How Portable Tire Inflator Works

Being a car accessories seller, you should know how a portable tire inflator works. It’s because a vast majority out there want to know how such products work. So if you can’t answer them, that’s similar to losing a customer.

Moreover, your clients deserve to know the answers relevant to portable car air compressors.

That’s why today we’ll learn how a portable tire inflator works and its need in today’s automobile market.

Now, let’s break down the components of a portable tire inflator to understand how it works.

Electric Motor

The buzzing sound you hear when you turn on the mini car air pump proves that there’s a motor inside. That’s the electric motor which varies in power. Usually, a 12V motor is used in the fastest dual power AC/DC car tire inflator with AC220/110V. That’s the most common type.

Top 10 Benefits to Wholesale Car Tire Inflators

Working on Portable Tire Inflator

To eliminate the confusion, understand that a tire inflator is also known as an air compressor and mini car air pump. You will find these names in the market.

The electric motor inside this car accessory is known as its powerhouse. No component can run without this motor.

When the motor gets power from the source (car’s lighter socket or inflator’s internal battery), it transfers the power to the gears through a shaft. This motor shaft is connected to the gears and provides enough torque to move them.

If the electric motor doesn’t get enough power or the shaft doesn’t rotate, your tire inflator will not work, even if it’s powered on.

Therefore, it’s important to always check the input DC voltage is 12V.

Once the gears get the energy, they transfer it to the piston, which we’ll discuss later.

Besides, some car air pumps have a built-in fan to cool down the accessory. The fan is also connected to the motor’s shaft.


The gears inside a portable car air pump bridge the connection between the motor and the piston. That’s two gears for each component. There might be a third gear that’s connected to the fan, but it varies from model to model.

Now, the electric motor connects one gear while the piston connects the other. Both these gears are interconnected.

So, when you power on the tire inflator, the motor turns its gear which moves the piston through its gearing system.

The same process occurs if there’s a third gear for a cooling fan.

Cylinder and Piston

The cylinder has the piston inside where the real action takes place. You might be wondering what a piston has to do in a tire inflator. Well, compressing air and then sending it to your car tire is done by the very piston.

When the electric motor powers the gears, they move the piston inside the cylinder. First, the cylinder lets in the air by pulling down the piston. Then, once the air is inside, the piston is pushed up.

The piston’s upward movement compresses the air inside the cylinder. After that, the compressed air is passed through a tube that’s connected to the car tire.

The electric motor keeps the piston moving, and the pumping action goes on.


A valve serves a big purpose during the pumping cycle. The piston inside the cylinder will never work without a valve. Why?

A valve allows the air to get inside the cylinder when the piston needs to compress it. Also, the valve prevents the air from entering the cylinder when the piston is already pushed down.

The piston can malfunction if the air gets stuck inside the cylinder when not needed.

Besides, there are several types of a valve:

  • Ball
  • Butterfly
  • Pinch
  • Globe
  • Gate

A globe valve is used with the piston.

Pressure Sensor

A pressure sensor is a small device that measures:

  • How much pressure is available inside a container (tire)
  • How fast inflator is filling the car tire

Also, modern portable tire inflators come with built-in pressure sensors. The sensor displays the pressure on a digital or analog gauge. You can set the tire inflator’s valve, which will automatically stop pumping the tire using the pressure sensor.

Once the gauge reading reaches a threshold, the sensor automatically closes the valve and stops inflating the tire.


Every air pump comes with a connector. You can use it to connect the tire or any other object to be inflated to the inflator.

Usually, a connector is made of rubber and wrapped with a piece of fabric. Modern portable inflators have various tips so that you can use them to inflate different objects like motorcycle tires, kayaks, balls, and more.


There’s a toggle, button, or slider to switch on the tire inflator. It closes the circuit and allows the electric motor to get power.

A switch is the only way to turn on the portable tire inflator.

Types of Tire Inflators

There are three general types of tire inflators:

  • Analog – These are the traditional air pumps that come with an analog pressure gauge. The working mechanism is almost similar. However, the difference lies in how the gauge senses the air pressure.
  • Digital – The digital car inflators are the most modern accessory in this category. They come with a gauge that digitally displays pressure reading. The whole digital system works electronically in these modern inflators.
  • Corded – The corded inflators are inexpensive and come with a cord. You have to connect the cord in the car’s lighter socket to make this thing work.
  • Cordless – The cordless tire inflators work on a battery. You can recharge them once the battery gets low. However, there’s a detachable cord available with these inflators if the battery dies and you are in a dire situation.


Knowing how a portable tire inflator works is important if you are running a car accessory business. It helps your customers determine the product quality they want to buy.

No doubt, portable tire inflators are becoming necessary for today’s drivers and motorists. You can capitalize on this need by partnering with Best Avehicle, a Chinese tire inflator manufacturer.

So get a quotation now and start your journey with the best portable car air pumps.


Hi,I am May, I have been in this car accessories industry in 5 years and I will share you the most valuable information.The purpose of this article is to share with your knowledges related from a Chinese Supplier's Perspective.


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