Tire inflating from scratch


How do stop the air from leaking around the rim when inflating a totally flat tire?

I put a patch inside the tire but cant re-inflate the tire; the air just rushes past the rims.

I am using a compressor with 50kg on the dial.

Remove the core from the valve stem, and while putting air in the tire, move the tire up and down on the rim.


The obvious answer is to minimize the gap between the tire bead and the rim. Service stations use an air supply that simply overwhelms the opening and forces the gap closed. If Tester’s suggestion doesn’t work, you can try my old approach. I place a strap clamp (think mini-come-along) such as used by furniture makers around the centerline of the tire… tighten it up to the point where the sidewalls begin to expand to where they meet the rim. That should enable the tire to begin to inflate. These are available typically for under $10 and you end up finding many other uses for it around the house.

I did it by applying rubber cement around one side of the rim, then turning it over (in a horizontal position) and holding it while an assistant worked the pump.

Use a piece of rope, tie it in a loop around the tire, put a stick through the loop and rotate it to tighten the rope until the gap closes. Works for my wheelbarrow everytime.

Yep, one of the oldest tried and true methods ever devised. Better known as a tourniquet.

First of all . . it’s easier to inflate with the tire off the car, no weight on it and not flat on the bottom. Maybe a no-brainer, maybe not. Next, get an air supply which can pump it in at a higher pressure. If you can’t get a higher pressure supply, the method suggested by the others (the rope or device around the tire, slowly tightened until you squeeze the tire closer to the rim, almost always works for me . . . automotive, wheelbarrow, riding mower, whatever. Good luck! Rocketman

A racheting tie down strap works well.

A safe idea found on the net is to use a bicycle inner tube to seal the gap on one side to get the bead set. Try googling tire bead set ether to read about a very dangerous third world method. A tire can explode and kill you when using this method. I am afraid to try it.

Ah yes, the old lighter fluid method of rapid expansion. 4 wheelers have been known to use this approach. Takes a bit of skill and a whole lot of bravado.

Here’s my favorite. Spray ether inside the tire, start the compressed air and light the ether. The explosion forces the bead to hit the rim and inflation proceeds from there. I wish I never saw that being done. If you have somebody stand on the wheel, you can lift and turn the tire until the bead grips the top of the rim, let the rest of the tire come down and then try the air. Know a friend who works alone at a gas station. Next idea: A bicycle inner tube partially inflated can be used to cover the gap at the top. Tire soap will make it come out of there when the tire starts to inflate. You might have to pull on it. Don’t let the tire lay on the floor when tire is is removed or the beads will get closer together. Buy the solid rubber donut from J.C. Whitney if they have one.

I just read one thread on a forum where it went off a little too early, cutting someone’s fingers off and leaving them inside the tire! Yeah, no thanks, I’d just bring it to the shop.

Yes, only we used to do it w/starting fluid to seat the bead on tubeless tractor trailer tires. Not reccomended, so I won’t go into the details. One day I was explaining the procedure to a customer hanging out in our shop who happened to be an assistant fire chief in the area. He went off like a Roman candle!

Yes, bicycle innertube method is a good idea. You’ll probably have more success if you lubrcate tube w/dishwashing detergent. Then it will pop out naturally as bead seats. Instead of getting stuck between bead and rim flange. Oh, one more thing- heat up tire by putting it next to oil burner or something like that- makes sidewalls more flexible and forgiving. Don’t set tire on fire!