This is for all people out there who are too afraid to ask, how do you fill up air in tires? It seems simple enough, but if you’ve never done it before you may start sweating and freaking out. Today, I’ll be going over everything you need to know about how to fill up your Tesla tires with air. Please note that I am not a car mechanic, but I am a Tesla and car enthusiast, so I’ve learned some things along the way. If you’d like to see this all in action, check out my Youtube video I posted on this:
how to fill up air in tires

Tesla Tires are Different

Tesla tires that are from the factory all come with foam inside, in order to reduce road noise

This is why if you ever have to repair your tire in an emergency (see blog post), using slime and tire sealant is a last case scenario, because the slime or sealant ruins the foam inside, which makes a tire replacement a must.

Check Tire Pressure

If you see this icon in your car, this means that your tire pressure is low. Take your car to get air asap. With the heavy weight of the Tesla, having low air decreases handling and it’s not safe.

low tire pressure icon
Low Tire Pressure

In order to check your tire pressure while you’re driving, go to your Tesla screen and tap “service.” You can also check on your Tesla phone app. However, this doesn’t work when your Tesla is parked, which is why I recommend purchasing a separate tire pressure monitor. I keep tire pressure gauge from Amazon in my glove box.

tire pressure tesla
Tire Pressure

What should your tire pressure be?

If you look at your door jamb on the driver side, you’ll see the recommended tire pressure for your car with cold tires. Cold tires means that the car hasn’t been driven for a few hours, and is parked in moderate temperatures. 

Tesla tire pressure typically ranges from 40-45 psi depending on your model. If you have a performance model, your front and rear tires may have different tire pressures. 

recommended tire pressure
Cold Tire Pressure

For the Long Range Tesla Model Y, the cold tire pressure is 42 PSI. Now there’s no official rule on this, but by the time you get to your destination, your tires should have warmed up, so you’re looking into adding ~3-5 PSI, on top of the recommended cold tire pressure.

For example, if my Tesla model Y recommended cold tire pressure is 42 PSI, then adding an additional 3-5 PSI, I fill up my tires to ~45-47 PSI

There are many factors that alter tire pressure, including driving, weather, and time. Also, there are other factors such as ride quality, handling, and tire wear that are affected by the tire pressure.

  • If you over inflate the tires, it can cause uneven wear. 
  • If you under inflate the tires, it will make the ride slightly smoother. However, avoid under-inflating them too much, because it can be dangerous

For my long range Tesla Model Y,  I try to keep my tire pressure at ~46 PSI for better handling and efficiency.

It’s important to monitor the tire pressure because on super hot road trips and after driving for hours, my Tesla model Y tires PSI went up to 50. For many tires, the maximum PSI is 50 (seen on actual tires). If the tire pressure gets too high, the tires are at risk of popping

Nitrogen vs Air

There’s different types of air to put in your tires. I won’t go into too much detail about this, but Costco inflates your tires with nitrogen.

Nitrogen 

  • Typically if you see a green hose with possibly a green cap, it’s nitrogen. 
  • Nitrogen is more expensive air because the belief is that the tires won’t lose air as much with nitrogen, compared to regular air. However, some tests have shown that after a year of regular air vs nitrogen, the difference in PSI was only 1.3, which is not much.
  • So don’t fret if your car isn’t filled with premium nitrogen versus regular air at gas stations.
  • Also, they state it is okay to mix nitrogen and regular air tires.

How To Fill Up At Costco (Nitrogen)

 Most Costco warehouses have free air filling stations that are located outside of the Tire Center, so you can do it yourself. 

Step 1) Remove all valve stem caps off all 4 tires

Place the caps in your pocket (or another safe location). 

The valve stem caps helps prevent damage to the valve stem, as well as reducing air loss

tire valve stem cap
Remove valve stem cover (twist)

Step 2) Determine your desired tire pressure 

Look at your door for the recommended cold tire pressure, then add an additional 3-5 PSI.

Step 3) Input your desired PSI

In the air filling station,  use the plus or minus sign to input your desire PSI.

air filling station
Input desired PSI

Step 4)  Obtain the Air hose and attach the locking hose clamp to the tire

Let’s talk about this complicated looking locking hose clamp at Costco. There’s an inner metal piece that goes over the valve stem, and an outer piece has to be pushed all the way upwards to lock it in. If you don’t push the outer piece far up enough, it will retract, and air will go everywhere.

With one hand, get the hose and the locking hose clamp, and align it with the tire

With your other hand, push the outer metal piece all the way forward, and the air will automatically come out and fill your tires. 

It will automatically stop, once the tire reaches the pressure inputted in step 3. I have found that sometimes the inflator stops too early so after it stops, I’ll just do it again one more time 

tire inflator locking hose clamp
Push outer metal piece forwards to lock
tire inflator nitrogen
Automatically stops

Step 5) Repeat with all 4 tires

Don’t forget to replace the valve stem caps once you’re all done

Also, if you ever need to bleed air out of your tires to decrease the PSI, just put the silver piece on, but not all the way with the machine OFF, and the air will come out

How To Fill Up Air At a Gas Station

Most gas stations have air filling stations that are free to use. 

Step 1)  Remove all 4 valve stem caps and place them somewhere safe 

Step 2) Turn on the air 

free air
Turn on Air

Step 3) Obtain the air hose and attach the locking hose clamp to the tire

Step 4) Monitor tire pressure gauge until it reaches desired PSI

Some older style tire inflators have a metal design, which shows a rudimentary air pressure guide. However, it helps to have a digital tire pressure gauge for a more accurate tire pressure reading.

air filling tire inflator
Monitor Tire Gauge

Step 5) Remove locking hose clamp and air hose 

Step 6) Double check tire pressure with digital tire pressure gauge 

Step 7) Repeat in all tires

Don’t forget to replace the valve stem caps once you’re all done

How to Fill up Air at Home (Portable Air Compressor)

This is the easiest. There are many portable air compressors that you can purchase. Each one is slightly different, but the basic concepts are the same.

Today I’m using the Tire Inflator VL758, which is sold on Amazon (for 20% on Amazon, use discount code: XO9VVVO5)

Step 1) Remove all 4 valve stem caps

Place them in a safe location (ex your pocket). 

Step 2) Connect the Portable Air Compressor to a standard outlet or 12V 

Step 3) Open the black tab

The tab should be facing towards you, which means it is open (pictured below).

portable air compressor
Tab is open

Step 4) Insert the tire chuck into the valve stem

Step 5) Close the black tab and turn on the air 

filling air in tires with portable compressor
Turn on air

Step 6) Double check tire pressure with digital tire pressure gauge 

Step 7) Repeat in all tires & replace stem caps

tire pressure gauge
Double check with digital tire pressure gauge

Disclaimer: I am not a car mechanic, and this is not professional advice. This is for entertainment purposes only, please seek advice from your local mechanic or tire center for your specific situation. The opinions and views expressed on this blog are solely personal, Everyday Chris.  Everyday Chris is not affiliated with or endorsed by Tesla. It is neither inferred nor implied that products recommended by Everyday Chris nor recommendations given by Everyday Chris are authorized by or in any way connected to Tesla. This post contains affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read full Terms & Conditions for more information.

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