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When driving a car, there are times when it makes sense to deflate the car tires and let the air out to improve performance or make a mechanical change.

If you lack automotive experience, deflating a car tire and letting air out could seem like a complicated task. Luckily, it is quite easy, and tires are designed with specific features for fast inflation and deflation.

To deflate a car tire and let the air out, you must locate the valve stem and push down on the metal valve stem pin. This will start to release air from the tire, but if you plan to deflate the tire completely, you should first use a car jack to raise that wheel off the ground.

A car tire should be inflated to the manufacturer's recommended pressure, typically found on a sticker on the driver's side door frame or in the owner's manual. If a tire has too much air pressure, it will wear out faster and may even explode. This is one reason you might let the air out, and this guide will show you how to deflate car tires correctly.

A tire gauge is the most accurate way to check a tire for proper inflation, which is an important skill to learn. We have tested various tire deflation techniques and included them below for you to try.

Table of Contents

How To Deflate Car Tires (Let Air Out)

Deflating a car tire and letting air out may sound crazy at first, but there are reasons why this might be necessary. Luckily, it is a simple process and only requires a few steps, depending on the reason.

Car tires are filled with air, and it's important to keep them inflated. When you see a tire that is low on air, it has lost some of its pressure. If you don't let the air out, the tire may burst or blow out when you drive your car.

When you are using a car, you need to keep your tires inflated. This is because the car's tires are filled with air, which helps maintain balance and steering.

When the air is gone, it will be difficult for you to steer or balance your car, and it may even lead to an accident. However, there are issues with driving on tires that are over inflated too.

Letting the air out of a car tire is easy if you know how to do it. You should also turn off your car's engine to prevent accidental damage.

Steps To Deflate Car Tires To Vehicle’s Recommended PSI

It is much easier to deflate the car tires and let some air out slightly. This is done to reach the recommended PSI level for your car for improved driving and durability. The steps to do so are listed below.

1. Locate Valve Stem

Before doing anything, you need to locate the valve stem on the tire. It will have a small cover that can be removed and kept in a safe place because you will need it again later.

2. Use a Pressure Gauge To Get PSI Reading

We recommend using a pressure gauge first to see the current PSI reading on your tire. This will help you determine how much pressure should be let out of the tire to reach the desired level.

3. Press Valve Stem Pin

You can use a screwdriver to press the metal valve stem pin to start letting the air out. When doing this, you will hear a hissing noise, which means air is released from the tire.

4. Check PSI Level Again

After you finish, recheck the PSI level with the pressure gauge to see if the tire is inflated properly.

5. Repeat Until You Reach Your Desired PSI Level

If you did not let enough air out, you could repeat the same process again until you reach your desired PSI level.

6. Seal The Valve Stem

Finally, seal the valve stem with the valve stem cap.

Steps To Let Air Out And Fully Deflate Car Tires

If you have to replace the tire, wheel, or rim, it is much easier to do so by fully deflating the car tire first. We have listed the steps you should follow below to do this quickly and safely without any issues.

1. Jack Your Car Up

Because you need to deflate the tire fully, it is much easier to jack your car up off the ground before even getting started.

2. Locate The Valve Stem

Next, you can locate the valve stem again on the side of the tire, and the cap can be removed and put in a safe place.

3. Unscrew The Metal Pin

Some prefer to press the metal valve stem pin until the tire deflates, but it can take a while. Instead, we recommend using a screwdriver to remove the metal pin from the tire.

4. Allow Tire To Deflate

When taking this approach, you will notice the tire will deflate much faster, and you can simply wait for it to finish without doing anything.

5. Screw The Pin Back Into The Valve Stem

After the tire is deflated, it is best to screw the metal pin back into the valve stem before removing the tire.

6. Remove The Tire

Finally, you can remove the tire from the car to perform whatever replacement or repairs that are required.

Why Would You Let Air Out And Deflate Car Tires?

There are many reasons why someone would want to let the air out of their car tires. Air pressure in a tire can be measured in pounds per square inch (PSI). A few issues or unique driving scenarios require less tire pressure if the PSI is too high.

The three primary reasons why this might be necessary include overinflated tires, wheel replacements, or driving through ice, sand, or snow.

Tires Are Overinflated

You should inflate your tires to the PSI level recommended by your vehicle's manufacturer. If you think that your tires are overinflated, you can let some air out to reach the proper PSI level.

This is important because driving on overinflated tires leaves you more susceptible to road hazards and damage. The tire is too stiff to handle a pothole or bump efficiently, which can lead to flats or punctures.

Wheel Replacement

Another reason you might need to deflate your car tires is to change them or replace the wheels. It is easier to do so when the tire has been deflated.

The same applies when changing the tire rims. You need to release the air from the tire to relieve pressure from the tire bead and the rim so a change can happen.

Otherwise, you risk permanently damaging the tire, wheel, and rim by using too much force.

Stuck Or Driving In Ice, Sand, or Snow

If you are driving on a softer surface like sand or snow, extra tire pressure can only hinder your vehicle’s performance. Deflating the tire and letting some air out is the best way to maximize your tire traction.

It is recommended to drive on your tires about 15 PSI below the recommended levels on sand to create a larger contact patch. This allows for better grip, so you reduce your risk of getting stuck.

How To Deflate Car Tires (Let Air Out)

About The Author

Charles Redding

Charles Redding

I've spent many years selling cars, working with auto detailers, mechanics, dealership service teams, quoting and researching car insurance, modding my own cars, and much more.

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