How To Deflate A Tire? With Or Without a Tool – Explained

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Often you overfill the tire and don’t realize until you ride on them. Overinflated tires are more prone to puncture so you should air them down. Sometimes you might find yourself asking, how to let the air out of a tire without screwdriver?

Don’t panic. Not always you need a screwdriver. Here in this article, I’ve tried to cover every possible way of how to deflate a tire. Check them down below.

When Do You Need To Deflate A Tire?

These are the three situations when you need to deflate your tires.

Over-inflation: Overfilled tire can decrease the ride comfort because less of the tire touches the ground. As a result, the traction and grip get reduced too.

Again, it wears out down the center of the tire. And if you repeatedly fill air beyond the recommended level, the tire’s service life will reduce drastically. So, deflate the tire when you feel it’s too tight and overfilled.

Long Time Storage: Before you store it, clean it using some detergent and water. Don’t entirely flatten it out. It will cause the tire to deform or prematurely crack on the sidewall. Deflate it to 50% of the normal pressure. Put the valve cap securely in place.

Off-Road Driving: Airing down the tires allows it to soften up and get a really good grip. When you ride over the rough and bumpy surface, it’s going to mold rather than being punctured. So, you’ll get a smoother, softer, and safer ride too.

I would suggest the off-road drivers to keep a set of tire deflators with you, so you don’t need to search for a sharp object in the middle of the road.

How to Deflate a Tire?

Airing down the bike and car tires are not the same as they have got different types of valves. So, have a look at how to deflate your tires without damaging them.

1. Deflating Bike tires

How to deflate a bike tire, you ask? Well, before beginning the process, you need to examine which type of valve your bike tire has on it. Basically, there are three types of valves: Presta, Schrader, and Dunlop or Woods.

Presta: If it’s a Presta valve, then lucky for you, it’s the easiest one among them all. First, you’ll see a small black cap on it. Twist to remove it. Now, you’ll find a knurled nut attached to the main body.

There’s no need to remove it entirely, just twist 2 or 3 turns. Now push down the end of the pin, and you’ll hear a loud hiss sound of escaping air. But be careful because the air will come out very fast.

So, take it slow; press, and release until the tire pressure comes to the desired level of PSI. Make sure to close the valve; otherwise, the air will come out as you start riding the bike.

If you need to flatten it out completely, just hold the valve and wait until it releases all the air inside.

Schrader: Schrader valve is more like the valves you find in the cars. Deflating it is trickier than the Presta valve.

Twist to remove the safety cap. Now you’ll find a thin pin in the center of a hole. When you press the pin, air will release. To push down that pin, use a pointy object.

You can use a pen, nail, head of a key, small screwdriver, or long needle-nose pliers. If you don’t intend to flatten the tire out completely, be slow and press and release.

But if your goal is to empty it out entirely, here’s a tip to do it quickly. Place it on the ground and push it against the ground. Doing this will help the air to come out faster.

Dunlop or Woods: Unscrew the cap. Loosen the valve core till the air comes out. If you want to flatten the tire out entirely, take out the valve core and keep it in a plastic bag, so you don’t lose it.

2. Deflating Car, Truck, and SUV tires

When you’re into off-road driving, you’ll need to deflate your tires to face the challenging terrains ahead. Again you need precise control over the air-down process.

I would suggest you to keep a tire deflator with you. It’s specially designed to work with tires, so there’s zero chance of damaging the valves. It will also save you from the hassle of hunting for the perfect pointed object in the middle of the road. Besides, it will show you the exact PSI, so no more guessing game!

There are two types of deflator, one needs supervision, and another one is automatic. I’ll cover them both for you.

Fast deflator with gauge:

This type of deflator is handy as it comes with a gauge but it’s fully manual and needs supervision.

  1. Push the slide valve forward. Now screw the valve stem adapter in a clockwise direction onto the valve stem.
  2. Push the valve core remover until it attaches to the valve, and then rotate anticlockwise to remove the core.
  3. Now you’ll see the core remover being pushed out and gauge reading the pressure.
  4. Pull out the slide to release air. Push it to stop and check the gauge reading.
  5. When you see the desired pressure level on the gauge, now it’s time to push the core remover in and rotate clockwise until it sets tight. But don’t over tighten the valve.
  6. Remove the unit by rotating the valve stem adaptor in a counterclockwise direction. Put the security cap back again.

Preset deflator screws:

These deflators come in a set of four. It is automatic so you go around and screw on all four tires. And by the time you get back to the first one, it’s pretty much set to the pressure.

First, manually deflate a tire up to your desired PSI level. Now screw the lock-ring and the cap of the deflator all the way down. Place the deflator on the valve stem. Just when you hear air start to escape, unscrew the cap. After that, turn it back down until the air stops releasing. Now, screw the lock-ring snug against the cap but don’t move the cap. Setting the lock-ring against the cap locks the deflator to the desired pressure level of the tire. Now repeat this thing for the next three screw deflators.

How Do You Deflate A Tire Without Tools?

Now, what if you don’t have any tool or deflator with you? I won’t judge you if you’re on the journey and forgot the tool at your home. You may ask, how do you deflate a tire without tools? Here’s how:

First, remove the safety cap by rotating it counterclockwise. When you remove the cap, the metallic part of the valve will be revealed, you’ll find a circle and a thin pin in the middle of it.

Now, to release the air, you need to push this pin down. You can use your small finger or anything pointy you can found. It could be a stick or even a toothpick.

Just make sure you don’t press and hold for too long. It will release the air faster. Slowly press and release until you air it down to the precise pressure level.

How To Deflate A Tire Quickly?

Do you need to flatten the tire entirely and need a faster solution? Here’s how to do it swiftly and safely.

  1. Jack your car up. You’ll find the jack point on the side of your car or truck. Use the lever to raise the vehicle up into the air. Flattening the air out entirely without jacking the vehicle up, can damage your tire and rotor.
  2. Open the black or metal cap on the valve. Locate the thin pin.
  3. Use long needle nose pliers and twist it anticlockwise. Be careful to hold it tight. Or else it will shoot out. Rotate until you can remove the valve core completely. Put it in your pocket or a plastic bag so you don’t lose it.
  4. Once you empty the inside air entirely, don’t forget to put the core back in by spinning it clockwise till it snug.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you deflate tires at gas stations?

Yes, you can. Just borrow a screwdriver and an air gauge from them. Press the metal pin to release air. Stop to check the pressure.

Is it illegal to deflate someone’s tires?

If you intend to harm somebody, then yes. You can go to jail if the damage is between $200-$1000. It might cause him/her an accident, too, if it’s a slow leak and isn’t that noticeable before.

How long does it take to deflate a tire?

Bigger the cavity, quicker the process. It will not take more than a few minutes if you can completely manage a long needle nose pliers and unscrew the inner valve.

What is the fastest way to deflate a tire?

Letting the valve’s core out completely using nose pliers with a thin and long needle. Rotate it anticlockwise until it gets out. Be careful, or it will shoot out, and you’ll lose it.

How to deflate a car tire slowly?

Unscrew the safety cap. Press and release the metal pin to air it down slowly.


There you know every trick and tips to deflate your tires. So, no more uncomfortable rides when you’ve overfilled the tires.

Just simply grab anything sharp you can get your hands on and air it down until it comes down to the desired level of PSI. If you love to drive on challenging roads frequently, keep a set of fast deflators with gauge.