If you’re wondering, “Can you put air in your tires when it’s raining?” you’ve come to the right place.
It’s always important to keep your tires at the correct pressure, but you need to know when it’s safe to do so.
In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about filling up your car tires when it’s raining.
Is it safe to do?
Should you adjust the pressure when it’s raining? Does rain affect tire pressure?
We’ll cover all of these questions so you can get on the road safely, with the correct tire pressure in rain or shine.
Yes, you can put air in your tires when it’s raining. Rain does not impact the air that is going inside of your tires in a meaningful way.
Understanding tire pressure and the correct level for your car are essential things you need to know before filling up your tires in the rain.
Let’s cover these basics.
Tire pressure is the amount of air that is inside your tires. The most common measurement to check tire pressure is PSI, pounds per square inch.
Many types of tire pressure gauges can tell you what the PSI in your tires is.
You can find ones that have a similar size and shape as a ballpoint pen at most gas stations and convenience stores.
Unscrew the cap on your tire’s air valve, then press the end of the gauge on it. A small measuring stick will shoot out of the gauge, showing the tire pressure.
Each car maker’s engineering and design teams calculate the correct tire pressure.
This is the ideal pressure for your vehicle to handle, brake, and steer as the engineers designed.
You can usually find the correct tire pressure by looking at the driver’s door jamb for a small sticker. It will list the proper cold PSI for your car.
Note: The correct tire pressure is listed in the owner’s manual as well.
Each tire will have a maximum PSI listed on it. This is not the place you should look for the correct tire pressure.
This is simply the maximum pressure and you should not exceed it.
It’s better to use what it says on your driver’s door jamb or in the owner’s manual. That is where you will find the correct tire pressure.
Make sure to check your tires when they are cold. But don’t go running for ice. Cold PSI means that you check your tire pressure before driving long distances.
After your vehicle has been resting for a few hours, you can check the tire pressure.
Ambient air temperature might impact on your pressure, but driving will cause a more significant increase in pressure, due to friction.
Now you know what tire pressure is, how to measure it, and how to get the correct reading. Now let’s talk about what happens when it rains.
Does that have any impact on filling up your tires?
Rain puts additional humidity in the air. Most everyone knows you can’t paint things outside in the rain.
Nor can you enjoy a nice picnic. But what about filling up tires? Can you put air in your tires when it’s raining?
For the most part, rain has no impact on filling up your car tires. You can fill up your tires in the rain.
And if they are not at the right tire pressure, as measured in cold PSI, you should adjust your tires before driving in the rain.
Tip: It’s crucial to ensure your tires have the correct pressure to maintain the best traction possible.
Since filling up car tires requires an air compressor, the air compressor is the one thing that might be worrisome to use in the rain.
Most use a large electrical current, which you do not want to get wet. Also, the interior parts of the air compressor can get damaged if it sucks up water.
So, what should you do?
If you only have a small compressor that uses your car battery, then you will need to be very careful about using it in rainy conditions.
Protect electrical connections so they stay dry. Shield your compressor from the rain.
Tip: You can also use one of the many compressors available throughout most cities and towns, even in rainy conditions.
Nearly every gas station has an air compressor to fill up car tires. They are built to withstand the elements and should be fine to use in rainy weather.
Likewise, almost every mechanic and tire repair shop will have an air compressor too.
If you find that you need to fill up your tires, swing by a shop and ask them to help you out. Most of the time, they will do this for free or for a small fee.
But regardless, if you’re wondering, “Can you put air in your tires when it’s raining?” you now know the answer is, “Yes!”
Now that you know you can put air in your tires when it’s raining, you might wonder, “Does rain affect tire pressure?” Let’s talk about this in more detail.
Many factors can impact air pressure. The one that people experience the most is a change in air temperature.
As the air gets warmer, it expands. When confined to a small space, like inside a car tire, that expansion increases pressure.
The opposite happens when the air cools. It contracts and results in lower tire pressure.
Tip: If you live in an area with large temperature fluctuations, check your tires regularly to ensure they have the correct PSI.
But what about rain, water, and humidity? Does rain affect tire pressure?
The short answer is no, rain does not affect tire pressure. Since your tires are sealed, water in the outside air should not get inside of your tires.
If any changes happen to your tire pressure during rain, it’s likely due to temperature changes.
For example, if it has been hot and a rainstorm passes through, bringing cooler temperatures, the rain might seem like it has caused lower tire pressure.
But this is caused by the change in temperature, not the rain.
Driving in rainy weather can be treacherous. Some places are more so than others, but it’s always wise to drive with caution in rain.
If you live in an area that receives very little rainfall, there will probably be a layer of oil, dirt, and other fluids which may impact your tires’ traction.
The infrastructure might not be well-suited to drainage, leading to large pools of water collection on the roads.
And even if you live in rainy areas, sometimes drainage routes can get blocked. Hitting a pool of water at high speeds can lead to hydroplaning, which causes a lack of control and can result in an accident.
What can you do to make sure you drive safely in the rain? Should you adjust your tire pressure in the rain?
No, you shouldn’t need to adjust your tire pressure just for the rain. Drive a bit more cautiously, especially around turns and while changing speed.
There are some differing opinions out there. Some people say that increasing your tire pressure is good in the rain.
A firmer tire cuts through the water, increasing your ability to contact the road under the water.
It also might allow the water to funnel through the tire channels better.
On the other hand, others argue that decreasing your tire pressure is best. It widens your tire’s footprint, causing increased traction, and improving handling in rainy weather.
Read Next: Where Do Flies Go When It Rain?
Can you put air in your tires when it’s raining? Yes, you can.
If your tires need their pressure adjusted, you can do so even if it’s raining. Just make sure to use the air compressor safely.