How to Use an Air Compressor to Inflate Tires – Detailed Guide

How to Use an Air Compressor to Inflate Tires:- If I talk about air compressors then this is a tool which is used for a wide variety of application. Which must be included in your garage or in your home to getting your tasks easier. And the most common use of air compressors is inflating tires.

And If you used to go to the professional service center to inflate your car tire then you may have to stand in line, which can waste your time. 

But it’s not a bad option when you are free But the problem comes, when in the middle of your journey it is found that your tire pressure is low and no repair shop near you. At this particular time, you seriously need a portable air compressor that can inflate vehicle tires.

I thought you had your own air compressor, so this question (how to inflate car tires with a portable air compressor ) arises in your mind and If you still do not own an air compressor then you should definitely own one for your vehicle.

Tools are Required for Inflating Tires

This inflating task required few tools to complete easily. Let’s see how many tools with which specific requirements required to inflate the tire easily.

Tools Required

  • Air Compressor
  • Regulator
  • Pressure Gauge
  • Tire Chuck 

Let’s briefly discuss all the tools:- 

Which Size of air compressor required for Inflating tires? 

The air compressor is the main component of the inflating process. Here air compressors are used only to fill compressed air into the tires. For tire inflation, we need 2 to 3 CFM and 30 to 50 PSI of air compressor and for a detailed guide, you can also read our comprehensive buying guide.

Tire Pressure Regulator

Actually, the regulator is a part of the air compressor which actually used to regulate the output air pressure that means you can easily control the air pressure so that it prevents your car/ bike/ truck tires from inflating too fast so that you can maintain the tire pressure easily.

Tire Pressure Gauge

The pressure gauge is the one of the most important for the part when it comes to Inflating. We all know that for inflating car tires we need exact air pressure, So the pressure gauge needs to measure the exact pressure for the tire.

It prevents overinflation of the tire that can cause an unwanted painful accident like bursting, deflating tires.

Tire Chuck

It is basically an air connector that connects the tire to an air compressor that actually helps replenish the air inside the tire. So you need a good quality tire chuck that fits perfectly in your tire valve otherwise it may fail the process.

Read More: Best Air Compressor for Automotive Air Tools

How to Use an Air Compressor to Fill a Bike or Car or Truck Tire (Step By Step Guide)

Once you have confirmed that you have all the tools which are required to inflate tire then next, move on to complete guide for how to use an air compressor for tires:-

Step 1:- Check the driver door sill for PSI recommendation

You can easily find the tire pressure for your vehicle tire from the driver’s side door sill sticker where mentioned your front and rear tire pressure you need.

Generally, all the car tires need 35 PSI of air pressure for cold tires and 30 to 32 PSI for hot tire pressure, and large vehicles like trucks, tractors requited 100 to 110 PSI of air pressure.

Step 2:- Check tire pressure that is ok or not

The 2nd step is to take the valve cap off and measure the tire pressure of your vehicle with a tire pressure gauge if you found less than the required amount then only you need to move forward.

Step 3:- Get your air compressor Ready

After check your tire pressure now It’s time to get ready with your air compressor. Pick a power outlet that can handle high voltage 12 Volts or 110 Volts or if you are using a rechargeable Inflator then you need not connect it with the power outlet.

Step 4:- Connect the tire chuck with the tire valve

Arter ready with your compressor you have to connect the tire chuck with the tire valve and lock it to make an airway. So that the air goes into the tire.

Step 5:- Turn on the air compressor and Check the pressure constantly

After connecting to the tire valve you need to turn on the compressor and then it inflates the tire. During the process of inflating your tires, you need to constantly monitor the pressure gauge and turn off the compressor when it meets the pressure requirements.

Step 6:- Again Check the tire pressure with tire pressure gauge

After you are done with your inflation process, again you need to check your tire pressure with a tire pressure gauge to see if the tire pressure is okay or not. If ok then you are done.

Note:- Before you start the whole process you need to fill the air when the tire gets cool. And always remember that in the summer season you need 2 to 3 PSI less than recommended.

Buying Guide for Inflate Tires air compressor

If you want to know about the specifications for air compressors for inflating tires then this detailed guide is for you.

How Horsepower required for inflating tires?

Horsepower or HP is the unit of power provided by the motor and it does not directly impact the air compressor performance because the HP only works for air tanks to fill the air. Higher HP means it can fill the air tank faster. 

And if I talk about the horsepower required for inflating air compressors then it requires 0.2 to 1 HP of air compressor is enough to get optimum performance. Because Inflation is a short term light-duty task and it does not require a high HP.

How much PSI is required for inflating tires?

