Can You Pump Up a Car Tire with a Bike Pump?

We may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you when you buy through links on our website. Learn more

Bike pumps are naturally meant for bicycle tires. However, what happens when you have a car tire in need of pumping and the only available tool is a bicycle pump? At this point you begin to wonder; can you pump up your tire with a bike pump?

The first time I had this question answered was when I found myself with a flat car tire far away from any assistance, and the only tool in my trunk was a bicycle pump.

Thanks to some quick research online, I was able to successfully pump the tire with my bike pump. So, yes, it’s possible to pump up a car tire with a bike pump.

How to Inflate a Tire with a Bicycle Pump

Here are some guiding steps on how to get it done successfully:

1. Find Out the PSI Rating of Your Tires

In the attempt to inflate your car tire with a bike pump, it’s important to know the tire’s PSI rating. With the correct PSI rating, you won’t fill the tire with excess or insufficient air.

To find the tire’s PSI rating, you can check the car’s door for a printed value, the body of the tire, and the vehicle’s manual. The rating is usually found in any of these three places.

Clearly, you need to know the tire’s rating before proceeding with the bike pump. It’s with this information that you can know if you should even start pumping the tire with the bike pump, or if you should just seek out an alternative solution.

2. Check Tire Pressure

After you’ve gotten information about the tire’s PSI rating, the next step is to check the tire’s current air pressure.

To do this, you’ll need a pressure gauge. If you don’t have a pressure gauge in your vehicle, I suggest that you purchase one as soon as possible.

Checking the tire’s current air pressure isn’t a step that should be skipped. Before checking the pressure value, make sure that the tire’s valve is clean.

3. Get the Pump

After completing the first two steps, you’re expected to prepare the pump next. Although bike pumps are made for filling air into bicycle tires, they also work well for tires.

These bike pumps usually have a Presta and Schrader valve. The former valve wouldn’t be able to pump air into the car’s tire. However, the latter valve can be used on a car’s tire.

This valve, the Schrader valve, features a tiny metal pin and screw-on cap threading that make it possible to pump a car tire.

4. Start Pumping the Tire

With the bicycle pump prepared, you can now proceed to fill the car tire with air. To do that, you must connect the pump’s Schrader valve to the tire’s air valve.

Once the connection is established, begin the manual mechanical process of engaging the pump bar. As air gradually fills into the tire, make sure you’re keeping track of the building air pressure within the tire. This way, you won’t pump excessive air into it.

Pumping a car tire with a bike pump isn’t as fast as using a typical car pump. This means that you will need to exercise some patience before the tire is filled with enough air.


Now that you know bike pumps can be used to fill air into car tires, you can use it as an alternative solution in certain situations.

However, bike pumps aren’t ideally made for tires. Hence, you shouldn’t opt for a bicycle pump when you can easily reach a gas station to properly pump the deflated car tire.

Always remember to follow the steps described in this article when using a bicycle pump. Keep track of how much air pressure is going into the tires with respect to the recommended PSI rating. The more accurate you are with the filled in air pressure, the better the condition that your tire will be in.

James is a passionate bicyclist who has done about every kind of biking there is. He loves the wind in his hair, the sun over his shoulder and maybe even the bugs in his teeth. No, just kidding about that last item. He isn’t crazy about road burns, either, but acknowledges that to have the good there is the occasional tumble. James feels that his bike is the place where he can unwind, leave troubles alongside the road, meet new people, go new places, and live the life of adventure that he loves. He is ready to share the ride with you.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

      Leave a reply