How to Put Air in a Tire With an Air Compressor?

Learning how to inflate the tires of your vehicle is just one of the essentials that one needs to know for because you never know when lady luck decides to leave your side.

Yes, we have all experienced those moments when you’re just about to leave for work, and you notice that one of your tires has gone flat.

Anyone can get a flat tire and at the most remote places; hence ensuring that your vehicle always has appropriate tire pressure not only enhances performance, saves you from the additional cost of wear and tear but also keeps you safe.

Things can get even simpler if you have an air compressor, you can quickly inflate nearly any tire on-site. Some hesitancy while using an air compressor is natural, especially if you are new to the game.

You want to avoid over-inflating your automobile tires, which might burst while you’re driving, posing a very real threat of tire explosion, or making any wrong moves that could put both you and your vehicle in danger.

Don’t worry because I have just the right tips and guide to help you ace inflating tires with an air compressor. Continue reading to find out how to put air in a tire with an air compressor.

Find out the Air Pressure Specific to your Requirements

Don’t be under the assumption that every car tire needs the same amount of pressure. The first thing that you need to do is figure out the pressure requirements of your car tires specifically.

Since the precise amount can vary depending on the load of the axle, the number of tires per axle, and the weather.

While most vehicles require a minimum of 100 pounds per square inch, don’t use this as a rule of thumb; instead, check your vehicle’s user manual as most car manufacturers state this detail there.

The amount of PSI stated on the sidewalls of the tire is not the air pressure you are looking for instead, it is an indication of which air compressor you should be using.

If it says 150PSI, that means that you need an air compressor that has the capability of producing a maximum of 150 PSI to get the job done right.

Use the tire gauge to check how much air needs to be filled into the tire. Don’t inflate the tire according to what you think is the right amount or your estimates, as overfilling and under-filling both can be problematic later.

Overfilling your tires with compressed gas can result in accidents, issues in performance, and mishandling, whereas under-filling will cause more fuel consumption along with heat exposure to the tire due to friction.

Check the Temperature of the Tire

Most vehicle manufactures specify the appropriate tire pressure assuming that the tires are “cold,” that is, tested directly in the garage before you drive your car.

As mentioned above, heat can cause damage to the tires and is harmful. Make sure the tires are cool as cold temperature gives more accurate readings, whereas tires that are still hot from the drive can give a higher reading.

If you don’t have a choice because your tire needs to be inflated as soon as possible, fill it up at least 3PSI less than the recommended amount to avoid overfilling.

Prep the Tire

All of the tires of your vehicle most likely have a stem cap that has been installed on top of the valve system.

You need to remove the cap and place it in a secure place, so you don’t lose it.

Once the cap has been removed from the valve, all of the remaining air in the tire will escape, so you need to be ready to connect it with an air compressor at that point.

Power up the Air Compressor

You most likely have an air compressor that is powered by electricity since those are most widely available on the market.

In this step, the first thing you need to do is connect the air compressor to the power source. Give it some time, so the air fills up in the tank, and it can be used for tire inflation.

Smaller compressors use a two-prong connector, but medium and larger compressors may require a three-prong plug. As a precautionary measure, check beforehand that you’re using the right voltage outlets for the compressor so that you don’t face any problems later.

Running the compressor on the incorrect circuit might cause the compressor, circuit, or both to fail.

When you switch on the compressor, you’ll observe the compressor motor start-up use the sound as an indicator that the compressor has been powered on properly.

Fill the Tire Up with Air

Now that the air compressor is up and running, it is time to situate it as close to the tire that needs to be filled up with air as possible.

If you have a portable air compressor moving around would not be a problem as it has wheels. Connect the air hose to the compressor, being sure to include the fast coupler at the end.

This fastener allows you to force air into the valve stem. If the nozzle has a safety setting, you need to make sure that it is activated. Connect the hose to the valve stem and start the machine.

Once you have taken all the necessary steps, start the inflation process.

But before you start, remember that it is of the utmost importance that you don’t move away from the air compressor during this whole process because otherwise, you can have too much air in the tire without even realizing it.

Filling the tire with air may take some time, depending on how flat the tire is. Many air compressors feature gauges to help you inject the right quantity of air.

When the necessary air pressure is attained, some inflators even switch off automatically. Another alternative is to use a digital inflator, which provides a more accurate reading.

Disconnect the Hose

Check the tire pressure regularly when filing up the tire. Most digital inflators monitor the pressure and turn it off when the target pressure is attained.

If you add too much air by accident, press down on the tire gauge to release part of the air. Remove the hose from the compressor after you have the desired amount of air.

When you remove this item, you may hear a hissing sound which is normal, so you don’t need to worry about it.

The final action you need to take is to put the stem cap back on the valve exactly how you removed them in the initial steps.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you still have some lingering questions regarding how to put air in tires with an air compressor? The FAQs section will take care of that. Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions regarding this entire process.

  • What PSI should my tire compressor be?

It is suggested to read your vehicle’s user manual to find the right amount of pressure to be used. However, if you can’t find this information know that most vehicles function at 30-35 PSI tire pressure.

  • Can you use a pancake air compressor for tires?

Yes, pancake air compressors can be used for tires as long as their maximum PSI coincides with your vehicle’s tires’ specific air pressure requirements.

  • Can I drive on a tire with 20 psi?

The most likely answer is yes; however, keep in mind that if you drive on a tire with lower than 20 PSI, you will most likely be faced with life-threatening consequences as you are driving on a flat tire.

  • At what PSI will a tire explode?

A tire will most likely explode at around 200PSI. Be careful when inflating a tire, especially in hot weather, as the amount of air pressure inside the tire raises more.

  • Can you drive with low tire pressure?

Driving with a low-pressure tire is possible but not safe. If you have no choice, you can drive with a low-pressure tire but make sure it is not flat are too low.

  • How many seconds do you put air in a tire?

This entirely depends on the amount of air that needs to be filled in. You can use the gauge to get an estimate; however, it varies depending on the size and how flat the tire is.


I hope you found this step to step guide useful. Suppose you are ever in a situation where you need to fill up air in a tire with the help of an air compressor.

Remember these steps. Be careful not to overfill the tires, keep on checking the weather and temperature of the tires, and don’t exceed the required pressure specific to your tire’s requirements; the rest should be easy. Good luck!

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