Tire Deflators – How They Work, How to Use Them
From the list of things you don’t need to buy for your off-road rig, but you probably will anyway… Brass Tire Deflators.
These little spring-loaded and o-ring sealed gadgets give you the ability to easily air down your tires for the trail. Notice I didn’t say “quickly”. They do take longer than manually airing down, but the trade off is convenience – and the fact that they will automatically air-down your tires to preset PSI levels. And, it can do it for all four of them at once! So screw these bad boys on all four valve stems and wait for the hissing sound to stop, and you’ll be ready to roll!
These brass tire deflators come in several similar designs, but all pretty much work the same way. You will typically find them sold under the following brands: Smitty Built, Rugged Ridge, AutoEC, Tuff Stuff, Staun, and several others. Some screw together to keep them from getting lost, and some (as mine did) come in a little leatherette pouch.
In the following video, I discuss how they work, how to set them up, and how to use them. It’s honestly pretty easy once you get them in your hand. In fact, if you don’t want to watch me ramble on for 8 minutes, these instructions will get you going just fine:
Setting (calibrating) your brass tire deflators.
1. Deflate your “calibration” tire to desired PSI (I used my spare).
2. Screw the cap on the deflator all the way down (clockwise).
3. Screw the deflator onto the valve stem of the tire (completely).
4. Screw the cap on the deflator counter clockwise until you hear air, then turn back until the air stops.
5. Screw the locking (jam) nut counter clockwise until it is tight against the cap (to prevent it from turning accidentally).
6. Remove the deflator from the valve stem.
7. Repeat for all of your deflators
8. Don’t forget to re-air your spare to normal PSI!
Using your brass tire deflators
1. Screw the deflator onto each tire.
2. Wait for hissing sound to stop.
3. Remove the deflators.
See? Now wasn’t that easy?
Now, I didn’t mention this in the video, but I do know that folks will often screw these on their tires and then drive to the trail area as their tires are airing down. This is another benefit of this design. Don’t forget to take them off before you hit the trail, though!
Additionally, there is nothing that says you have to set them all at the same PSI. If you like to use a couple of different PSI levels in your tires, or you have different levels for different vehicles, you could always set them differently. Just figure out how to keep track of which are which!