Fill a Car Tire?

About: I'm the kind of guy Who likes to figure out how everything works ! I Love Re-Purposing Old equipment for something it was not designed for. If it has Wire,Gears, plumbing, Lighting, Cooking, or Woodwork; I'm...

Many of Us take this Quick Skill for Granted.

Recently I was pulling out of my local Gas station and saw an older gentlemen trying to read something on his tire. A moment later I was stunned to realize he was trying Fill it, Looking for the recommended PSI on the tire ! So not wanting to see someone get hurt, I offered some help. Working together, He was back on the road in less the five minutes!

I Have the equipment to do this at home but a Gas Station is nice and Quick Solution ! Either way you will need a simple Tire Pressure Gauge (If your lucky a gas Station may have one built into the inflator it's self !

If you want to do this at Home you will also need a Compressor, Air hose with a Tire inflator attached to the end, and probably have little use for this Tutorial :D, Enjoy the Read Anyway :)

** Plz remember Compressed Air can be Dangerous; There is enough power in those four tires to Lift Your Car ! Now let me be the First to say I don't wear Safety Glasses and Ear Plugs for filling a Tire or two, But for pneumatic tools be sure you wear them :)

Step 1: What PSI Should I Fill My Tires To?

Back to the story for a moment...

I was concerned about him reading the rating from the side wall of the tire. The rating on the Side wall is the Maximum Rated PSI. Often 80 some-odd PSI depending on vehicle and weight class. If you exceed the Maximum pressure it shouldn't blow up at first, but after a few miles you may have an Unpleasant and Dangerous Surprise ! (Not to mention your Tires will wear unevenly, and need replacing sooner)

To find Your vehicles recommendations, open your driver side door. There will be a sticker on the inner edge of the door, near the door latch. It will tell you vehicle's VIN, Year, Model, Weight, and Rim/Tire Information. For many sedan sized cars it will be 35-40 Psi, Trucks and SUV's 40-45Psi. Can't say I have owned or worked on anything lighter like a Mini, Fiat, or smart car so be sure to check this rating before you begin !

Step 2: Lets Do This !

Yes,Yes, I know I need new Rims.

If you have 334,000 Km (207,500 Miles) you Wouldn't look too Shiny Either :P

Take a moment to Inspect your Tires. Minor cracking around the Rim is OK, but anything like what you see on my truck is pushing it. Also check the remaining tread depth. If you have 1/16th or less it's time to replace them really soon. Google "tire tread coin trick" for a good reference. (Should be noted I have four "New" tires that are waiting to be mounted)

Begin by finding your Valve Stem. **Tip, I was too lazy too roll my truck ahead two feet, but you can drive forward or back slightly to bring the Valve Stem around to a more comfortable position** remove the cap and put it Directly into your pocket. Check the initial pressure before you start. This will help you gauge how long the tire will take to fill.

Press the Tire Inflator Against the Valve stem firmly. if you hear the Air hissing out try re aligning the Tire Inflator until you hear the air entering the tires. You will know when you hear it :) Every 10-15 sec stop and check the Pressure.

Keep repeating this cycle until you reach your recommended PSI. If you Over fill the tire, Jah No Problem Mon. The Tire Gauge has a small nub on it (Right under my thumb it the Pic) Use the nib to push that tiny rob inside the Valve stem to release some extra pressure.

Now reach into your Pocket and grab the Valve Cap, Or frantically search the ground on your hands and knees. You know, Whatever works best for you :P

Take a moment to check the Other Tires before you Finish up! **If Your tire looses more Air, the next day to week, then you probably have a Leak** You will need to Check it out at you Local Tire Shop.

Hopefully This will help a few People learn something New!

In the Near Future I will be doing a Oil change, and Replacing my Ignition System. I Will be sure to do a Instructable for them too !

I also do many Electronic, Woodworking, and Lighting Projects.

Be sure to Subscribe to see what I'm building next !

Take Care,

Wired Mist



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    6 Discussions


    3 years ago

    I helped a friend build something similar. we're mounted the compressor in the back of his jeep and had a cord reel next to it for the hose. We also built a circuit so the compressor could either run off the jeep electrical or off a spare emergency battery that was kept charged by the alternator.

    3 replies

    Reply 3 years ago

    actually we designed and mounted an automatic paintball cannon based on an M2 machine gun. you know how hard you can shoot a pantball with adjustable psi. exploded a few in the barrel if memory serves.


    Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

    LOL, Awesome with that big of a resivior, could almost mount two side by side and rig them to fire together !


    3 years ago

    I've helped many people who never checked the pressure in the spare. Lugging around a 2nd flat tire is just silly. The small donut type spares usually require around 60 psi.

    Nice write up!

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

    Really? I never knew that those space savers needed that much pressure. Thanks for Mentioning that; Glad you Enjoyed it !