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Tire pressure deflation for off road driving

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7 hours ago, Gaurav said:

For any type of off road driving in the UAE you need to reduce your 4x4 tire pressure. For mountains and wadi it's easy to reduce between 20-25 PSI irrespective of the tire brand, shape, type and load.

For sand the tire pressure deflation is little bit tricky and if you follow below steps, you can decode this better.

Before that you also need to understand that why deflation for off road driving is so important:

  • Deflated tires are hard to sink in or dig in the sand due to lesser resistance.
  • Deflated tires increase the sand flotation to reduce the load on Engine, 4x4 and Transmission.
  • By deflating tire pressure you increase the footprint, that help you stabilize & offer better directional control.


Image shows the two tires track: One with 35 PSI (left) and other with 12 PSI (right).

Finding a perfect tire pressure for off road driving for your specific tire and 4x4 is based on bit of learning and experiments. Of course the lower the tire pressure better it is for dune bashing, climbing and self recoveries but too low is also dangerous for popping the tire out of its wheel.

You can follow the below chart, if you are totally new to off road driving as an indication (ONLY).

  • If you have a pop out on normal driving, then increase 1 PSI next time to find the best tire pressure for your 4x4.
  • If your 4x4 is Long Wheel Base (LWB) with full load then increase 1-2 PSI more than below indications.

Type/Brand of Tire

Regular Driving

Intermediate Driving


All HT Tread
(Highway Tread)

Dunlop Grandtrek
Bridgestone Dueler
Yoko Geolander HT
Michelin Latitude
Pirelli Scorpion
Goodyear HT


14 PSI



12 PSI

(Avoid sharp steering)


8-10 PSI

(Inflate after recovery)

 All MT Tread
(Mud Terrain Tread)

Mickey Thompson MT
BF Goodrich MT
Cooper STT - MT
Nitto Trail Grappler MT
Toyo Open Country MT
Dick Cepek Extreme


 12 PSI


10 PSI

(Avoid sharp steering)


 6-8 PSI

(Inflate after recovery)

 All AT Tread
(All Terrain Tread)

Yoko Geolander AT
Michelin Pilot A/S3
Hankook Dynapro


10-12 PSI


8-10 PSI

(Avoid sharp steering)


 4-6 PSI

(Inflate after recovery)


Disclaimer: If you can't find your tire brand in the list then rely on HT / MT / AT section to be 90% safe.


For knowing how to deflate the tires, please speak to any of the Marshal or senior member to show you how its done properly. There are more than a couple of ways and tools off-roaders use to deflate depending on their choices. All tools, ways and method are correct as far as you achieve the correct tire pressure.

If you are new to offroading, I highly suggest to double check the tire pressure twice once you are done. Borrow the fellow offroader tire pressure gauge and check again, as many times your new gauge might go wonky and give false readings. Once you are 100% sure that your gauge is correct always, then you are fine to rely on your own readings.


Secondly, always check / adjust tire pressure again after 30 minutes of sand driving as it might increase due to the heat and stress. If you are facing constant refusal at the beginning of any drive, I bet your 14 PSI has shot up to 18 PSI and you need to reduce the tire pressure more to bring it down to 14 PSI. This happens on almost every newbie drive, so it's fine and proven gazillions of time.

Very nice 👍 theory. Truly ready reckoner for all level off-roaders!! 👏🏼

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  • 1 year later...

I wish to add that it is a good idea to wash the threads of the tyre air valves, pressure gauges or any other gadgets that screw on the air valves and occasionally replace the valve cores inserts, they cost next to nothing. Sands particles easily get into it and can ruin the threads and damage these valves causing even pop-outs when one loses few PSI. The ambient tyre pressure charts are excellent guides.  

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  • 5 months later...

I have a note to add to this thread. Even if there is no pop out its always good to check your tires for any sand intrusion inside the tires when you are driving on sand at lower pressures as sand gets inside the tires occasionally. I have a recent experience of this phenomenon. One of my tires was losing air from 35 psi to 12 psi and lower in a time frame of 2 days. I was bewildered and thought probably I managed to induce a hairline crack somewhere in the tire as 2 tire shops checked the tire for any leak after inflating to 60 psi and nothing was found. In the 3rd tire shop when I explained to the technician he immediately said there is a sand intrusion inside the tire and between the beads. He proceeded to remove the tire from the rim and surprisingly there was lot of sand between the tire bead and the tire. Probably it entered the tire when the tire was getting flexed by the constant sharp steering movements or hits on small bushes or by the jumps. This happened to the back tire and not the front.  

I was under the impression that sand intrusion inside the rim will happen only during pop outs and this incident changed that perception completely. When we are driving on sand its always good to check for everything in the car preferably after at least 2 to 3 drives and make sure everything is in order so that we can avoid unfortunate incidents during the drive and bog down other drivers who have come there for fun and waste their time because we were lazy to take care of our own car. 

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@Thomas Varghese, when I recently replaced my tires I also noticed some sand inside, that explained why I was losing pressure slowly especially when I deflate the tires.

Edited by Lawrence_Chehimi
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This is a great @Thomas Varghese@Lawrence_Chehimi observation and it happens specially on older tyres also after popouts the tyre must be cleaned thrououghly. In my experience we should regularly replace the inner tyre valves as well. they cost nothing. 

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3 minutes ago, Ashok chaturvedi said:

This is a great @Thomas Varghese@Lawrence_Chehimi observation and it happens specially on older tyres also after popouts the tyre must be cleaned thrououghly. In my experience we should regularly replace the inner tyre valves as well. they cost nothing. 

My tires are not old. Replaced them in 2021 Jan and has only run 25000 kms. 

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@Thomas Varghese you are a "Monster of Milage";  I thought only commercial vehicles do those kinds of numbers.

My rear left tyre started to deflate automatically after the last mystery drive. Since I was travelling, my better half (@Desert Wrangler ) took the vehicle to a couple of petrol pump tyre shops where they said there is no puncture but the valve seems to be the culprit and it will cost AED 130 for the valve replacement and need to order 2 days in advance. I was planning to install the rapid deflating valves anyways so gave the car to a shop and asked them to clean the tyres as well.

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don't drive like its your last one.

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  • 3 years later...

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