How To Use Air Compressors For Tires

Would you like to learn how to use air compressors for tires? The truth is no one knows when their car will develop flat tire(s). It usually comes unexpected, but luckily for you, you will be able to inflate them without hassles after reading this guide

With an air compressor, you can easily inflate your tires by yourself. Hence, this article will show you how to use air compressors for tires. There is nothing technical about it; we bet that you will find it quite easy to do. So, stick around to know how. 

These are the other things discussed in this article: 

  • Which air compressor is best for car tires
  • How to turn on air compressors 
  • How to choose the right air compressor size

Revealing How To Use Air Compressors To Inflate Tires 

Keeping your tires in good shape is vital for your vehicle’s health. The tires, along with the suspension system, are what make your vehicle mobile and safe. Deflated tires are no good for your car, and they need to be inflated to guarantee comfort, efficiency, and safety. So, using your air compressor along with a pressure gauge, tire chunk, and regulator, you can inflate your tires on your own. 

Here is how it is done. 

  • Check the Tire’s Pressure 

Before starting, you must know the amount of pressure available in the tires. This helps you to know what pound per square inch (PSI) is required or recommended to be in each tire. You can use the pressure gauge for this. The pressure gauge tells you what amount of pressure needs to be added to the tires. 

According to Kia of New Bern, properly inflated tires provide more stability and traction. So, checking the tire’s recommended PSI as stipulated by the vehicle’s manufacturer is a great way to start. 

  • Remove the Stem Cap

All tires have a stem cap that is securely screwed on top of the valve stem. Ensure that you only take the stem cap off when you are ready to use the air compressor. This is to prevent air from escaping from the tires. Also, keep the cap in a safe place because you will have to put it back on the stem valve once you are done. 

  • Attach the Compressor’s Hose to the Valve Stem 

You will have to use the tire chunk for this. Check if the air compressor’s hose is securely attached to the valve stem before proceeding with the next step. 

  • Turn on the air compressor 

Once you have turned it on, you can begin inflating the tires. Check the pressure or tire gauge frequently to ensure that you don’t over-inflate your tires. But if you end up putting a lot more pressure than recommended into them, slowly release the pressure gauge to let out some air.  

  • Detach the hose

Once you are done, turn off the air compressor and detach the hose from the stem valve. Then immediately attach the stem cap back to the stem valve of your tire. 

Note that it is preferable to fill your tires when they are cold. This helps to give you a more accurate reading of the total PSI. If you decide to inflate your tires when they are still hot, you will have to add 3 extra PSI beyond the recommended PSI. It is the only viable option since the readings are not as accurate while hot. 

Which Air Compressor is Best for Car Tires?

There are several air compressors in the market. We understand what the hurdle is always about. As a car owner or driver, making a choice can be quite difficult owing to the plethora of options available. Well, no need to worry. As experts in this, we have compiled a list of seven of the best air compressors for your car tires

The following are the top picks. 

  • Avid Power Tire Inflator Air Compressor

The Avid Power Tire Inflator Air Compressor is one of our top picks because it is easy to use. This multipurpose air compressor also has a digital pressure gauge and a LED light to facilitate work in the dark. It surely is capable of meeting all of your inflation needs, and it’s best for your tires. 

  • EPAuto EPAuto 12V DC Portable Air Compressor Pump & Digital Tire Inflator

This air compressor is great for inflating car tires. However, it may not be as good for trucks. It also has a LED light to aid tire inflation at night. 

  • AstroAI Air Compressor Tire Inflator

 This is a fairly affordable air compressor that works best on cars, motorbikes, bikes, and SUVs. The AstroAI air compressor tire inflator comes with a host of accessories to speed up the tire inflation process. 

  • Helteko Air Compressor and Tire Inflator 

This air compressor is pretty lightweight, and it comes with AC/DC plugs. It also has a LED light for emergency and nighttime tire inflation. It is great for car tires. 

  • Viair 88P Portable Compressor

As the name says, this is a portal compressor that is convenient to carry along. The maximum PSI it can go is 120, but it can fill a tire very quickly. It is great for cars and minivans. 

  • TEROMAS Tire Inflator Air Compressor

This air compressor can help you inflate your tires quickly. Going up to 150 PSI, the TEROMAS tire inflator automatically shuts off once it gets to your preset/desired PSI. It is a great choice for home use. 

  • GSPSCN Tire Inflator Air Compressor

This is a heavy-duty tire inflator air compressor. So, it works best on trucks, minivans, and SUVs. GSPSCN Tire Inflator Air Compressor could go up to 150 PSI. 

How to Turn on Air Compressor

To use an air compressor properly, you must know how to turn it on. So, if you already have your air compressor with you, follow these instructions to start it or turn it on. 

  • Check the pressure switch 

You have to ensure that the pressure switch is off. This is only a precautionary measure to guarantee safe use. 

  • Turn the regulator knob counterclockwise

Once you are sure that the pressure switch is off, turn the regular knob counterclockwise. When you do this, you would appear to be unscrewing it. However, you are actually ensuring that air is not let out from the compressor. This also should affect the pressure gauge’s reading. Your pressure gauge must read zero after this is done. 

  • Plug in the compressor and turn the pressure switch on 

When the switch is turned on, there should be a loud noise. This is completely normal, especially at the beginning and end. 

  • Attach your hose and turn the knob clockwise 

Turning the knob will regulate the pressure gauge. Ensure you regulate it to your desired pressure. 

Once you are done, turn the knob counterclockwise. Then, remove the hose and switch off the pressure switch. After that, unplug the air compressor. 

How to Choose the Right Air Compressor Size

In choosing the right air compressor, size is a vital thing to consider. One thing you have to note here is that the air compressor size you get mostly depends on the capacity or requirement of the tools you need them for. 

So, here is how you can choose the right air compressor size. 

  • Take note of your needed PSI and CFM

The Pound per Square Inch (PSI) is the amount of air pressure needed, while the Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM) is the amount of air delivered. To do this, you would need to determine what you need your air compressors for. After that, check the amount of air pressure needed by your tools and what amount needs to be delivered to them. 

There is a rule of thumb here, always opt for air compressors that exceed the required PSI and CFM by 20%. This ensures that your tools get enough air delivery and pressure. 

  • Consider your power supply needs 

In choosing the right size air compressors, you need to determine what power supply option you want. There are electronic air compressors, hydraulic air compressors, and gasoline-powered air compressors. Your choice would determine what size or capacity you want. 

  • Check for the tank size and air capacity

The tank size of the air compressor is something to consider since it affects air capacity. The average tank size for most air compressors is between 10 and 20 gallons. 

  • Check the compressor design 

The right design must suit your needs and preferences. However, by design, we have scroll compressors, piston-powered compressors, centrifugal compressors, and rotary-screw compressors. 

Take note of the above when choosing the right compressor size. Still, note that it all boils down to your preferences and needs. 


So how do you use air compressors for tires? It’s relatively easy to do so. All you have to do is get the right tools and follow the instructions. Also, a little over-inflation or under-inflation of your tires can affect your handling and ride quality. Be sure to get it right! 

Then when choosing air compressors, stick to the product’s capacity and never forget your needs. The best air compressor for you is one that does what you expect it to do. Note that this also applies to choosing the right air compressor size. 


  • Greg Fuller

    Hi there, it's me. Greg Fuller! I love anything auto. Cars, Bicycles, Bikes? Name it. And what ignites me the most is sharing the things I know with other drivers. And the good news is you can always come here for helpful tips on your car. Fuller Greg

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