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How to inflate a car tyre with a manual foot pump

Updated February 21, 2017

Though not as convenient or quick to use as an air compressor with a hose, inflating a car tyre with a manual foot pump is a simple process you can complete in a matter of minutes. The foot pump is capable of supplying enough air to inflate car tyres to the recommended manufacturer's pressure levels. Although it may be slow and require manual labour to operate, unlike a compressor with a hose, the foot pump is highly portable. Due to its small size, take it along with you inside your vehicle, having it present for emergency use anywhere you find yourself with a tyre in need of inflation.

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  1. Park the car so that the tyre needing inflation is on a level surface with no inclines in front or behind the vehicle. Put the car into park and then use the hand brake to ensure that the car does not move during the inflation process.

  2. Unscrew the cap covering the tyre's air-valve stem. Place the nozzle located on the end of the pump hose onto the valve stem of the tyre needing air. Secure the nozzle either by screwing it onto the end of the valve stem, or by flipping the small lever on the side of the nozzle down against the stem to lock the nozzle in place. The securing mechanism varies according to pump model.

  3. Place the foot pump flat onto the ground next to the tyre with the foot pedal on the pump facing upwards. Place a foot onto the pedal and push it downwards to pump air into the deflated tyre. Release pressure on the pump by removing your foot from the pump to allow it to pop back up, and then repeat the downward pushing process to pump more air into the tyre. Continue this cycle until you've inflated the tyre.

  4. Check the car owner's manual for recommended tyre pressure for your vehicle. Remove the pump nozzle from the valve stem and check the inflated tyre pressure with a tyre gauge. Add more air with the pump if the gauge indicates a need for more air pressure by a reading that is below the recommended amount. If the tyre pressure reads higher than recommendations, press on the valve stem with the gauge to release air from the tyre until it reads within the acceptable range. Replace the cap onto the stem after inflating the tyre to the proper pressure range.

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Things You'll Need

  • Manual tyre foot pump
  • Tyre gauge

About the Author

Larry Simmons is a freelance writer and expert in the fusion of computer technology and business. He has a B.S. in economics, an M.S. in information systems, an M.S. in communications technology, as well as significant work towards an M.B.A. in finance. He's published several hundred articles with Demand Studios.

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