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Nitrogen Tire Inflation

Nitrogen tire inflation is a good way to provide your tires the tender, loving care they need.

According to a recent survey from Consumer Reports, 40 percent of drivers delay automotive maintenance. Forty-four percent of those who deferred work in the past year also admitted they felt the value, safety or reliability of the vehicle would suffer, with some saying the car was becoming an embarrassment. Do yourself, and your car, a favor this Christmas be giving a little TLC to your tires.

Providing the tender, loving care that your tires want and need can be as simple as checking them to make sure they are at the proper tire pressure. Checking your tire pressure is free is you already have a pressure gauge, or a few dollars if you don’t. If you realize that your tire pressure is low, then you might want to consider topping them off with nitrogen tire inflation instead of the air at a gas station.

Yes, the air is cheaper, and in this economy, people are looking for any and all ways to cut costs. However, with tire inflation, like most things in life, you get what you pay for. Filling your tires with nitrogen instead of regular air is something to consider, especially if you’re planning on having your car, and your tires, for a long long time.

Compounding the issue of deferred automotive repair and maintenance is the fact that drivers are holding onto their vehicles longer – the average age of vehicles on the road today is nine years old. Many of the respondents in the Consumer Reports survey bought their cars used, and have owned them for at least five years with the intent to hold on to that vehicle for another five. If you want your tires to last as long as your car, then you’re going to need to invest in nitrogen tire inflation.

Many people buy Christmas presents for themselves, so if that’s you, instead of new clothes or an iPad, consider putting that money into your vehicle and into your tires. Sure, the iPad is a lot more fun and shiny, but the tablet doesn’t take you to and from work.

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tire recycling

Tire recycling can eliminate piles of waste tires like these shown here.

In 2009, only 35 percent of the tires sold in the United States were recycled. All those tires that aren’t being recycled are just laying around in landfills and junkyards, posing a huge hazard to the environment and providing a home to vermin. Tires in these stockpiles are also prone to heat retention, so they can ignite, creating tire fires that are difficult to extinguish. These tire fires can burn for months, generating unhealthy smoke and toxic oils. For these reasons, most states have passed scrap tire regulations requiring proper management.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, here is a summary of the laws in the United States regarding the proper disposal of tires:

  • 38 states ban whole tires from landfills.
  • 35 states allow shredded tires to be placed in landfills.
  • 11 states ban all tires from landfills.
  • 17 states allow processed tires to be placed into monofills.
  • 8 states have no restrictions on placing scrap tires in landfills.
Tires are very durable, which makes them hard to break down. However, a tire’s durability also makes it easy for them to be reused and recycled. When recycled, tires are used for fuel, civil engineering projects, or are converted into ground rubber and other products. Some of these tires end up getting retreaded and going to other countries, like Mexico and Japan.
So, what can you do about this? How can you keep tires out of landfills, or reuse them so they last longer. One thing to try is nitrogen tire inflation. Using nitrogen in the tires has been found to extend the life of the tire and to improve fuel efficiency. By using your tires for a longer period of time with one small change, that means in the long run, you’ll be consuming less tires and putting less tires in the landfill. It also means that you’ll save money in the long run, because that’s less money you’ll have to spend on tires and on gas. More money in your pocket while less tires end up in the landfills? Not bad at all.
No one person can keep all the tires out of landfills, but everyone can do something. That easy something that everyone can do is to put nitrogen in their tires instead of regular air. It’s good for you, it’s good for the tires, and it’s good for the environment.
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