What’s the deal with nitrogen tires? Is there really any benefit to substituting compressed air with nitrogen? Well, we think the improved fuel economy is backed up. At least, it’s backed up a little. Whether it’s a cheaper gas bill or a smoother ride, car enthusiasts are whispering about nitrogen’s apparent benefits. Let’s dig deeper.
Basically, it comes down to this: Air is already 78 percent nitrogen. It’s only 21 percent oxygen. The rest of it is water vapor, CO2, neon and argon—which can be ignored.
Purely nitrogen gas is less likely to migrate through tire rubber than oxygen is. So, a tire packed with nitrogen will be more stable over time. Racers began filling tires with nitrogen to combat pressure changes during temperature swings. Ideally, packing a car’s tires with nitrogen can positively impact its handling at high speeds.
Does Nitrogen Have a Place in Regular Cars?
Unless you’re a racer, you might not find many benefits of nitrogen. That said, drivers and passengers can both benefit from stable tire pressures. A tire shouldn’t have humidity. Also, temperature swings can be devastating to a car traveling long distances.
What’s the Verdict on Nitrogen-Filled Tires?
Will nitrogen improve your car’s handling? Well, sort of. If you travel long distances, or if you’re in a hot area, nitrogen might positively impact your driving experience. Nitrogen can also save you money on fuel costs—as well as tire-maintenance costs. Nitrogen-filled tires have less moisture, which means your wheels will corrode less. Even if you don’t feel different during the ride, you’ll have a greater peace of mind.
Filling Up with Nitrogen
A car technician can fill your tires with nitrogen. While time-consuming, nitrogen filling has become somewhat of a mainstream trend. A lot of shops have nitrogen filling machines which channel out a tire’s oxygen for nitrogen. You can also buy new tires with nitrogen air.
While nitrogen might not make a difference to average drivers, it can boost the performance of racing vehicles. It can also be beneficial for long-distance drivers. If you’re about to fill up, consider going with nitrogen. Even if you don’t notice a difference, you can say you tried it. Nitrogen can cost up to $30 per tire, but it’s certainly a viable option if you’re worried about tire damage. Whether you live in a hot, humid area or simply drive a lot, nitrogen tires can pay off in the long run.