How to pump a car tire

Written by tony oldhand
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Pin
  • Email
How to pump a car tire
Pumping up a car tire is not difficult. (tire image by Orlando Florin Rosu from Fotolia.com)

Pumping up a car tire does not require a lot of brainpower. It does however, require some physical exertion. You have to either work a foot pump, or the old style "bicycle pump" manually. Brown University states a common bicycle pump can be used to inflate a car tire (see Reference 1). Luckily, small electric pumps are available that do the grunt work for you. As with any automotive operation, think safety first to avoid injury.

Skill level:
Easy

Other People Are Reading

Things you need

  • Manual tire pump
  • Electric tire pump
  • Air pressure gauge

Show MoreHide

Instructions

  1. 1

    Park the car with a flat tire on a hard, level surface. Set the transmission in "Park." Engage the parking brake fully.

  2. 2

    Attach the nozzle of the pump to the valve stem nozzle of the tire. Some pumps have a flip lever, while others have a screw-on nozzle. For a flip lever, lift the lever up, so it points away from the nozzle. Push the nozzle opening onto the valve stem fully. Flip the lever down. For a screw-on, place the nozzle on the valve stem. Screw the nozzle onto the valve stem fully.

  3. 3

    Move the pumping lever of the pump fully up and down. Foot pumps have a foot pedal you depress and release. The bicycle pump-style has a handle you work up and down. Keep working the pump until you think the tire is fully inflated. Remove the nozzle of the pump. Read the tag inside your car's door panel, to find out the correct tire pressure. Check the pressure with the tire gauge, by pressing the gauge onto the valve stem, and reading the pressure on the scale. If it's too low, replace the nozzle of the pump, and keep pumping until the correct pressure is reached.

  1. 1

    Park the car with a flat tire on a hard, level surface. Set the transmission in "Park." Engage the parking brake fully. This step is the same whether you are using a manual or electric pump.

  2. 2

    Remove the electric pump from its carrying case. Look at the switch, to make sure its in the "Off" position. Start the car engine. Plug in the pump's cord into the cigarette lighter socket of your car.

  3. 3

    Attach the nozzle of the pump to the valve stem nozzle of the tire. Some pumps have a flip lever, while others have a screw-on nozzle. For a flip lever, lift the lever up, so it points away from the nozzle. Push the nozzle opening onto the valve stem fully. Flip the lever down. For a screw-on, place the nozzle on the valve stem. Screw the nozzle onto the valve stem fully. This step is the same as attaching a manual pump to your tire.

  4. 4

    Start the pump by flipping the switch to the "On" position. Watch the tire and pump, since over-inflation is a possibility. Keep the car engine running, since electric pumps drain electricity, and the car alternator must keep charging the battery. Turn the pump off. Remove the pump. Read the tag inside your car's door panel, to find out the correct tire pressure. Check the tire pressure with the tire pressure gauge. If its too low, replace the pump and continue filling with air.

  5. 5

    Remove the power cord from the cigarette lighter.

Tips and warnings

  • If using an electric pump, keep the car engine running at all times when the pump is on. These pumps drain electricity, and your battery will go dead if the alternator is not recharging it.
  • If you are not physically fit, do not attempt to manually pump up a tire. This process is a workout, requiring strenuous exercise. If you have a heart conditions or a bad back, injury to yourself could be a result.

Don't Miss

Filter:
  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
Sort:
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the eHow.co.uk site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.