If we could give a medal to a tool during a roadside emergency, we would bestow it upon a tire inflator. Consider this a non-living hero without a cape when your car breaks down due to a flat tire.
Suppose you are planning to get this tool for yourself. Why should one not? It is portable, easy to use, and hardly takes any space when stored.
If things were that straightforward, we would not be having this discussion. So, before you decide to buy one, is it not better to know about the device and how to use it?
Let us begin with its type and functions so that a newbie can feel at ease even when stranded on a spooky highway. Then we will move to the procedures one can perform right at home.
Types of Tire Inflators
You see, there are two kinds of tire inflators in the market. If you get acquainted with them, it will be easier for you to pick one up from the market.
a) Foot Air Pump
While both inflators are technically manually operated, a foot air pump is one without any digitized touch.
It is popular among two-wheeled vehicle owners. It might take some time to inflate a four-wheeled vehicle using this.
The electrically operated tire inflator has taken over the market like a tornado. It is because they are super easy to use. Some feature a digital screen, while others go with the analog design.
It has a display screen that lets you read the pressure the tire carries once inflated to avoid overfill. There is also a 12V compressor to connect electrically.
Benefits of a Tyre Inflator
So, why should you keep an air inflator at home – in your garage, to be specific? Is it heavy? Do you really need it that desperately? Let’s see what these advantages say about that!
A tire inflator is a tool the size of your hand, plus some nozzles and wires. But that is all about it! If you wish to purchase a bigger model, it is a different story with pretty much the same outcome.
Therefore, this small device is not only a useful tool but is also portable. Stash it somewhere in the car with its package, and you will not even notice it.
It is like carrying a mechanical store right in your car!
b) Saves Time
Suppose you are new to this – inflating the tire. Now you see a slightly deflated wheel that you do not know how to handle. You call the mechanic, wait for him/her to arrive, then pay for the task you could have done yourself.
Do you see how much time it takes? Investing in this adorable and cool accessory can dissipate all that into ten minutes tops! You will be on your way in no time.
c) Saves Money
It is always a wise thing to inspect the wheels before heading out. Driving with low pressured tires is the source of additional fuel consumption and slow mileage.
An inflator will help you keep up the proper balance that can eventually extend the tread life, as well.
This is about breaking down on a highway, deserted roads, etc., on your own. Not everyone can wait for hours. There are always unpredictable situations one might get involved in.
In that case, keeping this device in your car and using it when required removes the necessity to wait around in a deserted or dangerous road all alone.
You will not believe how simple it is to utilize a tire inflator! This is a fact no one can deny, even the beginners.
Besides, there are countless reasons to keep it within your reach. Some people utilize it to inflate party balloons too!
Operating a Tyre Inflator at Home
Here come the long-awaited instructions for everyone to pump their tires. Once you read this, you will put on a straight face and ask, that’s it?
a) Inspect the Tyre
Whether you are doing this on the roadside or at your garage in the house, inspecting the tire is always the first priority.
Even if it is only one affected tire, be sure to check the rest. Now focus on the one that is causing the trouble. What do you see?
Does it have low pressure? Then bring the tire inflator around. However, look for any puncture or hole caused by sharp objects.
There is no point working on such a tire; simply replace it with a spare. If you do not have one, you should contact a mechanic.
Remember, the following instruction ought to be while the engine is on. You are going to need it!
b) Keep the Vehicle on Leveled Ground
Park your vehicle wherever the ground is flat. It can be on the driveway, inside the garage, or next to a lane of a deserted highway. It is to ensure the car does not accidentally move as you fix the wheel.
Always put it in park mode whenever maintaining the vehicle with the engine running.
c) Connect the Inflator
Now you will know why the engine should not be turned off. Take out the inflator, and do you see the wire attached to the device? You are to connect it to the 12V socket in your car.
Older models will recognize it as the outlet that comes with a cigarette lighter. Once you connect the device to the 12V socket, you are ready to get into the real action.
d) Attach the Nozzle
Did you notice another long tube with a nozzle attached to the inflator? It is now time to work with that.
Set the device on the ground or near the wheel. Connect that nozzle to the valve stem protruding out of the rim. It may not sound like a big deal, but you must make sure it is connected properly.
How you attach the nozzle to the valve stem will determine whether it can leak air or not, so be extra cautious.
e) Fill up the Tire(s) with Air
Next, turn on the device and tell everyone to stay quiet for a moment (if you are doing this at home). Do you hear any hissing sound? If yes, switch off the device right away and readjust the nozzle connection.
You might have to do it a few times if the tightening is not done correctly. It is completely okay for a first-timer, so do not panic if you are on the road.
We do not want air to leak, hence the constant check. After reattaching the nozzle properly this time, switch on the inflator again. Let the air fill in as you consistently stay alert for any leaking sound, e.g., hisses.
This sequence might sound tedious and lengthy. However, the overall operation will take only a couple of minutes!
e) Switch Off the Inflator
Do not wander off during these minutes, for you do not want the wheel to overinflate. A periodic pause and check before switching off the device are recommended.
Your vehicle must have an operating manual. Take it out and check for the instructed PSI per tire. Fill the tire according to that information and not a second more.
If you have a pressure gauge, which we believe is a must-have for all vehicle owners, use it. Try to stop the inflating in-between and check how much air has been filled using this gadget.
It will help you attain foolproof work. It is also the best way to practice guesswork when the pressure gauge is missing.
f) One Last Inspection
All the electric tire inflators come with a display screen showing the pressure amount filled into the wheel. So even if you do not own a pressure gauge, you can make a psi estimation by looking at the inflator display.
We still advise keeping the gadget in the car at all times. It is better to have a safe tread life than driving with risks. So the bottom line is to switch off the inflator for the final time and inspect the air pressure with the gauge before setting off.
Keep in mind that all these steps will only take less than 10 min of your time. However, timing may vary depending on the tire condition.
A half-inflated tire can take less than a minute, while a flat tire will need a couple of minutes.
Now, as you complete the final inspection, disconnect the nozzle and unplug the device entirely. Mission accomplished!
Next time when you are giving your vehicle a proper maintenance check, you can proudly inflate that tire without any assistance.
If anyone ever asks, how do you use a tyre inflator at home? You can give a mysterious smirk and let them in on the secret. And what is the secret? It is stupendously easy!