Lowering the Tyre pressure while off-roading is important because of 2 main reasons:
Firstly, lowering the tyre pressure makes the ride more comfortable when traveling on rough terrain. Lowering the tyre pressure when driving on rocky or steep hills enhances how the suspension work. Many off-road drivers have suggested that lowering the tyre pressure greatly improves the comfort of the car, especially on rocky terrain.
Secondly, traction of the car is improved. Lowering the pressure of the tyres increases the surface area of the tyre, this means that there is more rubber covering the ground and hence traction is increased.
Lowering the pressure of the tyres won’t damage the tyres, provided you drive slowly with low pressure and re-inflate them when you are back on the paved road.
Some tyres are designed specifically for off road terrains, while others are not. The overall level of traction and grip of the tyres depends entirely on the quality of the tyre of your vehicle.
You can easily deflate the tyre using a standard tyre deflator and check the tyre pressure using a pressure gauge these items are available at our PakWheels Auto Store.
How low should the tyre pressure be?
There are many factors to consider when deflating your tyres for off-roading. These include:
Tyre Sidewall Stiffness:
Tyres with a stiff sidewall provide support and will prevent the tyre from being flattened. Stiff walled tyres completely flatten with difficulty. For tyres with stiff sidewalls, its best to reduce the pressure enough to increase the footprint of the tyre on the ground. The greater the footprint the better the traction. On the other hand, tyres with softer sidewalls provide a larger footprint at higher pressure.
Tire aspect ratio:
Tire aspect ratio basically refers to the profile of the tyres. Tyres with low profile have more risk of being damaged when pressure is reduced. It’s best to get tyres with a higher profile to reduce the risk of damage when tyre pressure is lowered.
Driving at high speed with reduced tyre pressure will damage the tyres. When off-roading, there is a constant flexing of the tyre, and this causes the tyre to heat up and damages the tyre. It’s important to drive at slow speeds with low pressure tyres. It’s recommended to immediately re-inflate the tyres if you want to increase speeds.
In general, the looser the terrain (muddy, or sandy) the lower the tyre pressure you should have. It’s recommended by off road experts to reduce the tyre pressure by one and a half of the usual tyre pressure (pressure on normal roads). For rocky and hard surfaces, it’s recommended to reduce the tyre pressure by one third. Remember though, the lower the pressure, the slower you should drive.