How to Let Air Out of Car Tires: A Simple Guide

June 13, 2024


How to Let Air Out of a Tire

Whether you've over-inflated your tire or need to reduce pressure for specific driving conditions, knowing how to let air out of a tire is essential. Here we'll provide a step-by-step guide to ensure you do it safely and effectively.

Identifying the Valve

The valve is your first point of reference. Typically located between the spokes near the middle of the tire, it looks like a short tube protruding from the tire, about 1-2 inches (2.5-5.1 cm) long. The cap, which can be black or metal, keeps dirt and dust out of the valve.

Removing the Valve Cap

To start the deflation process, you need to remove the valve cap. Simply rotate the cap counterclockwise to unscrew it, revealing the metallic part of the valve. Be sure to store the cap safely, perhaps in a plastic bag, to avoid losing it.

Checking Tire Pressure

Use a tire pressure gauge to check the current pressure. Attach the gauge to the valve and screw it into place. The gauge will display the tire pressure in pounds per square inch (PSI). Refer to the vehicle or bike’s owner's manual for the recommended PSI. If you don't have a gauge, they are readily available at automotive stores or online.

Letting Air Out

With the valve cap removed and the current pressure checked, use the tip of a screwdriver to press down the metal pin in the center of the valve. Air will start to escape immediately. Alternative tools include needle-nose pliers or any small, thin tool that can apply pressure to the pin. Lift the tool to stop the air flow as needed.

Deflating Vehicle Tires Completely

If you need to deflate vehicle tires completely, it's crucial to jack up the car first to avoid damaging the rotors and tires. Consult your vehicle’s owner's manual for specific instructions on how to jack up your car model safely.

Faster Deflation Method

For quicker deflation, unscrew the metal pin inside the valve using a pair of thin needle-nose pliers. Turn the pin counterclockwise to remove it, which will allow air to escape more rapidly. Make sure to store the pin safely and remember to screw it back into place once you've let out the desired amount of air.

Safety and Practical Tips

Always follow safety guidelines when working with tires to avoid accidents. Keep all small parts, such as caps and pins, in a safe place to prevent misplacement. Using the correct tools and consulting your owner's manual can make the process much easier and safer.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Traffic Dave is on a mission to help traffic engineers, transportation planners, and other transportation professionals improve our world.
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram