Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Is it safe to leave a 200 psi air tank in my trunk?

I was wondering if i could keep a 200 psi portable air tank half full in my trunk without worrying about it exploding in the heat or any other bad things. Thanks

All the ones I’ve seen have pressure relief valves to prevent over-pressurization. I have one.

I wouldn’t worry about a portable air tank, but I have worried about scuba tanks with 10 or 15 times that much pressure in them. They can become buzz bombs!

1 Like

As long as the valve is protected, like on a propane tank and there is a high pressure release, you should be fine, saw a co2 tank fall knock the valve off and torpedo through a concrete block wall, was for soda pop in a restaurant.

@8rogan Why keep one in your trunk and why only half full.

What is the pressure rating on the tank. That rating should indicate the safe filling pressure and allow for expansion.

What did I miss? If it is an air tank, how do you get it to 200# and half full? If it was half full, it would be less than 200#. A propane tank I can understand being half full but not an air tank. Most consumer tanks though are more around 100# with a burst pressure somewhere over 200.

200 psi @ 70 degrees F will rise to 228.4 psi if heated to 140 degrees F. I don’t think your tank is in danger of exploding, nor is the spare tire for that matter.

How well do you plan to secure this oxygen tank and the rest of the cargo in your trunk?

When I was a teenager, I worked for a balloon/entertainment company, and we were always nervous driving around with helium tanks in the car, and helium is an inert gas. We were nervous because an exploding (rapid decompressing, not catching on fire) gas tank is something to worry about whether the gas in the tank is a fire hazard or not. Now consider how much of a fire hazard oxygen is…

I wouldn’t do it unless I took several precautions, including installing brackets or straps to hold the tank stationary and securing all other cargo in the trunk to keep it from hitting the tank when the vehicle’s momentum shifts. I would also try to mitigate the risk of the tank being compromised in a rear-end collision by positioning it and the brackets where they are unlikely to take a direct or indirect impact from a collision from any side. I would also make sure you have a fire extinguisher in the car where you can get to it quickly, in a location other than the trunk.

I’m trying to contemplate a scenario where the benefits outweigh the risks, and I can only imagine a couple such scenarios, as in when running out of oxygen might be a matter of life or death. If this is one of those scenarios, I would want to consult an expert in oxygen transport.

OP never mentioned oxygen, he said “air tank”

Yeah, I didn’t want to take for granted that the OP knows the difference.

Oxygen is not flammable.

Fine. If you want to get technical, oxygen merely increases the risk of combustion. An oxygen-rich environment causes everything within it to burn faster and hotter, and can even make some materials burn that are not normally flammable, but it’s not technically flammable.

I’ll go back and amend my statement to call it a mere fire hazard.

That is correct. Oxygen FEEDS a fire.

It’s much more dangerous as a projectile in a crash. Strap it down well.