Nitrogen vs. Oxygen: The Difference
Nitrogen vs. Oxygen: What's the Difference
Benefits of Nitrogen Tyres
The rubber compounds in tyres have microscopic pores through which eventually air and nitrogen will seep. However, nitrogen molecules are larger, so it will take longer for your tyres to lose a noticeable amount of pressure when inflated with nitrogen. Exactly how much longer depends upon your set of tyres.
To put that in perspective, under inflated tyres can decrease your fuel mileage by about .03% for every 1 PSI drop in the average pressure of all tyres, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. So, whether you’re interested in going green, want to save some money by increasing your tyre’s tread life and protecting your fuel mileage, nitrogen inflation is a service to consider.
A secondary reason that nitrogen inflation is catching on — despite the cost — has to do with preserving one’s tyres and Tyre Pressure Monitoring System components. One of the key contributors to tyres and TMPS components deteriorating is moisture. Moisture in a tyre’s air can lead to rubber compounds cracking, steel belts rusting and corrosion of the metal components of the TPMS units mounted inside of a tyre. Temperature changes in tyres due to usage can cause different types of unfavorable decreases in performance.
Cost of Nitrogen inflation for Tyres
Prepared to counter that point are people who say you just need to check your tyre pressure once a month. Most tyre retailers will check it for free, or you can buy a tyre pressure gauge and check it yourself. Topping off your tyres with good old-fashioned air is certainly the easiest and least expensive option.
Nitrogen inflation has grown, but is not available everywhere . So, while some tyre retailers do offer nitrogen filling, these options may be few and far between, depending on where you live. The cost may also vary. Tyre retailers may fill newly purchased tyres with nitrogen for free, but otherwise there may be a small cost per tyre.
The use of nitrogen is already standard practice for inflating the tyres of race cars. As an inert fuel, Nitrogen exhibits less change in pressure during the intense temperature shifts during a race. Nitrogen is also used in airplane tyres for the same reason, keeping an airplane’s tyres properly inflated despite huge changes in elevation, temperature, and external air pressure.
The technology has naturally made its way into the world of sports car enthusiasts, who want a top-level driving experience. And for collectors, nitrogen-inflated tyres allow your vehicles to stay road ready while stored over long periods of time.
If you’re into cars and you want the absolute best, then nitrogen has obvious advantages. It’s all about what best suits your needs.