It is essential to keep your tires adequately filled with air. Underinflated tires can suffer from overheating, uneven wear and less efficiency. However, it can sometimes be inconvenient to take your flat tires to a professional. In that case, it is helpful to know how to fill a tire using an air compressor on your own.
Use the Right Tools
The first step is to make sure you have the correct tools for the job. Otherwise, you won’t be able to safely and effectively fill your tire to the proper specifications. You will need several tools, including:
Tire chuck: This tool enables the air compressor to attach to the tire’s valve stem.
Regulator: This device regulates the amount of air coming from the compressor. It makes it easier to reach the correct pounds per square inch (psi) of air in the tire.
Pressure gauge: A gauge is essential to ensure the tire’s air pressure is at the correct psi. The gauge is an indispensable element in tire inflation, as you risk underfilling or overfilling the tires if you don’t know how much air you’re adding.
Correctly Fill the Tire
The two most common types of tires you can fill at home with an air compressor are car and bike tires. You can also use an air compressor to fill the tires of dirt bikes, lawnmowers, tractors and other equipment. Here are the basic steps for filling tires with an air compressor:
Know the psi: Before filling your tire, know how much air it should hold. That way, you’ll know when to stop while watching the pressure gauge. You can find the proper psi from the owner’s manual, vehicle stickers or tire markings. Keep in mind that it’s ideal to fill a cold tire. If you’re filling a hot tire, the pressure gauge reading won’t be accurate.
Remove the stem cap: Once you’re ready to fill your tire, remove the stem cap from the valve stem. Keep the cap in a safe place and reaffix it once you’re done.
Use the air compressor: Using the tire chuck, attach the air compressor’s hose to the valve stem. Once everything is secure, turn on the compressor to fill the tire. Fill the tire slowly to ensure you don’t overinflate it.
Know the Differences
While the basic method of filling tires is the same, knowing how to fill a bike tire with an air compressor is slightly different from a car tire. There are several variations, including:
Adaptor: While you can use a tire chuck to fill most bike tires, you may need a different adaptor for thinner tires.
Psi: Thicker bike tires require less air pressure than thinner ones.
Filling speed: It is crucial to fill a bike tire slowly because it can explode if you overinflate it.
Understanding these differences is vital in knowing how to service your bike tire with an air compressor.