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A common question posted on the internet is why won’t my air compressor fill up my tire. This appears to be a common issue, and so, this article will present to you the most common reasons why this is happening and how to troubleshoot the issue!

Table of Contents

Reasons Why Air Compressor Won’t Fill Up Tire

The three main reasons why your air compressor is not filling up your tire is because you have:

  • Faulty wires
  • Big puncture
  • Faulty nozzle
  • Faulty valve

Faulty Wires

First of all, you should make sure you check the wires and cables and make sure that they are in the right order. If the cables or wires might be damaged at any point, that might be causing you to have the problem.

You will need to check for any damages to the wires and cables. A short circuit on or them being bent sharply can cause a lack of power. You will also need to check the connections to ensure that they are not broken at any place. This way, you will be able to make sure the air compressor is operating effectively and allow you to start inflating the tire.

Big Puncture

Another likely cause of you not being able to fill your tire is a big hole or puncture on the tire. If this is the case, the air compressor will be pumping the air in the tire and the air is constantly leaking out a hole in the tire, meaning the tire won’t inflate properly.

It might be a wise idea to ensure that you always have a tire repair kit in your vehicle to help counter such a situation along with the air compressor. This way, you will be able to fix the puncture first, and then use the air compressor to fill and inflate the tire.

Otherwise, I’d say just take it to a tire shop as most of these services are pretty cheap but if you’re looking to save money dunk that tire in some water and see where the bubbles come from, you’ll find your leak and at least have an idea of what you’re dealing with.

Faulty Nozzle

It’s possible that the air compressor might not be fitted on the nozzle properly and that might be causing you to have issues filling your tire. It may even be that the air compressor might not be compatible with the nozzle on our tire and that can cause air leaks, resulting in the tire not being inflated.

You will have to ensure that the air compressor clip is fitted perfectly on the nozzle in order to protect it from not inflating tires and leaking the air out in the open. You will need to make sure that you are fixing the nozzle properly.

You should be taking it out and then plugging it back on properly rather than half-heartedly. You will also need to make sure that the plug you are using to fit on your nozzle is the right one that is needed to make it work as there is a variety of different shapes and sizes on these plugs.

Faulty Valve

It’s possible that you have a leaky valve causing the air compressor to be unable to fill your tire. If the tire went completely flat the bead may have popped off the wheel hence you can’t air up without a beaded sweater or remove the core and use high pressure to reseat the bead.

It could be sounds that your beads are holding. You can replace the internal valve, it just screws in. I don’t see that as the issue if you can release air from the tire. Check to make sure you have a proper fit on the valve with your pump. The whole part in question is called a Schraeder valve. You will need a Schraeder valve tool, to replace the Schrader valve core if it is the valve that is faulty.

Fortunately, these are very cheap parts. It’s possible that you have had water collect in the core valve, which would impede it from opening but allow it to leak. It may even be as simple as spraying some penetrating oil like WD-40 into the valve with penetrating oil to see if you can get the pin to move.

Here’s a useful YouTube demonstration on how to fix a valve stem core!

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Why is my tire not filling up with air?

Your tire is not filling up with air because you probably have either faulty wires, a big puncture, a faulty nozzle, or a faulty valve. These are some of the most common reasons as to why your tire is not filling up with air, but it may also just be that the automotive compressor you’re using is slow because it doesn’t have a tank.

Can you use an air compressor to inflate car tires?

Yes, you can use an air compressor to inflate car tires. To do so, use the tire chuck and attach the air compressor’s hose to the valve stem. Once everything is secure, turn on the compressor to begin to fill the tire. Fill the tire slowly to ensure you don’t overinflate it, monitoring it throughout.

What PSI should I set my air compressor to fill tires?

You should set the PSI of your air compressor to the correct PSI required for the vehicle. On newer cars, the recommended pressure is most commonly listed on a sticker inside the driver’s door or sometimes inside the oil cap. If there’s no sticker on the door, you will be able to find the specs in the owner’s manual. Most passenger cars will generally recommend 32 to 35 psi in the tires when they’re cold. While trucks on the other hand will require pressures up to between 90 and 100 psi. Visit our

Reader Questions and Response

Why Won’t My Air Compressor Run an Air Tool or Pump Up a Tire?

Question

It’s a 2.5 horsepower 25-gallon compressor and I can barely put air in a tire.

It says tank mp is 126psi.

When I use a tool the outlet gauge goes down to zero and the tool runs out. When I let off the trigger outlet gauge goes back up to 100, meanwhile, the tank gauge stayed at 110 the whole time.

It’s as if the air is not flowing right in pipes to the tool. All works well until it has to flow to the tool.

My tank is full and not leaking, pressure 110 in tank gauge and 100 in outlet gauge. When you connect the air tool it drains air out of the outlet gauge and runs out of air but the tank gauge is full and not leaking.

I have the knob turned all the way in. After it runs out it fills up but the tool only works for 5 seconds till it runs out again.

Response

Peter.

You say the knob is all the way in on the regulator. What is the pressure setting on the regulator, please?

If you trigger the air tool, and the regulator gauge drops right to zero, that suggests that it is the regulator itself that is the problem. If you have shut off the air by closing the regulator, no air will get to the tool, but then, that you have done so should drop the regulator needle to zero.

If you dump all the air, remove the coupler and regulator, put the coupler back where the regulator is, you will not be flowing full tank air pressure into the line.

Careful if tank pressure is above the maximum pressure of your air tool, but a quick trigger of the tool will tell you whether or not you are getting air to the tool now.

If you dump all the air, add a Tee before the regulator, install a coupler in the Tee into which you can connect the airline to your tool, and then test the tool, if the air tool runs fine then, that confirms that it is the regulator.

If there is still no air out of the hose that is the problem that subject is covered on this site on a page by that same name. Check it out linked from the troubleshooting page.


If you have any questions regarding reasons why your air compressor won’t fill tires, please leave a comment below, with a photo if applicable, so that someone can help you!