, and into your tires. Most compressed air machines come with their own gauges so you know exactly how much air pressure there is in the tire you are filling up. Be sure to keep checking this so you do not overinflate the tires, or underinflate them for that matter.

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There are digital inflators or air compressors out there which can be programmed to stop pumping air once a certain pressure level has been reached. Of course, this does make things a lot easier and more convenient. If you happen to have added too much air, simply press down on the gauge to release some of it until the proper level has been reached.

Now you can remove the hose, and you might hear a bit of air hissing out, but this is perfectly normal, as some is bound to come out. It’s time to put the cap back on the tire valve, and you are good to go.


There you have it. As you can see, it is possible and quite easy to use an air compressor to inflate car tires.

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