How To Use A Compressor To Inflate Tires

How To Use A Compressor To Inflate Tires
(Last Updated On: August 28, 2020)

So how do you use a compressor to inflate tires? It seems to be a simple question, but it isn’t so simple if you have never done it, is it?

Here’s what you need to do.

First off, don’t worry about the fact that your compressor can generate 300 PSI. That’s a good thing.
On the discharge line from the tank to the coupler where you would connect an air line is a regulator. Not sure what this or does?
air compresor car tire

1. Set The Pressure: All you have to do is “dial down” the pressure reading on this regulator (watch the gauge) to whatever pressure level you want to use.

In your case, if you want to inflate tires without bothering to check the resulting tire pressure, set the regulator to the recommended pressure of your tire. That’s usually in the area of 35 PSI for light truck and car tires, but you need to look on your tire or on your car’s door post for the specs for your vehicle.

air compressor tires

2. Connect: You connect your air line to the compressor discharge coupler.

At the other end of the air line you need to have a tire filler tool (tire chuck) installed.

If you dont have one of these, you can get this one, the AstroAI Air Chuck, Heavy Duty Closed Flow Lock On Tire Chuck with Clip for Inflator Gauge Compressor Accessories, Yellow

One end fits onto the valve in your tire to allow air to flow in, and the other, with a  connector installed, connects to the coupler on the end of your air hose.

Once you’ve got it all installed and connected, push the tire chuck onto the fill valve of your tire and the air will flow from your compressor into the tire and fill it to the pressure on your regulator gauge setting.

Make sure you set the regulator to the right pressure, or add air to the tire and then use a tire pressure gauge to check the tire. Make sure you don’t overfill the tires.

Best Tire Air Compressors

Just in case you are looking for a new air compressor for your tires, here are some great choices:

1. EPAuto 12V DC Portable Air Compressor Pump, Digital Tire Inflator

2. FORTEM Digital Tire Inflator for Car w/Auto Pump/Shut Off Feature, Portable Air Compressor, Carrying Case

3. Helteko Portable Air Compressor Pump 150PSI 12V – Digital Tire Inflator – Auto Tire Pump with Emergency Led Lighting and Long Cable for Car – Bicycle – Motorcycle – Basketball and other

You do need to take care when using an air compressor to inflate tires, but it is a good use for an air compressor if you have the right one. Please don’t use an air compressor not designed for the job. You might blow your tires to smitherines! The air compressors we use and mention above are some of the best air compressors for pumping tires – inflating tires on cars, inflating tires on bicycles, and on all sort of other things, even inflating basketballs!! They will speed that up! So get one and have a go.

Hello, I am Bill, the Compressed-Air-Man. I have years of experience in industrial and residential compressed air applications, air compressors and general pneumatics. I created this site to help professionals, students, and DIYers understand and properly implement and maintain compress3ed air systems.


  1. Hi Bill, what would cause very slow inflation? My compressor builds air just fin,(30gal tank @ 150psi) rated for 6.8 scfm @ 40psi.
    Air flows out the tire inflator valve perfectly. even jacking the output pressure up does not help.


    • Gene… what is the pressure in the tank? What size is the compressor tank? What is the pressure setting on your regulator?

      If, for example, your tank pressure is 120 PSI, and your regulator is set for 50 PSI, are you saying that putting the tire chuck on the tire valve with these settings, air flows slowly into the tire?

      You connected your tire chuck to the air hose using a connector I expect? Is it the right connector for the coupler… and the same for where the air hose connects to the discharge coupler on the compressor?

      See under regulators for a related page.


  2. I have an air compressor, a mower with low tire pressure and 3 different inflation kits but I can’t find the magic combination of parts that will connect the compressor to the tires. Can you help? None of the pieces that want to screw onto the tire, also want to fit into the end of the air compressor hose.

  3. I tried, but can’t hear air going into tire. Should I be able to hear it?
    Furthermore, the pressure in the low tire remains the same. What am I doing wrong? I set the pressure on the out-gauge to 35 psi and nothing happens.

    • Ivan, the flow of air from the compressor tank to the tire fill gauge is fairly straightforward. You likely only have a regulator between the tank outlet and the discharge coupling, with the regulator in the middle. If you have set the regulator to 35 PSI, that’s what is supposed to be flowing downstream from the regulator, into the discharge coupling, and then, if you have a hose with a tire fill valve on it, into that hose, and the air flow is then stopped by the tire fill valve. When the tire fill valve is put on the tire valve, the stem inside the tire valve depresses the tongue inside the tire fill valve which is on the hose, and the air flows. Have a look at the tire fill valve on the end of the hose. Note the little metal button in the middle of it. Turn that away from you, and push on it with a nail, or small enough object, and you should hear and feel air blowing out. Does this happen?

Leave a Reply to Bill Cancel reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here