How to Flatten a Tire Quickly and Safely [Legal]

The basic skills of all drivers should include inflating and deflating tires. It is not ideal to drive with under or over-inflated tires. Also, this skill comes in handy if you need to flatten a tire for storage or whatever legal reason there is. But do you know how to flatten a tire quickly and safely?

Here’s how to flatten a tire fast:

  1. Locate the Valve Stem on the Tire
  2. Identify the Metal Pin
  3. Twist the Pin Counterclockwise
  4. Remove the Pin
  5. Put the Pin Back Whenever Necessary

Read on to learn more about the steps for deflating your vehicle’s tire fast, including the tools you will need to get the job done.

How to Flatten a Tire Quickly and Safely [Legal]

how to flatten a tire quickly and safely
Tire’s Valve Stem

If you want to know how to flatten a tire fast, here’s how:

  1. Locate the Valve Stem on the Tire
  2. Identify the Metal Pin
  3. Twist the Pin Counterclockwise
  4. Remove the Pin
  5. Put the Pin Back Whenever Necessary

You don’t need too many tools to get this job done. You need a valve core tool or a pair of long needle-nose pliers.

Let’s briefly talk about each step to flatten your vehicle’s tire quickly and safely:

1. Locate the Valve Stem on the Tire

To flatten a tire, you first need to locate the tire’s valve stem. The valve stem refers to a self-contained valve that opens to allow air to enter the tire’s chamber.

Once an air pump is pushed in, the valve stem opens. Then, it automatically closes once you remove the pump. It is vital in sealing the air inside and preserving the tire’s pressure.

The valve stem looks like a small tube and is often made of rubber and metal. It is not hard to locate it as it protrudes from the tire.

There are instances when the valve stem has a cap. You have to remove it to deflate – or even when you inflate – the tire. You can remove it by twisting it in a counterclockwise manner.

2. Identify the Metal Pin

The second step is to identify the metal pin. It is a movable, spring-loaded pin attached to the valve stem seal. It will let out air and deflate your vehicle’s tire if you push it in. But if you want to deflate and flatten your tire quickly, you can completely detach the pin from the seal.

If you want to deflate some air out of your tire, you can use any stiff tool that is small enough to push the pin in. The most common tools used include a screwdriver or the backside of a pressure gauge.

Others also use a key, a belt buckle pin, or even a hard shoelace tip. Press the pin harder if you want the tire to release more air.

3. Twist the Pin Counterclockwise

Remove the pin entirely if you want to flatten your tire fast. Use a valve core tool or long needle nose pliers to do this. Hold the pin and carefully twist it counterclockwise.

As you do this, air will start escaping the tire. Just continue twisting the pin until it detaches from the seal.

4. Remove the Pin

Once the pin detaches from the seal, remove the pin and be careful not to lose it.

With the pin removed, your tire will continuously release air. This way, you don’t have to manually press the pin for a long time until the tire releases enough air. Doing so can stress your hands as you need to press the pin hard.

Now, all you have to do is wait for your tire to flatten.

5. Put the Pin Back Whenever Necessary

If you do not want to flatten your tire 100%, there’s nothing to worry about. You have to put the pin back in the valve stem and attach it to the seal. You have to twist it again, but this time, do it clockwise.

Continue to do so until you are sure that you have completely sealed it back. If the valve stem has a cap, you have to put it back.

If you want to flatten your tire 100%, wait until all air is released from the tire. Once it is done, place the pin back to prevent misplacing it. Do not forget to place the cap back, too, if it has one:

In this video, Mike from 1A Auto shows us how to release air from the tire quickly and safely.

What Happens If You Flatten a Tire with a Knife?

how to flatten a car tire quickly

Flatten Tire in Seconds

If you slash a tire using a knife, your tire will indeed flatten in seconds. It will create a loud “psshhh” sound if you do this to a regular pressurized tire. The slash rushes out air at high pressure, quickly flattening your tire.

Use a Sharp and Serrated Knife

If this is how you want your tire disposed of, you have to use a sharp and serrated knife. You have to do this with extra caution because of the sharp knife and how the air rapidly rushes out of the tire.

Secure the Tire Between Your Legs

To do this, make sure to secure the tire between your legs while you are standing. Do not force a hard slash right away. Instead, make small radial cuts on the tire’s sides.

Face Away Once You Have Made Several Minor Cuts

After several cuts, make sure to face away before you push the knife hard into the cuts you made. Once enough deep cut through the sidewall, air will rush out of the tire.

Again, make sure you face away once you have made several minor cuts. Most importantly, continue facing away when you make a deep cut. The last thing you want to happen is a big gust of air bursting in your face. Unfortunately, this can cause an injury.

Depends on How Big the Cut You Made on the Tire

Using a knife is a fast method to flatten your tire. It can even be faster than flattening the tire by removing the pin, but it depends on how big the cut you have made on the tire.

Disadvantage of Slashing Tire with Knife

While this is a fast method that you can do, the disadvantage is that you will not be able to use the tire anymore. Suffice to say you can do this if you plan to dispose of your tire completely.

Remove the Pin If You Plan to Store the Tire

But if you plan to flatten your tire for storage, removing the pin is the recommended approach. It is also a safer method, even if you plan to dispose of it too.

Again, how to flatten a tire quickly and safely? To slash a tire quickly, use a sharp and serrated knife. A sharp knife can easily slash the tire’s surface as long as you apply enough force.

Slashed Tire vs. Blowout Tire

What Happens If You Flatten a Tire with a Nail?

Using a nail may be another way of flattening your vehicle’s tire. However, this is not a fast way to do so unless your nail is strong enough to make a big deep cut.

Accidentally running on a nail is one of the most common flat-tire causes. Typically, the air escapes slowly from the tire. But your tire can suddenly burst, especially if it is already worn out. Unfortunately, this situation can be risky.

