5 Ways to Air Down Your Tires
Daily Dirt Education Maintenance

5 Ways to Air Down Your Tires

LON-Daily-Dirt-Air DownAiring down to go off-road is an important piece to having a successful day on the trails. We will talk about why and what air pressures to air down to in an upcoming Daily Dirt.


Listed are multiple ways to air down your tires before going off-road:

    1. Stick and Count:  It feels kinda like the Flinstones, but when you don’t have any tools you still have the ability to air-down. Grab a stick or small rock that can penetrate the valve core. Once you press down on the valve core, count to a designated number (for example: 30). Once you hit 30, move onto the next tire and apply the same pressure for the same amount of count time. This will ensure you are airing down equally on all four corners. The downside to this is that you don’t know if you are starting at equal pressures to begin with and you don’t know the final pressure on which you will be driving. 


    1. ladies offroad air downSharp object and Tire Gauge: Now we are getting somewhere! Utilize the same small rock, stick, or (now since we have some tools) a screwdriver or other sharp object to penetrate the valve core. Know the desired air down  pressure, let air out of the tire, and then check it regularly with the tire gauge until desired pressure is achieved. Move to the next tire and repeat. Example of a Tire Gauge 


    1. core removal tool ladies offroad networkValve Core Removal and Tire Gauge: This is probably the scariest way to air down, but certainly the fastest! You can use the back side of your valve stem cap, which has the special valve core removal tip, or a specific valve core removal tool. Simply insert the tool and gently turn (lefty-loosey, righty tighty). The air will immediately start releasing at a high rate of speed. To stop it, re-insert the valve stem and tighten. Check for desired air pressure and repeat. Example of Valve Core Removal Tool  or  the Valve Removal Caps.


Why is this method scary? There are two significant possibilities: You pull the valve stem and you drop it on the ground and get it dirty or worse lose it! It’s a very small item and needs to be clean to be successful. Without a valve stem your tire will not hold air.  OR You pull the valve stem and the strip the threads. If you can’t get the valve stem back in correctly the tire will not be able to hold air.


BFGoodrich Tires Tip:  Did you know that air gauges need to be calibrated?  A cheap air gauge may not show you the exact air pressure that your tires are at professionally.  If you get an air gauge, cheap or expensive, work with your local tire dealership to calibrate it to be exact.


    1. ARB Valve Removal ToolValve Core Removal Tool with Attached Air Gauge:  Now we are getting to specific tools for airing down! This is a specific tool that deflates the tires quickly be removing the valve core, but it is contained in such a way that the top two challenges aren’t an issue.  The deflator functions by removing the valve core from the stem and capturing it within the brass housing. Then you slide a collar - up to release air or down to close the system - and check the air pressure.  It takes a couple times to get the process down, but once you do, it is a great combined option.  Example of Valve Core Removal Tool with Air Gauge 


  1. Coyote Air Deflator Ladies Offroad NetworkAutomatic Tire Deflators: These tiny tools make your world easier and your knees happy! You manually set the tire deflators once to a specific air pressure. After this work is done, from then on, all you have to do is go around to all four valve stems, twist them on, and let them do the work while you manage another piece of your pre-trail checklist.  These types of deflators are spring loaded check valves that have the ability to vary spring pressure for setting different tire pressures.  These deflators come in packs of 2 for motorcycles and 4 for four-wheel drives.  Example of Automatic Tire Deflators
    (Ladies Offroad Network is thankful to Coyote Enterprises for giving us the opportunity to giveaway a set each month of 2017 to a lucky member!)

Charlene Tip:  If you have a habit of setting your tire pressures to different PSI depending on the type of terrain you are running, you can set and mark each of the deflators to a different pressure. It will take longer to air down at the beginning of the day using one deflator for all 4 tires, but you will have different options to make them work for you.



The most important thing about airing down is actually airing back up. You do not want to drive on the paved roads with tires that have been aired down below the recommended pressure. Driving at speed on aired-down tires can cause damage to the tire, and possibly cause a blowout. So, be sure to air those tires back up before returning to the pavement.  We will talk about airing up in an upcoming Daily Dirt!


Author:  Charlene Bower

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