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At its heart, off-roading is about gaining access to terrain that would otherwise be inaccessible. But to get your vehicle there, you need to be able to unlock its true potential.

One way to do that is by airing down your tires. You’ll be able to achieve a larger contact patch with the ground, which will give you more traction and allow your vehicle to move more easily over obstacles.

Let’s take a look at how airing down your tires can benefit you and how to do it right!

Why Air down, and how does it help?

Airing down your tires helps you gain access to terrain inaccessible otherwise. It also allows your vehicle to move more easily over obstacles by creating a larger contact patch with the ground.

How does airing down help?

By airing down, you increase the tire’s contact patch or the amount of the tire in contact with the ground. It gives you more traction and allows your vehicle to move more easily over obstacles. Airing down also helps absorb shocks and reduce the risk of damaging your vehicle.

Things to consider while Airing down

There are a few things to keep in mind when airing down.

First, make sure you know how to air down correctly. If you don’t do it right, you could end up popping the bead off your tire and having to swap out for a spare.

Second, be aware of the terrain you’re on. Airing down will give you more traction, help prevent getting stuck in sand and mud, and will provide a smoother ride.

Finally, don’t forget to re-inflate your tires when you’re done off-roading. Driving on road with under inflated tires can be dangerous and cause excessive wear.

Does airing down help in sand?

Airing down your tires can help you gain traction in sand, as it will give you a larger contact patch with the ground. It will allow your vehicle to move more easily over the sand and help prevent you from getting stuck.

Remember that airing down your tires can also cause them to wear out more quickly, so be sure to air them back up once you’re done driving on sand to protect them from further damage.

How to air down tires to drive in the sand?

When airing down your vehicle on sand, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First, make sure that your tires are properly inflated before driving. This will help to prevent them from wearing out too quickly.

Second, the condition of the sand. If you’re working with dry, fine sand, you can lower the psi to 12 or 15 without a problem. However, if there’s been rain or the sand is clumped up together, aim for a higher number as you can still drive without having to risk too much tire damage that way.

Lastly, always air your tires back up before driving on roads again, or the tires will deteriorate very quickly.

Should I air down on dirt roads?

The answer is Maybe. If the dirt road is well-maintained and isn’t too rough, you may not need to air down. But if the road is in poor condition or is full of obstacles like rocks and ruts, airing down will help you maintain better contact with the ground and avoid getting stuck.

Another benefit to airing down on a dirt road is comfort. Lowering your tire pressure allows your tires to absorb more of the rocks and small bumps and prevents that energy from being transferred to the cab of the vehicle.

How to do it?

When airing down on dirt roads, you’ll want to reduce your tire pressure to between 15 and 20 psi. That will give you the best combination of traction and durability.

Remember, airing down too much can lead to tire damage, so be careful or you’ll be stuck in the middle of a remote dirt road!

Also, keep in mind that airing down will make your vehicle harder to control, so take it slow and be safe.

What tools should I use to air down?

There are a few different ways to air down your tires. It depends on what kind of vehicle you have and what type of air compressor you have access to.

Air compressor

An air compressor is a handy tool when airing down your tires. It can air down your tires either at home or on the trail. If you don’t have an air compressor, you can still air down your tires; it will just take a little longer. For more info on check out our off road air compressor buyers guide.

The 4Low’s Top Pick
VIAIR 400P Portable Compressor
  • Compact size with carrying case
  • 150PSI max working pressure and 2.3CFM can easily air up 35″ tires quickly
  • 25″ hose length allows you to reach each tire easily

Tire pressure gauge

Airing down your tires is a great way to unlock your vehicle’s potential and get more traction on the trail, but how do you know how much to air down your tires? You do it with the help of a tire pressure gauge.

Knowing how much air to let out of your tires is hard if you don’t have a tire pressure gauge. Not airing down your tires enough will limit your traction, and airing them down too much can cause your tires to come off the rim.

Tire Deflators

You’ll need a tire deflator tool to let the air out if you’re airing down your tires. This is a small, handheld device that fits over the valve stem and allows you to control the amount of air that’s released. You can find valve stem tools at most auto parts stores.

Once you have your tire deflator tool, it’s time to let the air out of your tires. Start by airing down to 20 PSI, and then go from there based on how your vehicle performs.

The 4Low’s Top Pick
Rhino USA Adjustable Tire Deflators with Gauge
  • Easily air down 4 tires at once
  • Comes with spare valves and replacement tool
  • Includes carrying case for easily storing

Spare tire and jack

Most vehicles come with a spare tire and jack. This is a necessary piece of equipment for off-roading, as it allows you to change a tire if you get a flat. Familiarize yourself with using your spare tire and jack before heading out on the trails.

Wrapping it up

Airing down is one of those things that, once you try, you’ll realize that your vehicle can make it to a lot more places than you initially thought.

It helps unlock your vehicle’s potential and can make driving on different surfaces a lot easier (and more fun). We hope this article has helped convince you to give airing down a try.

If you have any questions or want some tips on how to get the most out of airing down, leave us a comment below or reach out to us on social media. Happy trails!