Ford has launched its third video in its series that teaches novices on how to drive in the desert with confidence. In this episode, titled, “How, When and Why You Need to Deflate Your Tires Before Heading into the Desert” experts explain at length about why it is necessary to deflate your tires before you venture into the desert.
Desert driving calls for a considerable amount of skill and takes some time to master, but there are a few basics that will stand you in good stead when you go off-road. In this episode, Ford’s in-house experts explain exactly what steps need to be taken to deflate tires correctly before tackling the dunes in the desert.
Newbies might be unaware about the importance of deflating. It can make a significant different to the ease of handling the vehicle when you reduce the tire pressures. When the tire pressure is less, the tire flattens out. This results in the creation of a larger contact patch with the ground, which can be up to 25 per cent more. The weight of the vehicle is thus distributed over a larger area and this reduces the strain on the engine and other driveline components.
Mike Chavez, series co-host and Ford Middle East Product Development Lead Technologist said that deflating the tires essentially helps the vehicle to ‘float’ on the sand”. When the tire is softer, it can mold to the shape of the sand instead of cutting through the sand like a knife. Chavez said that when you attempt to just cut through the sand, at some point, you are bound to get stuck. Instead when you deflate the tires, and attempt to “float” on top of the sand, it would be like driving on a cloud.
There are quite a few ways to deflate a tire, but there are two very fast ways. Each of the two methods involves removing the Schrader valve. The basic objective of deflating the tires should be achieving an off-road pressure of between 15-18 PSI. In the event that you deflate too much, you might end up damaging a rim or debeading a tire or rolling the tire off the rim. It would be better to deflate a little less so that in case you need to, you can deflate more. This might be needed if you get stuck. In that scenario, you can go down to 10PSI, or even 5PSI, to extricate the vehicle from the sand. Once you are out of the sand, you can reinflate again to 15-18PSI so that there is minimal possibility of damaging a rim or tire.
The episode and the entire series is available on Youtube and can be viewed by visiting the following link:
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