How to Put Air in Your Car Tires

Tire maintenance is part of responsible vehicle ownership and maintenance. Your tires are the one component on your car that is always in contact with the road surface and is your preliminary source of traction.

If your tires are under-inflated, your fuel economy will be poor and your handling will feel soft especially when you turn corners. If your tires are over-inflated, your car will ride very harshly and you can wear your tires out prematurely. To put air in your tires, follow these steps:

How to put air in your tires

  1. Buy a tire gauge - Before you inflate a tire, it is important for any car owner to know how to check the amount of air in the tire and be able to inflate it to the correct air pressure.

    digital analog comparison

    Tip: Buy a gauge with a range wide enough to measure the pressure in a temporary spare, which is typically 60 psi. Many gauges have a span of 5 to 99 psi. If you need to check pressure in a darkened area, consider a digital gauge with an illuminated display.

  2. Find out how much air is recommended for your tires - Before you check or add air to your tire, you need to know how much should be in it. It should give you a reading of PSI or KPA number - This is your MAXIMUM safe inflation pressure and not the recommended pressure for operating your car.

    tire information close up

    Warning: Never exceed the maximum inflation pressure as marked on your tire’s sidewall. Damage to the tire as well as physical injury can result.

    blowout of tire information

  3. Look in the doorjamb, manual, or glovebox - Look for a label on the doorjamb on the driver’s side of the car. This label will also provide the tire pressures for the front tires, the rear tires, and the spare tire. You can also read your owner’s manual, which will tell you the recommended air pressure for your tires. Some auto manufacturers have a label in the glove box that indicates the proper inflation for your tires.

  4. Remove the valve stem cap - Your tire’s valve stem cap is located on the outer side of the rim near the bead of the tire.

    Tip: The valve stem is typically made of black rubber but can also be aluminum.

    person holding up tire gage to stem

  5. Press firmly - Press the end squarely onto the valve stem so no air escapes. The stick inside the gauge should come out or a reading should appear on a digital gauge. If air is hissing out, adjust the tire pressure gauge so it sits more squarely on the valve step. You’ll know it’s square when the hissing stops.

  6. Examine the readout - Read what the gauge says to determine if the tire needs air added.

    Tip: Check the air pressure twice if you’re unsure whether you got an accurate reading the first time or if it seems extremely low.

  7. Find a gas station with an air compressor - Some fuel stations have “free” air while others charge a nominal fee for use.

    Tip: Bring a handful of quarters in case you need to pay to use the compressor.

  8. Remove the valve stem cap - It’s located on the outer side of the rim near the bead of the tire.

  9. Turn on the air - You may have to insert coins or press a button for the air compressor to begin working.

  10. Attach the hose - Attach the end of the compressor hose to the valve on your tire. Allow air to go into the tire for about 5 seconds at a time.

    tire gauge reading of 40

  11. Check the air pressure with the tire gauge - Once your pressure is within 5 PSI of its recommended pressure, add air to the tire only 1-2 seconds at a time.

  12. Repeat - Repeat as necessary until you have the correct amount of air in your tire.

    Tip: Don’t allow the air pressure to be more than 5 PSI higher than what you determined to be the correct level for your tire.

If you notice your tires are low and require more air on a regular basis, have them checked out be a trusted mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic. YourMechanic provides certified mobile mechanics who come to your home or office and will check your tires if they’re losing contact with the road or showing excessive wear, both of which could mean you need to get your tires replaced.


Next Step

Schedule Oil Change

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Oil Change. YourMechanic’s technicians bring the dealership to you by performing this job at your home or office 7-days a week between 7AM-9PM. We currently cover over 2,000 cities and have 100k+ 5-star reviews... LEARN MORE

SEE PRICING & SCHEDULING

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Recent Oil Change reviews

Excellent Rating

(21,699)

Rating Summary
20,382
845
179
87
206
20,382
845
179
87
206

Matthew

33 years of experience
991 reviews
Matthew
33 years of experience
Volkswagen Passat - Oil Change - Hampton, Virginia
Matt always does a great job. Very professional. I look forward to my next appointment.... A++++++
Ford Expedition - Oil Change - Hampton, Virginia
I am so please to have Matt work on my vehicle, he is very friendly and personable, and always does a great job.

Greg

22 years of experience
37 reviews
Greg
22 years of experience
Audi A3 - Oil Change - Queen Creek, Arizona
Job well done! Greg was on time and professional. He treated my vehicle with care. He completed the job smoothly and so far so good. First time using Your mechanic and it was a pleasant experience. I will be looking into them again. Thanks Greg!
Ford Explorer - Oil Change - Scottsdale, Arizona
Greg was very friendly and professional. Communication was great, he let me know what he was doing. He went above and beyond to make sure everything was running smoothly. I would 100% recommend Greg!

LAVELL

27 years of experience
93 reviews
LAVELL
27 years of experience
Buick Encore - Oil Change - Oakland, California
Another home run! Really appreciate the flexibility regarding my service appointment. Due to my work schedule I desperately needed a late appointment. So grateful my car is receiving top shelf professional service. Replaced a oil pan drain plug that was seriously damaged and stripped by a competitor that will NEVER get my business again! All services were quickly completed. Thank you so much for another great experience with my.... Your Mechanic Lavell 5 ⭐️ Service consistently.

Brian

23 years of experience
483 reviews
Brian
23 years of experience
Porsche 911 - Oil Change - Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
Brian is extremely knowledgeable and very personable and has taken very good care on my 911. I would recommend Brian to any one who has mechanical car challenges. I would recommend Brian to all My friends and family

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

Related articles

How Do I Make My Tires Last Longer?
When When you buy a new vehicle or a new set of tires for your current vehicle, there is nothing like the experience of a quiet drive and confident traction. Unfortunately, that experience doesn’t last forever. Road noise begins to...
How Do I Take Care of My New Tires?
You’ve You’ve equipped your car with a brand new set of tires, replacing the old set of worn out rubber. They were noisy, and every time you had to brake hard, you were losing traction. Now you’ve spent your hard-earned...
How Do I Take Care of My New Tires?
You’ve You’ve equipped your car with a brand new set of tires, replacing the old set of worn out rubber. They were noisy, and every time you had to brake hard, you were losing traction. Now you’ve spent your hard-earned...

Related questions

What Happens if I Overinflate My Tires?

Inflating tires to the correct pressure is one of the most important factors when inflating a tire. Both under and, over-inflating a tire can actually be detrimental to the performance of a vehicle and to the life of a tire....

When should I replace my tires?

It’s important that you keep a close eye on your tires so that you can replace them when necessary, before they become a hazard to your safety. Here’s what you should look for that may indicate you need to replace...

whining noise on the rear passenger side near tire

Hey there, In regards to the whining sound that is coming from the rear passenger side on your 2003 BMW, at first glance, this type of sound could be caused by a wheel bearing that is beginning to wear out...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 · hi@yourmechanic.com