Can You Use a Bike Pump On a Car Tire?

You never know when you might get a flat, and it almost always occurs when you least expect it. If you have a flat tire and a bike pump while driving, you might be wondering if you can inflate your vehicle tire using anything you have lying around in the trunk.

In situations where you may need to inflate the car tire but do not have any way to acquire an air compressor or get to a gas station, you can actually use a bike pump.

Now the question arises in your mind if you will be able to use a bike pump on a car tire. Make sure to continue reading to discover if this is a feasible idea.

Can You Use a Bike Pump On a Car Tire?

Yes, you can. It may not be a possible way to do such a method, but it is possible. Before You Start Pumping, you have to keep a few things in mind before you may try to inflate a car tire with a bike pump.

To start, understand that the process will take a long time because, of course, a bike pump was not made to work on a car. A car is heavy, but you can do the process safely without lifting it up.

Different Valve Types

There are three kinds of bike innertube valves: Presta, Schrader, and Woods. On the other hand, tubeless valves are available in two variants: Presta and Schrader. The most common one is Schrader.

A Schrader valve is featured on every motor vehicle and bicycle with wider tires. This user-friendly valve has a removable core and can be adjusted by almost anyone. But it needs a bigger diameter rim hole which makes it unsuited for narrower rims, found commonly on road bikes.

Almost every bike pump is adaptable with Schrader valves.

Different Bike Pump Types

Foot pumps aren’t used solely on bicycles. Normal bike pumps are referred to as floor or hand pumps. Foot pumps, as the name suggests, are used by foot. Therefore, they’re very effective and easy to use.

The Schwinn Bike Pump features improved heavier gauge steel struts for better durability. It’s quite compact as well, so you can carry it around.

A floor pump is harder to use than a foot pump, but it eliminates the hassle of having to use your leg strength to inflate a tire.

A great floor pump would be the GOBKO Floor Bike Pump. It’s made from high-strength steel, which makes it durable and wear-resistant. It fits Schrader valves perfectly.

Mini pumps are small enough to sit snugly on any bike, even the dual-suspension ones that would not come with a full-size frame pump. But due to their size, you need to pump for a really long time to inflate a car tire to an acceptable level.

We recommend the SILCA Tattico Mini Pump. This small but powerful mini pump gives you the perfect bang for your buck. It comes with an extended hose that will help you pump freely without worrying if the line will get disconnected.

What’s the Type of Leak?

Depending on the type of leak your tire has, your approach to the problem will differ. If the leak is slow, you’re in luck. But if the leak is fast, it is impossible to do anything. What determines whether the leak is fast or slow? The width of the hole in your tire.

Find the Correct Pressure for Your Car Tire

Before attempting to pump the tire, the first thing you want to do is understand the target pressure. All cars come with the right tire pressure mentioned in at least 3 places. The tire pressure can often be found inside the driver’s door, and the pressure should surely be mentioned there. Open the driver’s side door and then scan the car’s frame. A sticker containing the necessary information will be found in the form of a chart/table.

This chart will mention the right tire pressure for the rear and front tires. Also, based on your geographic location, the air pressure unit will vary. It can be KPA, PSI, or Bar. Note the differences in these values.

The next place to look is a car user manual. You may not have the car user manual lying around in the glove compartment as it is a very hefty book to be kept there, but you can also look up the car user manual online.

The last place to look where the car tire pressure can be inscribed is on the tire. If not, it’s possible the writing wore off over time, or the particular tire brand does not mention tire pressure on the tire wall.

Measure the Current Tire Pressure

Now that you have the target air pressure figured out measure the present air pressure to find out how much air has to be added. Simply enter the tire valve inside the pressure gauge, exert a bit of pressure, and the gauge reading will increase.

For the ones who don’t own a pressure gauge, check if the bicycle pump comes with an attached pressure gauge. If yes, take the bike pump and put the valve into the hose’s receiving end.

This should give you a general reading of the tire’s pressure. If you don’t have a pump with a pressure gauge or a pressure gauge, your best shot is to keep inflating the tire till you feel it has enough air, bring it to a tire shop, and have professionals take a look at it.

How to Inflate a Car Tire with a Bike Pump?

To inflate a car tire with a bike pump, follow these steps:

You have to keep in mind that every car has a different PSI (Pounds per Square Inch) amount on the tire. It is usually located on the sidewall, but every tire is different, as previously mentioned, so you may even have it written on the inside, such as on the driver’s side door or in the user’s manual.

Now, keep in mind that in warmer months, you may not want to inflate it to the full maximum recommended PSI. This is because the expansion will not be quite as much because of the colder weather.

Let’s get onto how to inflate car tires with a bike pump. It should be noted that using a bike pump with a gauge on it would be more convenient. It will assist you as you keep track of how much you’re depositing.

Firstly, find the tire valve, which is usually a Schrader valve and has a cap on it. Then, you connect the bike pump to the valve via the tube attached to the pump, which has a nozzle secured on it. Secondly, you will now pump the air to the tire using the bike pump handle. Keep in mind this will take a lot of effort and time, considering you are using a tool not specified to use for cars. Based on the tire’s size, it can take up to 20 minutes.

Once you are done pumping, you will now want to make sure to disengage the fitting. Right after taking it off, make sure to put the cap back on. This helps to protect the end of your valve. And it stops any air from escaping the tire.

How Long Does It Take To Fill a Car Tire with a Bike Pump?

After considering all the different aspects of the process, pumping a tire manually using a bike pump can take up to 20 minutes. This is mainly because bicycle pumps cannot be used for prolonged periods as they tend to overheat.

Consider running to your nearest supermarket and purchasing a 12V electric pump instead. Not only is this better for your car overall, but it will also take less time than the bike pump method. The AstroAI Air Compressor Tire Inflator is a great, cheap electric pump that can fill a tire from 30 PSI to 36 PSI in a minute.

There are also better pumps that will get the job done more quickly. We will also recommend the Specialized Air Tool Comp Floor Pump. The Air Tool includes an aluminum barrel and a steel base, and it has a 120 PSI maximum pressure (8.3 bar). This one is a fast, easy-to-use pump, so there is no need to fret.

Now, the best one would be Lezyne CNC Digitial Drive 3.5, which is a bit pricey, but it is made out of the best material. Manufactured with CNC-machined aluminum parts, Lezyne CNC Digitial Drive 3.5 floor pump has a maximum pressure of 220 psi (15 bar). This will allow you to inflate car tires with a bike pump the fastest.


Overall, the answer to the question of being able to pump car tires with bike pumps is yes. Just ensure that you use the proper type of bike pump for the job and acknowledge that this procedure is lengthier than what you would have to face with an air compressor. The best kind of bike pump to get would be an electric one, as you would not have to do any work.

Either way, just to be safe, never leave your house without a spare tire in the back or without a tire repair kit. Don’t rely on bike pumps because they are meant to be a temporary solution for when you’re in a pinch.

Related reading: Where Can I Pump my Bike Tires for Free?

Related reading: Can I Use a Car Tire Pump on My Bike?

Related reading: How To Clean Bike Tires?

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