Hi folks, quick question for the folks in the know. Yesterday I took the
wife's 05 Mustang in for the 30,000 mile check up. The service writer asked
me if I wanted nitrogen in the tires, the cost would be $32.50. With all
due respect to myself, I ain't no rocket scientist. I know about and why
they use nitrogen in aircraft tires...but, why would anyone pay extra to
have nitrogen in auto tires.
Please, someone help me understand this.
I put a little helium in mine. Decreased weight = better performance.
I also smear grease around the outside of the tires. Less traction, but less
Still, I WISH my tires would last long enough that I had to worry about the
"Larger molecules, don't leak out."??? My periodic table shows Nitrogen
as element #7, and Oxygen as element #8. Since air is ~78% Nitrogen and
~21% Oxygen, if going for the "bigger" molecule, then pick Oxygen. Oops,
just one small problem, pure oxygen like to go BOOM! if it finds some
Hydrogen and a spark, which would leave your tires all wet. Personally,
I'd jump straight to the Nobel gasses: Neon, Argon, Krypton, or Xenon.
Skip Helium (#2 on the table) because we'd see a new crime wave hit the
streets with people deflating tires to fill up their kid's birthday
balloons or wanting to talk like chipmunks. I can see a new line of
tires being marketed, that have little windows in the sides, so when you
fill up the tires with Neon, you can flip a switch and pretty colors
would appear. It will change the meaning of "lighting up" your tires,
especially on the ponys!
October 04, 2007
Tires - Nitrogen air loss study
Filling tires with nitrogen rather than air is becoming a common
practice in the replacement tire market. This service offers tire
dealers another avenue for making money while also promoting safety.
The claimed safety benefits often include the potential for reducing
air loss compared to an air-filled tire. Maintaining proper inflation
can help prevent tire overheating; promote optimum tread life; and
reduce rubber aging and wheel corrosion. The use of nitrogen in large
truck fleets and the commercial tire industry are well documented and
support these claims.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has seen
reduced aging of tires filled with nitrogen. Though the data does
support that passenger car tires could benefit by all the claims made
for nitrogen, tire manufacturers say that they already design tires to
perform well with air inflation. And while nitrogen will do no harm,
manufacturers say that they don't see the need to use nitrogen, which
generally adds $5 or more per tire charge.
Consumer Reports wanted to find out if nitrogen is worth the price, so
we purchased a Nitrogen Inflation System and checked out how well the
inflation held up over a one year period. We evaluated pairs of 31
tire models of H- and V-speed rated, all-season tires used in our
tread wear test from 2006. We filled one tire per model with air and
the other with nitrogen. The test was quite simple: fill and set the
inflation pressure at room temperature to 30 psi (pounds per square
inch); set the tire outdoors for one year; and then recheck the
inflation pressure at room temperature after a one year period.
The tires were filled and deflated three times with nitrogen to purge
the air out of the tire cavity. We also used an oxygen analyzer to be
sure we had 95-percent nitrogen purity in the tire--the claimed purity
limit of our nitrogen system, which generates nitrogen gas from
The test started on September 20, 2006 and the final measurements were
taken on September 20, 2007. The results show nitrogen does reduce
pressure loss over time, but the reduction is only a 1.3 psi
difference from air-filled tires. The average loss of air-filled tires
was just 3.5 psi from the initial 30 pressure setting. Nitrogen-filled
tires lost an average of 2.2 psi from the initial 30 psi setting. More
important, all tires lost air pressure regardless of the inflation
medium, so consumers should check their tires' air pressure routinely.
No evaluation was done to assess the aging claim.
Bottom line: Overall, consumers can use nitrogen and might enjoy the
slight improvement in air retention provided, but it's not a
substitute for regular inflation checks.
Moreover, since nitrogen is supposedly less prone to volume change
with heat change many new car dealers' service departments routinely
substitute nitrogen for compressed air when their customers Tire
Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)-equipped vehicles come in during the
colder winter months complaining about their TPMS warnings.
So the owner of the shop can pay for another round of golf.
Of course they don't tell you that the air you breath is 80% nitrogen,
My mom took her 500 in for a $12.95 oil change at the dealer. When she
left, her bill was a lot more than that.
Yea, she agreed to it, but it's really sad they they prey on the
elderly and uninformed.
Do a google search for "nitrogen in tires" and decide for yourself if
it is worth it or not.
Thanks for all the interesting comments on the nitrogen issue, I appreciate
each and every one of 'em.
With all your advice, I have decided to stay with 78% nitrogen....as it came
from the factory. <G>
This is a great group, I am fortunate to have found this group.
What happens when you lose nitrogen and have to fill up your tire?
And, if you add air at a filling station, so that now you have one
tire that's a mixture while the rest are pure nitrogen, does your car
handle differently? Does it void the warrantee on the tire? Will that
tire wear differently than the others? Can you sue if you have an
accident as a result? Will Al Gore come after your? Will space aliens
target your vehicle?:0)
replying to Spike, Insanerb25 wrote:
I hate to argue with most of you but the NHTSA study goes on to say that the
1.3% loss was on a low PSI tire, as PSI requirements increase so does the rate
of loss. Also depends on the area inside the tire, the humidity of the air
around you and the change of temperature. Driving at higher speeds causes a
higher fluctuation of temperature. If you drive around town at 40 mph in arizona
or texas and and you have small tires that are normally inflated to 35 psi then
its a small change. If not it could be a big change, please read the articles
for yourself instead of taking someones word for them.
Links to both NHTSA pdf and prof daws study on this page
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