How to Use a Portable Air Compressor – Step by Step

No one knows when he needs to inflate a tire. Any time or at any place you can experience a flat tire. And the sad thing is that it happens at the inconvenience time mostly.

Also, an under-inflated tire is a great risk. This does not only affect the performance only but also it can cause the tire failure that may lead you a serious accident.

So you can easily imagine how important it is to keep the tire properly filled and inflated. Now if you do not know how to use a portable air compressor to inflate a tire, then this article is for you.

How To Use a Portable Air Compressor (Step by Step)

The good news is that you can now easily inflate the tire with a portable air compressor. I am sure you know what this is. By any chance, if you don’t know what that is then let me tell you in a simple word that a portable air compressor is a machine that is used to inflate the tire. But how to inflate the tire with a portable air compressor?

Let’s see how to use a portable air compressor to fill or inflate the tires.

Step 1: Check Tire Pressure

The first thing you need to do is to check the current pressure of the tire. A digital pressure gauge is the best thing you can use for this job. You can buy a digital pressure gauge from both online and offline. And it costs very low. Keep the pressure gauge in the glove box.

First of all, unscrew the cap of the valve and keep it in your pocket or side. Just make sure you won’t lose it. Now press the digital pressure gauge onto the valve system. When you press the valve system, you will hear a hissing sound. Also, when you release the system.

You need to do this just for a second or slightly more to get the accurate measure. Now check the pressure on the digital pressure gauge and note that on your smartphone or anywhere you want. You can even write down it on a paper.

How to Use a Portable Air Compressor

The best time to measure the pressure is when the tire is cold. The reason is that when the tire is hot, it shows higher pressure in your pressure gauge. When you ride the car, the tire becomes hot and immediately after riding, measuring the pressure is not right. Wait minimum 30 minutes after a ride to let the tire be cold. It is better to measure the pressure before you go out for a ride.

Once you have measured the current pressure of your tire, it is time to find out the pressure your tire needs. Most of the constructive vehicles’ tires require around 100 PSI. But actually, it depends on the axle load, weather and number of tires per every axle.

So to get the accurate requirement you can check the manufacturer’s manual. You might find the PSAI in tire’s sidewall but never trust that because that represents the maximum pressure. You need the accurate pressure the tire requires, right?

After checking the required pressure, check the current pressure. If you find out that the current pressure is under the required pressure then you have to inflate the tire. And if you find that the current pressure is the same as it needs then you are good to go.

For example, you find out that your tire requires 32PSI and after measuring the current tire pressure, you find out that current pressure is 20psi. Then you can easily know that your tire needs inflation.

In that case, I want to mention another thing that if you find out that your tire is over-inflated then you should deflate the tire. Over-inflation is not good. This kind of over-inflation occurs because of not using digital pressure gauge during inflation.

Now, you know what to do. If you need to inflate the tire with a air compressor then follow the next step.

hew to use a portable air compressor to fill a tire

Step 2: Filling Your Tires

There are basically 2 ways to fill and inflate your tire. The first one is that you can go to a garage and let them inflate your tire with the portable air compressor. And the second one is, buy the best air compressor with digital gauge and inflate your tire at home. Also, you can buy a portable air compressor that you can take wherever you go on your car trunk.

I suggest going for the second one since you do not know when or where you need to inflate your tire. It could be the middle of the road and far from the home or garage. One more thing, never go for the cheap portable air compressors since these are not suitable for inflating tire quickly. Rather spend a few bucks more to get a high-performance inflator.

Let’s come back to the main topic. Here is how you are going to inflate the tires with the air compressor.

Put the portable air compressor near to the tire so that the hose can reach all the tires since you cannot move the vehicle. In that case, while buying a portable air compressor, buy a compressor with a long power cord as well as an air hose. This will help here.

Then turn on your compressor. In order to do that just plug in the compressor. Smaller portable air compressors have a two-prong plug where medium and large air compressors have a three-prong plug. Make sure you are using the outlet that is correct in volt. Maybe you know that the wrong circuit can just blow the compressor. So pick the right one.

If you can plug in the compressor correctly, you can hear the sound of running motor inside the compressor.

Depending on the required pressure, fill your tire with air. In order to fill up the tire with accurate pressure, you should use a digital pressure gauge. Some air compressor comes with the digital pressure gauge. There are some air compressors that have some advanced option like they shut off when they reach the target pressure.

Then remove the stem caps and put it in your pocket.

Press down the hose fitting on the valve stem and press the lever. You will feel the releasing of the air. Then simply hold the hose on the valve stem. You need a little bit of force to hold the air hose on the valve stem, but that’s not that much tough work.

How to Use a Portable Air Compressor

If you are using an advanced air compressor then the compressor will automatically shut off when it reaches the targeted pressure. But if you are using a common air compressor with digital pressure gauge then you have to keep your eyes on the gauge sharply.

When it reaches the target pressure, shut off the compressor. If you use an air compressor without digital pressure gauge then there is a chance of over inflation. If that happens, push down on tire gauge so that some air gets released and back to the accurate pressure.

Do the same things with other tires. One thing I want to share with you here that if any tire is warmed up, you should inflate the tire pressure to three psi over the desired pressure. In case you need the best digital tire inflator, follow the link.

Once you are done, replace the valve caps. You are done inflating the tires using an air compressor. Isn’t it simple? This is how you can use a portable air compressor to inflate tires.

Many of you might like handheld inflators, so made a great list of those products.  If you have any query, please feel free to contact me.

Stay tuned to know more about automotive and gears at Ride Safe!

Henry Smith

Smith is passionate regarding all matters about automotive and prefers to share his knowledge. He has good experience in all sorts of automotive accessories. Before joining The Grabbable, he spent the better part of two decades as an automotive writer, reporter, and editor for various publications.

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