Are you convinced on using nitrogen for your car tires? Nitrogen is a popular choice for many, but it might not be the perfect choice for everyone.
Tires are designed to provide excellent ride but must be in good shape. Maintaining the recommended tire inflation pressure is the key element for proper tire maintenance. Tire manufacturers suggest checking the tire pressure at regular intervals of at least once per month or twice per month as well depending on the local regulations and conditions.
Nowadays, many people are concerned about whether they should use nitrogen instead of air or not. In many tires, the nitrogen gas is being used primarily as it doesn’t support moisture as well as combustion. Nitrogen is a non-flammable gas, which is nothing more than dry air with oxygen removed. The air that we inhale and exhale contains about 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen and 1% miscellaneous gas.
Because of nitrogen’s extraordinary properties, it is used in high-performance tire including aircraft, mining, and commercial/heavy use. Besides, the nitrogen gas is also used in professional auto racing as the extreme vehicle speeds are involved in it. You must be wondering about what’s the difference between using regular air and nitrogen. So let’s dive in;
Cost & Convenience
As we all know, the air for tire inflation is universally available. At any service station, you can get your tires inflated for free or at really low cost. But that’s not the case with nitrogen. The infrastructure for nitrogen gas is not fully developed, and nitrogen is not easily available. But where it is, it’ll cost $5 – $7 to fill each tire.
Perhaps that’s the reason why some tire installers charge $70 – $180 for a complete nitrogen upgrade. If you are willing to convert air-filled tires to nitrogen, it’ll require filling & deflating the tires with nitrogen several times to purge all of the air.
Maintaining Tire Pressure
Tires are made up a component that has microscopic pores through which the inflating gas whether air or nitrogen will seep out over time thereby lowering the inflation pressure. Since the nitrogen has larger molecules, it’ll move through the tire slowly than air. Due to which, the inflation pressure will be maintained for longer.
A study was conducted in which 31-pairs of numerous tire models filled 30 psi with air, and the other bunch of 30 tires were inflated to the same pressure with nitrogen. Then, these tires were left outside for a year. In the end, it was found that all tires lost pressure. The average pressure loss of the tires inflated with air was 3.5 psi and 2.2 psi for the ones inflated with nitrogen. So the difference is 1.3 psi over a year.
So it was concluded that the nitrogen’s slight improvement in tire inflation pressure retention isn’t really a substitute for regular inflation checks no matter whichever SUV tyre you use. Make sure you check the tire pressure regularly so that you can easily spot a pressure drop without incurring the extra cost.