When starting as an off-roading enthusiast in UAE, you will come to hear about deflating your tyres, and setting your tyres to the right tyre pressure is one of the first things you will need to learn to master. The main reason for deflating your tyres is to obtain a longer footprint in the sand, and that enables you to drive on the sand, instead of digging into it.
Tyre pressure is defined in PSI (pounds per square inch) or Bar. You will find both readings on your pressure gauge. In UAE most people use PSI, and the gas station compressors also use the PSI identification.
Below you can see the corresponding PSI and Bar readings.
As a beginner level offroader, you should reduce your tyre pressure to about 15 PSI. This is low enough to enable you to drive in the dunes without the risk of the tyre coming off the rim. This 15PSI is also perfect for on-road-tyres.
After a few drives, and depending on the terrain, or if you have offroad tyres, you can slowly deflate further down to 10-12 PSI. Take note that the risk for having a pop-out will increase, so don't be afraid to post your questions on the Carnity website or consult one of the marshals if you are not sure about your tyre pressure.
There are different ways of deflating your tyres, and each have their advantages and disadvantages. The more you will practice, the sooner you will find out what works best for you.
How does a stem valve looks like ?
The stem valve is consisting out of 3 pieces. The body, that is made of flexible rubber, the core, and the valve cap. Take note of the following:
- The rubber valve body wears out over time. Once you start to see cracks, it is advisable to get it replaced at the nearest tyre center.
- The valve core is a tiny component with a small rubber gasket. If you remove them on a weekly basis, the gasket slowly wears out or the core can even break. Carry 5-10 spares in your vehicle. The tyre center often give them for free.
- The valve cap keeps dirt and sand from entering into the valve, so it's advisable to always screw the cap back on.
The process of deflating / inflating goes by either pushing in the valve core, which allows air to be released, or by removing the valve core, which is a much faster option.
How to check the tyre pressure ?
Verifying your tyre pressure is really easy. Get yourself a pressure gauge, and push it against the tyre valve, or screw it on (depending on the model). You will see the reading in PSI or Bar.
The digital ones are fine, but one day the battery will be empty, so a good old analogue is preferred to have as well.
PS if you find that your gauge has difficulties reading the tyre pressure, and you really need to push it hard onto the valve, this is an indication that the valve core is worn out. Replace it with a new one and you will see that this will solve your problem.
Which tools to deflate and how much time will it take ?
1) Set of keys, a rock, or anything you might find in your car (+/- 15 mins)
PROS: CHEAP and plenty of stuff available
CONS: Takes a very long time which you could use for a smoke or a chat and risk on damaging the valve stems.
2) Valve Chucks (4-5 minutes)
Buy 4 of them and stick them on all tyres simultaneously and then wait about a few minutes (as per your type and size of tyre) to arrive at around 17-18 psi. Then take one tyre at a time and use your pressure gauge to further decrease and finetune the pressure of each individual tyre.
PROS: Fast and Cheap
CONS: none that i know off.
3) Stem removal tool (2-3 minutes)
Available in most hardware shops. Enables you to remove the valve core stem so the tyre pressure comes down very fast.
PROS: Very Fast and Cheap
CONS: Be careful not to lose the stem as it can blow out. So taking some spare is advisable. Be careful not to deflate too much as it really goes fast. Use a stopwatch and learn to find the perfect timing when to screw it back in, and then double check with a pressure gauge.
4) Rapid Tyre deflator and pressure gauge ( 4-5 mins)
This tool enables you to loosen the stem, quickly deflate and immediately take a pressure reading.
PROS: Professional tool for reasonable price, pressure gauge and deflator in one tool.
CONS: Might take a bit of practice to get the hang of it. The fake chinese ones are fairly unreliable.
As with all tools and gear, we advise you to practice a bit at home to become familiar with them. It is also recommended to carry two pressure gauges, so you can compare them with each-other and double check your readings. Often we have seen pressure gauges giving accurate readings at high pressures (35) but very inaccurate results at 10-15 PSI.