Nitrogen Tyre Inflation

So you're considering nitrogen tyre inflation?  Here are some facts.

  • Nitrogen is not magic.  Nitrogen itself does not provide the benefit.  Benefits are gained from the fact that nitrogen retains pressure better.  Better tyre pressure provides better fuel mileage and longer tyre life.
  • A tyre that is regularly serviced with air will have similar performance to a nitrogen filled tyre.  On one proviso, that the air is dry.  The problem is that most garages don't have a dryer, or one that works properly.  Even those that do have a dryer still leave a significant amount of moisture (vapour) in the compressed air.  Nitrogen is ultra-dry, so it fluctuates less with temperature buildup during driving.
  • Nitrogen is non-reactive.  The majority of tyre rubber breakdown occurs as oxygen permeates through the sidewall of the tyre.  A tyre filled with nitrogen effectively halts the ageing of the tyre.  This means your tyre retains its strength throughout its life.
  • Maximizing your fuel economy and tyre life ARE good for the environment.  So, if these can be accomplished with better pressure retention, then nitrogen filled tyres are a green offering.
  • As much as we like to pretend we check our tyre pressure regularly, the simple fact is that we don't.  Industry commentators have said that approx 80% of people don't properly check tyre pressure.  Nitrogen, while not eliminating that issue, helps to mitigate its damage.
  • Air is already 79.1% nitrogen, so how is increasing it to 93.5% going to make that much of a difference?  It is important to remember that 79.1% nitrogen is laden with water vapour.  During a typical nitrogen inflation service, that "bad" nitrogen is removed, and replaced with clean, dry nitrogen.  No liquid water to cause rusting.  No oil.  No water vapour to condense out and cause pressure fluctuations.  No pipescale or rust to clog your valve stems.  A benefit for your tyres.

 

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