How to Inflate Car Tires at Home

How to Inflate Car Tires at Home

Tires with low pressure can be the death of you. Literally. That’s the worse outcome of driving around with under-inflated tires. You can also end up stranded with a flat tire and torn up rims.

If you head out for errands and notice your car tire is low, you don’t have to drive to a gas station with your fingers crossed. With the right equipment, you can inflate your car tires at home.

Accuracy is important here. To make sure you don’t ruin your tires, we’re going to walk you exactly what you need to do to inflate them properly.

What You Need to Inflate Car Tires at Home

Before you can inflate your car tires, you need the appropriate equipment. Without high-quality tools, you’ll be stuck. So, what do you need?

A tire pressure gauge is a must-have. You need to measure the air pressure in each tire so you can fill it with the appropriate amount. Under-inflating the tire makes the entire process pointless. Over-inflating the tire can have dire consequences as well.

You don’t need to spend big bucks on a gauge. A pencil pressure gauge is the cheapest option but digital pressure gauges are easier to use.

AstroAI LCD Digital Tire Pressure Gauge

To inflate your car tires at home, you also need one more important piece of equipment: a portable air compressor pump.

Most air compressor pumps come with a tire gauge so you might not need to buy a separate one. They’re extremely portable, too, so you can toss one into your trunk in case you need it on the road. A large majority of these pumps plug into your cigarette lighter socket, too, so you don’t have to worry about power.

EPAuto 12V DC Portable Air Compressor Pump and Digital Tire Inflator

How to Inflate Car Tires at Home

Now that you have the correct equipment, you can get started inflating your car tires. It’s not as daunting as it seems. In fact, it’s a pretty easy process.

1. Check the air pressure requirement for your tires. If all four of your tires are the same, they’ll most likely have the same requirement. That said, sometimes back tires and front tires have different requirements so it’s always a good idea to check.

To find out the air pressure requirement for your tires, look at the tires themselves. The pressure is always measured in pounds per inch or psi. You can also find this information on a sticker in the door jam on the driver’s side.

2. Now, check the air pressure in all four tires. Make sure you haven’t driven your car in awhile. They should be cold before you start. Warm air expands a tire so you’ll get an inaccurate reading.

Locate the valve stem on your tire. It’s on the inside of the wheel rim. Some of these valve stems have a valve cap you need to remove; others don’t.

Press your tire gauge either in or on the valve stem. The air causes a hiss so don’t panic. Hold the tire gauge steadily for a few seconds. It doesn’t take long for the gauge to read the air pressure. When you remove it, you’ll hear another hiss. Screw the valve cap back on.

Read the psi and compare it to the required psi. When it’s lower, you need to add air.

3. Get your portable air compressor pump ready to go. Like when you checked the tire pressure, the tires have to be cold before you start. If you have an outlet nearby in your garage, plug it into that. Or you can plug it into your cigarette lighter socket so it runs off your battery’s power.

How to Inflate Car Tires


Remove the valve cap again and turn on the air compressor pump.

4. It’s time to start filling your car tires with air. Take the nozzle from your air pump and place it on the valve stem. If you hear a hiss, you don’t have the nozzle sitting on the stem correctly. Readjust and try again until you don’t hear a hiss.

Press the level on your air pump. This locks the nozzle into the place so you don’t struggle while holding in the entire time. When your air pressure Is low, this process can take a few minutes. Most air compressor pumps have a gauge on the hose that reads the air pressure as it fills the tire with air.

Sometimes air pumps won’t have one of these nifty gauges so once you feel the tire is full, remove the nozzle. Use your tire gauge to read the air pressure.

5. If the air pressure is still low, add more air. If you overfilled it, make sure to let some air out. To release air, press the center pin in the valve stem with your fingernail. You’re going to hear that hiss again. Only do this for a second or two at a time. You don’t want to release too much air.

Once you’re done and the air pressure is correct, remove the nozzle on the air pump and replace the valve cap.

Repeat these five steps with your other three car tires. Again, your front and back tires may need a different psi.

Last, turn off your air compressor pump. Check it for any damages before you store it away.


You don’t have to head to a gas station or tire shop to inflate your car tires when they’re low. With the right tools, inflating your car tires at home is a breeze. This step-by-step guide should assist you while you do this process at home.

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