If you want to flatten your tire using a nail, use a nail not shorter than 3 inches. Securely place the tire between your legs and start hammering in the nail. Make sure to lean back as far as you can while doing this. So that just in case the tire suddenly bursts, the air will not explode in your face.

While this is another way of flattening the tire, it may not be as fast as simply removing the pin from the valve stem. Besides, it can be risky, too, as it can cause an injury.

What to Do When You Find a Nail in Your Tire

Frequently Asked Questions – What Is the Fast Way to Deflate a Tire?

how to flatten a tire with a nail

Here are some frequently asked questions related to a quick way to flatten a tire:

What Is the Fastest Way to Deflate a Tire?

The fastest way to deflate a tire is by screwing the metal pin from the valve stem. Use a pair of thin long needle nose pliers to secure the metal pin. Turn the pin counterclockwise to detach it. As you twist the pin, air will slowly escape from the tire.

Once you completely detach it from the valve stem, the air from the tire will release fast. You can get the job done quicker than if you press the pin down.

Will a Nail Make a Tire Flat?

It is easy to make a tire flat using a nail if the tire is already old and worn out. In some cases, a nail can only pierce the tire’s surface but not deep enough to reach the rubber fabric.

How Do You Let Air out of a Tire Without a Screwdriver?

You can use the back end of the air gauge to push the metal pin of your tire. Alternatively, you can use a key or a belt buckle pin to push the metal pin down to let the air out. In essence, you can use any stiff tool that is small enough to push the pin down effectively.

How Do You Flatten a Tire with a Knife?

Use a sharp and serrated knife to flatten your tire. Make small radial cuts on the sides of the tire before making a deep cut through the sidewall.

However, make sure to lean as far back as you can while doing this, or turn your face away as much as you can. This way, the air will not suddenly burst in your face, which can cause an injury.

How Do You Deflate a Tire Without Tools?

You can still deflate your tire even if you don’t have a valve core tool or a pair of long needle-nose pliers. You can use any stiff object small enough to press the tire’s metal pin. It can be a belt buckle pin, a key, or a hard shoelace tip.

Can You Slash a Tire with a Screwdriver?

It is possible to slash a tire with a screwdriver. However, you might have to exert a lot of effort. A screwdriver is not sharp enough to quickly make a deep cut through a tire.

Is Slashing a Tire Loud?

Slashing a tire can be loud, especially if the tire is not depressurized.

What Is the Easiest Way to Flatten a Tire?

The easiest way to flatten your tire is by detaching the metal pin from the tire’s valve stem. You will need a valve core tool or a pair of long needle-nose pliers to hold the pin. Twist until the pin completely detaches from the valve stem’s seal.

This will allow the air to escape from the tire quickly. This is not only a quick and easy way to flatten a tire, but it is also the safest way.

How Can I Make My Tires Flat?

You can flatten your tires by removing the metal pin from the valve stem. This will continuously let the air escape from the tire. It is more convenient than pressing down the pin because it can stress your hand if you plan to flatten your tire completely.

It is also possible to flatten your tire by slashing it with a knife or creating a big hole using a nail. But these methods are quite risky because a big gust of air can suddenly burst in your face.

Also, you can use these methods if you plan to dispose of your tire. Unlike if you flatten the tire by removing the metal pin, you can still recycle the tire for other purposes.

What Is the Easiest Way to Slash a Tire?

You need a sharp and pointed knife to slash and flatten your tire. Aim for the sidewall, then make a quick and forceful slash. Push the blade into the tire deep as you pull it to the side. Slashing your tire can create a loud burst.

It’s also quite risky as the tire’s air can suddenly burst in your face. While this may be the “easiest” way to slash a tire, it is not that easy.

How Long Does a Slashed Tire Take to Deflate?

A slashed tire can deflate in a matter of seconds. If the tire blows up, then it can flatten more quickly.

Can You Slash a Tire with a Box Cutter?

You can use a retractable box cutter or a utility knife to slice your tire effectively. Begin by thrusting the tip of the blade directly into the surface of the rubber about 2.5 centimeters from where the tread begins.

Do Tires Lose Air Without the Cap?

It may seem like it is alright to miss a valve stem cap. However, this causes the valve stem to be prone to dirt and debris, which can break through the seal. Unfortunately, this will result in a loss of air pressure. The air will escape from the tire through the valve stem.

How Long Does It Take to Flatten a Tire?

You can flatten a tire in seconds, but it is possible to take a few minutes. It all depends on the method you will use to flatten a tire. If you deflate it, it can take you a few minutes by pushing down the valve stem’s metal pin.

You might even have to stop from time to time as it can be tiring to keep pushing the pin down manually.

Detaching the metal pin from the valve stem’s seal will allow you to flatten your tire in seconds. This is because a big gust of air will escape from the tire.

You can also quickly flatten your tire using a sharp knife, but this is not safe. This will also wholly damage the tire, and you might not be able to recycle it for other purposes anymore.

In Closing: How to Flatten a Tire Quickly and Safely

To reiterate, here’s how to flatten the tire of your vehicle quickly and safely:

  1. Locate the Valve Stem on the Tire
  2. Identify the Metal Pin
  3. Twist the Pin Counterclockwise
  4. Remove the Pin
  5. Put the Pin Back Whenever Necessary

You don’t need too many tools to get this job done. However, you need a valve core tool or a pair of long needle-nose pliers.

You can also flatten your tire quickly using a sharp knife. But it is not as convenient and safe as simply removing the metal pin from the valve stem. Also, using a knife will damage the tire ultimately. You will not be able to reuse it or recycle it even for other purposes.

Read next:

Truck Tire Wear Patterns

How to Get the Screw Out of the Tire and Repair the Tire