Getting Air Into Tires In Extreme Cold


Well maybe drugs then or payoff money. We know there is a north I35 route, and an east I90 distribution route but I didn’t think it went all the way to NY. There was a huge multi-million dollar bust a few weeks ago though, so maybe they’re moving in an emergency supply.


I remember those.


There’s always at least 1 person to do any darn thing, especially in Florida. Before I introduced the idea everyone in this thread wrote about electrical pumps. I bet, considering setup time, it’s always faster for a few pounds. I’ve stopped neighbors who were about to drive off to the gas station to add air - there’s an even longer time and higher cost.

I used to drive far up dirt roads in national forests. I like to be able to fix anything + not have to worry about running out of gas. And the quiet out there is nice; pumping by hand saves a few minutes of noise.


Don’t speculate: use your hand pump to put a pound or 2 into an auto tire, count the strokes.

I just calculated the volume of my bicycle’s tube at 1.1 dm3, the volume of my pickup’s tire at 45


I doubt your bike tube’s inflated volume is 1.1 cubic feet, let alone 1.1 cubic metres. You’d be hand pumping for days.

Let’s see, a 29erx2.5 has a cross section area of approx. 4.91 sq. in, times a perimeter of 91 inches, I get 447 cubic inches, or about 0.25 cubic feet (.0073 cubic metres). Note that these are pre-coffee numbers.

Here in Vancouver, we get lucky - where gas stations have air supplies, they’re frequently free. Pull up, press a button, get air.


Whoops! You’re right. I meant decimeters… sorry.


Back to cars from bicycle tires and hand pumps.


I think what you’re describing is deafening silence. I grew up in Los Angeles, within earshot of the South Bay Curve–what many describe as the most congested freeway in the US–and with the constant din of the city in the background. But from age 8 until adulthood I spent my summers on my aunt and uncle’s farm in Eastern Montana. 14 miles of gravel road to the nearest town, which had a population of 145. The first few nights there every year were deafeningly quiet, and that’s where I got into the habit of sleeping with the radio on.

Anyway, as far as running an engine to power up an electrical compressor, engines are designed to run, not to sit unused. I see nothing wasteful about using a device for its intended purpose.


This is a good question you have, so what is happening ,is the valve stopper inside the stem freezing
when you do get to a good pump that works , ,the only thing I can think of is to use a portable pump electric type t inflate the tire at home or in a garage then there is those air tanks that are portable also but I never had one of those just the electric pumps .let us know how you made out ?


Yes. Any small leak can reduce the temperature of the escaping air to below the freezing point of water and that prevents the valve from completely closing.

This can happen as high as 37 degrees F, so I don’t add air to any tire below 40 degrees F except inside the garage. I also inflate the tires to about 5 psi more to account for the lower temperatures in winter. Some folks ought to be doing that now!


The intended purpose of an automobile engine is to move an automobile, not to power a radio or a dash light or a compressor; it’s like using a sledge hammer on a fly.


When a fly swatter isn’t handy but a sledgehammer is and would complete the job, would you refuse to use it because it’s not the exact correct tool?


Ah- Yes. Destroy wall with sledgehammer or let the fly live another day. I choose the later.



I never knew about the 37* freezing thanks on that.


Mike, do you have no control over your muscles? Is every hammer whack at full force? Can you wait until the fly lands somewhere else or do you need to whack it immediately when it’s on a delicate surface? Seems you need to work on your self-control :wink: AND, the idea of an ANALOGY


There are very few free air places around here anymore. The story I have heard is that people would mess up the hose and such by leaving them on the ground where they filled their last tire. They just get driven over and air hoses can be like $50 to replace if you get a decent one. So, people got sick of paying good money because people were lazy and left the hose just laying there and went to pay air stations.

From what I understand some third party, often a charity, operates these. They maintain the unit and fix any problems and then get a cut of what is left over.

I see nothing wrong with electric pumps. This is a convenience factor for me. Often when I drive a vehicle I don’t use often such as for camping, I will be filling the tire with an electric pump while loading up gear. I check between loads to make sure I am not overfilling. Yes, I may waste a tiny bit of gas running a 200hp engine to fill a tire but my time is worth something.


I ran my own shop for 8 years. It was a large 3 bay service station, complete auto repair and 2 large gas islands out front. I had what must have been the last free air and water dispenser in that part of town. I had people say so. The trouble is half the people appreciated it, the other half who were too cheap the $1 at other places bought their gas elsewhere to save .05/gallon but came to use my air hose, threw the gage down and drove over the hose on the way out. One year figured out it between replacing the inflator/gauge, repairing or replacing the hose, and repairing/replacing the retractor reel it was costing me an average of $30/month to provide free air. Once I did the math I couldn’t get the pay dispenser installed fast enough.


Ehh, I disagree in this day and age. It’s not the 1920’s anymore. The engine is there to power the car as a whole, that means to provide motion, provide heat and A/C, and support all the items that provide comfort and safety. If the engine needs to run to provide power for the built-in wifi, heated seats, navigation system, and yes, electric tire inflators that are standard equipment in many cars now, so be it. In the lifespan of hundreds of thousands of miles and thousands of clock hours that the engine will run, the wear and tear and waste of operating it for a few minutes to power an ancillary device is beyond miniscule.


I used the free air pump at the store near me yesterday. And of course the hose and gauge were on the ground. I put them on the hanger after I was done, it really was not that difficult.


I agree with @asemaster. Engines in vehicles provide power for all kinds of things. The carpet cleaning company that comes to our house to do the carpets runs the suction pump off s power takeoff on the engine of its van. I had insulation blown into the walls of my previous house. The blower for the insulation ran off a power takeoff on the truck. The engine ran all day while the insulation was being blown in. The pump on a pumper fire truck runs from the fire truck’s engine.
I have seen buses where the air conditioning system is powered by a separate engine. That may be the best system for a bus, but I wouldn’t want a separate engine to run the accessories on my car.