How to Take Air Out of a Car Tire: A Beginner’s Guide

By My Automotive Zone | Tire Pressure Gauge

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Many drivers wrongfully think that by over inflating their car tires they’ll have more fuel efficiency. They have the misconception that overinflated tires increase the speed of the car at a decreased fuel consumption rate. While this could be true, it also creates a dangerous situation as it reduces the performance of the vehicle. 

Read on to learn more!

The Danger Posed by Overinflated Tires

Air pressure that exceeds the manufacturer’s optimum level pushes the inner walls of the tire excessively. This causes the walls of the tire to become stiffer than usual. Consequently, the traction of the tire is reduced, affecting the car’s ability to come to a halt quickly when brakes are applied.

Overinflated tires tend to wear out unevenly, especially along the centerline. What happens is that you’ll have a bumpier ride, feeling every dip on the road. For your safety, always strive to have the recommended air pressure level as embossed on the sidewall.

Apart from removing air from overinflated tires, there are other reasons why you may want to remove air. These include replacing the tube and any puncture repairs. Regardless of the reason, here’s a guide on how to go about it.

However, there are exceptions to overinflated tires. Some vehicle manufacturers may recommend higher pressure when carrying heavy loads or towing. Nevertheless, ensure you heed the recommended air pressure for both front and rear tires when carrying heavy loads.

The Process

Before you get started, ensure you have a flat-head screwdriver and a tire pressure gauge. You can acquire a tire pressure gauge from any auto parts store.

Step 1

Begin by locating the valve on the tires. Usually, it’s located in-between the spokes in the middle of the tire. It resembles a small tube protruding from the tire and has a metal cap at its protruding end. The purpose of the cap is to prevent dust and dirt from getting into the valve.

Step 2

Next, rotate the cap anticlockwise to remove it from the tube. Put it away safely to avoid losing it. Once open, you’ll notice a metal pin at the center of the valve.

Step 3

This involves checking the pressure level of the tire using a pressure gauge. Attach the pressure gauge to the valve and fix it firmly in place. Once properly attached, it will give you a reading of the tire’s pressure per square inch (PSI).

Check if this is the recommended manufacturer’s pressure. For this step, ensure that the tires are already cooled. If the PSI is higher than recommended, move on to the next step.

Step 4

Using a flat-head screwdriver, press the pin at the center of the valve inward. Alternatively, or in case you don’t have a screwdriver, use a pair of needle-nose pliers. A small thin tool will also serve the purpose.

Upon being pressed inward, the pin will let out air through the valve. Lift the tool you’re using off the pin once you’ve let out enough air. Confirm that you’ve reached the recommended air pressure using the pressure valve. 

Remember to screw the cap back on the valve one you get the correct air pressure.

What to Do When Deflating all Tires

When in a situation where you have to deflate all four tires, something extra is required. You should jack up your car. Missing this vital step can lead to damage to the rotors and tires. Locate the jack point at the side of the car, and using the lever, jack up the car.

Safety Precautions When Jacking Your Car

Jacking up a car is a relatively straightforward process, but it can sometimes go wrong and compromise your safety. Ensure you take safety precautions by ensuring the car is parked on a hard-flat surface. If by any bad luck the car rolls or slips off the jack, it’ll most likely not give way.

Next, check the wheels using wedge-shaped metal or rubber blocks made for this purpose. Place them at the opposite end of the wheel you intend to lift. Double-check the car to ensure the vehicle is in “parking” mode.

Slide the jack under the jack point with the correct side facing up. The base of the jack is wide and flat, while the upward-facing arm points towards the body of the car.

Raise the jack to get the car off the ground. Stop when there’s enough clearance for you to deflate the tires. Be on the lookout for sounds that suggest the jack has shifted out of position.

Deflating the Tires

Once the car is safely lifted into the air, unscrew all the tire valves. Using a long pair of needle-nose pliers, get a hold of the metal pin inside the valve and turn it counterclockwise. Ensure the pliers are at least 5 inches long for a clean job.

Turning the pins makes the deflation process faster as opposed to pressing them down.

As a tip, when your car gets stuck in mud or sand, deflating the tires will do the trick. In this situation, though, you’ll release about half the air in the tire. Remember to replace the lost air as soon as possible when back on track.

Final Thoughts

Automobile tires should always be maintained at their recommended air pressure levels for optimum operation. You can check the correct amount of pressure recommended on the sidewall of the tire. During certain times, you’ll adjust the pressure of the tire upwards or downwards for specific reasons.

For example, if you get stuck in mud or sand, deflating the tires would help you get unstuck quicker. However, it’s essential that you get the deflation process right lest you tamper with the car’s safety.

The process of deflating tires is straightforward. Locate the valve of the tire and uncap it. Press down on the pin at the center and release the excess amount of air.

Remember to always to use the pressure gauge to determine the correct pressure level. Taking care of tire pressure means a longer life span for the tires. 

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