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Many people who own bikes have all the tools you could ever imagine and seemingly only one way to use them. When it comes to something like your bike pump, many people often wonder if you can use your bike pump to pump up a car tire.

To see if this is possible or effective, we will need to understand the different types of bike pumps out there and how each one is designed to work. Once we understand the bike pump, we can then see if you can use one to inflate a car tire. 

Can You Pump Up A Car Tire With A Bike Pump?

Trying to see if you can inflate a car tire with a bike pump is not something that can be easily answered.

In most cases and with most bike pumps, yes, you technically could use a bike pump to inflate a car tire.

However, that is far too much of a generalization to make most readers happy.

Most standard bike pumps do have the capacity to inflate a car tire, but that doesn’t mean you should turn to your bike pump anytime your car’s tires get low.

For a wide number of reasons that we will look further into, trying to inflate your car tire with a bike pump requires much more understanding of your particular situation.

Types Of Bike Pumps


Many bicyclists will be familiar with these small pumps that you can attach to a bag or even to your bike frame. These little pumps are great for when you need to top up your tires or need a pressure adjustment on the go. When it comes to convenience, the portable bike pump is king.

With these units measuring in at around 8 inches, you are not going to want to use these styles of pumps to inflate a car tire. Not only are they not accurate enough to measure a car tire’s pressure, but you would literally have to pump hundreds or thousands of times to actually inflate the car tire. These bike pumps will not inflate your car tire.

Full-Sized Manual

Where the line between a pump that is only suitable for bike tires and one that can help with car tires because to get blurry is with fully sized pumps. These are the tall and thin pumps that you see at every bike store and are meant to be kept in the garage. The larger size and range of motion of these pumps makes them ideal for getting air into new tires on your bike.

As far as using these pumps on your car tires go, it is possible. Unlike the tiny portable pump, you may actually be able to increase your car tire pressure a little bit with a standard manual pump. Granted, it will still take you over 100 pumps to put a noticeable amount of pressure into your car tires. 


The last style of bike pump on the market is the electric bike pump. While not all of these pumps are marketed specifically towards bikers, most of them can be found in the garage’s pf active cyclists. These pumps are great when you need a tire to be filled up fast and don’t want to waste time por energy getting it filled up. 

With nearly all electric pumps, they will be great at filling up a car tire. In fact, most people buy an electric pump to use for their car and find that it is also a great way to inflate bicycle tires. An electric pump has the power and air speed to get your car tire filled up about as fast as you need it to. 

How Long Would It Take To Inflate A Car Tire With A Bike Pump?

While this question should never try to be answered for the sake of energy or sanity, there are ways to estimate how long it would take to fill a car tire with a standard bicycle pump. Let’s assume we are using the standard manual pump for this experiment as that is what most bikers use. 

If you wanted to inflate a car tire from flat to drivable with a bicycle pump, it would take an estimated 100-350 pumps and an intense rate to pump up a single car tire, depending on the type. If you are looking for a seriously intense workout, that’s one way to do it. 

Here’s a video as an example, showing about 230 pumps to fill a small tire:

Where To Be Careful

If you want to use a bike pump to fill up your car’s tires, the thing you need to be careful of is making sure you have the right adapter. While most bike and car tires use the same standard plug, there are some bike tires that use a unique plug design and won’t allow you to use that pump on a car tire. 

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