Getting Air Into Tires In Extreme Cold


Well again, you were the only person that wouldn’t start your vehicle after an oil change, and I was astonished to know there was even one person like that.


I use a Blackburn floor pump - the kind that rests on the ground, and you push and pull a rod down and up - for bicycles with Presta valves. The small volume of the tire means this takes maybe 45 seconds from zero to 90 PSI. But a car’s tire has such a greater volume, it takes a long long time with a good pump to get the pressure just 4 PSI higher, doesn’t it?

Since I inherited a Campbell Hausfeld compressor with a big green tank and electric motor, I usually use that for bicycles with Schroeder valves, and for our cars. Before that pump, I used a gas station for cars. I would use the floor pump only if desperate. It might take as long as jacking up the car and putting on the spare, but it could be done.


Mine (the cheapest) takes about 40 strokes to add a pound to a 195/75R14 tire. I can do a stroke per second, so 4 PSI would take 160 seconds, less than 3 minutes.

At home I use a floor pump that adds a pound in 10 strokes.


I’ll value your experience over my speculation.


Barky, What? No Wawa Stations near you? They’re all over in Manatee county and they all have Free Air with a digital read-out screen that allows one to pre-select the desired inflation pressure.

I’ve used them for my bicycles before. The air makes them pretty popular. Besides, they are just nice large stations. I think I’ve been to one in Orlando, too.


You mentioned bicycles, before. I’m inot bicycles. You’ll enjoy this… I own a bunch (10 or 11 or so) of them, 6 are folders. Some stay north and some stay south. I keep enough to supply company that stops by.

Two of the Dahon Mariner aluminum folding bikes that stay in FL have quick releases on the seat posts.

Flip that and pull the seat/post out of the bike. Unscrew a cap on the bottom of the post and pull out a hose, attach it to the valve stem, and unfold a lever and hold it down with a foot. Pump the actual seat up and down and quickly inflate a tire.

I always carry at least one bike in my trunk at all times.


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CSA, what in the world is that ???


Years ago, there were tire pumps where a person removed a spark plug and screwed in the pump unit. The compression stroke of the engine operated s little pump that could inflate a tire. The pump sucked in air from the atmosphere–,it did not use the fuel mixture from the engine. These were easy to use when the spark plugs were easy to access. Of course the engine would run on one less cylinder. Today it would trip.thr check engine light.
One interesting air compressor I saw was one that powered jack hammers and was manufactured by the Jaeger corporation. Back about 1966 I was sitting in my office and a utility repair was going on out in the street. A hole was being dug which necessitated the use of jackhammers. The engine on the Jaeger compressor sounded like it was missing–particularly at idle. I went out to investigate. The engine was a Chrysler products flathead 6. It had a special head and manifolds. The front three cylinders compressed the air for the jackhammers while the three rear cylinders powered the compressor. Essentially, the 6 cylinder engine ran on 3 cylinders and that made it sound like it was missing.


I guess I had a wardrobe malfunction or some darn thing. ???


I thought it was a little early for you Florida folks but I was out on the freeway for about ten miles this afternoon. In that ten miles two almost identical pick up trucks with the fifth wheel trailers attached with Florida plates. Both driven by white haired guys. Usually the folks around here wait until after Christmas and not pull out October 1. Maybe its going to be a bad winter.


WAWA Station? Quick trip, Holiday, Speedway, Cenex, is all I have for a 12 mile radius


On Saturday, I took a drive in Upstate NY.
On Sunday, I drove around in SE PA.
Today, I was in the Northwestern part of my home state, NJ.

On all 3 days, I observed an incredible number of cars with distant out-of-state plates, and for a while on the NY Thruway, out-of-staters far outnumbered the cars with NY, PA, and NJ plates. It isn’t that unusual to see CT, MA, DE, MD plates in these areas, but I observed a LOT of cars with MI and MN plates, as well as a number from Indiana and Missouri. I even encountered two cars from Alabama, one car from Iowa, one from Oregon, and one from Montana.

Now that summer vacation time has ended, I am having a hard time figuring out what all of those distant folks were doing in this area. Does anyone have any theories that they would like to share?


One theory you wouldn’t appreciate but I’d need to know more about the types of cars and drivers. Around here lots of folks like to head out northeast to take part in the fall colors and one last fall trip before winter. Really Minnesota and Wisconsin have some great fall colors but in my experience its nothing like upstate NY and Penn. So I think they were just site see-ers enjoying the fish and colors. They might just head straight south from there though and never come back to the midwest until Spring.


Aree with bing about the fall colors I have noticed he same thing also in NH VT & Maine.


We drove the entire Blue Ridge Parkway for fall one year.


When I was young and walked to school barefoot in the snow, little plastic electric tire pumps hadn’t been invented and people used floor pumps, like for bicycles. One friend’s mom had a fancy foot operated model. These almost never fail, don’t overheat, and may be faster than some of the cheapest electrics. They do warm up the operator, an advantage on sub-zero days. It’s what I use. I use metal valve caps with rubber gaskets and blip the valve to purge it before inflating.


The cars were all late-model, and the makes were so varied that there was no pattern that I could deduce. As to knowing more about the drivers, I’m not sure how I would be able to do that when we are both traveling at 65-75 mph. :wink:

I was as far north as Albany, and I saw no real change of color in the leaves, except for a random part of a random tree here and there. There is absolutely no color change so far in NJ or PA. If those out-of-staters came to this area for fall foliage, they must be very disappointed!


Are you going to tell us you walked uphill both ways . . . ?



Funny story, girlfriend copilot from Chicago to Florida drive, Me, there are sure a lot of Michigan Licence plates…, Next sign Battle Creek 15 miles, we missed the turn at I 65 south. Not as bad as when friends rented an rv to go from Chicago to Mardi Gras, On the way back jokester finished his stint, got off the I and headed south, woke up the next driver, he went 2 hours before realizing he was going the wrong direction.