How to let air out of tires

Written by douglas quaid
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How to let air out of tires
Deflate your tires for better off-road handling. (off-road vehicle image by goce risteski from

Letting some of the air out of your tires before riding off-road will improve a vehicle's performance and handling. Deflated tires lay flatter on the ground, and, as a result, have more surface area to grip the road. The extra traction makes it easier to drive on surfaces like rocks, dirt, mud and snow without getting stuck. Properly aired-out tires also are less prone to blowing out if you drive over a rock or other sharp object. According to 4x4 Tire Review, optimal tire pressure for off-road driving will change depending on the surface and conditions.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Tire pressure gauge
  • Key or small screwdriver (optional)

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  1. 1

    Unscrew the black plastic cap from the tire valve. The little plastic cap is easy to lose. Keep it in your pocket while you're deflating the tire.

  2. 2

    Fit the nozzle of the tire pressure gauge over the valve. Tilt it until the pin in the valve is depressed but air is allowed to escape. You will hear a hissing sound as air escapes from the tire. Alternatively, use a metal key, small screwdriver or similar object to depress the pin in the valve. Any object you can use to depress the pin without covering the whole valve will work.

  3. 3

    Periodically check the tire pressure using the gauge to ensure you don't deflate the tire too much.

  4. 4

    Screw the valve cap back on, and repeat for the other three tires.

  5. 5

    Let the air out of your tires permanently by stabbing the sidewall of the tire with a sharp, sturdy knife.

Tips and warnings

  • Always reinflate the tires to the vehicle's recommended PSI before returning to the road. Driving on pavement with underinflated tires carries a high risk of tire damage and wastes gas.

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