There are certain guidelines that all off-roading enthusiast beauty must comprehend whether you approach the intricate subject of tire deflation as a science subject or an art.
Know the driving aids
Regardless of what 4x4 you possess or how extensive is it the list of off-road gadgets, there must be the driving aids such as traction control, terrain response and diff lock which means in the absence of tire performance or more specifically the traction.
Consider the tire pressure
When it comes to traction the tire pressure is most indispensable factor besides the tread design. Failure to deflate the tires to accommodate a specific the terrain will not only reduce a 4 x 4 off-road performance but it will drastically increase the risk of hazard to both the tires and the environment. True?
The performance increases with the deflation of vehicles tires that is associated with almost exclusively the increase in tread length and not the tread width as the tire deflates. In simple words, you want to stretch the tread out in the length and avoid the bulging at the side walls. The tread being the toughest part of the tires can be repaired when damages but on the contrary, the sidewall is the weakest and the most defenceless area, it can't be repaired.
Deflated tire and performance
Unfortunately, there is a numerous number of terrain tires out there but it's not easy to decide which pressure is best for the occasion. The scenario is further complexed by other variables such as vehicle mass (including payload), tire size (larger tires need more deflection) and tire construction. Moreover, the fluctuation in pressure must be considered a factor that is determined primarily by heat and increasing road temperatures during the day.
Terrain tires and pressure
Generally, loose surfaces (such as snow, mud and sand) require a low tire pressure in comparison to the solid surfaces (such as rocks, gravel and clay). The table on the right provides a rough guide for the adaptation of vehicle's tire pressure in order to suit with various terrain types but remember that this is just a guideline as it may not take in consideration the diverse variables that are mentioned before on every outing you make.
- The manufacturer's recommendation of the tire pressure is usually accurate for the on-road use. Find the tire pressure chart inside your vehicle's fuel flap, door recess or in the owner's manual. Mostly the manufacturers recommend 2.2-2.4 for a 4 x 4.
- Make sure you travel with an accurate tire pressure gauge, heavy-duty compressor and puncture repair kit in your 4 x 4 all the time.
- Always deflate your tires when driving off-road as it's safer, more comfortable and very less harmful to the environment.
- Never underestimate the impact of a small change in the tire pressure as it can drastically improve your vehicles gravel driving performance and road comfort especially over corrugations.
- Regardless of the terrain type, never drive on a deflated tire at a high speed because this will cause an excessive heat within the tire along with irreversible damage and eventually tire failure.
- Never attempt a sharp turn if your tires are deflated below 1.2 bar. This will exit pressure on the tire's side walls and may cause them to de-bead (pop-off the rims).
- Your 4 x 4 rear tires can be de deflated slightly more (0.2 bar) then its front tires because they are not subjected to turns and side-wall pressure.
- While driving over sharp rocks you must stop the deflating your tires when they start bulging at the sidewalls.
- It is a general rule that you should never go above 0.8 bar while driving over rocks on a highway terrain tire.
- Rather than squeezing around sharp obstacles always drive over them.
- Be alert, if your deflated tires take on a bluish tone then it is an indication or underinflation and overheating.
The tire construction considerably affects its reaction to deflation. Some of the tires use a robust rubber compound which requires supplementary deflation to achieve the exact same stretched-out result. However, a road-biased highway terrain tires with a 2-ply sidewall rating will require lesser deflation than an all-terrain or mud-terrain tire that is constructed with a 3-ply sidewall.