PSI generally stands for Pounds Per Square Inch. and PSI means basically how many pounds of pressure in one square inch of area. This is the crucial part of the air compressor which you have to consider when you choose an air compressor.

because without the right PSI you can’t able do your job perfectly. And If I talk about inflating tires then 30 to 50 PSI of air compressor is more than enough to inflate your car/bike/truck tire easily.

How much CFM is required for inflating tires?

CFM is also the most important factor to consider. CFM stands for Cubic Feet per Minute and this is basically the air volume that the compressor can supply within one minute. 

Most of the air tools require 4 CFM of air volume but to do the inflating process. Because this is a light-duty task so it requires only 2 to 2.5 CFM is more than enough to do your inflating tasks easily.

Power Supply

If you want a portable unit of air compressor to inflate your car/bike/truck then there is two option available in the market one the rechargeable with 12 Volts DC supply and another one is 12 V DC supply with 110 Volts of AC supply. 

Rechargeable with 12 Volts DC supply:-

This type of air compressor comes with 3000 to 4000 mah of huge rechargeable battery which provides you a wire-free experience, as well as they, have a 12 Volt DC supply too. If your compressor rechargeable battery is completely depleted, you can plug your compressor directly into your vehicle’s cigarette lighter socket.

12 Volt DC with 110 Volt AC:-

This type of air compressor supports a 12 Volts DC supply for vehicles as well as 110 Volts AC supply for your home use. 

Both of those are good you can choose one of them according to your purpose.

Noise Level and Vibration

Generally, an air compressor produces lots of noise and it is very important to choose a compressor with a low noise level with less vibration. Because the sound coming from the compressor may bother you.


For tire inflation, you need a super portable unit for convenient use. A small and compact portable air compressor is very easy to use if your vehicle’s tires need air in the middle of the road.

Durability and Warranty

It’s very important to choose an air compressor which made up of durable material because we won’t change our air compressor every year. So it’s very important to check the durability and warranty period of the air compressor.

Read for more information Best Budget Air Compressor

Read for More Information best air compressor for automotive painting

Read for More Information Best Air Compressor for Auto Detailing

FAQs for How to Use an Air Compressor to Inflate Tires

Does an air compressor need a regulator?

Yes, Regulator is used to regulating the air pressure that means you can control the air pressure which you want. For example:- If your compressor can deliver 120 PSI of air pressure and you need 30 PSI of air pressure then you can regulate the pressure with the regulator. 

can you use an air compressor to inflate car tires?

Yes, Of course, we can use an air compressor to inflate Car tire.

What size air compressor do I need to inflate tires?

Inflating Tires is a light-duty task so we don’t need a large capacity of air compressor. For Inflating tires we need 2 to 3 CFM of air volume with 120 PSI is more than enough to get all the inflating Job done. 

30 to 35 PSI for car tires and 100 to 120 PSI for truck or any heavy vehicle.

Does the air compressor drain the battery?

If you blow the tires and use the battery of a car or a vehicle, it can drain your car battery very quickly. So to avoid this difficulty you should turn on the vehicle while using the air compressor.

Will a 6-gallon air compressor fill a car tire?

6-gallon air compressor is also not a big size and this size is more than enough to do all the inflating jobs. And you can also use this compressor for multipurpose like Nailing, winterizing, etc. But if you want an air compressor only for tires then you can also choose a small portable inflator for them.

Which is the best air compressor for inflating car tires?

There are hundreds of air compressors present in the market but it’s difficult to find one of them and if you want our recommendation then EPAuto 12V DC Portable Air Compressor Pump the best for you.

Conclusion for how to use air compressor to inflate tires

We have included everything so that you can easily understand How to Use an Air Compressor to Inflate Tires.

If you have any doubt regarding this process then, let me know in the comment box. We will definitely help you with that.

So guys if you like our post then don’t forget to share this with your friends.

By the way thanks for visiting.

Hi. This is Subhadip. I am a Mechanical Engineer and I have been working in mechanical Industries for more than 3 years. I have expertise in several kinds of Mechanical Devices and Air Compressor is one of them. So I am here to help you find the best air compressor for your desired need.

3 thoughts on “How to Use an Air Compressor to Inflate Tires – Detailed Guide”

  1. Is my portable air compressor supposed to get so very hot when I inflate my tires? I burned my hand while handling it.

    • Inflator overheating is very common but if we inflate a large tire with a small tire inflator, it can be possible that the inflator gets very hot.
      So if you feel that your inflator is getting overheated again and again, then you need a bigger inflator than that.

  2. Just read a review done on a portable air compressor used to inflate vehicle tires. This reviewer said that a portable air compressor should never be used to inflate tires because these type of compressors generate a lot of heat and moisture. Tires should only be inflated with cool and dry air. Your thought on this?


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