Deflate a Tire (Sounds Dumb, Don't It?)




Gotten stuck in mud or snow before? If you have and realized that (usually) if you let out some of your tires' air, you can get out due to the increased surface. This is what 4x4's will most of the time do if there's no one around to winch them out and there's nothing to attach their winch to.

If you have done this (let air out), then you'd realize how long it usually takes to get down to the psi you want. This is especially no fun in the winter time. Sitting outside in the freezing cold, while cars pass without stopping to ask if you need help, letting the air (slowly) out of your tires to better your chances at getting free.

Well no more shall you have to do this. Now if you follow these instructions, you can easily switch caps and sit in your warm car while your tires deflate (time it around 2 or so minutes, depends on the size you make these and your tires).

These can also be used for "pranks", but I'm not here to say you should use these for such things (although the pictures kind of gives away what I made them for, but never got around to using them).

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Step 1: Yellow Peas Aren't Just Meant for Eating...

Sorry, no actual pictures cause I made these a long time ago and never took any.
But I did make these instructable guideline photos when I made them and just found them recently.

We'll start out with the fast (both to make and to deflate) way.

Materials needed:
Yellow Pea
Super glue
Paper clip
Tire valve cap (aka Tire stem cap)

Steps (just as the picture says):
1. Cut yellow pea in half
2. Use super glue on the half pea and push into the bottom of the valve cap
3. Let it dry
4. Switch caps on desired vehicle when needed.

Step 2: Customized to Your Needs

Now onto the Custom deflating caps.

Materials needed:
Dremel (or a hack saw)
A 5/32 bolt
Super Glue
Valve Cap
Paper Clip

Steps (once again):
1. Dremel (saw) about a half an inch (I know the picture says different) or whatever the desired size is that you want. Larger equals faster deflate, smaller equals slower deflate which gives off less noise.
2. Glue the cut off piece of bolt to the bottom of the cap using the paper clip to force it down. Try to keep it centered.
3. Let it dry.
4. Switch the caps on the vehicle.

Hope this will help anyone who gets stuck during winter or at any time (beach, muddy dirt road, etc.)

Another (temporary) way to deflate your tires is to get a small pebble and put it on the inside of your tire cap and screw the cap back on.

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    20 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I did something similar to this recently, except I intended to use it as a prank, and it works much better in my opinion: I took the cap and drilled a small hole in the top and threaded a small screw(the type you would find on a plastic toy, I have a hole bag full) and then drilled another hole next to it (on the corner of the cap) so it has a place for the air to escape from.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    poke the little needle with a screwdriver or something and that should work


    12 years ago on Introduction

    Or you can just go to an automotive store and get a schrader valve core repair tool. You can get a nifty 4 way one that has a retapping tool for the inner and outer threads as well as a internal bore reamer.

    Tires deflate much faster with the core removed.

    Also I recommend replacing the core every once in a while.


    13 years ago

    There are actually a couple beaches where there are places to inflate your tires at the exit, so you deflate them to drive on the beach, then re-inflate them later.

    cokebottle tuque

    13 years ago

    traditionally you just take the tire cap off put a bb in it then put the cap back on.

    1 reply
    FrenchCrawlercokebottle tuque

    Reply 13 years ago

    Or a small pebble like I explained in the last step, but then you wouldn't have any actually type of timing for how long it takes to deflate. In these other steps, you could try it out on one of your tires after making it and time it to figure out how long it takes to deflate to different psi's. Then write it down on a piece of paper and put it with the caps, inflate your tires after you're done and then you'll know how long to wait.


    13 years ago

    I think we're getting off track here. If you read the description, you'll understand that these are used to let the air out of all 4 (or 2, depending upon your situation) of your tires while you sit back and relax. All you'd have to do is time how long and then switch the caps back. If you want to quickly deflate the tires, make the bolt long (about half the cap's length) and screw it on. Also, as mentioned above, you can also make holes in the end to help the air to escape. There is also another way to do this, but didn't think of it 'til now to mention it. So here it is: Take the cap and drill a hole through the center of the top with a 9/64" bit. Drill 2 or three holes in the sides (near the top). Now take the 5/32" bolt (don't cut the bolt) and thread it down through the hole. Now you have a cap that you can change when ever you feel like. Thread more into the cap for faster deflate or take some out for a slower deflate.


    13 years ago

    Car tires have the same style (schrader) valve, I had to remove the valve stem when i was using tire slime. you can also remove the central valve when you're re-mounting tires, the higher airflow makes it easier to mount the tire (I've done this with my spare a few times). and if you pull the valve, a tire will deflate QUICKLY. also they have to replace the valve stem to fill the tire, resulting in a longer delay... hypothetically speaking of course.


    13 years ago

    Not positive about car tires but atleast for bike tires the inner workings of a valve stem just screw out wich is very easy and fast to do and allowes for fast deflation. they sell a special tool for this but you can just use a small tube with a notch cut in the end...


    Reply 13 years ago

    Actually I didn't know, but thanks for the link. They look neat, but since I like to save myself a couple of bucks, I'll probably stick to my way (I already made 4. I put them in a film canister in my Explorer to keep them together). Thanks anyhow. (Also I'm sure it shouldn't cost $8.69 to ship UPS to 02830 for such a small package. I've sold on ebay before and have shipped larger packages for less, so right there they try to rip you off. So it'd cost me $21.68 all together, for something I can make for less then $5). But other then that, good idea.


    13 years ago

    sorry you don't have to deflate the tires but for mud sand rocks snow ex. it is recommended, however; we have tire made for such i do like your deflator it might work faster if you make a slot for air to escape(keeping in mind ive yet to makeone)


    Reply 13 years ago

    I've gone 4 wheeling before in my Explorer and didn't deflate the tires before. The route I took was filled with large rocks that stuck out at different angles, then there were the muddy ruts that went on for a several feet (about 10-15 feet), but not enough to bother to deflate and then have to inflate again. If you got stuck, then you would deflate the tires, otherwise it would take forever to drive down the path. If you deflate your tires before, you'll be more likely to blow out one of your tires on those rocks.


    13 years ago

    Yes and also pressure gauges usually have deflaters, but that way is extremely slow and includes crouching next to your car in rain, snow and even hail. You can let air out of only one tire at a time that way, but with these caps all you have to do is switch the caps and time the proccess (depending upon your tire pressure and what size you made the caps) while sitting in your car and then switch the caps back around.


    13 years ago

    lol. what an odd idea. it's interesting!