You may have heard the hype about inflating your tires with nitrogen, but wondered, “Does it really make a difference?”
In this post, our QA Collision experts explain why the answer is yes, nitrogen in tires can make a difference… in some unique ways.
Nitrogen in Tires Facts
Compressed air is comprised of 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, and a remainder of small concentrations of other gases. Using just nitrogen to fill your tires means you’re basically just getting rid of the oxygen that is in compressed gas.
It’s important to note that most nitrogen tire inflation equipment doesn’t supply 100% pure nitrogen. It’s typically around 95%. This is still a significant amount and a noticeable beneficial difference when compared to just compressed air.
Nitrogen Tire Inflation Pros
One of the things you may notice is that your tire pressure will remain more stable when using nitrogen. Nitrogen is less likely to seep through rubber than oxygen is. This means you won’t need to fill up your tires as often, which is a great bonus because it will save you valuable time.
You’ll also notice that humidity won’t be as common as it was when you were using compressed air. It’s a normal occurrence when a bit of water builds up in tires, but this promotes corrosion in the steel and aluminum wheels. Because nitrogen produces lower levels of humidity, this won’t happen as quickly or as frequently.
Nitrogen Tire Inflation Cons
On the downside, nitrogen does cost money. We all know that compressed air is readily available at any gas station or service centre, for free. That’s not the case with nitrogen. So although you can refill your tires less frequently, it costs more than standard air.
As well as costing money, it can be more difficult to find. So if you’re in a bind with a low tire, it’s better to fill up with compressed air than it is to drive around with an underinflated tire trying to find a nitrogen supplier.
There are pros and cons to inflating your tires with nitrogen, but ultimately, the decision is yours.
**This article is intended as an informative look into the difference between compressed air and inflating your tires with nitrogen. This information should not be taken as professional advice. Please consult an industry professional. This Be Tire Smart article, Nitrogen Inflation 101, offers some additional information on this topic.