Whether you are into off-roading, driving on the beach, or other forms of tough driving, being able to control your tire PSI is incredibly important.
One way in which you can do this is by using a tire deflator, but what exactly are they? Here is all you need to know!
What Is A Tire Deflator?
A tire deflator is a tool that lets you lower the pressure in your tires to your desired level quickly and accurately. This process is also referred to as airing down your tires. There are several different types of tire deflators that work in different ways and are available in a wide range of price points depending on quality and efficiency.
To learn more about tire deflators, including how they work, how to use them, why you would need one, and more, keep reading!
Why Do People Deflate Their Tires?
A less rigid tire provides more grip and traction because it is more bendable and therefore more capable of wrapping around the road.
Deflating the tire lowers the air pressure, so it becomes softer and increases grip (due to more surface area), which is why it’s popular among off roaders.
On the rugged surfaces that make up off-road tracks, having a softer tire lets you keep your car moving forward and in a straight line.
A tire with less pressure also provides a smoother ride because it absorbs the shocks from the road more effectively than a rigid tire would.
This makes the airing down of tires popular among normal everyday drivers who don’t mind losing the extra bit of control on harder tires for the much more comfortable ride of a less inflated one.
How Does A Tire Deflator Work?
There are three primary groups of tire deflators categorized by how they work, but they all have to do with the valve because it’s what keeps air from escaping and lowering tire pressure.
One group works by being screwed onto the valve and depressing the valve core, at which point the air pressure must overpower a spring to let the air out.
These types work very fast at high pressures and slow down as the pressure gradually lowers.
Others work by removing the valve core from the valve stem, and some in this group catch and hold the valve core and let you monitor the pressure.
Another group of tire deflators works by completely avoiding the stock parts as well as the secondary valve stems you might have fitted onto your wheels.
These ones have holes in the body of the valve stem underneath the core that lets out air at a high rate when you uncover it and are, therefore, the fastest-acting ones of the bunch.
How To Use A Tire Deflator?
From the section above, we can see that different tire deflators are made to work differently despite having the same function.
However, the most common type is the second kind that pulls out the valve stem, holds it, and lets you fit it back on, all while monitoring the tire pressure.
To do this method, start by tightening the screw that’s closer to the end onto the valve stem, then use the screw closest to you to loosen it and release the valve.
Side note: the below video walks you through how to air down your tires.
Make sure you undo it all the way, so it works more effectively, otherwise you’ll be letting air at a very slow rate.
Slide the collar up to release air and down to stop, and use the gauge to monitor the pressure until it’s where you need it.
When you’re done, you can put the valve back on using the first screw since it’s still held in there, and this makes the whole process more of a breeze since you don’t have to keep track of the valve yourself.
What Is The Fastest Way To Deflate A Tire?
You can deflate a tire very quickly by removing the valve using a pair of pliers, but we don’t recommend this because it happens so fast that you might not be able to catch it at the point where you need it, and you’ll end up with a flat.
You should use a tire deflator because it gives you more control on how much air you let out, and you can use the gauge to monitor pressure.
Are Tire Deflators Necessary?
Tire deflators are necessary for situations where you need to bring your tire pressure down, such as when you’re going to be driving off-road or when you need to reduce how bumpy the tires make your ride.
If you’re regularly on the freeway, you should avoid reducing your tire pressure because the bendability makes tires harder to control.
To know more, you can also read our posts on what PSI should tire be, how much does it cost to rotate tires, and overinflated tires.
A tire deflator lets you reduce your tire’s pressure quickly but more effectively than trying to do it by hand.
Their tire-softening function is preferred by offroaders because it increases grip and traction, and by regular drivers because it makes the tire able to absorb shocks better, delivering a smoother ride.
People that regularly drive on freeways should probably avoid using tire deflators because a softer tire is harder to control.
There are three types of tire deflators that work by interacting in different ways with the valve and this affects their speed, efficiency and ease of use.
A tire deflator that holds onto the valve while in use and also has a gauge is the best option for most people because it’s easy to use and lets you monitor pressure in real time.