Ever wondered why you should reduce tyre pressure when driving on soft sand or other soft or loose surfaces?
The amount of surface area in contact with the sand increases greatly by dropping tyre pressure.
Normal street driving pressure is around 40PSI. Reducing this to about 18 to 20PSI will change the surface area in contact with the sand - not only in the width of the tyre but even more so the length - it pretty much turns each tyre into a mini-track!
The following illustration shows just how substantial the increased surface area in contact with the ground is when dropping tyre pressure from 40PSI to 20PSI.
Off-road tyres often have aggressive tread on the sidewalls which also assist with traction as this comes into direct contact with the ground.
Fully inflated tyres also cut deeper into the soft sand or dirt, creating more resistance as the wheel pushes against a higher mound of sand trying to move forward.
You could easily overheat your transmission or seriously damage or even destroy your clutch by failing to reduce your tyre pressure on soft surfaces.
So next time you want to drive on the beach, remember to drop your tyre pressure.
Speaking from experience, it is well worth the hassle of having to pump the tyres up again afterwards.