Gas Station Air Pump Deflating Tire (Why And How To Fix It)

It is called a common problem. Many RVers are reporting that they are experiencing deflation when they try to inflate their tires at a gas station air pump. It seems to happen to a lot of RV owners yet it is not often a much talked about problem.

If this does happen to you, then there are several sources for the problem. One, you did not set the correct pressure level when filling your tire. Two, you have a valve or cap leak, and three, the pump is defective and you need to change gas stations.

To learn more about this topic just continue to read our article. It explores the topic so you can have the steps available to avoid this problem and inflate your tires without losing any air.

Can Gas Station Air Pumps Deflate Tires?


It seems that this is a possibility and many Rvers are reporting it happening to them. They are not always sure of the cause but there is more to this issue than meets the eye. It is not like the gas station pumps are designed to remove air while filling the tire.

There are other factors involved that you may not be aware of. First, the most important factor would be a leaky tire valve or bad valve cap. If the valve leaks, then it is quite possible for the tire to lose more air than it is receiving.

You would have to spray soapy water all over the valve to see if any air bubbles appear. If they do, then you need to go to a tire repair shop and get the valve replaced.

Another factor would be that the air pump is defective and does not blow the air into your tire at a rate strong enough to stop the interior air from escaping. Or the pump is not strong enough to push the needed amount of air into the tire.

Some Rvers are running 105 to 110 psi or more on some of their rigs and certain pumps cannot handle that high pressure. The result is deflation instead of inflation.

Sometimes, user error plays a role in losing air in one’s tires. Not everyone knows how to attach the nozzle to the valve and they end up letting out more air than they put in.

It happens even though it is a very foolproof system.

Why is The Pump Taking The Air Out Of My Tire?


It is not the pump that is taking the air out of your tire. These pumps only work in one direction and can only fill a tire with air, that is when they are working properly.

However, over time, too much use, bad weather, and other factors the system can break down a little and the pump does not function correctly. When that happens more air can escape than is released into the tire.

When the pump is defective just about anything can happen including not getting any air out of the machine. Then a majority of these machines are designed in a way that you have to input the amount of air pressure you need.

If you dial in the wrong psi number, you may not get enough air to inflate your tire, The end result is more air escaping and you have to redo your work. Finally, there is a more serious source for this problem.

As you pump air into your tire, keep your ear listening for escaping air. You may have picked up a nail somewhere along in your journey and the hole is too big to keep any air in your tire.

If it is not a nail, it could be a glass shard or some other tire-puncturing debris that was laying on the road when you drove over it.

Gas Station Air Pump Deflating Tire Solutions


1. Look for nails and debris in your tires. This is a common source for this problem and you may have to pull the tire off to make a complete check to see if it is the problem.

2. Check for wear and tear on your tire- you may have over-pressurized or under-pressurized your tires and the result has been key areas have worn down so much the tire cannot contain the air. This is a time you would have to replace the tire.

Also, if the tire has been damaged or the seal between the tire and rim may have been broken then you will lose air even if you are inflating the tire. Replace the tire in this case as well or try to reseal the tire to the rim.

3. Inspect your valve and valve cap for loose parts or lack of threading. These parts may be small and insignificant but they play a large role in protecting your air pressure.

Make sure to tighten the valve stem so no air gets out. Then check the cap to see if its threads were stripped or not. If so, replace the valve cap. There is one way that the gas station machine can release air from your tire.

If you over-inflate your tire, often the nozzle has a little notch on the back. When you have too much air in your tire, you just turn the nozzle over and use the notch to depress the valve stem.

This will let out the air and it is all under your control. You can stop the deflation at any time. Your tire pressure gauge will have this notch as well.

Some Additional Words

Generally, it is not the machine that is doing the deflation. It is a certain set of circumstances that have come together at the right time and have caused this loss of air pressure.

It doesn’t take much to correct the problem. To avoid it altogether, you can buy your own high-powered air compressor and skip the gas stations’ air pumps. However, this won’t stop some of the deflation factors.

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