All vehicles that have tires require proper tire maintenance. You must take care of the tires to avoid them wearing out quicker or contributing to increased fuel consumption. Even more important, you risk getting flat tires that make your vehicle unusable.
The main feature of tires is the PSI - pounds per square inch. This measurement is used to tell how inflated or deflated a tire is. To ensure your tires are in top shape, keep them at optimal tire pressure.
If you ever deal with a deflated tire, you can use an air compressor to inflate it and continue your journey. To learn how to use an air compressor to inflate tires, stick around for the rest of this guide, as I will cover the basics of tire inflation along with a few helpful tips and tricks to keep in mind. Having said that, let's get right into the guide!
How To Use Air Compressor To Inflate Tires? - Step-By-Step Guide
If you ever have a problem with the air pressure in your tires, you should get to the closest place that offers an air compressor you can use to inflate your tires. While you can rely on filling stations to provide an air compressor, you can also purchase your own portable compressor to take wherever needed.
There are various types of air compressors on the market right now. Some must be plugged into a wall socket, while others can be plugged into the car's auxiliary power outlet. The latter is more convenient when inflating tires on the go.
After getting an air compressor for your car or arriving at a filling station, you must follow a few simple steps to ensure you inflate the tires correctly. Here is how to use an air compressor to inflate tires on your vehicle:
Step 1 - Prepare Your Tires
The first thing needed is to prepare the tires. Go around and look at them, noticing which looks the most deflated and which might not have suffered any deflation. Check if you have a flat tire, as the air compressor can only be a temporary fix.
After looking at the tires, take the valve stem cap off the first one you will inflate. Ensure you put the stem cap in a safe place and do not lose it, as you will need it later. Also, you must remove each tire's stem cap as you go along and inflate them.
Step 2 - Set the Air Compressor
Next, you should set the air compressor as close to your car as possible. Since air compressors are easier to move than cars, I recommend moving them instead of the car. Moving a car with deflated or flat tires is not even recommended in the first place.
After setting the compressor, look at the equipment and ensure it is compatible with your vehicle and tires. It will help if the tire valve and air compressor outlets fit so that you can inflate the tires without wasting any compressed air or dealing with other issues.
Step 3 - Turn the Compressor On
After setting the compressor in a good position, you need to plug it in. Depending on the compressor you are using, you can plug it into your car power outlet or some power source in your house or the filling station.
Once plugged in, turn the compressor on. Wait a few minutes so the compressor has enough time to fill up. Once it is ready to inflate tires, you can move on to the next step.
Step 4 - Reach the Correct Tire Pressure
Once you start the inflating, you need to be extremely careful not to overinflate the tires. There are two devices you can use to help you out with this. One is called a regulator, whereas the other is a pressure gauge. You will find a pressure gauge on most modern compressors.
What the regulator does is prevent too much air from going into your tires. You would set the desired tire pressure you want to reach, and the regulator will automatically turn the air compressor on when the tire pressure reaches the set amount.
The pressure gauge is handy when you do not have a regulator or want to check your tire's air pressure. It shows the starting tire pressure and changes as you fill the car tires. It also helps you reach the desired pressure without overinflating the tires.
So, set the desired pressure and start the inflation. Keep the tire pressure to 30 PSI for summer but move it to 35 PSI for winter. That is the recommended tire pressure for most types of tires.
Step 5 - Attach the Stem Cap
After inflating all deflated tires or taking care of underinflated tires, you can put the stem cap back on the valve stem and continue your journey. Inflating your tires is really that easy - it does not even take more than five minutes!
Tips and Tricks
Now that you know how to use an air compressor to inflate tires, I want to share some tips and tricks to help you stay safe while driving your vehicles. Here are the top four tricks to remember about tire pressure:
Regular Tire Checks
You should make it a habit to check the tire's pressure at least once per month. Most modern cars have a pressure monitoring system telling you when to inflate your tires. Still, you should inspect them occasionally to ensure they are in top shape and do not need inflating.
Another recommendation about tires is not to drive on deflated or flat tires. If you encounter a tire problem while on the road, get your speed as low as possible and drive carefully without making sudden turns. Get to the first filling station or place where you can stop and inflate the tires.
You must ensure you properly inflate the tires or risk them deflating again.
Whenever you start inflating tires, do not leave the air compressor unattended. You can cause a big mess if the compressor does not stop on time or if the pressure gauge comes off and start swirling around. Even if the compressor has a regulator, stick it around during the inflating to ensure everything is okay.
Compressors often come with a quality gauge and safety position for the outlet. Make good use of these parts to ensure you stay safe during the inflating and do not damage your tires simultaneously.
Inflate Tires while Cool
Another recommendation is to inflate any car tire while it is still cool. You should not have driven the car longer than 30 minutes before the inflation. Otherwise, the hot tires will be filled with hot air, which could give you a distorted air pressure measurement.
If you have been driving for a while but must stop due to a tire problem, let the tires cool and then inflate them. That way, you can get the proper PSI without any issues.
Follow the Manufacturer's Guidelines
In one of the previous sections, I mentioned that the correct PSI for winter is 35, and for summer is 30. While this is the case with more tires, the optimal PSI for a tire can vary greatly depending on the manufacturer. Also, the PSI can be affected by the vehicle model, load, tire type, etc.
So, the best thing would be to first look at the recommended PSI mentioned by the tire manufacturer. You can usually find the details online, including the optimal and maximum pressure recommended for your specific tire model.
Next, you should look into your car owner's manual to check the recommended PSI by the car manufacturer. This is very important as not inflating the tires enough or overinflating them can cause a problem.
If you leave, the tires deflated, you risk creating friction between the road and the car tires and causing a flat tire. If you use too much-compressed air to fill your tires, you risk damage, poor handling, and poor car performance. So, always fill tires as much as the manufacturer says.
That is everything you need to know about inflating tires using an air compressor. Remember that keeping your tires at the recommended PSI can help extend their usability and prevent wear and tear. I recommend getting your air compressor to use whenever needed, but you can also use the ones at filling stations.
Finally, I recommend that you remember the information in this guide and use the tips and tricks to ensure you inflate your tires perfectly the next time you need to do that. Tire inflation is must-have knowledge for any car owner, so do not be afraid to go out and try to inflate your tires!